Felon, a Prison Drama

After watching the French prison drama A Prophet (directed by Jacques Audiard) recently, we were tempted to see more of this genre.

And as we were desultorily scrolling through the Netflix Instant Play movie list this evening we stumbled upon Felon, based on a prison story.

The 2008 film features Val Kilmer, Stephen Dorff and Harold Perrineau.

Dorff plays Wade Porter who goes to prison for accidentally killing an intruder at his home; Kilmer is John Smith, Porter’s cell-mate; and Perrineau is cast as the prison guard Lt. Jackson.

Ric Roman Waugh is the director.

The film had a decent reception with a respectable 65% rating on the Tomatometer.

Unfamiliar Genre

The prison genre seems to be unknown in Bollywood, Kollywood or Tollywood given their inane addiction to soppy love stories.

But prison stories have a great deal of interest in the U.S., both on TV and in movies (remember Shawshank Redemption?).

TV channels like MSNBC endlessly run prison stories, particularly on weekends. A few minutes back, we briefly watched the MSNBC crew visiting a Polish prison for a story on one of the Warsaw prisons.

You may expect us to update this post after we finish the 1 hour 44-minute movie.


Felon is an alright movie but nothing extraordinary.

The last 20-25 minutes were pretty good as the movie hurtles toward the denouement.

Our three protagonists Stephen Dorff, Harold Perrineau and Val Kilmer have done their parts well but the story itself never rises to the great heights of other prison movies that we’ve seen, like Shawshank Redemption for instance.

Prison is a tough place to be and the movie showcases the brutal circumstances of life behind the high walls – the violence, the gangs and the sadistic guards – with vigor.

Pray, pray desperately that if ever you get into prison you don’t run into a character like Lt.Bill Jackson.

4 Responses to "Felon, a Prison Drama"

  1. rakeshbaba   April 4, 2010 at 6:26 am

    have you watched anoother brilliant prison drama “the great escape”,

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    No, but we’ll watch Great Escape soon.

  2. The Mahatma   April 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

    how waaj (biharinglish?) it

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Our Internet connection went out last night. Fixed this morning.

    Watching it now. At the 47th minute (Society’s rules don’t apply here….).

    So far decent but nothing extraordinary.

  3. iamsumu   April 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Of the Tamil movie makers, Kamal has made a few movies like Mahanadhi, Virumandi etc. which spend a good chunk of time in prisons.

    One Hindi movie about prison life was Teen Deewarein by Nagesh Kukunoor a film on random intertwined incidents.

    Its an above average flick.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Of the three movies you mention, we’ve seen Virumandi. Can’t remember the details but Pasupathi’s solid performance is indelibly etched in our mind.

    Just finished Felon…will update it in a little while.

  4. kurf   April 5, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Hey Searchindia,

    I was wondering if you have watched King of Comedy by martin scorsese, and angadi theru. Wondering if you could review those two.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    No to both. Will watch King of Comedy in a few days. Unsure of watching Angadi Theru because of the distance we have to travel.

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