Sunday, 27 October 2013

286, Prisoners

Prisoners is the chilling story of two young girls who go missing after walking between their two houses literally within 100 yards of each other during Thanksgiving in a leafy American town.

The families, celebrating at the time believe all is well, knowing the neighbours, living so close and once reality kicks in that they've potentially been abducted you can feel the panic set in and the movie plays out with a real conflict between two types of parents - those who want to let the authorities do their job and those who want to take matters into their own hands.

Hugh Jackman plays the latter - Keller and once the police quickly arrest a potential suspect who was seen lurking around at the time it doesn't take long for the story to unravel but with a lack of evidence and no sign of the girls he's released on bail - something Jackman protests greatly and deciding to take matters into his own hands, seeks to imprison the oddly behaved and seemingly guilty suspect Alex (played by Paul Dano) much to the disbelief of best friend and other parent Franklin Birch - played by Terrence Howard.

The involvement of Jake Gyllenhaaal as Detective Loki is a fantastic casting as the overworked and seemingly lonely officer assigned to the case and his determination to help the families sees him having to question if Keller's involvement is one step too far, in a way - making the victim a suspect in his own right.

This movie will leave most who watch it on a knife edge between what you would do for your kids and what's right in the name of the law.  The difference of opinion between the two families seemingly covers every base and with an immediate suspect in the frame - means there is no real guesswork as to who the guilty party (or parties) are although with that said, they have still managed to throw in a fantastic twist at the end that you wont see coming.

The sleepy and dismal setting of this movie does make for a visual dud in my opinion but the story doesn't really give way for light and cheerful scenarios and although the story is captivating - wanting the audience to make sure the girls do make it out alive it does seem to drag on somewhat.

There is no hidden agenda with this movie.  Its a moral standing on what's right and what's wrong, surrounding a potentially hideous crime that would make all parents sick to their stomach.  Your heart goes out to the families in this and although I wont give away the ending - you make your own mind up if Keller's or Loki's / Birch approach is one that you would take.