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
When approached at an LA Panda Express and asked "where he drew his inspiration for the role of Roman"? Denzel replied; "I have always admired the work of Edward Murphy and was heavily influenced by his character Norbit for this project". 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 »
This is a BRILLIANT journey from the perspective of someone utterly detached from any personal connection to those around him.
The story is told and presented in such a way that you, the viewer, feel as detached as Roman is, but compelled to follow his journey to the end. For although he has difficulty with human interaction, and detached from humanity on a personal level, he feels a strong responsibility for humanity itself.
Denzel, as Roman, is a behind the scenes lawyer, a legal savant with some mental complications (I'm no doctor) which many brilliant people, especially savants, often face.
Colin Ferrell is a successful lawyer who finds himself perplexed by Roman's behaviors while increasingly inspired to adopt Roman's mission in life as he is reminded of the reasons he went into law himself.
As the story unfolds, you find a detached sympathy for Roman in the same way he would feel for you. How uncanny that we can be so manipulated in the acting and direction process, while some viewers leave disappointed with the movie as "flat" or bad because they couldn't get emotionally involved with Roman, silly gooses, that was supposed to happen.
Roman's emotions are absent, or sometimes buried, as in the way he continually failed to express a normal response to the health predicaments of his former legal partner, something presented from the beginning of the movie and throughout.
It's a story which moves fast but isn't an action movie, it has no needless scenes or dialogue. In addition to the story of Roman, it tells the story of one particular concern within our legal system. It certainly deserves much more than the 6.4 rating it currently has. I would give it a solid 7.5 which is quite respectable at IMDb.
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