Prisoners

Oct. 21st, 2013 11:34 am
gwaevalarin: (Cas)
[personal profile] gwaevalarin
I went to see Prisoners yesterday, and while I do think it had the potential to be a truly great movie and almost succeeded, it had me leave the cinema disappointed and even angry. I decided to sleep on it, and I still feel the same today

Things I liked:
- The atmosphere was brilliant
- The acting was fantastic all around
- Detective Loki. Let me tell you about how flawless Detective Loki is. And by flawless I mean he is flawed, and complicated, and occasionally screws up but he also has a strong sense of justice and knows when it's necessary to bend the rules a bit, and how far it is okay to bend them. And he just really wants to find those girls. I think most of the credit for making this character so real and multi-layered has to go to Jake Gyllenhaal. As far as I know he came up with a back story for the character and just ran with it. And it shows.
I don't often get attached to movie characters, because two hours usually aren't long enough for me to really form an emotional connection to a character. I did get very attached to this one.

Unused potential that didn't hurt the movie
- I wish they had done more with the religious theme that was constantly hinted but was never truly explored
- Same with the maze theme

Then why did I leave the cinema disappointed?

The big screw up
Now, I will keep this as vague as I can but I will have to mention a few major plot points. If you plan on watching the movie and want to stay unspoiled you may not want to read on:

Here is the general idea of the story: Two little girls go missing. There is a suspect, but the evidence is circumstantial at best and the police has to let him go. The father of one of the girls, irrational in his grief, is so convinced that this guy took his daughter, that he kidnaps him and starts torturing him for their location. Everyone who is let in on this, or somehow finds out, tells him this is wrong but ultimately no one stops him, and over three days the father tortures the suspect to the brink of death without learning anything. So far so disturbingly realistic.

The police, meanwhile, finds another suspect who looks a lot more guilty than our suspect #1 ever did. Our grief ridden father only kind of stops the active torture, when it becomes pretty damn clear that suspect #1 is most likely innocent - and possibly even a victim himself - but still keeps him locked up, continues questioning him and does nothing to ease his pain in the slightest.

At no point in the entire movie does the father show as much as a hint of remorse for what he did to this young man. The only time it is even vaguely labeled as wrong during the second half of the movie is when Detective Loki says that yes, he will probably have to go to prison. This is immediately followed by his wife breaking down in tears and claiming that her husband only wanted to find their daughter and that he is "a good man". No one disagrees with that claim in any way.

The fate of the torture victim is pretty much glossed over and you only learn about what became of him from a brief shot of a news paper article.

I'm sorry, but this complete disregard of an innocent man going through torture for three days to the point of "if we hurt him any more he will die" (quoting from memory) is something I'm just unable to look past.
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