Movie Review- Marshall

Sun, 2017/10/15

This weekend saw the premiere of several horror and independent films which are known to take centerstage at theaters in the month of October (especially on a Friday the 13th no less). Amongst the films out in theaters, Marshall by director Reginald Hudlin stands out as a dramatic and emotion story of race and law, something that has become all too familiar in recent years in this country. This film is set in the early 1940’s and tells the story of future Supreme Court Judge Thurgood Marshall’s rise to prominence in the courtroom as he fights to separate racism from truth and bias from law. This is no easy task, especially in a time of wide spread segregation and racism across the United States. Coupled with the growing threats of fascism and communism, tensions and stakes could never be higher.

On top of an already intense and compelling story, Marshall also provides audiences with passionate and refined acting from the films diverse cast. This includes Chadwick Boseman as titular character Thurgood Marshall, Josh Gad as his case partner Sam Friedman, Dan Stevens as the plaintiff’s head lawyer, and Kate Hudson as the plaintiff herself, Eleanor Strubing.

In addition to the courtroom, the film also takes time to show the audience the world in which this ‘fair’ trial would take place. This includes showcasing the best and worst these times had to offer. We see the height of Harlem Renaissance in New York City, represented by the famed authors of the time Langston Hughes, played by Jussie Smollett, and Zora Neale Hurston, portrayed by Rozonda Thomas. The audiences proceed to then witness the racism rampant across the country through the hate, threats, and violence that is encountered by the defense as the trial progresses.

Overall, Marshall provides viewers a thought provoking and emotional tale of overcoming the obstacles that society can thrust upon entire populations through the law which is meant to see all men as equals. Ensuring that justice remains blind is no small task to accomplish, not even today. This film helps to show that there have been, and will continue to be, people who will work to ensure that justice, truth, and freedom remains accessible to all.