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Primal Fear [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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Clever twists and a bona fide surprise ending make Primal Fear an above-average courtroom thriller. Tapping into the post-O J scrutiny of the American legal system in the case of a hotshot Chicago defence attorney (Richard Gere) whose latest client is an altar boy (Edward Norton) accused of murdering a Catholic archbishop. The film uses its own manipulation to tell a story about manipulation and when we finally discover who's been pulling the strings, the payoff is both convincing and pertinent to the ongoing debate over what constitutes truth in the American system of justice. Making an impressive screen debut that has since led to a stellar career, Norton gives a performance that rides on a razor's edge of schizophrenic pathology--his role is an actor's showcase and without crossing over the line of credibility, Norton milks it for all it's worth. Gere is equally effective in a role that capitalises on his shifty screen persona and Laura Linney and Frances McDormand give memorable performances in their intelligently written supporting roles. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This film really stands the test of time some 10 years on with a great opening scene that gets your interest right from the start! No nipping out to put the kettle on with this one!!
A 'must have' if you're a Gere or Norton fan!
This is a must buy and Norton's greatest film and most definitely Gere's too.
The intended twists along the way really aren't to a modern audience, who will predict every one along the way except, perhaps, for the finale. Even that, however, is not sufficient to raise the star value.
I intensely dislike courtroom dramas which attempt to establish that defence lawyers must be preoccupied with the actual innocence of their clients in order to do their job. It would be so much more plausible had they stuck to the original premise of Richard Gere's character that it doesn't matter, rather than those implausible and poorly constructed 'angst' scenes of dispute amongst the defence team as to guilt / innocence of the defendant. If screenwriters insist on trying to establish motivation of those in the justice system maybe try talking to actual defence lawyers and the need to have due process to prove guilt.
In addition, and I don't know why, but the scenes which revolve around the romantic history of the rival lawyers are nothing less than nauseating. Reminds me of being a child / young teenager and cringing with the smarminess. Just yuck!
Exceptional acting from Norton in his first role.If you like court room dramas then this will be for you.Laura Linney is the the prosecutor and Geres ex,but it's not all in the court.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It would have been better without foreign subtitles on I'm not a happy bunny it's ruined the film for mePublished 10 months ago by sharon neale