Escape From Pretoria is unbearably tense but gives Daniel Radcliffe his best role since Harry Potter – The Sun03/06/2020
THIS unbearably tense drama based on a real-life prison-break in 1979 South Africa provides Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe with his best role by far since hanging up the boy wizard’s robe.
Radcliffe, resplendent in a Sirius Black beard and wig, plays Tim Jenkin, jailed for distributing pamphlets on behalf of the African National Congress. With two other inmates, he meticulously plans his escape.
Patiently, the gang memorise the shape of each key dangling from a warden’s chain and hand-craft replicas from scraps of wood.
The subject of apartheid is touched on only briefly.
This is a straightforward escape movie, simple as that, while the presence of a caricatured guard wheezing and harrumphing his way slowly through the prison corridors is a bit daft.
Even so, this is right up there with something like Ben Affleck’s Argo, also based on a true story, and it boasts visual flourishes of a sort you might expect from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.
If your favourite part of The Shawshank Redemption was seeing how Andy dug his tunnel, you will love this.
Knowing it happened for real only makes it more entertaining.
Cigar tubes up the bum, intricately carved pieces of wood and terrifying droplets of sweat on the floor make for a gripping movie.
My heart is still in my mouth.
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