August 19, 2012

Primal Fear

I was supposed to do an Edward Norton week event like the one I did with Tom Hanks week. It was Edward Norton's birthday last August 18, and I wanted to give tribute just as I did with Tom Hanks. However, I knew it was not possible given the work, and the schedule I currently have. It's a little tough to commit to such an "event" cause I never know if I could even update this blog. I try to update it as often as possible but it's a little tough now since I have to juggle more things. I apologize for that, but allow me to use this opportunity to make up for it.

Primal Fear was Edward Norton's first movie. To convince you how incredibly talented the guy is, he was nominated for an Academy Award on his first movie, being nominated for Best Supporting Actor. If you've seen the movie, you'll understand exactly why he was nominated. He played the role of an altar boy accused of murdering the archbishop. Throughout the course of the movie, the trial was featured and hi lawyer (Gere) struggled to prove his innocence.

It was released in 1996, and starred Richard Gere as the defense lawyer of Edward Norton's character. The defense lawyer was played by Laura Linney. Also part of the cast were John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard, Frances McDormand, Terry O'Quinn, Andre Braugher, and many more. It was directed by Gregory Hoblit. The screenplay of the movie was adapted from the novel of William Diehl entitled Primal Fear as well. The movie impressed the critics and received different recognition from different bodies and institutions.

It was a commentary of a lot of things. It had religion, corruption, sexual abuse, psychological disorders, the justice system and a whole lot more. It was a courtroom drama so the justice system was very exposed. I guess in this case, what they were able to convey (SPOILER!) was somehow, the justice system gets it wrong purely by mistake. Sometimes we criticize the system for letting the good people go to jail and the bad ones walk freely. But I guess this proves that the people in the courtroom are just human beings as well susceptible to errors. Aside from he courts, law and system, the movie also talked about the corruption that might or might not be happening in the Church. I guess these kind of scenarios sprung out from different theories, and were then used in different forms of literature. It even tackled about sexual abuse and pedophilia. It was a movie with a lot of heavy subjects that were magnified by its setting and premise.

The actors gave believable and strong performances. Richard Gere and Laura Linney captured the essence of battling lawyers, both eager and determined to win. The interaction they had was that of love and care outside the courtroom, but of competitiveness inside. Edward Norton's performance, especially in the latter part of the film was really intriguing and interesting. He definitely stole the show. John Mahoney was another one who gave a chilling performance. The entire cast did their part to make the movie work.

The movie had one of the most shocking and equally disturbing endings. The twist revealed in the end came out of nowhere and legitimately caught me by surprise. The whole movie gave no sign of the impending doom  that was about to happen. It was a very well-structured movie, although at times it did feel convoluted with all the sub-plots. But overall, it was a really good.

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