Movie Name: The Prophet
Release Date(s): May 17, 2014 (Cannes Film Festival)/August 7, 2015 (US)
MPAA Rating: PG
Kamila is struggling to raise her daughter Almitra who has continued lash out and refuses to speak since her father’s death. She spends her days working as a housekeeper for the home imprisoned activist poet Mustafa. Mustafa’s writing inspired the people and threatened the government but after years, he’s going to be released to return to his own country. As Mustafa meets the people that see him as their spiritual leader, Almitra learns that there is a darker plot surrounded Mustafa’s freedom.
Directed by Roger Allers, The Prophet is an animated film based on 1923 book of the same title by Kahlil Gibran. The film premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and received a wide release in 2015. The movie was released to positive reviews.
The Prophet was one of those under-the-radar types of films that always wins awards. The movie was shortlisted for the Best Animated Features list for the 88th Oscar nominations but didn’t make the cut. It was a good film, but there were aspects that were slightly unbalanced.
For the most part the movie is a family film. The messages from Mustafa’s teachings are positive and encouraging for young and old. The story itself is a little dark however in dealings with political martyrdom and some issues that parents might not want to explain to younger children. The movie doesn’t flinch in that respect, but the balance between the teachings and the story are little uneven and can leave your mind wandering.
Despite appearing like a foreign film, the film was primarily made and features English speaking actors. Liam Neeson provides the soothing voice of Mustafa which is both good and bad since you can get lost in his talking of philosophies of life. Salma Hayek was the film’s producer and she also provided Kamila’s voice. Almitra for the most part was mute but when speaking she was voiced by Quvenzhané Wallis. Other voice actors include John Krasinski, Alfred Molina, and Frank Langella.
The animation for The Prophet is where the movie does excel. The movie invited other animators and directors in for Mustafa’s speeches. Each speech has a style and look that is distinctive and accompanying music. It helps get the concepts and ideas across and also keeps the viewer active by having different styles.
The Prophet is a movie that the whole family can watch but kids easily might become bored with. It can be hard to interest children in philosophy though the movie does do a decent job trying to keep everyone interest. There are some larger issues of free speech and freedom that are bigger questions in the movie and overall the movie does excel and at points soar.