Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hugh Jackman is winning an Oscar.


So I know the future and stuff... have I not mentioned this? Well, you should see how polished my crystal balls are. Like... mirrors. So I tell you here and now, if Hugh "Call me Wolverine" Jackman does not win the Oscar for this film I will be shocked. Yes. I know there are always a multitude of smaller films, with brilliant performances from actors we've never heard of, or once did, but have since forgotten. But... ya. It's going to Hugh.

Alright. Dammit. A paragraph in and I'm already all over the damn place. Let's settle this bitch down yo.

Your plot: One day, two young girls disappear. A strange young man who drives an olden style RV is accused of the kidnapping... but is let off. A Father of one of the girls is obsessed with the young man, convinced he knows where his daughter is. While he goes about his dark path to uncovering the truth, a young Detective Donnie Dar - Wait I mean Jake Gyllenhaal, is trying to put together strange pieces of the puzzle himself. All the while... the time for these two girls is running out...

Detective Code 1 : Overuse of Hair gel leads to clue uncovering
So. Grab the edge of your couch/chair/comfypillow is suspense lately? In unbearable periods of stress, and uncertainty? Well, if you haven't, and you've been missing it... I give you PRISONERS. I mean we are talking out of this world build, and explosions of tension here. The director, a Denis Villeneuve, is poised to take home a golden statue from his own work here. The build up from serene normality to the depths of darkness is amazing. I remember staring at my screen trying to understand why the man would leave his camera on a front yard tree for a minute of screen time, and realized thats the point... everything is slow. Is normal. Is perfectly neighbourly.

Then, piece by piece, he and the screenwriter rape your comfort levels. It is hard to fathom that the man that wrote CONTRABAND wrote this. I mean contraband was as plain, and uninspired, as a drug film could be. I mean by the numbers does even cover it, and yet, for his next film Aaron Guzikowski, dials up one of the most original and intense pieces of adult mystery fiction ever created for the screen.

Comparison - the only thing that I can think of, and that others have highlighted, the film SEVEN. There was a well written, emotional dark, riveting piece of R rated cinema. The kind that left you excited, and drained all at the same time. And, well, I may suggest this film surpasses it on some levels. Not all, but, as far as building the point to a successful, and crowd rocking ending... I have to give an edge to PRISONERS. As far as the rest... too close to call...

 Mmmm... anyone else noticing the couch and sweater match? lol
But. BUT... this is a superbly acted film. Forget my affection for Hugh Jackman's leading role. Jake is just as good as the young and brilliant detective putting the pieces into place. Challenging the audience to beat him to his conclusion... then there is Maria Bello as a grieving mother. Terrence Howard as a best friend, and similarly devastated father. A crazy awesome performance by Paul Dano (seriously this young man is racking up an impressive catalogue)... The supporting cast is excellent. No role goes without purpose, and execution.

Listen, there are thrillers, and then there are the rare experiences that capture lightening in a bottle... or attract fire to the screen, however you wanna look at it. And this is one of them. Writing, acting, directing, and yes... a worthy ending. All of it combining for an experience worth anyones time. I know quite a few people that have seen this film; from good friends, to family, this film comes up and bam! its a firestorm of water cooler chatter.

Is it the best in it's genre? No. But it is the finest to come along in a very, very, long time. One seriously twisted, and complex, journey to the dark side.

Oh, and did I mention Hugh is going to win the Oscar? hahaha... his work here... one scene in particular, a small surrender of will nearing the finale... watch his body. Forget the face, the words, look at how his entire body is committed to the emotion... that's rare folks. He has the physicality to pull it off, and the talent to understand that... We have come a long way from Paperback Hero...

Movie scale 4 out of 5 stars
Thriller scale 4 out of 5 stars

A truly engrossing experience. And at almost 3 hours, I could not believe how fast it seems to go by...

- Chuck B Boonsweet.


1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Good review. While it may be quite a long movie, the cast really keeps it moving at a solid, thought-provoking and overall, tense pace. Even at its weakest moments, it's still worth watching.