A Prophet

Director - Jacques Audiard

Genre - Drama/Crime

Set in France, where prisoners are so free they can dress in whatever fashion they please, have TVs, fridge in their cells and oh...get this, they can take leave days and go out into society. This notion of a 'prison' is a culture shock to us! Does this really happen in real life? Anyway, the story is of a young Arab man who starts out kind of docile in an environment where the Middle Eastern brothers and Corsicans are deadly rivals. Soon, he is asked (well, more like forced really) by the Corsicans to join them and be their gang leader's lap dog, doing his bidding and even making him coffee. A lot of stock, stereotypical scenes involving gangsters with hard ons for indiscriminate infliction of pain ensue and our lamb soon becomes a wolf, taking his time, planning his move to get a leg up on his racist, mean as nails errant master. Overlong and tiresome to watch, we felt like we were serving a sentence in prison too alongside the characters. Although, we must add that the prison featured here looks really comfortable!


All about A Prophet


Patrick Gamble said…
I'm quite shocked you didn't like this! I know everyone is entitled to their views and all so will try my best not to be overly preachy but I honestly thought this was a refreshingly stylish depiction of prison life which broke the chains of the genres normal 'macho' constraints.

each to their own i guess.

p.s I generally agree with most your reviews, I'm honestly a little taken back, like a child who's just found out there's no Sanata
amy said…
Heh, agree with Patrick above xD Surprised you didn't like it.

I don't know about taking leaves, but I definitely could vouch for getting TVs (I've even heard of cable), and other perks in prison. People often find ways to get cellphones, and even get to pull of some crimes from inside jail. xD

I thought it was quite spiritual LOL
There are probably a lot of other angles in which we could have approached this movie. The fact that we didn't like it has nothing to do with the value in which others place. We felt the story was just too ambiguous and there was no proper direction. Why was it called 'A Prophet'? Who was the lead as a person? We did not get any background on his character, his family or why he was in jail. Everybody's just one dimensional here. We have to feel for the characters in order for us to dive into the film. If the characters don't move us, we're merely dipping our toes on the surface.

Thank you for your comments Patrick and Amy. Always a pleasure to hear from you, Amy!
Shahzaad A said…
The context is a little too unrealistic for my liking but, if you don't think about all the little details so much, the movie's not half bad.

Anyway, I read in your blog description that you review cult classics as well. I was wondering what your take on the 'Planet of the Apes' was & whether or not you'll be watching the next installment or the "prequel". If you haven't already checked out the trailers, here's one http://www.youtube.com/user/ApesWillRiseUAE?feature=mhee
I look forward to reading your review (if you do write on, of course)...I might just pick this whole series up for my film studies report.
KennethD said…
"We felt the story was just too ambiguous and there was no proper direction. Why was it called 'A Prophet'? Who was the lead as a person? We did not get any background on his character, his family or why he was in jail."

I honestly haven't seen the film, but 1MFRs comments lead me to assume I won't like it either. When I was reading your review I had to scroll up real quick to make sure I was reading the review for "A Prophet", because your comments didn't go along with what the title makes the movie sound like.

There have been times where I've seen a show with a title that doesn't make any sense with the film and I usually didn't like the show, so I'm assuming I won't like this one, so thanks for the heads up.

(One exception to that however is the film "Catfish", of which the title seemed ridiculous all the way until the punchline/explanation at the end)

good review

Shahzaad - For us, the original one starring Charlton Heston was great! Our fascination with sci-fi was fired up by the layered, complex storyline. It wasn't just entertainment, but managed to reflect our own society, critically condemning racism, bigotry and the evils of oppressing those who are considered weak.

In 'Planet of the Apes', the humans are the ones who have the tables turned on them. It is difficult to tell who is in the right here and that is what makes it interesting. Burton's version somehow didn't reflect all these complicated nuances. It was just entertainment and perhaps the most damning part is, Mark Wahlberg can never compare to Charlton Heston.

We're quite interested in the new installment. A 'prequel' means that we're going to see how and why the apes rebelled. Why they went bananas! Freida Pinto and James Franco make a refreshing combination too. Hopefully, they won't screw it up like Burton did.

Ken - We would like some kind soul out there to tell us what the title means too. You're welcome on the heads up and thank you for your comment.
Visual Velocity said…
I agree with the comment that A Prophet tends to be too long. Overall though, I think it's well-crafted and the acting superb. Love the movie posters.
Thanks for your comment.
Yolanda Barker said…
I tend to judge a film by its trailer, and this film's trailer didn't incite me to watch it. Great idea for a blog. Nice writing style too :)

My blog posts are a little less frequent, but I have a fairly unique slant - I'm a film maker who writes film reviews. Do check it out!
Thanks for your comment Yolanda, definitely will check out your blog. :)
Nostra said…
I am shocked (like some others) to read you only gave this 2 stars and didn't like it. Of course everyone has their own taste, so I respect it. I think it is very similar in nature to something like Scarface, with a different setting of course. It's a story of a nobody rising to power.
Yup, it's always an apple and an orange situation, you choose what you like. :)

Thanks for your comment Nostra.