Sunday, June 6, 2010

A few Good Men

Two soldiers inadvertently kill one of their fellows. It’s an open and shut case in hands of a lawyer who specializes in plea bargains. Up against him is a man high in stature, the one who will not compromise his honour for anything. They are involved in one of the most riveting courtroom dramas, A few Good Men.
Directed by Rob Reiner, the film is based on a play by the same name, written by Aaron Sorkin. The story revolves around the murder trial of 2 marines in the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their attorney is a young, bright lawyer Lieutenant Dan Kaffee played by Tom Cruise. He along with his co-counsel Cmdr. Galloway, played by stunningly beautiful Demi Moore, is trying to unearth the truth. The marines, Harold Dawson and Louden Downing, ordered by their superiors, were ragging a snitch in their platoon. The guy dies accidently and the two are charged with man slaughter. Kaffee and Galloway must fight with all their might against a rising star in the US army. They must put their careers on line to get justice for their clients who themselves are least co-operative.
Dan Kaffee is a seemingly superficial but brilliant litigator. His initial tussles with sincere, meticulous Cmdr Galloway add a bit of humour to the movie.
Based on quite controversial subject, the movie is very well directed. Due credit must be given to the writers for the work they must have put in for the dialogs. Demi Moore and Tom Cruise give good performances. However, it’s Jack Nicholson who takes away the cake with his stellar performance as Colonel Nathan Jessep. Featuring in only four scenes, Jack Nicholson’s cameo is like a twenty five ball half century which overshadows a run a ball century. In fact his legendary dialog “You can’t handle the truth!” is 29th in the list of 100 best quotes in American Cinema.
The movie addresses the ever burning issue of Army and human rights’ violations. Some people might find the ending of the movie quite unjust. In fact the deeper question here is whether a soldier has a right to choose which orders to follow or is he just to say “Sir Yes Sir!”?
(If you are interested in more court room dramas do give a try to 12 Angry Men, To Kill A Mockingbird, My Cousin Vinny, Primal Fear, Philadephia, Anatomy Of A Murder,Kaydyacha Bola (marathi))