Prisoners

Director: Denis Villeneuve, Main Cast: Hugh JackmanJake GyllenhaalViola DavisPaul DanoTerrence HowardMaria BelloMelissa Leo

Dark, grim thriller set in America’s suburbia in which, surprisingly, none of the characters is very likable. The peace and quite of Thanksgiving’s afternoon is shattered when two girls are gone missing. Hugh Jackman is the bereft father of one of the missing girl, who has an Atlas complex and also happens to be a control freak with daddy issues (it turns out to be a deadly combination). Maria Bello is his listless and submissive wife, who just fall into pieces. Terrence Howard and Viola Davis are the parents of the other missing girl who adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with regard to the extreme measures taken by Jackman’s character to find his daughter. Jake Gyllenhaal is the local detective with stellar record but also a clear workaholic, rough around the edges and with a serious temper.  Paul Dano is the mentally challenged, creepy guy wrongfully (?) arrested because he was driving a battered RV and Melissa Leo is his “sweet” but jaded aunt. The film’s somber mood is accentuated by grey skies, pouring rain, snow and ice; the director uses the emptiness and the silence to increase the anxiety of the audience. We watch two men unravelling while they rush down different paths, looking for answers and hoping against hope to save the day. All the cast does a solid job but Dano and Leo are the real scene stealers: kudos! The director leaves us with a sort of open ending: nothing is really straightforward and, maybe, we are all prisoners…like rats in a maze.–7.5/10

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