A Prayer Before Dawn (2018)
Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 1 Average: 4/5]
Directed By: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
Cast: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm, Panya Yimmumphai, Somluck Kamsing, Pornchanok Mabklang
Language: English, Thai
None can change the fact that life is hard, you have two choices: fight it or get consumed by it. A Prayer before dawn is the story of a British Boxer who becomes a drug addict and ends up in a brutal Thai prison. The movie is based on the book A Prayer Before Dawn: My Nightmare in Thailand’s Prisons by Billy Moore. The book is a true story based on the life of Boxer Billy Moore. It is about the choice Billy has to make at that point in his life.
Billy Moore (Joe Cole), a boxer with a checkered past comes to live in Thailand. He is a drug addict and to support his habit he boxes in the underbelly of Thailand and trains kids. His apartment gets busted and he is thrown into one of the most brutal jails shown. On his first day, he sleeps between a corpse and a transsexual woman and then is stacked into a room along with other inmates. Other inmates are covered with tattoos from head to toe. The thai prison is not your regular prison with a uniform and individual cells. He is an addict and keeps committing more crimes to support that. Soon he witnesses a murder and the inability to pay for the drugs piles on his misery. The only way to redemption is to punch his way through all of this.
Billy comes to know of certain inmates into boxing have a better standard of living in the prison. They fight tournaments outside and are using boxing as a means to reform themselves. He joins the prison team, makes some friends and starts an affair with a transsexual woman who works at the prison. Billy’s life begins to improve but his tendency to self destruct tries to derail his life which is seemingly back on track. But he overcomes all of that and earns the respect of his inmates to achieve his freedom.
A Prayer before dawn is not everybody’s cup of tea, there are many elements which will make you cringe. Director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire has taken a lot of close up shots which made me live Billy’s horrors. The scenes are slow and gives an insight into the head of a doper. Lot of movies have talked about the after effects of prison. Many a time people only realize the magnitude of their crime when they enter the prison and once you enter the prison drives you mad. As Red in Shawshank Redemption says : They send you here for life, and that’s exactly what they take. In the movie also a guy in the prison team says When I realized I was going to be in prison for five years, I went wild and killed three people which landed him life imprisonment.
Cinematography is at its best and has used water beautifully in scenes. Initially when he enters prison he fights for a cup of drinking water but in prison team he has in abundance to take a bath. There are many such contrasting scenes which make the viewers feel for billy. One of the best scenes of the movie is when he visits a hospital and he has the chance to escape but how he reacts to that shows the change. A Prayer before dawn is not about boxing but Billy’s struggle to correct himself. So there are very less action scenes. Also there are very less dialogues and very less subtitles by Netflix for the Thai part meant my condition was same as Billy’s. Joe Cole is brilliant as Billy Moore, you cant separate the actor and the character at any point of time.
It s helluva film which gives a meaning to life and makes one love it even more. The fact that it is a true story gives me shudders. Watch it and share your rating above.
Enjoy the Trailer: