I remember going to the cinema with no plan on watching anything with my parents, simply because there wasn't any movie that I very much anticipated then. I then saw the poster of Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners and thought about giving it a try. I admit, I've never watched any of Villeneuve's movies before but the synopsis of Prisoners intrigued me so much it's both alluring and haunting.
Set in Pennsylvania, the story revolves around two families whose daughters have been abducted during Thanksgiving, the investigation and the emotional impact it has placed upon two families. In this movie we will see Hugh Jackman as a father who is desperately struggling to find his missing daughter as he seeks assistance from his neighbor, Franklin (played by Terrence Howard) to carry out their own private personal search. Additionally, Jake Gyllenhaal is a detective who will cross path with Jackman during the search, facing conflicts and misleading clues that seem to direct them in a giant loop.
It was not a difficult movie with a complicated plot. Despite the emotional spin and the slow building tension and intensity, this is not a movie that makes you think. We get a straightforward plot with a clear head shot of what our root of evil is. It's just an abduction but it's not just a movie about abduction. The cinematography of this movie is, so to speak, beautiful. It brings out the right atmosphere with the right tone and contrast, some parts looking grainy and old, others grim and ghostly. To be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, this movie sure knows how to find a place for itself.
Due to its pacing and the fact that everything was executed in words and facial expression rather than explosives and flying gunpowder, some people may find this movie boring. Who knows, you or your friend might fall asleep in the middle of Jackman's powerful performance. I'd say that would be a pity though, considering how it's a nice change to see our iconic Wolverine act under a different light. To add more spice, Jake Gyllenhaal is also a talent of the screen, something definitely worth the watch.
I absolutely love how this movie dwells with the exploration of characters. It shows that there is no need for a movie to go all the way over the planet for a heartfelt scenario, that a movie does not always need massive visual effect and CGI graphics to be compelling. After all, I am a firm believer of great cinematography. I believe that great cinematography is one aspect that can bring a movie to life and it's the weak spot that can win my heart anytime of the day. Add that up with exceptional performances from the casts and you'll get a movie that binds you on your seat. I totally did not regret walking in on this movie with just a hunch of how it's going to be good - my expectation was fulfilled. The movie wasn't good, it was great.
images from prisoners official site