Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn is a Prison Drama based on the Autobiography of Billy Moore.

After a long delay and high appraisal from the Cannes Film festival, the movie finally released in limited screens around the UK in late July.

The A24 title is another hit starring Peaky Blinders actor Joe Cole as inmate Billy Moore.

The story follows Moore locked up in a Thai prison after being involved in the purchase and heavy consumption of drugs.

Viewers witness the violence of prison life first hand as the story takes a dark, gritty and often times horrific turn in scenes.

An emphasis is put into the severity of the scenario as Joe Cole’s portrayal of the Scouse boxer in the movie is animalistic.

A Prayer Before Dawn can accurately be described as a scary movie even though it isn’t from the horror genre.

Fear is instilled in the audience with the amount of gore to compliment a tight knit storyline that averts from a typical boxing or mixed martial arts movie.

After enduring with the horrors of prison life, Billy tries to get through his torture by joining the Prison’s Muay Thai team with the experience he already has in fighting.

Though a solid movie, the fighting was quite distasteful due to the ever-frustrating use of shaky cam and close shots we see in action-filled drama nowadays.

However, this technique is justifiable in the film as it emphasises the claustrophobic setting of the movie.

That sense of uncomfortableness is also heard as we almost consistently hear Cole breathing with the background score while other sounds accompany him.

It’s the perfect display of an overcrowded prison cell with no sense of personal limits, unnerving viewers each minute.

A Prayer Before Dawn is a must-watch drama that goes in-depth into the darker parts of prison life.



Photo by Asa Rodger on Unsplash

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