Dennis Villeneuve came to U.S. fame with this entrancing and enthralling crime drama about two young girls who get abducted. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman, the film takes on the manhunt from two sides. “Prisoners” mixes gritty realism with exhilarating scenes to make for a wild and wonderful film.
After two young girls go missing on Thanksgiving, Detective Loki, played Jake Gyllenhaal, starts searching for the two girls, while their fathers, played by Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard, also begin their own hunt. Shortly after a suspect is released, Hugh Jackman’s character kidnaps the suspect and begins to torture him.
Very few times do people get the mystery or crime genre right, and with this movie, Villeneuve got it very right. The movie had a lot of room to fail, as the delicate topic overall is mixed with people who are dealing with a horrible situation in moral gray areas, but balance the bad with the oh so good.
The humanization of the main characters is the most compelling factor of the whole film. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Loki is obviously damaged and has a personal connection to the case, which is apparent even though it’s never said. Hugh Jackman’s character is more conservative and shows that by how he is trying to be the “man” of the house and solve the problem and fix it. The film does a great job of showing the pain of Hugh Jackman’s character and also showing the moral ambiguity of how he is torturing a probably innocent man. While Terrence Howard’s character is in upset about the whole situation.
The production value of the whole film is very well done, as the gray feel and melancholy make the movie feel poignant and help it sink in. The cinematography and score are wonderful and fit the movie wonderfully.
While movies like “Gone Girl” and “Zodiac” have centered the conversation on crime films, “Prisoners” is a wonderful addition to the genre and hopefully will stand the test of time and become a timeless film.