This brutal crime drama that swept the César Awards stars Tahar Rahim in a breakthrough performance as a young illiterate Arab man who becomes a Mafioso heavyweight while serving time in a French prison.
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Understated and realistic, A Prophet isn't just a blend of The Godfather and a prison film, but is more detailed in its evaluation of criminal power dynamics, and is more contemplative. Unlike Coppola's series, it has a lesser emphasis on the climax of action, and more patience for interaction. This is evident in its actors: Rahim's subtly sympathetic and humanistic acting is a counter to Arestrup's brooding menace.
The movie is long but it never gets boring. The violence and realism of some scenes were a punch in the stomach of the viewer. Malik proved himself to be a lone survivor and a smart player during the course of those six years in prison. The visions that he had of the man he murdered in the beginning were probably my favourite parts in the entire movie. Nice overview of the dynamics/conflicts inside french prisons.
Holy crap, this was even better than the hype lead me to believe. What a miracle of a movie! The fact that a 2 1/2 hour prison film wasn't in the least bit dull for a second was impressive enough, but to have it also be exquisitely shot, acted and written is even more impressive! This entire film was a completely immersive and wonderful experience! Loved every second of it and would gladly watch it again!
Good, but I was underwhelmed. For a film that runs as long as this one does, I feel like Audiard squandered some of the themes that he presented, and that they were, in fact, not fully explored. Especially when considering the length, I feel like a longer film was needed, or, cuts to make the brief Prophet exploration seem more significant.
It wouldn't be truthful to suggest this film is above criticism, but after watching it I didn't have anything to say or any qualms at all. To put it simply: just watch it. It's a worthy addition (as well as a new spin) to the gangster genre.
Un Prophète is tough and a bit uneasy to watch, but it is well constructed. Prison gangster theme of surviving and "graduating" in it. It's interesting to see how he rises through the criminal ranks to become a big boss where he ultimately plays everyone in order to become a gang warlord of sorts for himself.
Haven't seen it, but in response to your question, I'd consider it 2009 because it was released in its primary country -- France -- first. It would be a mistake and very USA-centric to call it a 2010 film.
a true modern masterpiece of the crime genre. compositionally perfect, with the lighting and camerawork of the most excellent quality. a story which is as good as an genre cinema piece also. the rise from invisibility to dominance is one of the main themes of this film, and one which it deals with superbly. it cannot be helped but note how it has certain resemblances to the godfather and similar crime pieces.