Catch the Fair One

Catch the Fair One
Running time:85 minutes
Director:Josef Kubota Wladyka
Release date:Not communicated
In this absorbing revenge thriller executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, a Native American woman embarks on the fight of her life when she goes in search of her missing sister. The former boxer intentionally gets entangled in a human trafficking operation in order to retrace the steps of her kid sister and work her way up the chain of command to find the man responsible.

Mulder's Review

"No one is looking for her because no one cares"

As part of our first coverage of the Tribeca festival, we had the chance to discover about forty films and some of them really stood out from the crowd as it shows the emergence of new directors as it is the case of Josef Kubota Wladyka with the film Catch the Fair One. After having directed several short films and episodes of series (Outcast, Animal Kingdom, Narcos, Fear the walking dead, The terror), this film is his second feature film and certainly imposes him as a director to follow.

A former boxing champion, Kaylee (Kali Reis), embarks on the fight of her life when she sets out to find her missing younger sister, Weeta (Mainaku Borrero). After launching the more or less successful careers of Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey, the WBA world seems to be a real breeding ground for hardened actresses capable of making it to the big screen in action films or thrillers like this one. For her first film in theaters, American professional boxer Kali Reis stands out as the important revelation of this film. A world champion in two weight classes, holding the WBA women's super lightweight title since November 2020 and the WBC women's middleweight title in 2016, Kali Reis was an obvious choice to play the character of Kaylee because while even this film is not a female Rocky, the world of boxing remains a constant backdrop. The real subject of the film is the important worldwide trafficking of human beings. These abducted people are used as an organ bank for a juicy traffic of evil people ready to do anything to fill their bank account.

Kaylee is willing to do anything to find her sister and this film follows her journey through a violent world in which many innocent young women are kidnapped and under the control of violent torturers. It is true that this film is not a spin-off of the film saga Taken in which actor Liam Neeson brilliantly plays Bryan Mills, a former American secret service agent. Kaylee, on the other hand, is a strong-willed boxer who is capable of fighting until her last breath.  The director Josef Kubota Wladyka knew perfectly how to direct the young actress Kali Reis who proves herself here as impeccable in the action scenes of the film as in the more dramatic moments. We follow the journey of Kaylee who infiltrates a human trafficking network in order to dismantle it from the inside at the risk of her own life.

The film's plot keeps us on our toes and asks us how far we are willing to go to find out the truth and whether, despite the blows, our bodies can hold up. The emotional, rough-and-tumble strength of Kaylee's character totally cements our buy-in to this film, which is as much a polished thriller as it is a profound human drama. By searching for her sister, Kaylee seems to want to atone for her own faults and Catch the Fair One thus becomes a true cinematic expedition.

Of course, we can reproach the film for its unexpected ending and the fact that it avoids a happy ending like in too many American films, but we can only salute the inspired direction of Josef Kubota Wladyka, notably marked by the photography of Ross Giardina, which certainly reinforces our adhesion to this film and which should allow it to be a real success when it is released in theaters or on a streaming platform like Netflix.

Catch the Fair One
Written and directed by Josef Kubota Wladyka
Produced by Mollye Asher, Kimberly Parker, Josef Kubota Wladyka
Starring Kali Reis, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Chu, Michael Drayer, Kimberly Guerrero, Lisa Emery, Kevin Dunn
Music by Nathan Halpern
Cinematography :  Ross Giardina
Edited by Benjamin Rodriguez Jr.
Production companies : Protozoa Pictures, The Population
Release date : June 12, 2021 (Tribeca)
Running time : 85 minutes

Seen on June 14, 2021 (Tribeca Festival Online press access)
Reviewed on September 8, 2021 at the Deauville CID (Deauville American film festival)

Mulder's Mark: