Written by Elliot Lines
Aaron Sorkin's Trial Of The Chicago 7 showcases more of what we have come to expect from his work to date. Previously he has worked his magic with words on films such as The Social Network (2010), Moneyball (2011), Steve Jobs (2015) and Molly's Game (2017), with the screenplay writer has three Oscar nominations and one Oscar win under his belt, proving he is one of the best writers working today. His latest work is no different, but there was something wrong with what's on show here, Aaron Sorkin.
For many of his greatest works Sorkin has had a likes of David Fincher and Danny Boyle to express their vision, with his script being elevated from the screen. Sorkin directed this one himself, and where there was nothing particularly wrong with the film itself, it almost felt too perfect, the infamous Netflix gloss-over. Where the script was expertly written as expected, the accompanying directorial choices felt like they sucked the life away from moments that should stand out on screen.
Set in Chicago in 1968, this tells of the events that occurred when protests against the Vietnam war led to violence with law enforcement at the time of the Democratic Party Convention. This lead to seven of the main leaders of these protests to be put on trial for conspiracy plus the leader of the Black Panthers. A court trial ensues, which quickly proves to be an unfair trial, led by a corrupt judge, which will forever be etched into history.
"The whole world is watching."
We take no time into being introduced to these characters. Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp) look to bring a peaceful protest to Chicago, to show that young lives are being lost. Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), self proclaimed hippies want to take a more chaotic approach, but aim for the same goal. David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), a family man that believes in his right to protest, he tells his wife and kid nothing dangerous will happen. And Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), the leader of the Black Panthers, who also promises he won't get himself into any trouble.
This cast is stacked from top to bottom. Each one of them takes advantage of the script they've been handed, bringing every important moment to life. There is not a moment that is left without emotion. Sorkin's ability to create such intricate conversations in a dull setting is almost a super-power. This was the kind of emotion that took you to the edge of your seat, sucking you into the dialogue, demanding all your attention. But this wouldn't of been possible without this cast. There is no weak link here. From the despair shown by Mark Rylance, the unjust suffering of Yahya Abdul-Mateen and the two scene cameo from Michael Keaton, the whole cast performed admirably to show this story in full light.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 has been released at a time of where politics is in the mind of people across the world. Showing men of power, who clearly aren't in the right place to be making such decisions. The depiction of this story unfortunately shows similar problems we still encounter to this day, have we really evolved since then, it seems not. The film itself thrives off the Sorkin script that the cast have perfectly captured, but struggles to reach that next level with the choices made behind the camera.