Money On A Losing Bet.
Johnson and Tolkin’s prison environment is possibly the most spatial yet palpable tone that was ever projected on screen. And with Stahl, they have written an explicit script that oozes power and mature sequences that pushes your boundaries and takes you to newer territories. But this is as much as Stiller’s tale as much as it is the creators’, with a keen sense of awareness of the trajectory, his execution is off the charts. His knack for imputing music in the narration is one of his primary strength that helps him jump from one scene to another.
He has certainly evolved as a director over the years, he is enjoying his current state more than any actor, he savors each moment with a slow pill that never over chews stuff. The conversation are not only practical but very carefully written and even though the narration is crypted at times, Stiller’s work is to simplify it on screen and he is thoroughly competent in his work. It is smooth as a butter and sharp as a knife, it cuts deepest and surfs through the emotions with a balanced pace.
Casting such actors is one thing, and utilizing them to their best is another. Del Toro is the reserved-mobster-natured persona that you are looking for. And parallel to him rides Dano whose character is much more three dimensional than Del Toro’s and he has the potential to pull it off easily. And on the other hand, Arquette’s is the scariest of all, her character somehow resembles with Freeman’s Fargo version; it can go sinister at any snap and Stiller makes sure you are afraid of her. The structure of the script isn’t familiar either, it focuses on the core material and works on the details. Escape At Dannemora is not your usual prison escape case, it peels off the flesh with thorough analysis of the nature it thrives upon.