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The Accused (DVD)
Member Name: nykied
The Accused (DVD)
Date: 03/03/10, updated on 03/03/10 (65 review reads)
Advantages: Still a relevant topic
Disadvantages: Made in the 80s, so seems old
Starring Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis, The Accused was made in 1988 and it's Jodie Foster's most famous film, the one that got her the most acclaim and in fact won her an Oscar. It's one of the most enduring films of the eighties and one that still has major impact when watched now.
The movie starts by showing a bar called The Mill, in a town called Birchfield. The scene is shot in daytime, with quite haunting music playing. The scene changes to become night and the music becomes more menacing. A man runs past the camera and as a woman then runs past, he's shown calling the police to report a rape.
The rape in question occurs in The Mill, where Sarah Tobias (played by Jodie Foster) is gang-raped by three men, with a roomful of other men cheering them on. She manages to escape and flags down a man in a car, who takes her to the hospital. Kathryn Murphy (played by Kelly McGillis) is the lawyer assigned by the state to prosecute the rapists. Kathryn, along with a police officer, takes Sarah back to the bar to identify her attackers, then have them charged with the crime of rape.
The lawyers who represent the three rapists are convinced that they're going to be let off, as is Kathryn, although she is convinced that they all three are guilty. When they get charged with a lesser crime, Kathryn feels that she's let Sarah down and when one of the men watching comes onto Sarah in a record shop, then recognises her and goads her, she decides that Sarah has suffered enough and goes after the men who were watching and cheering the rapists on, to bring them to justice.
I think that this is still one of the most moving films of the last few decades. It's filmed very well and, if you can look past the fact that it was released in the eighties (without the technological advances that have occurred since in film-making), then it's definitely worth a watch. The rape scene which is shown towards the end of the film is particularly emotive, especially against the backdrop of the reactions of the people in the town. I don't think that anyone, no matter how cold-hearted and cynical, could walk away from having watched this film thinking that a woman 'deserves' to be raped.
Despite the obvious issues in this film, some things still amused me. The clothes, for a start: paisley shirts, mullets, shoulder pads and tie-dye suits (in court!) with a hanky sewn into the top pocket - and that's just the women! And cassettes in the record shop - who remembers those?
There is also the fact that when Jodie Foster hacks off all her hair, she looks as though she's just borrowed Ferris Beuller's mum's wig. And when Kelly McGillis tries to look all serious, she looks just like Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when he's upset at Rocky and says, 'Ohhhhhh, Rocky!'. I spotted this about half an hour into the film and I could not get that image out of my head.
Getting back to the serious side, this film is still great and if you get chance, watch it. It's not a family film though and isn't for people who might have an aversion to the 'difficult' scenes in this film. Heartily recommended by me.
Summary: Worth a watch.