Monday, March 22, 2010

#858. Philadelphia (1993)

 In detail: IMDB Wikipedia
Watched: 7
Remained: 994 to go
Days: 10
Watched on: 2009.
Place: on TV.

One of the first instances about AIDS and homosexuality from Hollywood.

The story revolves around a homosexual lawyer, Andrew Bequett, who is fired when he contracts AIDS. He decides to sue the company and seeks the help of a fellow lawyer.

Tom Hanks makes a tremendous interpretation in the role of Andrew Bequett and it is the main attraction of the film. The scene explaining the opera is absolutely brilliant. I wish someone explained Opera to me this way. Maybe, I liked it!

Denzel Washinton also makes a good role as a homophobic lawyer that, nonetheless, decides to help Andrew out of his sense of Justice. He learns to respect Andrew, although his opinions regarding homosexuality change very little throughout the picture.

Additionally, Antonio Banderas makes here his first appearance in a Hollywood movie as Miguel, Andrew's love interest. Most of his scenes were cut in a last minute editing because they were considered "too much explicit" for the first Hollywood film about homosexuality.

The film is an honest effort to depict an age when AIDS were still heavily associated with homosexuality. Many of the script lines reflect the most common misconceptions at the time. I think the picture made a lot to dismiss some of those mistakes. I found it very interesting and entertaining.

Finally, I would like to remark that this is the first courtroom drama in this blog. I have a special fondness for this kind of cinema. Some people criticize this aspect of the movie due to its lack of a great dramatic climax. From my point of view, the focus of the movie is the discrimination and the illness of the main character and the scenes in the courthouse are used to show some that discrimination. Incidentally, it is one of the most believable depiction of an American trial ever come out from Hollywood with long periods of time between each state of the process. As Denzel Washington's character explains to the jury:

"Forget everything you've seen on television and in the movies. There's not going to be any last-minute surprise witnesses, nobody is going to break down on the stand with a tearful confession.”

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