Thursday, March 25, 2010

Movie: A Prophet (U.S. 2010)

Lots going on, so I’ll keep this brief: you need to see this movie.

It’s a brilliant, hard-hitting epic. Malik, a young French Arab, is thrown into prison for a six-year bid. Without family or friends on the outside, he’s prepared to face his fellow inmates alone – until he comes to the attention of the Corsican gangsters who run the joint ... and need another Arabic prisoner killed. The preparation for the hit and the job itself are ferociously intense. Soon Malik finds himself in a strange no man’s land, protected by men who don’t respect him and reviled by his own kind. So he does what any smart kid would do: he begins exploiting his benefactors, his enemies and the system, and slowly amasses power.

Tahar Rahim manages to chart the transformation of Malik’s character while nailing down the true hard case’s complete lack of affect; he becomes a new man without it ever registering in his face. Rahim is matched by Niels Arestrup as the aging kingpin who didn’t expect the world inside the prison’s walls to change, too. Jacques Audiard’s direction is supple without stinting on detail. Seek this brutal, relentless and powerful movie out.