Film that is worth watching
A small room. One table. Twelve stools. Twelve juries deliver a verdict on killing of a Russian officer by his foster son, 18 year old Chechen boy. All evidences are against the boy and eleven from twelve men, who have gathered in the room, are ready to deliver a conviction, EXCEPT ONE…
People started to talk about a new film of Nikita Mikhalkov “Twelve” long before it saw the light. There was a lot of gossip and talks, especially about the fact that this film was going to be a remake of “12 angry men” by Sidney Lumet, then all stood still in expectation; finally the film was shown in cinemas.
“Twelve” is a story about freedom and justice; deliberating jury is in the centre of action; a Chechen boy is on the dock; twelve jurors have to deliver a verdict: GUILTY or NOT GUILTY. There are a lot of witnesses in this case, all evidences are against the boy, but whether everything is so simply as it seems ex facte?
In spite of absence of active decoration and traditional actions, the film holds attention of viewers all 153 minutes. It seems to me that while watching the film you feel like being one of the jurors, you try to put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine what decision you would take, what you would do, how you would react if you were one of them.
A room, where twelve jurors have gathered, deserves a special attention. Owing to poverty of court it didn’t managed to provide for the jury a good room instead of the room that was repaired, so they gathered in a gymnasium of one of local schools.
From the very first minute you wonder what connects all these twelve different people – a media tycoon, a plumbing specialist, a variety humorist, a Jew from Odessa, a professional dissenter, a Georgian surgeon owing a private clinic, a dean, a businessman-builder, a physicist scientist, a director of cemetery, a driver and ex-serviceman. Listening to their talks a viewer tries to understand what made them to come to this room and how such an important and serious task was entrusted to these people for whom it’s a burden. So the film is worth watching in order to reveal all these secrets.
It’s necessary to pay a tribute to the actors and their performing. At present there are so few films that attract viewers not because of modern expensive special effects, but because of professional and sensory performing. Each actor adds something special to his character. Clever camera work also deserves attention and admiration: it’s so difficult to shoot interesting and at the same time simple frames in terms of closed space.
“Twelve” was lauded by both critics and viewers. The film got the main prize on film festival “Golden lion” in Venice in 2007. It was recognized the best film 2008 in Russia and was nominated on Oscar as the best foreign film. But unfortunately it didn’t get Oscar. It also got a prize in Karlovy Vary and many prizes in Russia, for instance for the best music, the best male role, the best directing, etc.
I can talk about this film for hours, but you’d better watch it yourself. “Twelve” is really worth watching. You certainly won’t regret!
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