"..that’s what cinema is all about – it produces monumental figures, icons, male or female, people who are emblematic of their time, who are in their time and who define their time.” French filmmaker Jacques Audiard
Malik el Djebena, a young Arab who is condemned to six years in a French prison, cannot read or write, but soon figures out the politics of the prison. Though Malik is only 19-years-old, the leader of the Corsican gang who rules the prison corners him and gives him certain 'missions' to carry out. He quickly gains the confidence of the gang leader, as these assignments begin to toughen him up. But Malik soon develops some plans of his own. It appears very familiar, this plot for the film! But to venture into making it, I would do the same: equate it to the "God Father"! "A Prophet" is deemed by some critics as to contain one of the finest assassination scenes ever committed to celluloid.
Audriard has been removed from the auteur list for some critics because they thought this movie of his was not an art movie although Audriard has authored, not only by contributing to the script but also by the many cinematic instances in the movie that prove him a true creator. Audriard has bet on cinematic tools of style and good editing to circumvent three huge problems with this project. These were:
- A too familiar plot.
- A complex of ethnicities and cultures i.e. languages.
- A lengthy run time (155 min.)