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The Trial [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Kyle MacLachlan, Anthony Hopkins, Juliet Stevenson, Jason Robards, Polly Walker
  • Directors: David Jones
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Feb 2006
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CBEWW4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,523 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Based on Kafka's famous novel, with Kyle Mclachlan playing Josef K, the civil servant who wakes up one day to find himself accused of an undisclosed crime. As he attempts to prove his innocence, he is drawn deeper and deeper into a world of bottomless bureaucracy and unexplained accusations. Alfred Molina plays the painter who tells K what options he has left.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D E Wagland on 31 Oct 2004
Format: DVD
If you have read and enjoyed the book this film is an absolute must. The book has one of my favourite openings, "somebody must have made a false accusation against Josef K., for he was arrested one morning without having done anything wrong." the actual crime that he is accused of is never stated, and poor Josef K. has to battle against a confusing beaurocratic legal system, for his right to exist.
It is a strange and very clever commentary on meaningless beaurocracy and an inaccessible legal system, and the film is very faithful to the book.
If you have not read the book, my advise is read the book first and you will understand and enjoy the film more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Michael J. Atkins on 8 Mar 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having read the book, I wanted to see how this would be converted into a film. Firstly, excellent acting in the spirit of the text (although I think the direction is more like a play). Secondly, whilst it captured the essence of the author's intent. as is often the case the book has more to offer. Finally, I do not think the film stands alone. If you have not read the book FIRST, this film would not work, and it is the painfully slow pace, detatched logic, and overall strangeness that gives it such a high rating for me.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 May 2011
Format: DVD
Not a film for the casual movie buff, used to camera, lights and action. This will kill you with tedium. The film is based upon the book and aimed at another palette. It inspects an allegory of power, which shifts forever downward onto the recipient. Josef K wriggles and pleads, then finally realises its full blown effect, when it is too late. Power operates not in smashing doors, jumping through blazing buildings, guns to the head, the clock ticking down to zero but through subtle underminings and constant questionning, gazes......and silences...then questions.

The film represents the slow grind of micro power, when you fall under the specific gaze. It concentrates on how these huge forces, impersonally dissect, twist and turn their victim, to ensure the aims of the organisation over-ride any individual concerns. The functionaries appear and disappear into the mire, a form of tag team wrestling...nothing personal old chap, just doing my job that's all, let's make it easy on yourself.

The film brings out the supreme folly of Josef K, his inability to grasp what is happening to him, and why. He is caught in a double bind, appealing to his prestige as a clerk, to the bank, to people who are using his status, as they strangle him. This is his first mistake, as he fails to understand the message emanating from within. He needs to make social capital, connections, to protect himself. In everyday speak, he is bereft of friends to protect him, no cronies or masonic thumb twitchers to fixit. How he rose to even the clerks job is a mystery as Equal Opps was hardly live and kicking in Czech lands pre and post WW1? He does however have an uncle, who tries to pave his way, but Josef K is waylaid by a woman.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craig on 24 Mar 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's very faithful to the book, don't expect any action scenes or emotional drama. There isn't any. This is a film about the brutal bureaucracy of the law and how people can become ensnared and lost in it through no fault of their own. The book is one of the great literary works of the 20th century and a damning testament of our so called civilisation. You can find Kafka's frightening observations every place where there is a a bureaucracy. If you are thinking of buying the DVD, read the book first.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Atmospheric and moody. The Prague scenes are gritty and slightly menacing. The acting is believable but the plot is sometimes meandering. Pinters input is there making the characters even more complex.

Anthony Hopkins role is little more than a cameo appearance,excellent as always.

This film needs serious attentive thought and is open to various interpretations.

In summary : A rewarding film for those willing to work with it.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Highlander on 11 Jun 2009
Format: DVD
A nameless crime,an endless trial, a pitiless conclusion.I watched this film with a mounting sense of unease,one might determine it was Angst but having another world view it was the awareness of the fragility of the individual against a system out to destroy him without a regard for real law,for the presumption of innocence till proven guilty,for a reasoned prosecution with an appropriate prosecution tied to an actual offence with a defence lawyer able to make a plea for justice based on a justice system that is faie and impartial with pleas for mitigation if circumstances warranted it.For an example of an unfair legal system one need only look at the British military court martials of those soldiers in the First World War who after being subjected to sustained heavy bombardment,continous sniping fire,seeing their comrades blown apart,facing murderous machine gun fire etc etc and thinking continously that their last hour would come and in what way they would meet their death whether swiftly,cleanly dead so to speak or in long drawn out mortal agony had finally cracked under the gargantuan strain and finally were shot at dawn for what was called cowardice rather than pity extended to them for humanity strained beyond endurance.Deemed to be cowards by an unfeeling,unrelenting martial law system of the Army by Army brass hats who never even faced the sharp end of a pencil in their lives.It is no wonder that reason shakes its head at such events.Many of these men were finally given posthumous pardons after a long drawn out battle to free them of any military and other stain on their honour and bravery.Read more ›
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