Rich Pickings on Escape from Pretoria

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Director and co-writer Francis Annan recreates the real-life prison breakout by ANC’s Tim Jenkin and Stephen Lee. Jenkin and Lee are played by Daniel Radcliffe and Daniel Webber with verve and veracity facing sentences of 12 and 8 years respectively.

But right from the start the pair are intent on making a spectacular escape from Pretoria to the incredulity of their fellow inmates but not without raising the suspicion of the prison regime rulers. They do however manage to obtain the help of Leonard Fontaine (Mark Leonard Winter) who makes sure their plans are water-tight.

No spoilers here as to how the trio actually get out but suffice to say that this is a thriller par excellence. It will have you at the end of your seat throughout, gripped with suspense. The film painstakingly builds up the daily drudgery of prison life and the brutality of the guards is depicted unflinchingly.

But as well as the physical fists and blows there is a war of attrition that would send the hardest of men over the brink. There is not a dry eye in the house when the trio get through the prison gate after a host of locks. And we are pleased to discover the eventual outcome of their brave lives. Prepare for the highest tension imaginable followed by intense relief in this gripping thriller.

Reviewed by Rich Jevons on 17 March 2020. See imdb.com for a showing near you. Or you can watch on Prime Video.

Trailer:

 

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About richjevons23

Rich Jevons is a freelance journalist based in Leeds. Just a quick intro: thirty years' journalistic experience (I was published in the Yorkshire Post at the tender age of fifteen!); a decade as Arts Editor at Leeds Guide; freelancer including work for Big Issue in the North, Metro Newspaper, Artscene, Northern Exposure, AN, AJ, BJP, Hotshoe International, National Drama, Plays International... And edited www.digyorkshire.com until its demise at the end of 2013. Now writing predominantly for www.thestage.co.uk, www.northernsoul.me.uk, www.thepublicreviews.com, www.culturevulture.co.uk and www.thestateofthearts.co.uk.

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