The Saratov Approach Reviews

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PantaOz
Super Reviewer
½ July 4, 2014
This dramatic thriller was all about religion, and if you are a non-believer, simply skip it! Written and directed by Garrett Batty it stars Corbin Allred, Maclain Nelson, Nikita Bogolyubov and Alex Veadov.

The movie is about the 1998 kidnapping of the two Mormon missionaries, Andrew Lee Propst and Travis Robert Tuttle in Saratov, Russia. The kidnappers wanted US$300,000 ransom from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but nobody wanted to pay the ransom for different reasons. For five days the two missionaries were handcuffed and held captive in a small room. When no ransom materialized, the men were driven to a field and released. Doesn't sound too exciting, especially when we all know the outcome of the story... but, there was suspense in the movie, excitement, and very believable acts and results of the faith of the young men.

At the time, this event was a significant international incident, but the director wisely chooses to focus its time on the missionaries and their captors. Some blamed a limited budget for it, but the important story really is what is happening within that relationship where they both slowly make their way through a barrage of emotions, confronting fears of their captors and their own mortality, and slowly coming to understand the role their faith will play in their predicament.

Please, do not dismiss this movie because it falls into the category of Mormon cinema, and the well-tread subcategory of missionary movies that is so prominent within it. Check it out and you will see that director Garrett Batty's effort is very solid. I didn't like the hand-held camera work and the intense original soundtrack, but the locals from The Salt Lake Tribune praised the film. Some of the scenes were not very impressive, they were executed rather like a routine, but they are countered by most of the emotional scenes of Allred and Nelson re-creating those days of captivity. Not a bad viewing!
½ September 21, 2013
Moving, thrilling, inspiring, and all the more powerful for being based on a true story. Will definitely be watching again.
February 12, 2015
A good film apart from the irritating religious preaching goody goody undertones of the story.
October 30, 2014
This is an awesome story of two young men committed to spread the word of God and having such a strong faith as to die for it. One of the kidnappers is said to have been a Norman himself.
October 14, 2014
Not great, but good Mormon movie. Acting was OK and climax was too soft... But it was really religious and some scenes were really funny! It has heart and wonderful message. So I kinda liked it. I really recommend it!
August 30, 2014
This movie was fantastic. It moved me to tears....
½ July 24, 2014
Good story bad acting.
PantaOz
Super Reviewer
½ July 4, 2014
This dramatic thriller was all about religion, and if you are a non-believer, simply skip it! Written and directed by Garrett Batty it stars Corbin Allred, Maclain Nelson, Nikita Bogolyubov and Alex Veadov.

The movie is about the 1998 kidnapping of the two Mormon missionaries, Andrew Lee Propst and Travis Robert Tuttle in Saratov, Russia. The kidnappers wanted US$300,000 ransom from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but nobody wanted to pay the ransom for different reasons. For five days the two missionaries were handcuffed and held captive in a small room. When no ransom materialized, the men were driven to a field and released. Doesn't sound too exciting, especially when we all know the outcome of the story... but, there was suspense in the movie, excitement, and very believable acts and results of the faith of the young men.

At the time, this event was a significant international incident, but the director wisely chooses to focus its time on the missionaries and their captors. Some blamed a limited budget for it, but the important story really is what is happening within that relationship where they both slowly make their way through a barrage of emotions, confronting fears of their captors and their own mortality, and slowly coming to understand the role their faith will play in their predicament.

Please, do not dismiss this movie because it falls into the category of Mormon cinema, and the well-tread subcategory of missionary movies that is so prominent within it. Check it out and you will see that director Garrett Batty's effort is very solid. I didn't like the hand-held camera work and the intense original soundtrack, but the locals from The Salt Lake Tribune praised the film. Some of the scenes were not very impressive, they were executed rather like a routine, but they are countered by most of the emotional scenes of Allred and Nelson re-creating those days of captivity. Not a bad viewing!
June 30, 2014
Religious propaganda. You almost got me, Batty. Almost.
½ June 25, 2014
"Inspiring Emotional Rollercoaster" Hope, Terror, Faith, Hopelessness Really pulls you in an has you Wanting to go help them.
June 15, 2014
Looks like a TV movie made for one of the religious channels: bad acting, predictable plot, poor action and lot of preaching.
½ June 12, 2014
If there was one word I could use to describe this movie it would be INTENSE!
If there were ****** they would be
PROFOUND! In so many ways a truly profound movie. Unafraid to wear the beauty of faith on its sleeve. It was a riveting account of the struggle of two Brothers in Christ to reconcile the difficulties of faith when surrounded by wickedness. Much of the profundity of this feature derives is strength from their faith, as exemplified by the ultimate surrender of our heroes to His love. I'm disappointed however at this movie's lack of suspense. At what time were those two noble Elders in any danger? It was obvious that the Light of Christ shone brightly upon them and they were Angels sent forth to enlighten the wicked Sergei and Nikolai, Nikolai most of all. How dare he attempt to usurp the generosity of The Family simply because he is a wretched, Godless heathen. Would have been 5 stars, but didn't have enough Jesus!
April 10, 2014
Was a little skeptical at first, but it got better. The trailers were a little deceiving, but all in all this was a decent suspenseful LDS movie (not that there are (m)any others besides Brigham City, which I don't remember). I'd recommend it! Maclain Nelson needs a few more acting lessons. It was fun to watch the original news headlines from 15 years ago.
April 3, 2014
Gripping thriller. My heart was pounding and I was glued to the screen. Excellent acting, good cinematography, and a wonderful story that brought the U.S. together for a week.
March 21, 2014
An incredible compelling movie. It'd extremely moving and powerful. The acting is fantastic by the four leads and they really bring you into the movie. The camera work is great and the music is moving as well.
February 8, 2014
What an awesome movie what a testimony
½ February 12, 2014
Bloated and preachy. Also it seemed that a lot of the other reviews usd similar phrases such as "intense" and it make me wonder if they all copied from a suggested review???
February 10, 2014
This is an amazing movie for adults and teens. Based on a true story, the movie draws you in and leads you through a very compelling drama to a surprising conclusion.
½ February 5, 2014
Amazingly real and frightening.
½ February 2, 2014
I loved this movie! The acting and directing could have been better but overall I felt that this movie is a must see for everyone and I would love to see again. I felt the message was very powerful and I'm glad to hear the movie was very close to what had actually happened.
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