This article was posted in The-Latest.com, written by me, on May 3rd, 2009. I guess the message of this movie is timeless, especially in the modern world, in this modern times. So I am republishing it. For all the Journalism and Mass Comm student, no make it, for everyone who is with even a little but of a democratic mind set, this movie is a must watch.
I was doing a case study in my Mass-Communication class, when I came upon an old 1957 movie named "12 angry men". Who would have thought that a monochromatic film about a spanish boy accused of murder, and the dilemma of the Jury could be such an experience? "12 angry men" was such a lucid, tense, and strangely realistic thriller.
The story is pretty contrived - during a murder trial, one man's (Henry Fonda) doubts about the accused's guilt gradually overcome the rather less-than-democratic prejudices of the other eleven members of the jury. While the film itself points out that democracy and all its human participants are flawed in nature, it upholds the values of democracy, probably in a way which is very much apt to the time. The jurors were named after numbers, very much in sync with ideal democracy, and the photography, being black and white, heightens the tension.
Taking place in almost entirely a jury room, the film was very economical, 12 angry men watches as 11 jurors, convinced of the boys guilt, are slowly won over by one man sympathetic enough to atleast looking into the matter, and having reasonable doubts before sending a man to die..the tagline of the movie sums it up..."life in their hands, death on their minds". The screenplay, happenning almost entirely in a single room, in a hot summer afternoon, adds on to the claustrophobia, and rather being confining and acts as a tension and drama building measure.
The film leaves a tremendous impact, and leaves a person wondering, about the inevitability as well as the futility of democracy. Check it out folks, they don't make classics like this anymore...