The emotional weight of this scene is devastating as there is literally nowhere for Harlow other than his cell. “Why do you keep apologizing to me?” he asks Zarubica’s voice, not realizing what the restrictive camera work and blocking of writer / director Aaron Fjellman has already shown us: no one outside of Harlow’s cell is coming to pick him up.
“Caged” is fuller, and therefore thinner, than its opening scene, especially since Harlow’s ghosts are often generic. Yet her story is often disturbing despite Fjellman and co-author James ‘Doc’ Mason’s over-reliance on nerdy flashbacks and canned confrontations with vicious prison guard Officer Sacks (Melora Hardin). “Caged” is as promising as because Fjellman and Mason are primarily determined to make us feel as disoriented and hopeless as Harlow.
The film’s emphasis on Harlow’s subjective experiences is a risk that doesn’t always pay off, especially during the film’s closing half-hour, but for the most part, “Caged” is thankfully more focused on its own. hellish living conditions than on his personal problems. Watching Harlow struggle to write his appeal – or get a full serving of food or get his things back – is far more compelling than browsing flashbacks to his final moments with his indifferent wife Amber (Angela Sarafyan), who died on a mysterious yacht. incident related to an argument over her wealthy parents and a recent affair (she cheated on him, of course).
“Caged” ironically only becomes more impersonal once Harlow’s story becomes less about how prison degrades him, and more about what he finds out about himself once he’s almost completely dehumanized. . Harlow is a typical prison movie outsider in that he’s more compelling as a problem-solving cipher than as a two-dimensional effigy, defined primarily by the voices in his head – “They don’t know what you’re capable of.” , but I do, ”he said to his reflection – and to his weak history.
So it’s no surprise that there isn’t much to Gathegi’s character once he begins to think of his imprisonment as a reflection of his personal identity. Harlow’s faith, masculinity, and race are all briefly considered, but never long enough to flesh out an insinuating dialogue, as when a prisoner in an adjacent cell growls at Harlow, “Hey, black man: do you believe in God?”