One of the most gripping and fascinating movies of the year, The Imposter becomes even more astounding when one considers that the story is based on a real-life story of kidnap, rescue, and deceit. Consider this: Nicholas was 13 when he disappeared in Texas on June 13, 1994. His family was devastated, assuming the worst and fearing that they would never see their son again.
Then, miraculously, the boy is discovered alive on October 7, 1997 in (of all places) the south of Spain. He shows clear marks of being beaten and tortured, but that isn’t all that’s different. He also looks different: gone is the blonde haired and blue eyed All-American boy who has morphed into a boy with brown hair and brown eyes. He also speaks with an accent which is hard to place, but which definitely doesn’t sound like what Nicholas sounded like before his disappearance. Clearly, something is amiss.
Strange things seem to happen around Nicholas. People are no longer happy to see him return. They begin to fear him and are frozen into silence in his presence. What has happened to Nicholas? Is this really him? Is this just a case of mistaken identity?
There are a lot of things to recommend this documentary thriller, a movie that plays as a kind of real-life Talented Mr. Ripley. You will be on the edge of your seat for most of the movie’s 95 minute running time, unprepared for many of the story’s most bizarre twists and turns (and there are plenty of them). If you’re looking for a film that is anything but the familiar summer movie experience, then this is the one for you. Definitely worth watching.