I am going to start by adding to some extra context to what
I am going to write. Because I found Just
Mercy to be not only extremely powerful, but also emotional.
I decided that I was going to review Just Mercy after a Thursday night viewing a week ago. I bought my
ticket, not thinking about how busy and how emotional this week was going to
be. I’ve done a lot of writing this week in the lead up to January 26, I’ve written
about how I feel about it, I’ve reported
for NITV on it and there’s more to come. It’s been exhaustive at the least.
So, when I finally got to the cinema Thursday night, I
kicked back for the spare half an hour I had before the film started and had a
couple pints while writing another article. The time came, so I closed my
laptop and headed into to take my seat.
When the filmed started, I was all good, but a few minutes
in when I saw Johnny D, played brilliantly by Jamie Foxx, get threatened and arrested,
a wave of emotions rolled over me. I instantly realized that on the week of the
anniversary that marked the beginning of the destruction of First Nations
culture, I had chosen to watch a film that was about a bunch of racist,
entitled, white guys trying to end the life of an innocent black man. From then
I knew that this film was not going to be easy to sit through, for me at least.
recounts the time from when renowned, real life, Civil Rights Defence Attorney
Bryan Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan, began defending Walter McMillian,
also known as Johnny D, played by the aforementioned Jamie Foxx.
Johnny D was arrested for murder in the late 80’s, and
subsequently put on death row for a crime that he was innocent from doing. If
you don’t know this from reading about it or seeing it unfold in the early
90’s, then it’s a pretty easy story to unfold in your imagination in the first
20 minutes of the film. But it’s how it happens that really strikes you. Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson is also on
board as Eva Ansley, Bryan Stevenson’s operation manager, and is true ally
throughout the entire case. She is great. She is Oscar winner Brie Larson. I
need not say more.
The other key actors in the film are O’Shea Jackson, Tim
Blake Nelson, Rob Morgan, Michael Harding and Rafe Spall (doing his best
snivelling serious Bradley Whitford in Billy
Madison impression) and their presence only serves to bring the stature of
this film into a higher standing.
I truly found all of the performances to be outstanding. But
of course, the highest honours go to Jordan and Foxx.
Directed by Destin Daniel Crettin, I found Just Mercy to be very well put together.
From the fantastic, all round performances, to the locations and settings – it
all came together. There wasn’t one thing that was out of place – except for
Written by Destin Daniel Crettin and Andrew Lanham based on
a book by Bryan Stevenson himself, Just
Mercy was confronting and touching, putting put an emotional weight on my
shoulders that I was not expecting. This is why I gave a bit of extra context
above – I don’t believe that my experience I this film will be the same for
It’s a shame that this film wasn’t released late last year
to hopefully garner a few awards here and there. Being released now almost feels
like it’s intentional, by the end of the year, this amazingly acted, well
directed, and powerful drama will be well and truly forgotten, likely keeping
the awards contenders as white as they normally are.
All in all, Just Mercy is an incredible film making by an incredible team. I really enjoyed it, regardless of what it made me feel.
Cast: Michael B.
Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson
Writers: Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham, (based on the book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson)
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.