12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) Reviews
Fonda is an architect, literally, I don't just mean the character Juror 8, but Fonda is an architect of the role. He analyzes problems using critical thinking and deductive reasoning more than anyone else on the jury has the ability to; he's the most mathematically sound to analyze real facts, while others are blinded by their prejudices. Later, at nearly an hour in, he provides one of his most compelling cases by using blueprints of the accused's building and mapping out a timed sequence which determines whether or not claims against the accused can be justified. Nothing is an accident here, his being an architect proves useful in determining key facts. As a result, he achieves the unthinkable, turning it half and half by the magical one hour mark, 6-6. Lumet brilliantly breaks up the tension as the thickening heat turns to storm, rainfall settles the mood, signs of unity as Juror 1 and 8 work to close the window and share a personal moment.
Heat, storm, anger and tempers flaring, the coldest one never sweats. There's so much environment to make this a visual masterpiece, despite the idea seeming like nothing but dialogue at the onset.
Characterisation is somewhat 2D, but entertaining for that- eg, the tall, dark, handsome & brainless ad exec relying on trendy glasses when he wants to be taken seriously :P
Like many oldie films from an era of less choice, 12 Angry is prone to overrating (100% on Rotten Tomatoes? Gimme a break!) - but definitely worth a watch. I wonder if the '97 remake is any good?
The lesson to learn from this film is that nothing can be taken for granted. If something seems obvious then look deeper. Never assume anything.