Sunday 26 April 2015

Witness [1985]

Witness, directed by Peter Weir, was an underplayed and modestly made film that succeeded in being a charged romantic drama, a quiet look at a child’s innocence, an amusing religious and cultural satire, and a subdued police thriller. Despite the formulaic and straightforward nature of the basic plot, its lyrical tone and elegant pacing added a reasonably affecting flavour to the proceedings. A young Amish boy Samuel (Lukas Haas), while on a short trip to a big city for the first time in his life, becomes an accidental witness of the murder of a cop, and Detective John Book (Harrison Ford) takes charge of solving the crime. Things, however, take a murky turn when it turns out that a powerful, notorious police officer (Danny Glover) is responsible for the act, and that corruption runs right to the top. Hence, in order to protect the kid Book is forced to go on the lam and take shelter at the residence of Samuel and his demure but ravishingly alluring widowed mother Rachel (Kelly McGills), with whom he becomes intimate to, much to the disapproval of the conservative Amish community. The policer and thrill quotient were unremarkable, and predictable too; but the cheeky peek at the cultural gap between an orthodox, peace-loving religious group and the condescending, insensitive world around them, along with the tentative yet scorching romantic angle managed in making this worth a watch. Ford, fresh from his act in the bravura sci-fi Blade Runner, established his abilities outside one-dimensional action flicks with this, while McGills was noteworthy as a lonely lady vacillating between conformance and desire.

Director: Peter Weir
Genre: Thriller/Police Thriller/Romantic Drama
Language: English
Country: US

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