Saturday, 5 October 2013

Prisoners [2013]

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the Canadian filmmaker who earned a fair amount of attention with his previous feature Incendies, Prisoners was an intense, moody and slow-burning psychological crime thriller where the ethics of taking the law into one’s hands was weighed against a crime as decidedly serious as the abduction of a child. The film was, therefore, from a stylistic standpoint, in the mould of the likes of Mystic River and Zodiac even if not at par with them. The film kick-starts into action when the kid daughter of Keller (Hugh Jackman), a religious and temperamental man operating a carpentry store in a small town, and her friend get mysteriously abducted. Things get complicated when Alex (Paul Dano), a young man with the IQ of a 10 year old, becomes the prime suspect even though no tangible evidence is found against him. Keller, however, becomes convinced of his guilt and decides to take him into his custody and torture him into revealing the location of his daughter. Meanwhile Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), who has a perfect track record, needs to bank on all his experience and resources in order to crack this particularly taxing case. Villeneuve used the tale to construct a morality play on the clouded definitions of right and wrong vis-à-vis the law and legal ambit, and was reasonably successful until he let the plot get the better of him in his attempt at concocting the impossible twist. Jackman gave a career-defining turn as the tortured father, while Gyllenhaal was decent. The bleak, atmospheric photography was its most impressive feature.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Genre: Thriller/Crime Thriller
Language: English
Country: US


Sam Juliano said...

Beautifully written review Shubhajit. Unfortunately I still have not seen this, but plan to resolve that very soon. I do feel that INCENDIES is superlative.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks a lot Sam. I still need to watch Incendies, given all the praise it has garnered.I'll be interested to know your reactions once you've watched Prisoners.