Sunday, September 21, 2008

Felon (2008)

"Felon" is a dark gritty prison drama that implies it's own moral values. It stands to question the morals that most people stand by and what ultimately matters in our lives. "Felon" actually requires a certain stomach for the values it conveys. Even though I disagree with some of what the movie implies, I cannot deny the fact that it is a compelling film that delivers it's message effectively. The movie also borrows credence from the fact that it is based on a true story.

"Felon" follows Wade Porter (Stephen Dorf) who is somewhat wrongly accused of a murder and ends up in jail. Through a string of unfortunate events, he ends up in the SHU (Security Housing Unit). I don't want to go into the terminology of a prison but basically it's one of the worst places you can be in a prison. The idea is that a lot of the worst criminals get locked up in that place. Porter learns that in order to survive in the SHU, he has to play by the prisoners' and the cops' rules, which would be considered violent and immoral to most people. Fortunately for Porter, not all is lost as he meets a prison veteran (Val Kilmer) who teaches him prison politics. The story is about how Porter copes with life in the violent system of prison.

"Felon" also deals with the unpredictability of unseen forces that could force you to do things against your will, or place you in unwanted circumstances. I enjoyed "Felon" mainly because of the powerful editing. The scenes were all so effectively captured to make you feel a sense of fear for the protangonist, who portrays a very likable character. The acting really surprised me on this film as I never thought much of Stephen Dorf. I have seen him before in a couple of mediocre films but he usually acts as a supporting role. He was, however, really good in this movie, being able to effectively convey emotions that we could easily relate to. Val Kilmer was also equally good at making us feel for his character.

I personally recommend this film to intelligent and open-minded viewers. I can safely say that only people with liberal minds will enjoy this film. "Felon" is actually one of my personal favorites as I am a huge sucker for dark and thought provoking films like these. I give "Felon" a 10/10.

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