Un prophéte

Un Prophete

Un prophéte‘ or ‘A Prophet’ is his first since the international stomper that was 2005’s ‘ A Beat That Skipped My Heart’. This latest feature is also an international debut for the young Tahar Rahim who subsequently been nominated for The Orange Rising Star Award for his performance.

Since the success of Audiard’s film at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, it has gone on to exploit Oscar fever and been hotly tipped as the big ‘ World Cinema’ champion with this year’s academy and none more deservingly so. Audiard has entered the premier league of film-making with this installment, mirroring the recent master-class of Jean-Francois Richet Mesrine films.

The film is about a young man ( Malik played by Rahim) who is sent to a harsh French prison for a crime we are not entirely certain of, but none the less as soon as gets a chance to get cozy with his new surroundings his life is indefinitely and brutally threatened by a gang of Corsican thugs.  The deal is simple, either Malik kills another inmate for the Corsicans or he is killed himself. This is just the beginning of what is a stomach wrenching 150 minutes of utter masterful madness.

On one hand, A Prophet can be seen as France’s answer to Tony Kaye’s 1998 American History X in that it is a multi-faceted and uncomfortable look at the horrors of imprisonment. However, it can also be seen as a social commentary on the racial and political issues prevalent in contemporary French relations, whether that may be Sarkozy’s racial secularism or French- Corsican relations. Furthermore it can be interpreted as a metaphysical investigation into the nature of loneliness, desperation and the role of the conscience.

Where Audiard excels is in creating a film that can be enjoyed for many reasons on many levels, as a straight up crime caper, a socio-political thriller, a philosophical contemplation or a story of one man’s life and how he attempts to overcome the most dangerous of obstacles. Tahar Rahim is completely believable as the protagonist and conveys the character of Malik with such conviction that he earns our trust enough to believe the story and the spiral of chaos that awaits him.

This masterpiece of film-making will convert those who have not yet tasted the ever fruitful tree of world cinema as an alternative to the monopolistic tyranny of Hollywood. Whether you are yearning for another Reservoir Dogs or a intelligent and confident political thriller, then A Prophet is the certainly a more than competent answer.

Un Prophéte Trailer

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