by David Villeneuve
Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal
On general release from 27th September 2013
Clocking in at over 150 minutes this tense thriller is a mite too long,
but nevertheless sustains the attention, despite the generally formulaic
nature of the screenplay.
As is the norm these days in a lot of films, there are a series of brutal
and vicious scenes depicted to add misjudged credence to the story.
The most sickening is when Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), who has had his
daughter abducted, along with his friend's daughter, inflicts stomach
churning torture on the main suspect of the crime, Alex Jones (Paul Dano),
who had earlier been released by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), having
no evidence against him.
But Dover is utterly convinced he is the perpetrator. He performs his
own act of abduction in snatching Jones and holds him captive in a derelict
house. He beats him to a pulp but cannot get the mentally deficit victim,
with the IQ of an eleven-year-old, to admit to the evil deed.
He also deprives him of drinking water for five days but the director
conveniently forgets that a human would perish within three days. This
is just one of several anomalies in the movie.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of praiseworthy aspects of the film, notably
the atmospheric cinematography by Brit Roger Deakins. His previous claims
to fame include True Grit and No Country for Old Men.
His portrayal of a grey and rainswept district of Pennsylvania, set at
the time of Thanksgiving celebrations, is eye-catching and at times highly
Loki has never failed to solve a crime, so his reputation is at stake
with this particular case. He is fanatical in his pursuit to pin the culprit
down, which at times becomes almost maze-like - such is the complexity
of the chase.
The most pronounced anomaly of the screenplay came in the losing stages..
Why this character, of virtually no significance previously, acted as
she did, left me baffled and bewildered (no name, no pack drill!!).
Nevertheless, Prisoners, despite the flaws in its plotline, is worth