Category Archives: Home Entertainment
(Rating: 15, 153 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge
Starring – Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano.
What would you do if your child was kidnapped?
We all know what Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills would do, but what would or could the average Joe do?
That’s the question posed to viewers in Prisoners, a gripping, dramatic-thriller that slaps you in the face with palpable tension from the start.
What starts as an ordinary Thanksgiving dinner with two families; Keller (Jackman) and the Dovers, and Franklin (Howard) and the Birches, soon turns into a living nightmare.
With the turkey consumed, youngsters of the respective broods Anna and Joy ask if they can go and play outside, to which their parents agree to but only if supervised by their older siblings Ralph and Eliza.
It soon comes to light, however, that the young girls went outside alone and have disappeared without a trace.
A wild search ensues and the only lead is an unknown camper van that has since disappeared from the scene, which prompts tattooed Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) to track the vehicle – and driver – down.
At no point in this film does the panic, fear or anger lessen, as Keller becomes increasingly frustrated with the police’s investigative efforts, venturing off alone to conduct his own interrogations in a wild and frantic attempt to find his daughter.
Each scene feels cold and sombre, aided not just by the brilliant camerawork, outstanding acting of the broken, hysterical Jackman and mysterious, relentless and electric Gyllenhaal, but the consistently grey and sinister weather, which presents something of a character itself.
And of the characters, I particularly appreciated Loki. The tattoos, his youth, the fact he has solved all of his cases, a frequent twitch and almost manic approach to his job present a lot of questions about his past, but yet they’re never asked.
It was an interesting move to make because it means the film doesn’t divert from its objective of making you question your morals or plunging you into the hellish environment.
Meanwhile, it was interesting to see Jackman in such a tremendously vulnerable – and clothed – role, rather than as his flagship, clawed immortal Wolverine.
My only regret is that I didn’t get around to seeing this when it was in the cinema.
Prisoners is available on Blu-ray and DVD now.