Written by / 9/22/2013 / 1 Comment / , , , , ,

PRISONERS

year: 2013 cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano rating: ***
Within the first half of PRISONERS it’s obvious the title fits just about every character, and not all in the literal sense…

Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman’s Keller Dover is an extreme, narrow-minded carpenter, father of a son and daughter: the latter abducted (along with her friend) in mysterious circumstances, throwing several people into emotional and mental chaos...

Emotional for the Dover family and mental for the officer in charge of the case, a tattooed, rapidly blinking Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki, who spends more time following Keller – who has his mind made up – than the few possible leads.

All the characters are flawed, troubled. This makes Loki’s treadmill search more interesting within the film's contained, claustrophobic atmosphere forcing our withered hero to feel as captivated, or rather, captured as Paul Dano’s Alex Jones, a simple-minded young man that Keller holds hostage, resulting in bouts of grueling torture to get answers for his daughter’s vanishing.

While there are an abundance of red-herrings to distract Loki (and the audience) from the real culprit, prolonging a two-and-a-half hour melodrama that could have fit in a more fashionable two, and many of the side-characters eventually become peripheral and insignificant, the intensely sparse performances of Jackman and Gyllenhaal exceed the villain-revealing/monologue-spouting climax, resulting in yet another (semi) ambiguous ending: only this time it doesn’t seem artsy or pretentious.  
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