Prisoners ★★★★½

My fourth visit to the film that, almost two years ago, really ignited my love for the artform. My favorite detail this time around: the way Villenueve cues us in early on to just how murky and impenetrable this case will become. It’s soon after the two girls are kidnapped: having zero leads on which to build, Detective Loki begins by interviewing local sex offenders. The interviews are conducted in a series of three successive shots, each one growing more vague and nebulous: first the camera is inside and with the two characters, then it is outside looking through a window but still privy to the audible dialogue, and finally, it’s peering through a smeared and greasy pane of glass, conversation a muddled murmur and image obscured through the uncleaned filth. Prisoners is only beginning, and the visual and thematic poetry is already swirling in its subtle glory. The devil’s in the details, Villenueve’s tapestry of intricacy asserts. But he may just be in me and you, too.

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