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Murder In The First (1995) (Movies To See Before You Die - Biographical / Drama)

28 May, 2013 | Movies To See Before You Die / Biographical

Alcatraz Island in United States was used as a Federal Prison from 1933 to 1963 and has a deadly history of having the most notorious criminals and extremely strict & rude prison wardens to take care of them all. The Alcatraz Prison and its related stories have been used as the basic plot of many known films, but MURDER IN THE FIRST needs to be given its own space (amongst the best) since it talks about something unique and different about Alcatraz, unlike all other projects.
The film has its own tall & distinctive status because its not about any routine, seen before plot in particular but talks about the emotional & tragic journey of a prisoner who gets brutally tortured and is made to live in some extremely tough and inhuman conditions by his wardens after an attempt to escape. Later, when he kills another inmate in that fuming state, his lawyer files the case on the Alcatraz prison & its wardens only for making his client insanely violent through their brutal tortures and thus forcing him to commit a heinous murder in that questionable state of mind, unknowingly. And then, the film turns into a highly engrossing court room drama which opens many dark secrets in front of the world about the prison authorities, quite shamelessly.

Reportedly based on a real life story of Henri Young, MURDER IN THE FIRST was also criticized for taking too many cinematic liberties and inaccurately portraying the historical facts of this case to make it emotionally moving and more impactful. But even after accepting this accused exaggeration, one should not miss the precious message of humanity in its impressive depiction of the story, forcing you to think about the treatment given to those prisoners without caring about the restrictive orders of the higher authorities by the prison wardens.

Besides, another shining merit of the film is that despite being based on such tense and sensitive subject, it still remains an engaging as well as entertaining film on the whole when it comes to the controversial trial in front of the jury. As the investigation progresses and the case becomes highly political and sensational, it gives you all those surprising & thrilling moments of a shocking court room drama and makes you feel in favour of the young prisoner strongly. Further, it also ends on a very positive note with the judgment being made in favour of the prisoner and then the news of several new implementations being made after this very case.
So, though it may not be an all true account of the real happenings, the film still remains a well crafted cinematic gem looking into the human psyche and deserves to be seen for sure. Based on a well written script, it has a great detailed art direction and a noteworthy cinematography as its two remaining aces along with the thoughtful direction. Plus it’s a fine example of exceptional performances coming from almost everyone in the cast lead by Kevin Bacon. Unarguably a career best act given by Kevin, its really a pity that the actor was not nominated in the Academy Awards for this greatly impressive and flawless performance of his which even demanded much physical hardships and efforts.
Anyway, the actor duly gets the deserved appreciation from everyone who sees the film till date and that’s surely a greater award for a performer, straight coming from his viewers themselves. In few words, don’t take this film as a depressing saga of a suffering prisoner at all, as it has much more to entertain, enlighten and share which you would only understand once you get to see it.
Directed by Marc Rocco
Starring : Kevin Bacon, Christian Slater, Gary Oldman and more.

Tags : Murder In The First (1995), Movies To See Before You Die Biographical Drama, Worth Watching Movies List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Not To Be Missed Movies List by Bobby Sing
28 May 2013 / Comment ( 0 )
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