Imprisoned, directed by New Ottawa Repertory Theatre’s Paul Dervis, written by Toronto-native Allie Bell, and produced by Rebbel Rabbit productions, Imprisoned is about a hardened cop and the case he can’t get out of his head – a man convicted of a string of young boy’s disappearances.
Should you see it?
Imprisoned is the story of a pedophile/murderer behind bars and the cop who arrested him after a string of boys had gone missing. Imprisoned tries to blur lines by putting you in the head of the pedophile and, dare I say, trying to make him semi- sympathetic as well as having the cop dangerously obsessed with the case and the man.
The performances are what they are; that is to say, fine. The truth is that it’s tough to decide if casting or script is what bogged Imprisoned down. Doug Phillips is a capable actor, but I never really saw any subtlety in the character or really understood/felt his obsession (aside from the fact that he talked about it). Casting or script? Jeff Lefebvre does an equally okay job but just never brought the level of charm or creep of a character you need to both loathe and be intrigued by. If you cast an actor with serious ability to charm or draw you into his every thought (like Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter), do you have something more, or is it still just kind of ‘eh’?
The trouble with Imprisoned is that it’s just as one note as it reads. For what it is, unless we are truly drawn into these character’s psyches and hanging on their every word, Imprisoned’s sixty-minute run-time is about forty minutes too long. I was just never taken enough to care in either direction about either character.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. Did Imprisoned draw you in and never let go? Were you thoroughly creeped out by the dark subject matter? Tell me in the comments below.