Monday, 28 October 2013

Cinema/Idle Fanedit Musings: Prisoners/End Of Watch

I finally caught Prisoners this weekend, and thought it was a pretty good, albeit flawed, film. I think the main issue I had with it was that for a film that's getting so much praise for being clever, it was fairly predictable - if you've seen A History Of Violence and 8MM, you'll recognise pretty much everything that's going on in this film.

It's not a crippling flaw, although the third act does drag quite badly, in my opinion. The core performances and cinematography are very good, and carry the film as much as possible - though it would have helped if the third act didn't substantially change the tone of the film and take the plot into a much more generic direction.

One thing that I found quite odd throughout the film was that Detective Loki constantly works alone, even in several circumstances where it presents an obvious risk. His behaviour doesn't compensate much for those risks, either.

At first this just seemed to be another sloppy aspect of the script, but as I thought about it an alternative explanation suggested itself to me - what if Detective Loki were Brian Taylor from End Of Watch? Both characters are extremely competent police officers, albeit with very different demeanours. I can easily imagine Taylor being traumatised by a combination of PTSD and survivor guilt to the extent that he puts his job in a new city ahead of his personal life, driving his wife away and desperately trying to make up for his partner's death by being a textbook over-achieving police officer. It would also provide a great reason for Loki to insist on working alone.

Bearing in mind that one of the issues I had with Prisoners was its length (which in turn is a result of focusing on two protagonists), I'm thinking that a fanedit that refocuses the film purely on Loki's perspective could work quite nicely, using segments from End Of Watch as flashbacks to round out his character and flesh out his obsessive need to be a supercop.

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