Posted by: greercn | February 26, 2010

A Prophet

This French film has a message that may not resonate with those who don’t speak French. It requires an understanding of French culture. The plot features the charismatic Tahar Rahim as Malik, a Muslim prisoner who forms a subservient alliance with Corsican prison gang leader Cesar (Niels Arestrup).  Then follows the most graphic murder I will see this year, or any other, in the name of  Malik proving his loyalty.

The key scene has to be the one in which Malik predicts the collision of a deer and a car, proving he is a prophet. Have I lost you? You clearly didn’t read Francois Mauriac for “A” level. Malik is clever and even though prison is hell – we suspected this – he works his way up to be a force in his own right.

It’s another 150-minute long movie. Jacques Audiard always has something worth saying, but I don’t think he makes his point about the alienation of Arabs from French culture quite as well as he wishes to. I loved “Sur Mes Levres” and I will go see anything by this gifted director.  It’s a film requiring intellect, but I would hate to have been dependent on the subtitles.

It’s compelling and draws you in. But I think Audiard was aiming for a deeper message and this escaped me.  I am left thinking I’d like to see anything else Tahar Rahim is in.


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