A must see for anyone interested in the justice system.
Reginald Rose’s script commences entirely within a jury room. Twelve jurors weigh the fate of an inner-city teen accused of murder. Only Juror Number Eight (Henry Fonda) possesses reasonable doubt, citing unconvincing eyewitness testimony and unreliable evidence. The eleven jurors remaining contrive to convince him, but are soon swayed by Number Eight’s arguments.
12 Angry Men has a narrative that speaks in the light of each of our voices which matter. Due to our diverse personalities and different experiences, we can all bring something to the table in some shape or form. To put it simply, it is a story that claims we all have value. Prejudices are capable of blinding us and how foolish it is to stick to them despite all evidence to the contrary. The direction is somewhat surprising, as the single setting is made an asset. Given its constraints, it’s exceptionally cinematic. Henry Fonda delivers a credible performance – using reason rather than passion to persuade. The dialogue is filled with not only idioms and expressions, but also words that keep bringing to mind the case they are deciding. Not only are they deciding a murder case, but they are deciding whether or not a young man will be sentenced to death.
Ultimately, 12 Angry Men is a powerful drama; different from what you will have witnessed before. Treat yourself to this rare experience if you’re looking for something completely unique. It’s quite remarkable taking into account it is all talk and no action. No special effects or fancy gimmicks – just first class acting. An extremely good study of human character.