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The Experiment (2010)
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dopo esser stati selezionati per partecipare a un progetto di ricerca della durata di due settimane, un gruppo di uomini accetta di interpretare il ruolo di detenuti e guardie in una simulazione della vita all'interno di una prigione statale. ma con il passare dei giorni i ventiquattro volontari si identificano sempre pi nei loro ruoli: il potere li corrompe, la paura cresce e l'esperimento degenera in un terrificante incubo.
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Based on the Zimbardo Stanford experiment in 1971; the premise for this film is grounded in fact, this scenario did in fact play out at one time which makes it all the more chilling when you consider what the candidates must have gone through. The film makes no bones about the psychological nature, with Whitaker's character realising early on that despite not being able to physically harm the inmates, they can remove their sense of self-worth & dignity, further reinforcing the internalisation of the 'prisoner' role.
The acting is very credible with both the leads giving stellar performances as they realise that they are becoming the very stereotype they have been recruited to be, not only taking on the character, but relishing in it. It is this aspect that intrigued me the most about this film, the candidates were all civil to each other when placed on a level field, but given the right set of circumstances, they became sadistic and inhuman. The set the whole thing plays out in is minimalistic (a generic prison) and shot almost entirely through a blue-filter once inside. The score is generic and really not worth much of a mention.
Aside from a few Sony previews there is no extra content to this disc!!
All in all, a solid prison movie with a psychological twist to it, a bit thin on story and feels like it was wrapped up all too hastily, but very interesting nonetheless.
The participants are promised a $1,000 dollars a day as long as they follow the rules. Breaking the rules must be dealt with "commensurately" and within 30 minutes or else the red light comes on, the experiment is over and no one gets paid. At this point I suspected two things: 1) The red light would never come on no matter what they did and 2)There were some shills within the group. I was wrong about the second one.
While one of the rules was "no violence" the guards gradually test what constitutes violence. The red light becomes their "God" who "approves" of their action by inactivity. Forrest Whitaker eventually becomes the leader of the guards, even punishing his own guards who have compassion toward the prisoners. Adrien Brody becomes his rival as the leader of the prisoners.
The acting is good. The action is at a good pace. There is human torture and beating as one might expect.
The two lead characters are played by Georgina French and John Hopkins (who some people may recognise from Midsomer Murders and quite a few other British TV Series). They both do a pretty good job of conveying a sense of desperation and anguish at the situation they find themselves in.
Of course there is a deeper meaning as to why they have been put in this situation but to tell you here would be to spoil the plot of the film.
The first hour is quite slow but not in an annoying way. The director drip feeds little clues to the viewer without ever giving too much away which is to the films benefit as it makes you watch and wonder more intently. When the film does speed up in the last 40 minutes it perhaps becomes more of a standard Euro Thriller which while by no means bad doesn't quite live upto the promise of the first part. There are also a few small plot holes and liberties with the script to advance the story which are a little grating.
Supported by a cast of European actors this is an ok thriller, obviously made on a tight budget, with some Sci-Fi elements and the twist at the end is quite good although not entirely unpredictable. Certainly a perfectly acceptable way to pass 1hr45mins
Total waste of money, if you wish to see this film then BUY THE GERMAN VERSION!!!!!
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