4 Aug 2014

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.


  1. Alice, I completely admire how well this review of the movie is written. You write so much better than those who were born in an English speaking country & are in college...& ONLY speak it. It's kind of actually embarrassing how poorly some people compose their blogs. It's particularly irritating when someone will end a sentence without connecting it with a semi-colon, comma, or an em dash.

    I went to see Prisoners. It was great.


    I went to see Prisoners; it was great.

    COme on, lIKE what is this. You're not dramatic because you do this, you're being a clich├ęd writer, SIGH.

    Anyway, loved the review. Totally interested in seeing the movie before I read your blog & now I'm even more interested. It seems like such a beautifully filmed movie & incredibly intense/suspenseful. Hugh Jackson is such a talented actor. I love all the movies he's in & I can't wait to see this one...after my exam.


  2. oh my god.

    first off, your comment means a lot to me. it's very flattering, especially knowing that you think i write better than those who reside / were born in English speaking country! i'm not a professional writer so it means a lot to me when someone thinks i, for the least, am not lame haha

    it's all thanks to the love of books and constant reading ;)

    i get you on the punctuation thing. it irks me too when people abuse the use of period... it's like reading broken fragments when in reality, you can connect two phrases with semi colons and other alternatives.

    you misspelled hugh jackman as hugh jackson there haha

    good luck with your exam and take care :D

  3. I saw the trailer for this movie and thought it looked interesting but totally forgot about it...until now! Thanks for reminding me that I want to see it. XD

  4. First time hearing about this film >.< I'm not up to date with anything! I agree, cinematography is a powerful form of expression and it's always so mesmerizing. But if the story is lacking or unoriginal, I can't really get into it. It can't just be visually pretty, I want more D: There needs to be a balance. I guess that's why reading is always the perfect setting because we can easily imagine what we see fit while the brilliant authors guide our imaginations.



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