Based on a true story, Escape from Pretoria tells the journey of two political activists who are arrested while in South Africa. The two men are both sentenced with prison time- Tim Jenkin (Daniel Radcliffe) for 12 years and Daniel Webber (Stephen Lee) with 8 years. Both are sent to the infamous Pretoria Prison to carry out their sentence. Upon arrival, they are mistreated by the guards and daily punished if they do not abide by the prison’s unfair rules.
It is not long until Tim and Stephen decide to try and break out of the prison and attempt to gain freedom. While locked in their cells they begin to question the type of keys and locks used on the doors. But breaking out of this prison seems almost impossible. Each cell contains two heavy doors with locks on the inside and out, guards patrol consistently and men patrol around the main perimeter with machine guns ready to shoot anyone who attempts to leave the prison during the day or night.
As a plot, the film gets right into it and it does not take long until our leads are introduced to prison. Right from the word go, Escape from Pretoria is quite a tense and dramatic film, especially as it is based on a true story. Having not been familiar with this true story myself, I was quite curious to find out if these men do manage to escape or if they will get caught.
The filming style is positive. Every moment of tension is captured wonderfully on-screen. Character emotions are another great element that are portrayed well. The leading performance by Daniel Radcliffe was also surprising and he once again brings another character to life which differs from some of his previous work in film.
Overall, Escape from Pretoria is quite an amazing true story. It is also quite a tense journey. Tense moments are captured wonderfully here, and performances are fantastic with Daniel Radcliffe delivering yet another wonderful character to life on the big screen. Those who love a solid drama or films based on real-life events should take an interest in seeking this film out.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden