Saturday, June 11, 2011
Mob Movie: The Loyalty of "A Prophet"
I've watched "A Prophet" twice now. Once for enjoyment and the second time for some of the themes that ran throughout. The thread through this movie is one we see with the Mob Wives; loyalty. Loyalty is near and dear to many. It's everything for some.
A quick rundown of the movie, the movie's central character is a French Arab named Malik. He is sentenced to 6 years in prison. He's in prison for fighting cops. Malik is 19 years old with no family and no real identity. All he wants to do is serve his time, and eventually move forward with his life. As in most prisons there are separate factions which run the prison. The factions are the Corsican mob and the Muslims. The Corsican mob boss in prison is Luciani. He is an older gentleman who is probably going to die in prison. It appears the Corsican mob is the dominating faction in the prison. While the Muslims seem very united. We're not given a clear view of the Muslims beyond their loyalty.
Malik has visions of Reyeb in his cell. Many may interpret this as a haunting of his first murder. I see this in a totally different way. Reyeb had been trying to find a friend in prison. Reyeb tried to get Malik to understand his Muslim heritage. The brotherhood which can be strong if they remain loyal to each other.
Luciani begins trusting Malik with bigger assignments. Malik develops relationships outside of the mob. As Luciani trusts grows, Malik begins identifying with his Muslim roots. He meets another Muslim who pushes Malik to education. The Corsicans' oppressive hand has no interest in Malik or any other Muslim's education. They know the tide will turn with knowledge. Malik appears closer to Luciani than the other Corsican soldiers. He does not ask Luciani for anything. He does not burden the boss.