When good and bad come into battle, who wins? But before that, what is good and what is bad? The answer for these question has left many a thinkers baffled and confused. Prisoners falls in that rare category of films that seeks to give an answer to these unanswerable questions with utmost neutrality and without sounding preachy.
The film has been directed by Oscar nominated director Denis Villeneuve and stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Keller Dover(Jackman) is made to face every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna along with her young friend, Joy, goes missing. After hours of mad searching, not a single clue about them is found and panic sets in. As any doting father, a frantic Dove takes matters into his own hands and that’s where things begin to go ugly.
Several Christian symbols are used in the film as a metaphor to show how Keller Dove(Hugh Jackman) a man who is torn between doing good and bad, uses religion to justify his actions. One of the opening scenes of the films, shows Dove hunting a deer with his son, Ralph(Dylan Minnette) as he recites the Lord’s prayer. The film de-constructs the character of Keller Dove(Jackson) and uses it as a sample to show how a pious man can turn into a monster if he’s pushed to the limit.
After some more hours of searching, the only lead found is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Detective Loki(Jake Gyllenhaal) who has been assigned to head this investigation arrests the driver of the RV, Alex Jones(Paul Dano). However due to lack of evidence, the only suspect in the case is released.
What’s interesting the way the makers have built suspense around the story, not once do they reveal or even hint at the culprit. As you watch the film, the transformation of Dover(Jackman) will send shivers down your spine. The film has real thrills, not the kinds you get while you watch horror film. And not the kinds that are induced because of something supernatural, but because of man and his actions. The film brings about the distinction between a human being and being humane.
It isn’t revealed even once as to what might have happened to the two little girls, pushing the viewers to imagine the worst scenario possible. In search of his little girl, the once ethically sound man; Dover, commits crime after crime, and begins to bury himself in a deep pit of guilt.
Until the end the film continues convincingly building tension without revealing anything and makes the viewer push his imagination harder to fathom the violent acts committed upon them.
The film deals with the lives of such ordinary people that as a viewer you begin to imagine yourself in a situation like that.
And when things begins to slowly make sense and the dots begin to connect, the nastiest, most horrid things come to surface. The truth is unveiled without even an ounce of romanticism. The same treatment is given to the violent scenes in the film, which are highly disturbing.
With his portrayal of Keller Dove, Jackman
, once again proves how tremendously talented he is.
A twisted film like this is sure to leave a lasting impression. If you watched The Frozen Ground and thought it was a classy crime-thriller, watch Prisoner’s and you will be numbed. The film is easily one of the most disturbing film’s of the year.