A Prophet

A Prophet is a French movie starring Tahir Rahim as Malik El Djebena, a nineteen year-old man whose been sentenced to six years in prison for assaulting a police officer. It’s clear from the beginning of the movie that Malik has no family or friends in or out of prison. Once inside the prison, Malik is recruited by the Corisican boss, Cesar Luciani, to kill another prisoner that is scheduled to testify against the Corsican crime ring. Once Malik does Cesar’s bidding, he is awarded Cesar’s protection. The movie focuses on Malik and his relationships with the Corsicans and Arabs in the prison. In the end, Malik must decide with whom his loyalties lies.

This movie is on the top of my gangster movie list. Along the lines of Scarface, Goodfellas, The Godfather, and Casino this movie shows the inner workings of mob life. Even though the movie takes place in a prison, it is clear that the Corsicans run the prison because of their mob connections. They are allowed to attack anyone they want, eat better food, have better clothes, work desirable jobs, and enjoy privileges that the other inmates can only dream of.

The cast of the movie does a tremendous job.Tahir Rahim is a very talented actor who is able to portray the transformation of Malik right in front of the viewers’ eyes. Niels Arestrop is also compelling as Luciani. The rest of the cast play their roles to perfection.

I would highly recommend this movie, especially for those of you who love gangster movies. I liked the fact that the movie was in French, I think it added to the movie’s rawness. The story and the acting are all superb.

2 thoughts on “A Prophet”

  1. Funny, this is my #1 of 2009, and #12 of all time. I love this movie, no one loves it as much as I, but regardless great review!

  2. This IS the best movie of 2009. It is my favorite movie. Jacques Audiard stayed true to his directing style and it worked lovely for the film– it gave it a more modern twist on gangster life with out discrediting the social issues related to the rise of a modern-day “gangster”. Tahar Rahim is a brilliant actor with great instincts. Malik El Djebena is someone you grow to care for and root for throughout the entire film; regardless of his actions – thanks to Tahar Rahim! Niels Arestrup is the bad-ass grandfather we all hope him to be. Arestrup does a phenomenal job in transitioning from power to powerless as crime boss Cesar Luciano. Every actor in the film did justice to the setting of prison-life. The set location in which the prison was filmed, would not have you think it is anywhere but prison. Its that convincing. Even the soundtrack to this film is gangster! Jacques stuck to his roots with composer Alexandre Desplat, who also worked on Audiar’s The Beat My Heart Skips, conveying a specific feeling to the film. The soundtrack also took some turns, supplying us with tracks from American artists, such as Nas’ Bridging the Gap and Turner Cody’s Corner of My Room. Its by far the best movie I’ve seen in years.

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