ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as Roman Israel, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action. Colin Farrell costars as the monied, cutthroat lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.Written by
At one point Roman mentions to Maya that he was a "forceps baby", to which Maya jokes that she was too, immediately thereafter admitting that she was only kidding. Given what is shown of Roman's social disorders, it is likely that he was not kidding. A forceps birth was one in which the child's body became stuck, for whatever reason, and to assist the birthing process the obstetrician used forceps (something like large clamps) to grip the child by the skull and quite literally yank the child out - albeit one would hope with some finesse and care. The procedure has fallen into disfavor, as some experts say that the use of forceps around a baby's skull can cause brain damage and lead to all manner of psychological or mental disorders. See more »
At about 0:49:48, as Roman and Maya are assisting the possible dead homeless person, Maya receives a call on her cell. When she "answers" the call the screen goes to sleep. During the call, the screen illuminates because of movement and reflects on her face. Neither would happen if she was actually answering then using the telephone feature on today's smart phones. See more »
For a split second there, you are watching "Q&A" or any of the other political dramas Sidney Lumet was famous for. Despite what reviewers have said here, this is mature movie that exists in a different time. And it is tragic that it is lost in the dummies of 2017 society.
The story is of a lawyer whose past convictions of social injustices get called to task when his partner suffers a heart attack. Roman is thrust into reality of facing the people who he left a long time ago to be the shadow autistic man content to vomit all sorts of facts without a shred of...personality tolerable to anyone. Everyone who has worked in an office knows this guy. He's aggravating because he only understands a brand of logic that lacks...spirit. He laughs at the wrong moments. And when put in social situations...he will anger you. However, he possesses massive commitment to a social cause. There's a line in the movie where an admirer defends Roman as "we stand on his shoulders." In other words, despite his annoyance...he has contributed to the cause. What cause is the question. The answer? It doesn't matter. The cause is ambiguous other than Black crime and rights. Which isn't the point it's trying to make. I would guess, it means to be anything we have convictions of and lose sight of will ultimately destroy us. Is that a digestible concept. Not to this world. In all honesty, when Roman starts to slip, we are actually much more comfortable. Because we all sell out when times get rough. This is a wonderful film that will be discovered years later. Much like a Sidney Lumet film (can you even name one). I will say, people will watch it and feel shame they didn't seek it out later. Denzel Washington should get nominated here.
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