A Prayer Before Dawn a prison boxing drama about a British expatriate doing time in a Thai prison has a harrowing authenticity. It was filmed in an abandoned Thai prison utilizing ex-cons.
To add to the squalid feeling and confusion the cell block has no dividers and the dialogue isn’t subtitled during moments of conflicts. Like Billy Moore (Joe Cole of Peaky Blinders) the viewer is left to figure it out as it goes along.
The immediacy and heightened brutality lets A Prayer Before Dawn rise above its standard prison and boxing movie cliches. It feels fresh because it is all so raw and eviscerating.
It is always spinning and moving, always trying to keep the hero and the audience off foot. It is always feeling like a brutal mixed martial arts fight without the timed rounds.
A Prayer Before Dawn is a pure example of testosterone and rage filmmaking. It leaves you beaten down and shattered.