1 p.m., Oct. 1, 2013


Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki and Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover star in the film "Prisoners" a parent's worst nightmare.

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'Prisoners': How far would you go
to protect your child?

Nobody likes the idea of a child being abducted. Vigil lights burning, parents crying, the idea of what could be happening to them as the days go on and on—don’t exactly make for an ideal date night flick. But then movies like “Prisoners” do it so well and passionately, it should be a crime not to see them.


Taking the route of movies like “Seven” and “Gone Baby Gone,” “Prisoners” possesses a very gray, grim backdrop, rainy streets, blocked-out sun, the solemn image of a mangy RV driving through a neighborhood only to park along a random house.
The environment set the atmosphere for the movie, letting the audience know something evil would happen before it even did.


Hugh Jackman gave a gut-wrenching and provocative performance as Keller Dover, one of the fathers who challenged the moral torture any parent going through this would endure. Aggressive, frustrated and goal-oriented, Dover acted in ways against suspect Alex Jones (Paul Dano) that made for much of the controversy, opening that envelope that says, “How far is too far?” It’s all very disturbing, but I couldn’t help but ask myself if I wouldn’t do the same myself.

Dark, creepy basements


Dover is matched by Detective Loki (Jake Gyellenhall), who gave one of his best performances as the exhausted but vigilant cop, the foil to Dover’s aggressive mindscape. The investigation led him to the dark basements and seedy alleys that brought to mind the creepy, suspicious environments of “Zodiac.” He went through many of the tribulations that Dover did but reflected the other side of that coin that worked within the boundaries, but whose effectiveness of which could be debated.


His constant blinking was reminisce of Heath Ledger’s licking as The Joker. It’s just that one element that made the performance.
Director Denis Villeneuve came closer to pulling off Fincher than anyone else working today. The dark color palettes, a mood affected and manipulated by weather, violence to illustrating the questions of morality and conscience. But, above all, the suspense and anger were channeled through the characters, not a despicable sense of gore and violence.


The supporting cast including Terrance Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis and Paul Dano—in a quietly brilliant performance—did an excellent job of branching out the complexity of the plot, offering opposing viewpoints and levels of action the audience could debate.
Bleak, creepy, complex, with career–defining performances, “Prisoners” stood on its own two feet as one of the best movies of the year that did exactly what it was supposed to do: left you questioning every aspect of plot and meaning with an uncomfortable feeling in your belly. Yes, losing a child is hard, and this movie did more than ask, “What would you do?” It demonstrated the reality of whatever choice you make. 

 


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