Prisoners is a story about two young girls who go missing in broad daylight. There is only one lead and no hope of finding them anywhere. This movie is one hell of a ride trying to piece together the mystery at hand, while watching a dad (Hugh Jackman) battle his inner demons.
This movie tackles a hard subject, one that some parents may not be able to watch. This movie takes the viewer on a sad journey to show us just how far someone will go to find their child and other places we might never figure out.
Hugh Jackman gives us a performance for the ages, as if he knows first-hand how losing for your daughter might feel.
A Father Looking For Clues (and a little class)…
Prisoners does many good things but one that stands out the most is the storytelling of this mystery that we see unfold right in front of our eyes. Director Denis Villeneuve gives us a heart-wrenching mystery that leaves us puzzled and on the edge of our seats.
At first, you think there are no clues and no hope of finding these two girls. That is until Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes shows up to investigate. Everyone was a suspect and the storytelling had us puzzled, accusing everyone being at fault. The way Denis set the last 30 minutes will leave you gasping for air, as the movie just sucks you in and never allowing you to figure what is happening next.
When you have a great story, you need great action. Prisoners definitely features that. It grabs you and never lets you go. Jackman dives so deep into this role as the lost father. It’s confusing because at first, you feel for him and then, you hate him. Not many actors could do that but, as a father himself, you could tell it brought Jackman to a deep place.
There is a scene in a car you should look out for, because that alone should have been a “Best Actor Nomination” for Hugh Jackman. Not only do you see a lost father dealing with tragedy, but also a father with his inner demons. His performance leaves us with the message that sometimes you are your own worst enemy.
Jake Gyllenhaal also does an amazing job as this cop that feels emotionally invested in the case. He literally stops at nothing to try to get to the bottom of it, when it seems like the other cops want to quit he is right there. I wouldn’t say this is Jake’s best work (I think Nightcrawler was) but he dives into the role like he always does, and executes a performance not many people can do. The only thing I can say about Jake is every role he is in is emotionally heavy, and this role just adds to the list.
Clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, you are in for an emotional thrill-ride. If you are a parent, you might find it hard watching this, because it makes you think of things you don’t want to. Between Gyllenhaal and Jackman they give you a performance that is just outright heavy, and gives you an insight on nth sides of this mystery. I usually am able to spot and solve the mystery before the end, but not this one and props to Dennis Villeneuve for that.
…Causing Us to Look for a Door (and maybe the exit)
Even though this movie has a lot of things going for it, parts of this film has some flaws. One is the ending, which I am about to spoil so if you haven’t seen the movie. Now is a good time if you want to click away or scroll down to the overall section …
We watch Jackman’s character, ‘Dover,’ interrogate this poor innocent boy in who the end was just another victim of the old ladies’ cruel, evil game the entire film. This leaves a sour taste because we are supposed to feel for Jackman, but we see he made a grave mistake.
The ending where we never get to see if Detective Loki finds Jackman really bugged me. A lot of people loved the ending, but I would have loved to see Jackman reunited with his daughter.
How far someone would push limits and boundaries even if it means breaking the law to solve this mystery. Then in the end, we never know if he gets closure. Is he dead? Still alive? Is he ever found? We would never know.
Since finishing the movie, that ending is still on my mind. It’s something that bugs me, but it also adds to the heavy tone of the movie, so you take it with a grain of salt. The ending is great, but for me, it stopped the movie from being perfect.
Spoiler Free Ahead
In the End
When you sit down to watch this movie, know you are in a for an emotional thrill ride. You are going to go through twist and turns, feeling for Jackman then hating him. The entire time you are trying to solve this mystery along with the characters and you just feel awful. Not for one minute do you feel bored. Every single scene captivates you into the story and your in it till the end.
For a 2 1/2 hour movie it surely doesn’t feel that way, you are so invested that time flies by. The last 30 minutes are some of the best of the movie and my heart was racing the whole time. So buckle up grab some popcorn and get ready because this film throws you all over the place, and when you think you know who did it, they knock you over.
The thing that sticks with me is the questions you ask yourself … What would you do in that situation? Would you break the law? How far would you go? How does one person handle loss? There is so many questions and the film shows you a whole lot of answers.
“Be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best”