12 angry men

April 9, 2008

the exposition is great. i mean if you’re going to praise this film, that’s really the only thing you could praise because that’s pretty much all there is. exposition. or words or talking or discourse or discussion or chat or conversation or the exchange of ideas or dialogue or whatever (clearly i am a master of it as well). 11 men think the defendant is guilty, 1 does not. he then spends an hour and a half to try and convince all of them that they’re wrong.

the film runs then risk of becoming preachy because of that. one man trying to blind our preconceived notions about who this kid is or why we believe he is guilty, but we as an audience don’t really know who the defendant is (which i think is to the films advantage). we don’t have the same knowledge about the trial as the jurors do, so it’s not henry fonda trying to change our minds. we can be silent observers.

i love the way the film reveals information. the way we slowly go through each of the different jurors and see how their minds are being changed, and learn about their previous prejudices. the pacing is perfect as it feels like we spend an entire afternoon with these jurors when in fact it’s just over 90 minutes

all of the performances are great, and even though it’s 2008 i actually felt like i was living in the 50’s. the film does a great job of creating setting and tone without ever leaving the room.

lumet has definitely moved up my own personal ranks of best directors.

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2 Responses to “12 angry men”

  1. thetaproductions Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. This is an incredible film.

    -Basil

  2. Holden Caulfield Says:

    Don’t you just love Henry Fonda? I love that guy. Don’t forget to watch the Grapes of Wrath.


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