Twelve Angry Men (Movie Review)
Description of the events
Descriptively, the movie oscillates around the actions and activities of 12 jurors out to expose the twists, intrigues and real life situations as well as the complex issues that underlie a trial. Suggestively, the director’s motive was to expose the subjectivism, functionalism and case determination complexities in the judicial system. The plot of the movie is built on the highly demanding case in which the jurors are required to determine a case in which a teenager is alleged to have stabbed his father to death. In the case, the jurors’ discussion and debate aimed at unlocking the legal hurdles in the case is marred by clash of personalities, prejudice and open show of indifferences in socio-cultural backgrounds. The movie is marked by unpredictable change of positions and stand by the jurors. The jurors’ debate revolves around determination of the case based on the account of the witnesses, defendants and the lawyers. After long intrigues, the jurors changed the initial stand and adjudged the accused not guilty.
Moral /social message
Strenuous family life and family conflicts is the major social message that the director intended to pass. As shown by the accused action, the movie shows that family conflicts can be fatal if not effectively addressed. The moral lesson here is that the parents should strive to raise their children well and encourage positive relationships with them. Coincidentally, Juror 3 also had similar family problems that haunted him to the board room.
Another moral issue relates to the determination of cases in a court of law. The jurors who initially voted 11-1 in favor of the conviction started shifting positions and alliances based on personal interests and influence by persuasive colleagues. Normally, the jurors should be very objective and independent. As such, the director hints that certain convicts may be wrongly suffering in jails while at the same time, the faults and laxities in the judicial system makes some criminals be freed wrongfully.
Racism is also exposed by the director. The movie seeks to expose how racism has crept into the judiciary where the victims of the same ought to get legal redress. As a lesson, it is imperative that jurors who are racist and apply their personal beliefs in their duties, like Juror 10, should be sacked or subjected to a trial.
In the movie, Lee Cobb (3) stands out as one of the leading characters. In his submissions, the character depicts a biased attitude and high level of intolerance. He vehemently opposed attempts by Fonda (8) to extend the debate beyond the conventional trial. He aspires to be listened to while in his case, he is too rigid and quick in judging others. Similarly, juror 8 is shown as very liberal and not driven need to pass the judgment on flimsy grounds. He is thus very independent minded , keen to details and logical and accommodative. He is naturally a leader who outperforms the rather cool and easily angered team leader, (Balsam, 1).
Marshall on the other hand is depicted as an intelligent juror who has a good taste for fashion. He also represents the wealthy in the society as he deals in stocks and makes a lot of money. Based on his rationality he advocates for deployment of deductive reasoning in determination of the case. Jack Klugman as a leading character and protagonist in the case depicts those who cling to the traditions. He is very reserved and finds it hard to betray his past, that is growing in the slums. He therefore strives not to vote objectively but to base his vote on his past so as to avoid the possible guilt or conscience betrayal. His characters thus differ from the high submissive juror 2 (Fiedler), Sweeney (9), and Warden (7). Warden even appears to value his love for baseball to the conclusion of the case. Begley (10) is openly racist and does not fear showing this. He is very inhuman and bitter. This differs from Voskovec (11), who is very accommodative and strives to follow the American law despite being an immigrant.