A film of surpassing pointlessness. It deserves to be completely ignored and probably will be. What Colin Firth thinks he's doing accepting roles like this is beyond my comprehension. Colin, sack your agent.
Three (count them, 3) documentaries have been made about the miscarriage of justice concerning three West Memphis teenagers, accused back in 1994 of murdering 3 boys in what was supposed to be a Satanic ritual (only in America, right). These three documentaries have gone into all aspects of the case in great detail, covering every available angle, and generating a lot of publicity for the case in the process. The 3 men (after serving 18 years) have now been released under some dubious legal finagling to allow the prosecution to save face and avoid looking for the real perpetrator(s).
So I ask myself why someone (Atom Egoyan) would go to all the trouble and expense of making a feature film on this subject – and not a very well made one at that. Then you have to ask yourself what possessed Colin Firth to sign up for a role which is anonymous to the point of invisibility, requiring him to play American (which he has never done well). Furthermore, the role could literally have been played by anyone in a suit. No acting is required.
He is joined by Reece Witherspoon, also presumably doing cinematic community service, as the mother of one of the murdered kids. Her presence is also a mystery. The thing is, there was no reason to make this film. The case has been done to death, and this adds nothing. I can only guess that someone thought a feature film would attract a bigger audience than a documentary; and then persuaded name actors to sign up as a way of getting more publicity. In which case, it has all backfired spectacularly.
The film is being released in the USA to universal indifference; and the same will happen here. The unjustly convicted men are free, and it is unlikely that this film will persuade any lawyers to declare them innocent. So, I repeat (for the third time) – WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS FILM?
And answer came there none.
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