Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Prophet (4.5)

(Watch the trailer)

A young man is sent to a French prison. He starts out as less than a nobody, but when circumstance and fate met there is no turning back. He is thrown into the mafia scene and becomes a true criminal. Is it all just a part of a bigger plan?

I had been hunting for this movie for what seems like a year now. A 2009 French film, it was hard to find it with subtitles or even at all, but once again Netflix has delivered. Hurray!

This movie, and I know I have been saying this about a lot of movies recently, but it was worth the wait. It had been on my "to watch" list for so long that I sort of forgot what it was all about but that didn't matter at all. The story is told with such depth and the characters are viewed so naturally and so fully that you will be easily sucked in and would soon realize that one trailer does not do this movie justice.

The story. Oh my. You know how you read a book and you feel so engulfed with the whole story because it feels like you get the story from all sides and get all sort of hints and inside dialogue and the setting is described in a way that a picture cannot do justice. Well, this movie was one of those type of stories. Yes, the film is longer than most running at about 2h 30m, but trust me when I say that you wont noticed. If you do, it's because just when you think the story can't go deeper and the character can't adapt and grow more, it does. He does. Everything does. And then a whole new story emerges. Fantastic.

Acting was amazing. Tahar Rahim who played Malik (the main character) was amazing. I felt like I watched him grow over the course of the film. I love when that happens. I mean, when you see his face within the first 10 minutes and then again during the last shot...totally different people. Fantastic!

This is not a shot 'er up action/mafia/gang film. Yes, there are some intense scenes with blood and guns, but nothing that would warrant it being dubbed a mafia film. It definitely has more of a drama feel to it, especially with the story and characters and how they are portrayed.

I have seen a few prison movies and while those show me some extremes I feel like this movie, which about 80% of it takes place in a prison, was far more realistic and honest than most movies that attempt the prison story. I think the characters had a lot to do with that.

So, if you can't tell, this movie was awesome. It wont necessarily change your life per say, but it is a really solid piece of cinema.

And the ending, very nice. I liked that a lot.


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