Prisoners is the Dragon Tattoo of 2013: 5/5

Prisoners is the Dragon Tattoo of 2013: 5/5
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Imran Jabbar

Imran Jabbar is a journalism graduate from Sheridan College. He has gained much experience and expertise through travelling and the journalism program. He specializes in audio and video production, reporting, photography and design. His interests include film, the environment, music and art.

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You and your wife are cleaning up after a dinner with the neighbours after which you take a stroll downstairs to check on the kids. You come across the teenagers but you can’t find your young daughter or her friend. You check everywhere, including surrounding areas and any other possibilities. She’s nowhere to be found. You can’t find your child. She’s missing. She’s gone.


It’s one of the most unsettling, realistic and suspenseful movies of the year. It’s also a mesmerizing film and a definite contender for this year’s Academy Awards.

prisoners-posterQuebec born filmmaker Denis Villeneuve proved he was serious in 2010 when he gave birth to the Canadian mystery drama Incendies, which garnered international acclaim along with several prestigious awards and nominations.

As 2013 slowly fades away into our internal storage of memories, Denis Villeneuve returns with his most impressively dark and mature work yet. The film stars Hugh Jackman (The Prestige, X-Men) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain) who quite possibly give the best performances of their careers.

With Prisoners, Villeneuve tackles the sensitive topic of child abduction, granting us a hauntingly real perspective, without shying away from exposing the genuine dread and consequences.

The film opens with a father praying before ­his son takes a shot at a deer. Following this scene a dramatic soundtrack rises with the father giving his son advice on preparing for the worst in life, during the drive home. We know from the get-go that this is going to be a serious film.

prisoners-movie-1The story follows Keller Dover (Jackman) and Franklin Birch (Terrance Howard), whose young daughters become the latest victims of a kidnapping. Detective Loki  (Gyllenhaal), a man with an impressive record and a past that sparks curiosity, gets assigned the investigation and embarks on a stressful, hair pulling and sleep depriving chase through unpredictable twists and nerve wrecking turns. Dover on the other hand has his own agenda, following his gut and taking matters into his own “bloody” hands.

As the plot unfolds, the audience becomes witness to one of the most shocking and realistic twists in recent cinema history, having similarities with true cases of the past.

The acting in the film is profound with depth and humanity. Hugh Jackman shines by giving us the most emotionally impulsive and heartbreaking performance of his career, which will definitely get some Academy attention.

bf4c137f0af63798cbd5d044fabe7a1dDuring the picture I couldn’t help but feel the sinister echoes of David Fincher’s films. Prisoners is visually and narratively dark, very much like Fincher’s work, maintaining an eerie and unsettling vibe as the movie establishes itself. Throughout the bold tone of grittiness and despair, Villeneuve succeeds in formulating his own style, taking on the haunting neo-noir journey into film. Prisoners reaches the heights of the movies it’s most comparable to: Se7en and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, both excellent pieces of work.

Lose yourself into this dark ambience surrounding one of the worlds most sensitive matters.

Prisoners is one of the best movies of the year.



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