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Hollywood Rewind | Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson go head-to-head in the well-written A Few Good Men

The writing is the main hero of A Few Good Men as it delivers the pauses and paces on cue. We have to thank Aaron Sorkin and William Goldman for that.

Written by Anvita Singh | New Delhi |
Updated: September 15, 2020 2:47:39 pm
tom cruise and demi moore Tom Cruise and Demi Moore starrer A Few Good Men had even inspired a Bollywood remake called Shaurya.

A Few Good Men movie cast: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, Kiefer Sutherland
A Few Good Men movie director: Rob Reiner
A Few Good Men movie rating: 4 stars

Have you seen Tom Cruise act? Well, I haven’t in a long time. Maybe he tries, but who can tell below all that high-octane action sequences which he tries in every other film? However, at the risk of contradicting myself, here is the answer to the first question. Yes, Tom Cruise can act when he is given the right direction and a well-written script. Take the Rob Reiner directorial A Few Good Men for instance.

The film’s plot revolves around a couple of lieutenants on whose laps falls the controversial case of Marine William Santiago’s death. While Lieutenant Daniel Alastair Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is reluctant about the subject, Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) is enthusiastic at the prospect of defending the accused Marines Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private First Class Louden Downey who carried a ‘Code Red’ order by Colonel Nathan R Jessup (Jack Nicholson).

This is not your regular legal drama, things are tenser than usual as officers in charge of the state are on trial and a high-ranking officer has been accused of ordering an extra-judicial punishment on a subordinate. The writing is the main hero of the movie as it delivers the pauses and paces on cue. We have to thank Aaron Sorkin and William Goldman for that.

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The performances are top-notch, while Tom Cruise downplays the seriousness and the added frustration of it all, Nicholson knocks it out of the park as usual. A no-brainer here for those of you who have watched it, the trial sequences will keep you at the edge of your seats.

Hollywood Rewind: 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | TangledMeet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles

A scene comes to mind. The one where Nicholson is questioned by Cruise in court. The arrogance and ego of the ‘colonel supreme’ is at its peak. Cruise delivers what could be called one of his finest performances as he tries to maintain his composure and expose the truth under pressure. The monologue thereafter delivered by Nicholson is also one of the best that cinema has produced in years. Yes, I am talking about the “You can’t handle the truth” scene.

Interestingly, A Few Good Men had its Hindi adaptation in the Rahul Bose and Kay Kay Menon starrer Shaurya, which, unlike most remakes, did a good job.

A Few Good Men is streaming on YouTube and SonyLIV.

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