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 »
In the middle of the movie when Roman J. Israel exits a taxi, the camera is visible on the window of the cab. See more »
After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film was re-cut by director Dan Gilroy and star Denzel Washington. The new version is 12 minutes shorter than the festival premiere. In addition to dropping some scenes, the film now features different music on the soundtrack (replacing a number of songs) and moves a scene depicting Roman and Israel going to a Lakers game at the Staples Center to an earlier point in the story. See more »
Interesting story, told poorly but acted by Denzel brilliantly.
This film was Dan Gilroy's second directorial debut, and although his forte of experience is writing, he failed that department, and did better in his directing (camera work, but not his choice of editing).
The problem with the writing is the dragged out mumbo-jumbo Denzel Washington had to say to express his savant mentality, most of it not making any sense or philosophically unnecessary, and it extended into 2+ hours of doing so. Denzel carried his role so exceptionally well, that had this film been edited down to 80 or 90 mins by getting rid of the convoluted and unnecessary dialogue, it would have been dramatized much better.
Then there's the premise to the film; standing all this time for a cause, then slipping to the other side, then going back. What was the point? What was the message?
This film is nothing extraordinary, but nevertheless, Denzel and Colin Farrell's great acting were the only reason this film has as high (6.3) of a rating as it does, and would have been much lower with any sub-A list actors, or higher with better writing.
It's a generous 7/10 from me
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