Year of release: 2009
Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb
Genre: Crime, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Synopsis:Jacques Audiard's latest film follows the story of Malik, a 19 year old little criminal who is sentenced to 6 years in prison following the attack of a police officer. Malik has little instruction, no friends and soon finds himself an easy target in jail. When Cesar Luciani, the crime boss who reigns over the destiny of the prison needs a favor from him, Malik finds himself in a difficult position. The way Malik handles the situation allows him to move up in the ladder of the prison hierarchy. Soon enough he finds himself doing all sorts of favors and developing skills and schemes to make his life inside bars more comfortable. Jacques Audiard follows the life of these people with an authentic look and feel, in a very documentary style. Malik ends up being a direct product of what he's taught: the life in prison makes him a veritable crime expert. What's so engaging in Audiard's film is the way he presents us with the way the consequences of our actions haunt Malik (and by extension ourselves). Malik learns to navigate the murky waters of crime, all the while playing the right games and with a lot of luck. The film is brutal in it's approach and also poetic. A perfect combination for a film that deserves a really close look. Very good!