The Trial of the Chicago 7, which marks Aaron Sorkin’s second time as director after Molly’s Game (2017), addresses the above issues, giving birth to parallels between the events of 1968 when riots broke out at the Democratic National Convention and the present. The best period films are not limited to a journey through the past, they also make the audience compare with current conditions, thus creating the question, “How far have we gone?” Top Movie Site
The opening sequence is used to introduce the protagonists one by one, where in just a few short sentences, Sorkin manages to describe the ideology carried by each figure. The editing made it seem as if they were finishing each other’s sentences, as if implying that later these eight people would bump into each other. To be precise, they were forced to intersect in a long series of trials that lasted for about a year.
Eight people were arrested on charges of conspiracy after riots broke out amid protests against the United States’ decision to increase the number of soldiers sent to Vietnam. They are: Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) as frontman of Yippies (Youth International Party); David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch) for leading the pacifist movement against violence; Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp) as activators of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam aka the Mobe; Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) the leader of the Black Panther Party; and two activists, John Froines (Daniel Flaherty) and Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins).
For about 130 minutes, we were invited to attend what Abbie called a “political trial”. Their lawyer, William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) initially disagreed with the title. But over time, it became difficult for both us and Kunstler to disagree with Abbie, after the authorities did everything they could to criminalize the Chicago Eight (only became the Chicago Seven after the trial for Bobby Seale was split). Best Movie
Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as the prosecutor is already an equal opponent. But as if that wasn’t enough, Judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella) continues to commit ridiculous injustices. Not to mention the various other cheats, including when sending a threatening letter to the family of one of the judges using the name Black Panther Party as an attempt to slander.
Sorkin actually uses these injustices as a medium to unite eight people with different ideologies (differences that often lead to disputes, especially between Abbie and Tom). The more the opposing side releases its weapon, the more aware the protagonists, that despite their ideological differences, they have the same enemy. Without needing to give a lecture, Sorkin also succeeded in making the audience aware that the real enemy was the power holders who rejected the rights of minorities, as well as ranks of thugs in uniform who were brutalizing the people they should serve and protect.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 also marks Sorkin’s efforts to produce works that are friendlier to audiences outside of his fans. The sentences are still rich, sharp, tickling occasionally, and of course memorable. “Martin’s dead. Bobby’s dead. Jesus is dead. They tried it peacefully. We’re going to try something else, ”said Bobby. Sounds odd, but provokes reflection. But in contrast to Sorkin’s habits so far, the delivery of these sentences was not as fast as an automatic rifle shell. The lay audience will have no trouble keeping up. Sorkin also offered crowd pleasing conclusions, which made me imagine what this film would be like, if the initial plan in 2007 to give the director position to Steven Spielberg was carried out.
Regarding directing, Sorkin is more mature. The best sequence is the first riot, when demonstrators march towards the police station to free Tom. The tempo increases gradually, the dynamic editing alternates showing two contradictory statements from each side, a combination of recreated scenes and original footage, plus adrenaline-pumping music by Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs, Spider-Man: Into the Spdier-Verse) Sorkin has perfected his ability to build momentum so powerful to drive the emotions of the audience.
No less shining ranks of players. As usual, Redmayne is solid as a fragile man who tries to be strong. A man who spoke words of conviction with complete disbelief. A man who seemed like he could collapse at any time but refused to stop halfway. Langella is an easy-to-hate antagonist, while Michael Keaton has a glorified cameo that leaves an impression.
But Sacha Baron Cohen is the best. Abbie is an activist, hippie, and comic. The combination that makes him at first glance just an unreliable silly man, but the more sharp and witty sarcasm escapes his mouth, the more admirable his figure, which helps explain how, under pressure from the authorities, democracy refused to retreat in 1968. Movie Review