'Catch the Fair One' Review: All eyes on Kali Reis who knocks it out of the park
The champion boxer flexes her acting skills in a gripping film that, sadly, fizzles out due to poor writing and execution
When you think of rescue or revenge dramas, it doesn't seem like a huge mistake to assume that 'Taken' comes to your mind. The Liam Neeson starrer was successful enough to spawn two sequels and network giant NBC even made a TV series that served as a prequel. The Pierre Morel directorial also set the bar for such films that, apart from abductions, also deal with human trafficking and prostitution rackets.
'Catch the Fair One,' for most parts, falls under the same category. It differs in one major and distinguishable way, in that it talks about a truly devastating yet seldom spoken about occurrence. The film is about a former boxer, belonging to the indigenous community, who goes in search of her missing sister. With real-life boxing champion Kali Reis playing lead, 'Catch the Fair One,' subtly but effectively, highlights media negligence and law enforcement incompetence when it comes to cases of missing indigenous women. To amplify this tragedy, the movie utilizes a recurring dialogue: "Nobody's looking because nobody cares."
The film starts with glimpses of Kaylee (Reis) warming up for a fight and almost immediately switches to a shot of her in a place that looks like a halfway house. Over the next few scenes, we find out that Kaylee is living hand-to-mouth and that she works as a waitress. She cites an injury as the reason for her giving up boxing. Whatever she makes from waitressing goes towards greasing the palms of a police officer to find the whereabouts of Weeta, her missing sister. The crooked cop, with the help of a confidential informant, discloses to Kaylee that Weeta was taken by Danny, a low-level profiler in a human trafficking racket. Kaylee, willing to go to any lengths to find Weeta, meets Danny while posing to be someone who is looking to become a sex worker. Whether Kaylee is able to find Weeta forms the rest of the film.
The research put into making 'Catch the Fair One' is evident right from the beginning. We get code words used to label indigenous women in the flesh trade, a peek into how they're trafficked and we also get a glimpse at the sheer volume of missing women. Throughout the film, the characters also reiterate that nobody cares. Kali Reis does a decent job at playing Kaylee. Her action sequences work, but that's a no-brainer given Reis' boxing background. What comes as a surprise, however, is her ability to emote in scenes that call for it. In all honesty, Reis doesn't come off as a debutant in 'Catch the Fair One.'
Unfortunately, 'Catch the Fair One' fizzles out and we don't get a satisfying ending. To make things worse, we don't even get closure, making it yet another film that could've been much more if the writers had developed it better. This statement, in itself, feels like a spoiler, and any more points will reveal the story.
'Catch the Fair One' is currently available for streaming via VoD