There’s nothing that captures the imagination of the viewing public quite like a prison break drama. Some of the most popular films of all time have been based around this central premise. The likes of The Great Escape, The Shawshank Redemption, Escape from Alcatraz and The Rock are all great examples of what the sub-genre can do. It’s a less common to see the aftermath play-out but it provides the focus for 9 Souls.
Nine convicts escape from prison after finding a hole in their cell. These men are largely hardened criminals sentenced to serve significant amounts of time, mostly involving murder. They ‘borrow’ a big red truck and head off in search of a stash of counterfeit money a deranged cellmate has told them about. The plan is to find it and then split up. They each have their own very personal destinations.
9 Souls is a wonderful piece of cinema which is both surprisingly warm-hearted and bloodily brutal. Toshiaki Toyoda’s film is startlingly empathetic. Each prisoner has their own unique circumstances and personality. It’s brilliantly written and also superbly acted. Taking the viewer on a journey of redemption and despair. 9 Souls is a complex portrait of crime and punishment, played out in an often surreal and always entertaining way.
9 Souls is released on Blu-ray by Third Window Films on 18 October.