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Sodas & Popcorn – Movie Review: Prisoners

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Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Written By: Aaron Guzikowski

Staring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis , Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano .

Time for one of Sodas&Popcorn’s quick parenting tips.
Tip 57289: When your ten year old kid asks for permission to run down the road to get something without adult guardians, parents the answer is NO!

That out of the way, welcome to our review of another fall movie, Prisoners staring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Synopsis
The families of Dover and Birch are faced with every parent’s worst fear after their daughters Ann and Joy who ran out to get something down the street both go missing on Thanksgivings Day. The police swing into action with the lead investigator for this case being detective Loki(Jake Gyllenhaal) who is doing everything he can to get the girls back. Kelly Dover (Hugh Jackman), one of the fathers believes the police isn’t doing their best to find the girls and takes matters into his own hands…How far will a father go to save his daughter?

The Script
The script tells a very powerful and compelling story which very vividly shows the pains and traumas families go through in periods of loss of loved ones and the sacrifices that can be made to get them back.

For a very slow paced movie which was a bit predictable, it definitely suspends you at the edge of your seat and is well written.

As good as it is, I had two issues with the story. First being “The Maze”. The maze which is highly referenced in the second half of the movie and strongly hinted in the phrase “there is a maze” spoken by one of the characters didn’t seem necessary.

In the end, there was no maze to follow, and for a man with an IQ of a 10 year old, that was too deep a thought for it to have been a figurative expression or a clue.

Secondly and this may seem a little bit sentimental for a critic, but then it’s how I feel about it. Why did all the Christians in the movie of supposed strong faith seem so weak and easily knocked off their feet?

Confused already? Don’t worry, go see the movie, you will understand…hopefully.

The Directing
Director Denis Villenueve really isn’t a newbie to making movies that make you sit down and take notes as we all saw back in 2010 with Incendies which attracted an OSCAR nomination for best foreign picture. He has been away for quite some time and I learnt Prisoners was in development for about three years also.

Having been absent from the game for that long, Denis definitely came out with something worthy of everyone’s attention. What I respect most about this movie is that had it fallen into less talented hands, we’ll be looking at one of the most boring movies of 2013 (and this year has had a lot of those)

He definitely had a good team of talented people. Most notably the cinematographer, Roger Deakins (A Beautiful Mind, No Country For Old Men, Skyfall and Shawshank Redemption) and a cast of outstanding actors and actresses.

The Acting
If for some reason, you doubted Hugh Jackman’s abilities as an outstanding actor, let’s review the roles he has played successfully. A super hero, a hopeless romantic, a singing father and now a psychotic father racing against time to save his daughter.

He is quite a package isn’t he? Well, Let’s just act like Wolverine 2013 never happened. (That’s not his fault though. He did act well in the movie). Anyways, he delivered a very powerful performance worthy of an award nomination or 2.

Jake Gyllenhaal who plays detective Loki (I know what you are thinking, afterall Loki is the master of illusion, it could have been him) also put up an outstanding performance as a supporting actor.

His facial tics which were most likely as a result of stress were good, a bit distracting but never the less very good and he has already earned himself an award at the Hollywood Film Award this year and I see more coming.

Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, and Paul Dano all didn’t go unnoticed also as they all gave their best performances which cannot be skipped.

The Verdict
It is a Soda and Popcorn for Prisoners and we totally recommended it for viewers who love dramas and slow paced movies. If you are looking for a romantic or action movie, please move ahead,this isn’t for you.

Sodas & Popcorn Rating4

Do join us next week as we review more exciting releases to Nigerian cinemas. Head over to our blog Sodas & Popcorn and read more exciting reviews

So, have you seen the Movie Prisoners? You got something to say? Please do drop your comments below.
One last word before you go, please vote for our blog Sodas & Popcorn in the Nigerian Blogs Awards in the best movie blog category (Click this link to vote).  We definitely need your votes folks. Thanks

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