As he did in his child soldier drama “Johnny Mad Dog,” the French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire fills out his cast with first-time actors in “A Prayer Before Dawn,” which debuted at Cannes earlier this year. Based on a true story and shot on location in a Thai prison with real inmates, Joe Cole (“Peaky Blinders”) leads this boxing drama with a raw brute strength. The eye can hardly latch onto any image in the newly released first trailer, which promises a visceral and savage drama.
Per the official synopsis: “‘A Prayer Before Dawn’ is the remarkable true story of Billy Moore, a young English boxer incarcerated in two of Thailand’s most notorious prisons. He is quickly thrown into a terrifying world of drugs and gang violence, but when the prison authorities allow him to take part in the Muay Thai boxing tournaments, he realizes this might be his chance to get out. Billy embarks on a relentless, action-packed journey from one savage fight to the next, stopping at nothing to do whatever he must to preserve his life and regain his freedom.”
In his review out of Cannes, IndieWire’s Ben Croll called it, “One giant bulging vein of a movie… One of the most unrelentingly intense symphonies of testosterone and rage ever put onscreen.”
A24 will release “A Prayer Before Dawn” in theaters on August 10. It is currently available on DirectTV. Check out the trailer below.