A FEW GOOD MEN – 1992/Courtroom drama based on a play.
Directed by :Rob Reiner
Cast : Jack Nicholson, Tom cruise, Demi moore,Kevin Bacon [ Truly Star studded ! ]
Sometimes, I wonder about the variety of films, a director could have in his career. Rob reiner is a jovial guy who directed 2 top-10 featured romantic comedies [ When Harry met sally, sleepless in Seattle ] also worked with the finest courtroom drama ‘A few good men’. He is the one who directed ‘the bucket list’ also. He is talented enough to show a courtroom drama equal to an action thriller.
There’s a difference between following orders and following one’s conscience. A civilian can follow his consciences but how about a marine who was taught code, corps, god and country ? The film is set in 1992. Two marines are accused for murdering a fellow marine at the Gitmo [ Namma Guantanamo bay naval base in Cuba ]. A young, inexperienced US Navy lawyer [ Tom ] and naval [ not navel 🙂 ] investigation officer [ Demi – what a beauty when she doesn’t speak 🙂 ] investigates this open-shut case in defense. During the investigation, 2 marines reveal about an operation called ‘code red’ under the orders of Lieutenant and the ‘toughest’ leader n Commanding officer [ Jack Nicholson ]. Of course, the marine superiors cover the truth under the carpet with supporting documents.But the other marine officer in Jack’s team disappears and turns against Jack to help the defense. After a stage, even this approver turned officer couldn’t help Tom’s team.
Tom’s team almost give up the case and then take a chance of questioning the commanding officer in the courtroom about code red. Knowing a failure could do much damage to his career, Tom boldly takes the chance. The commanding officer jack says ‘You can’t handle the truth !” and continues telling the truth. The interrogation diverts the entire flow of the case. What wins is more important rather than who wins.
Just watch the eye catching initial drill of US marines [ title sequence ]. A film has to set the viewer about the movie in the very first scene itself. The cast is seriously a rich one and they justify their presence especially Jack Nicholson. Surprisingly Tom did a decent job in this film with few overboard performances – normally his personality spoils his characters [ Sports manager in the film Jerry Maguire ].
I m sure that Demi’s role might not have been in the original play. What a beautiful lawyer except her contrast,sandpapery voice. Kevin bacon did a decent job. Even the good actor [ Cuba wooding Jr . remember Carl brashear in Men of Honour ] played a small role – just a witness. The highlight is Jack’s performance. . Especially, his smile conveys everything [ power, pride, cunningness, enormous confidence ] about his character[ ever watched his eyebrow – meant for a perfect Villain ]. Also, he was nominated for academy award – supporting actor for this movie.In this 138 mins movie, he appears hardly 20 mins with splendid performance [ Not to wonder.. because Antony hopkins won a an academy award for his 16mins presence in the movie “silence of the lambs” ].
I liked the role of accused marines – they believe that life is all about just being a marine and nothing else. Also, they ask the lawyer whether the can rejoin marines if declared as ‘not guilty’. The movie got a nice non-disturbing background score much with piano. I liked a shot which describes the way the defense team spend their 3 weeks time in a single shot [ it appears like ]. I have to appreciate the writer that he avoided cliche of a blossoming relation between Tom and Demi. [ poi dhaane 🙂 ].
No wonder this movie is in AFIs top 10 court-room drama films.