12 Angry Men (1957) - My Review
I was not a great fan of English movies till recently. My brother introduced me to classic English movies, which in turn made me an ardent fan of such movies. One movie which recently made me spell bound was 12 Angry Men, released way back in 1957.
Before we enter into the details of this movie, let me tell you what amazed me in this movie. 99% of the movie is taken inside a single room! Dialogues and screenplay are the heroes of the movie.
The story is about one member of a jury who convinces eleven other jurors to vote "Not Guilty" for a 18 year old guy who is accused to have murdered his father. The crime scene does not appear even in one shot, with everything about the crime scene explained in the room where the jurors discuss, yet, bringing the crime scene in front of your eyes!
The jury consists of 12 totally different men who seem to have different ways of thinking and analyzing the same situation. With the guilt of the accused proved in the court, Henry Fonda, who plays the role of the dissenting juror, convinces these 11 different "angry" men, just by explaining his points on the basis of "Reasonable Doubt".
The jury consists of (in the order the juror votes "Not Guilty")
1. An architect (Henry Fonda) who convinces the others with his well presented ideas for proving that the accused might be innocent
2. A wise old man
3. A man from the slum (the accused is also noted as a guy from the slums!)
4. A watchmaker
5. A timid banker who has a meek voice unheard by others
6. A painter, tough yet respectable
7. A salesman who is eager to get done with the discussion to go for a match for which he already has tickets
8. An indecisive guy working for an ad agency who reverses his decision which makes the other jurors upset
9. The jury foreman who conducts the voting and ensures the other jurors settle down, his profession being a football coach
10. A garage owner who is the second most angry man among the twelve
11. A stockbroker who never sweats even in a hot weather and ends up sweating when questioned by Henry to prove his point
12. A distraught dad and businessman, the angriest among the lot who never gets convinced even with a valid argument
The best part of the movie is that it is not just Henry who comes up with points to prove his reasonable doubt, the other jurors also open their think tanks and come up with arguments that can turn the life of a young man waiting for the electric chair.
The names of the jurors are never revealed throughout the movie, except at the end when names of 2 jurors are just mentioned! Every scene is simply awesome and the movie makes you sit through the entire 100 minutes with every minute as important as another.
The characters are so beautifully portrayed and the change of vote of each juror is justified very well. Overall, this movie is a must watch for every movie lover.
For those of you who think movies are all about being a visual treat, watch this movie as a treat to your common sense!