Monday, 30 June 2008
12 Angry Men 
Some of the finest movie directors have had sterling film debuts – Satyajit Ray, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Orson Welles are excellent cases in point. Sydney Lumet too entered this exclusive pantheon with 12 Angry Men, a terrific deglamourized court room story and human drama. The movie concerns the debate between twelve average New Yorkers – jurors in this case – who have been entrusted by the court to provide their verdict regarding an alleged murder committed by a young Puerto Rican boy. Principally a dialogue-driven movie, 12 Angry Men peeps into the mores, psyches and lines of thought of the jury members as they argue, and argue some more, to ascertain the guilt or lack thereof of the boy. The jurors are angry not because they are hostile or irascible fellows; rather because apart from one of the members (Henry Fonda) everyone else has a reason to put the boy to the gallows – for reasons ranging from personal redemption to social prejudice, from overdependence on cold logic to severe apathy, from one-upmanship to a desire to get over with the arduous process with minimum involvement. The mindsets of the jurors and their conflicts have been made more stark and uncomfortable by the claustrophobic atmosphere and torrid weather. Great method acting, water-tight script and taut in-you-face direction have made this Lumet feature a memorable and thought-provoking classic.
Director: Sidney Lumet
Genre: Drama/Courtroom Drama/Psychological Drama