Sometimes I wonder if reviewing films is of any use, sometimes I feel that it isn’t really appropriate to rate or rank a movie. On some occasions I think you just have to accept a film for what it is, and I believe that this is the case with ‘Prisoners’.
The theme of this movie is made clear in the trailers and I was aware that the plot would revolve around child abduction, however I don’t think that I had really prepared myself for what I was going to watch. There is no doubt that this film is disturbing and there are many scenes you don’t want to watch but could a film with themes like this really be made with viewers being able to watch it comfortably? I don’t think so. I suppose it is the debate between entertainment and impact, do you want to be amused and entertained by a film or do you want it to make you feel something more. For me Prisoners made an impact, and for that it should be praised.
I was completely embedded in the story from start to finish and the running time of 153 minutes was not felt at anytime. You were able to become involved in this story and for me I really empathized with the characters and for the most part I forgot I was watching a movie. I haven’t really felt this involved and impacted since that of ‘The Impossible’ at the start of the year. Another aspect this film had to it was morality, you were always questioning who was doing the right or the wrong thing, I found myself wondering what I would do in the characters situations and I simply didn’t know. Much like that of ‘The Purge’ also released earlier in the year I struggled with this but it certainly added another dimension to this picture.
Personally I find it hard to ‘rate’ the story just because of the severity of the theme but I will admit that at times I was really confused and sometimes couldn’t really piece together all the information. However I kind of felt that this mirrored what the characters would have been feeling as well. All the cast did a superb job as I didn’t doubt any performances for a second and they all made it very believable. I felt so sorry for certain characters throughout most notably Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) as he was just so desperately trying to make things better and he seemed to be getting nowhere. The ending of the film was by no means satisfying but I don’t think an ending like that would have worked or fitted the tone of this movie, so I actually think the ending was spot on. It might not be what you wanted but I think it works.
I’m not going to rate this film out of 10 or highlight a flaw or achievement as I think its a different kind of film, one that you simply have to experience and I don’t think it’s appropriate to score it as such. All I can say is that I left after seeing this movie really feeling something, an impact was made and I suppose that is what film should do. This movie will not leave you lifted in anyway but it’s brave in what it is trying to achieve and I am increasingly seeing this in films, which I think is a good thing.