A Hidden Truth. A Desperate Search

This morning I watched a movie that I’ve been meaning to get around to for quite a while. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (“Enemy”), “Prisoners” was written by Aaron Guzikowski (“Contraband”) and released in 2013.

212The plot revolves around every parent’s nightmare – in this case the disappearance in broad daylight of two young girls in Pennsylvania, and the subsequent search and investigation.

PRISONERS
Hugh Jackman & Maria Bello

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman – “X-Men”, “Les Misérables”) is a building contractor. He, his wife Grace (Maria Bello – “Carjacked”, “A History Of Violence”) and their two children go to the home of their friends and neighbours Franklin (Terrence Howard – “Dead Man Down”) and Nancy Birch (Viola Davis – “The Help”) – who have two children of the same ages – for Thanksgiving dinner. During dinner the Dover’s 6 year old daughter Anna and her friend Joy Birch ask to go back to the Dover’s home to collect something. They do not return.

Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhall & Terrence Howard
Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhall & Terrence Howard

Earlier the girls had been played next to a RV that seemed to have someone inside, parked down the street outside an empty house. When this is conveyed to the police it’s not long before the detective in charge of the case, David Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal – “Nightcrawler”, “Accidental Love”) it’s not long before the RV is tracked down and the driver arrested.

Paul Dano & Jake Gyllenhaal
Paul Dano & Jake Gyllenhaal

However, the driver – Alex Jones (Paul Dano – “Love & Mercy”) – has a mental age of 10 and is released after no evidence against him is found, and returns to his Aunt’s home where he lives. Keller is convinced that Jones is guilty and, with his daughter’s life at stake, decides to take matters into his own hands. Matters are far from simple however, and there is much going on beneath the surface that he does not know as he gradually loses control. The truth is tied up with mazes, snakes and a war against god!

I really enjoyed this film. The plot is suitably complex and the suspense etc. developed sufficiently to make the 153 minute runtime seem like much less.

Jake Gyllenhaal & Hugh Jackman
Jake Gyllenhaal & Hugh Jackman

Jake Gyllenhaal’s role was excellently handled and he continues to impress me more with each film I see him in, and Hugh Jackman was also very good with his portrayal of a good man pushed to the limit and beyond.

There is an article of the esoteric meaning of this film, which deconstructs the movie along “the world is run by the illuminati” lines. I don’t subscribe to the author’s point of view, though I will admit that some of the points made with regard to symbolism etc. are interesting. Beware, said article contains many spoilers!

Ultimately, for me, this was simply a great crime thriller – if you haven’t seen it, check it out…

prisoners_ver6_xlg

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