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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Trial of Chicago 7: Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom drama earns rave reviews

The Trial of the Chicago 7, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, among others, holds a 91 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes after 32 reviews.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi | September 25, 2020 10:54:48 am
The Trial of the Chicago 7 , Trial of the Chicago 7 , jeremy strongThe Trial of the Chicago 7 will begin streaming on Netflix from October 16. (Photo: Netflix)

The first reviews of Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of Chicago 7 are here. The star-studded courtroom drama based on the trial of the titular group of people who protested against the Vietnam War has won the love of critics.

Sorkin, known for writing The Social Network (which got him an Oscar) and Steve Jobs, has also penned the movie. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is Sorkin’s second directorial after 2017’s critically-acclaimed Molly’s Game.

The film holds a 91 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes after 32 reviews.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alex Sharp, Thomas Middleditch, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton, and Mark Rylance.

Boston Globe’s Ty Burr wrote in his review, “Trial” is so inherently compelling – and so directly germane to an America where the government labels cities “anarchist jurisdictions” and states are drawing up laws against free assembly – that it doesn’t need the frills.”

Deadline’s Pete Hammond noted, “Aaron Sorkin and a superb cast deliver a warning shot from the past with extreme importance resonance for Trump’s America in which we are living now.”

Arizona Republic’s Bill Goodykoontz called the movie unexpectedly fun and wrote, “Breezy for a serious topic, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is something unexpected, fun. Sorkin trusts his instincts. Maybe real life has made it so that nothing seems over the top anymore. Whatever the case, it makes the film something else, too: timely.”

However, not all critics were enamoured of The Trial of the Chicago 7. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw was less convinced about whether the film missed an opportunity to be about only Bobby Seale (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the movie). He opined, “But again and again, scenes and lines land with a solemn clunk. Minor and major figures, played by minor and major stars, show up with their characters’ names grandly flashed up on screen and the drama simply hasn’t earned their presumed aura of glamorous historical importance. And when something really important and dramatic happens – namely, the extraordinarily spiteful gagging of Bobby Seale – the padding of all this courtroom waffle and progressive concern muffles the shock. “Can you breathe?” someone asks Seale from the public gallery. It’s a question intended to resonate with the BLM age, but this can only provoke the issue of whether the whole film should not really have been centrally about Seale: the Chicago One.”

AV Club’s AA Dowd was also not too impressed with the movie. He wrote, “The Trial Of The Chicago 7 wants to bottle the revolutionary spirit of its setting-the take-to-the-streets idealism of the ’60s-but its snappy montage-glimpses of demonstrations verge on costume-party kitsch.”

The Trial of the Chicago 7 will begin streaming on Netflix from October 16.

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