I was rooting for everyone except for the newcomer and then Norton started taking charge of the energy in the room.
Hoblit makes an excellent courtroom drama. Surprisingly, none of his films ever contributed anything new to that genre. In fact, I am just gonna come out and say it, it never even delivered what is already out there, well and established. A film that is so textbook and standard in its approach towards the characters and their arcs and their characteristics, you’d hope for it to at least gift you what you expect. The director Gregory Holbit doesn’t throw such parties. His parties are a celebration. Celebrations that are completely misinterpreted and misunderstood, in what makes a celebration.. well, a celebration- I cannot stop using the word, celebration.
So how does a best selling novel, trending set of genre and an incredible cast prints a messy product out in the market? The answer is the laziness. Take the encounter of Frances McDormand and Laura Linney in the courtroom, later in the film. What should have been a hair pulling and nail biting scene, is instead played like a sloppy exhaustion of some labour work. The makers understands that antic smartly.
But never thinks of earning that moment in any dimension. It is enjoying too much with its sassy attitude, gloating for that undeserved achievement- at least that is what comes off in the end- to ever cast an impact. Which by the way, also turns out to be the role of Richard Gere as a complex lawyer in the film. He is enjoying too much to make you care for him and to add more into his troubles, he doesn’t particularly have the most empathetic role in this case. Primal Fear will always be a symbol for seizing an opportunity to me, Edward Norton never lets go of his insatiable Joker-alike dual persona on the screen; it didn’t speak to me as well as it did to others, but it definitely marked him on the map.