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Un prophète (2009)

Director:
Jacques Audiard
COUNTRY
France
GENRE
Crime/Drama
INTERNATIONAL TITLE
A Prophet
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Profeten
RUNNING TIME
150 minutes
Producer:
Martine Cassinelli
Antonin Dedet
Screenwriter:
Jacques Audiard
Thomas Bidegain
Abdel Raouf Dafri
Nicolas Peufaillit
Stuart Blumberg


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Malik El Djebena Tahar Rahim ½
César Luciani Niels Arestrup
Ryad Adel Bencherif
Jordi Le Gitan Reda Kateb
Reyeb Hichem Yacoubi
Vettori Jean-Phillippe Ricci
Djamila Leïla Bekhti

 

Review

Un prophète is stern and gritty social realism from director Jacques Audiard, who follows French-Arab Malik's quiet-mannered ascent from nobody to overlord in a contemporary French prison. The character portrait is remarkably strong, because Malik's development is one of unflappable endurance and reserved shrewdness. It's interesting, if not completely engaging. Audiard never emphasizes the events he portrays, he just lets them come and pass, almost hurries on to the next one. This gives the film realism, but also makes for a somewhat monotonous narrative experience. There are no pace-shifts, few intensifiers (except for a breathtaking scene involving a mouth-hidden razorblade), and much of the effect is left to Tahar Rahim's impressive acting in the lead. Additonally, Audiard's feeble attempts to link the thematics of the title to the story and the protagonist is unconvincing. If this was all there was too Malik's 'prophetic' powers, I'd rather not bother. The film's story should have been trusted to do the work, especially since it is rather apparent that Audiard has little to communicate in terms of stance and message.

 

Copyright © 7.2.2011 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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