THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (2020): The Things I Liked…

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), Eddie Redmayne, Netflix
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), Eddie Redmayne, Netflix

Master of great dialogue Aaron Sorkin is the writer and director of new historical drama/thriller The Trial of the Chicago 7

Set around the 1968 uprising at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois and focused on the seven people on trial for various charges at the time, I found Sorkin’s story adequately engaging. 

Starring Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II to name just a few, I enjoyed the dialogue – as expected. I mean Sorkin did, after all, write the words in one of my favourite screenplays, The Social Network (2010). Even though I didn’t find the dialogue quite as scintillating as Sorkin’s Mark Zuckerberg movie, I certainly wouldn’t call it bad. For there are moments that delighted, several of which take place in the courtroom. 

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch. Sacha Baron Cohen
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020), Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch. Sacha Baron Cohen

Sorkin’s movie starts with an editing style that felt disruptive because it wasn’t as easy to keep track of timelines as I’d have liked. Luckily, things do eventually settle into a better rhythm, after which I enjoyed The Trial of the Chicago 7 as a brilliantly performed tale, especially by Redmayne, Abdul-Mateen II and Mark Rylance.

In addition to the engaging and dramatic courtroom scenes, you’ll enjoy watching the evolution of the relationship between the seven-plus men on trial. Sorkin’s is going to break your heart as it puts up a mirror to some of America’s ills, especially when you realise how very little seems to have changed where racial injustice and abuse of power is concerned. Yet, I wouldn’t say that The Trial of the Chicago 7 will leave you hopeless. 

In addition to the earlier editing and the dialogue being good bur not as scintillating as the words in The Social Network, the only other thing that didn’t stand out in the best way is Sacha Baron Cohen’s American accent. It’s also not the worst I’ve ever heard, so give Sorkin’s film a chance if you’re curious. You’ll likely become an even bigger fan of Redmayne while also finding that Abdul-Mateen II is now on your radar, in case he wasn’t already. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

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