Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Prisoner (2015) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
In the back of a dark, cramped closet, the prisoner waits. Waits for the door to open, for the man to come. Sometime he brings food, sometimes sympathetic conversation - always falling just short of providing any real hope. Today, though, there is just anger, barely suppressed violence. He is far from comfortable with the situation. One gets the impression that it has been growing more difficult for him, that things are building toward his breaking point.
The central idea - especially its dénouement - is rather heavy-handed, but Steve Kahn's short film still packs a punch thanks to the performance of Joe G Garcia, one of those rare actors capable of playing anger as weakness without losing the audience. His character is middle-aged, balding, grey-suited - professional looking, the kind of person we're used to thinking of in an entirely superficial way. His cultivated appearance discourages anyone from looking beneath the surface. It makes his outbursts all the more disconcerting, but as he breaks down further we gradually begin to get hints of what he's hiding.
Garcia's physical acting is well judged here, providing clues that may not make sense until later but never letting them interrupt the flow of the story. Although this is one of those stories that's very much dependent on the positioning and movement of the camera, it has a stagey quality that constrains what Garcia is able to do and ultimately limits its impact. It will resonate strongly with many who have been through similar experiences (and there are more than you might think) but, though it still makes its point effectively, it may be too blunt to make a successful emotional connection with others. Nevertheless, it's an interesting attempt to explore a subject too often kept at a deliberate distance.Reviewed on: 30 Sep 2015