Prisoners

2013-10-11 08:16
 
Prisoners
What it's about:

Keller Dover is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His 6-year-old daughter and her young friend are missing, and, as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in.

The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests its driver, but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect to be released.

Knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands.

What we thought:

Prisoners explores the fine line between morality and a father’s duty to his family. Although it has generated a lot of Oscar buzz, the movie loses its dark appeal with a drawn-out plotline and some overused Hugh Jackman anger.

It is any parent’s worst nightmare to have a child go missing, and Prisoners made a good choice with having two children disappear  instead of one. It shows that no person’s reaction to tragedy is the same and kind of gives the viewers options on who they want to align themselves with, making the tragedy that more relatable.

Would you go Keller Dover’s (Hugh Jackman) route and use any means to find your child, disappear into an abyss of sleeping pills like his wife (Maria Bello) or allow someone else to do inhumane acts to achieve an end, like the Birch’s (Terrence Howard and Viola Davis)? This is what Prisoners force us to face and shows us that darkness most of us would deny.

Hugh Jackman is a good actor, but his role choices always seem to involve lots of anger. From Les Misérables (where he’s a man angry at society) to his X-Men character Wolverine (where he’s a man angry at society) to an angry dad this time around. It is hard to have sympathy for a character who beats up a mentally challenged suspect, despite his ‘honourable’ reasons, but having seen Jackman in a similar typecast makes you less sympathetic.

The other lead, Jake Gylenhaal, who plays the rough cop not used to losing, knows how to pick his roles. He carries most of the movie as his character is ‘imprisoned’ by his own track record. He is known for having closed all of his cases, but as hope for finding the girls dims he falls into his own abyss. An absolute stellar performance and almost makes it worth the too-long plot. Almost.

Although you delve into the emotional turmoil of the parents, you wished you would have a closer insight into the siblings. Keller forgets about his son, who you hardly see or interact with, as well as the Birch’s other older daughter. It might have helped to keep that pace of the movie going as it start stagnating three-quarters in.

A dark movie with some predictable twists, it focuses more on the emotional intensity of helplessness rather than a compelling story line, which is not that worthy of its awards hype.


A thriller that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster rather than enthral you with a captivating story line.

Harrit Masha 2013/10/17 2:18 PM
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