May 12, 2012

Runaway Jury

John Grisham is my favorite author, without a doubt. I don't read much; in fact I really do not enjoy reading as much as other people. That's one of the toughest part of school for me. Yeah there were some I really dived into, but I struggled to finish some. However, I always find it inspiring to read John Grisham's books. His books are real page turners - it is fast paced, has constant action, and has twists and turns.  His way of writing engages me, an that's a hard thing to do in terms of book reading. I have read a few of his works and I enjoyed every single one of them. I understand how people can say they "can't put the book down" when I read his works, and for me that's a testament to the quality of his books.

One of the books he wrote was Runway Jury,which I though had a very interesting plot. Unfortunately, I haven't read the book. Fortunately, however, I saw the film. The film was released in 2003, starring John Cusack (I told you this would be a John Cusack day), Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman, and more. It was directed by Gary Fleder.

The basic story line of the movie revolves around the justice system, an inside view of the possibilities that surround a court trial. It gave an insider's look, or a behind the scenes preview of what goes down in a court proceeding. Lawyers, I think, will love this film (and possibly hate it depends on which side they're on). It's a bit controversial actually. However, both sides will possibly agree that this film delivered. Some of the details were different from the actual book, but I guess it maintained a sense of loyalty to the material written by Grisham.

The start of the movie was pretty intense already. My heart might have skipped a bit because even I was surprised by how the film started. Like I said, I haven't read the book (though I already have a copy of it) so I only have a tiny fragment of idea on how the story would go down. Watching the initial portion of the movie caught me off guard. But it was a good thing since it engaged me into it quickly and I constantly anticipated the next scenes. It also served as the root cause of the trial, which then lead to the assembly of the jury. As it turned out, the jury is not as independent as one might think.

It went on to depict what happened to the jury members. The manipulation and deceit started and it was a matter of time before sides were revealed. Drastic moves were committed by the master manipulator, but he wasn't the only calling the shots. It soon became a battle for the power over the jury. The development of it was a little amusing only because I kept asking myself if these things actually happen. Chances are they do, but a part of me still doubts that. It really was a cat and mouse thing, it's just a matter of who will play the cat, and which party will play the mouse.

I felt like this story aimed to reveal the misuse of power in society, that even the justice system that's supposed to be fair isn't a leveled playing field anymore. People who the money have the power, those who have the power have the influence, and those people get their way, most of the time. It showcased how people can stand up to a person of stature to redirect a certain standard. Like the movie said, this was a David and Goliath sort of thing, and as we know, David beat the giant. No slingshots were needed in this movie though.

I liked how I got a taste of the legal system. The battle of deception and greed against the virtuous and honest. I felt like I got a taste of how the justice system works. I am not claiming that the justice system is flawed, or that all verdicts can be bought. Not at all. I do think, however, that a lot of things can be improved on. It was well-played out and it created this magnificent movie. I think To Kill a Mockingbird remains as my number one courtroom/legal movie, but that doesn't take away anything from the brilliance of this film. It was great in all levels, and I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

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