The Saratov Approach Reviews
I love this movie and highly recommend if for nearly anyone. But I especially recommend it for aspiring future LDS Missionaries and their entire family. But I must warn that it IS rated PG-13 for a reason, I would not recommend anyone under the age of about 10 years old to see it. I loved this movie and its story. I hope it goes far!
The only flaw is I feel like the actor who played the missionary that was talking about why he changed his mind about going on a mission paused a little too often and long when he was trying to be dramatic
I loved it. Good acting and great heart.
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!