Friday, January 28, 2011

Under 250: A Prophet

I’m not sure how we missed A Prophet on this blog, but we all make mistakes (and what a mistake it was). Brutal, gut-wrenching, and with a strange charm and charisma, it's one of the best of the decade, if not tied for the best film spot of 2009. Within the first 30 seconds of meeting protagonist Malik (Tahar Rahim) you’re hooked, and as he struggles to survive and find his identity in the wilds of a French prison while under the thumb of Corsican crime boss Cesar (Niels Arestrup), there’s no turning away, even when shit gets too real for comfort. While Arestrup's performance is what you’d expect from a fat, over aged crime boss ala the Godfather, Rahim’s Malik captures you from the moment his dark eyes are framed on screen. He says very little throughout the film, but his expressive face carries all the depth of emotion needed to charm the pants off the audience and get you 100% emotionally invested in his fate. The film is gritty, but still beautiful, the colors expertly drawn out while each shot is artfully composed, instantly high class but without sugar coating the violent prison experience, perfection in every way. 

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