Movie Plot -The Trial of Chicago 7: The story of 7 people on probation arising from various charges surrounding the uprising against the Vietnam War at the Democratic National Convention of 1968 in Chicago, Illinois.

Director: Aaron Sorkin
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Keaton, John Carroll Lynch, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton

Aaron Sorkin

I did some research and found that Sorkin already wrote the script for The Trial of the Chicago 7 in 2007. However, due to the writers’ strike of 2008, the film was canceled at that time. The fact that the project has now been revived undoubtedly has to do with the spirit of the times.

The last four years in the United States have brought back the sixties and seventies, with all their public protests and blurring of political norms. So it’s not a bad idea to translate the important stories of that time to the big screen. The Trial of the Chicago 7 sets to work on this. And although the filming took place a year ago, the past months of civil protests and excessive police violence have only made the story more topical.

The Trial of Chicago

The so-called Chicago 7 are the leaders of several organizations that traveled to Chicago during the Democratic Convention of 1968 to protest against the Vietnam War. Although this protest was meant to be peaceful, it degenerated into a situation in which activists clashed with the police. These disturbances are a thorn in the side of the new Minister of Justice, and so he decides to prosecute them together, with the accusation of conspiracy on the table. A rather bizarre accusation since these people hardly knew each other before they arrived in Chicago. But then again, this is not a well-founded lawsuit conducted for the public interest.

The lawsuit’s intriguing thing is that the defendants represent totally different organizations and, in some ways, have quite different views on life. However, with their protests, they were pursuing the same goal. During the Trial, however, the public prosecutor brings them all together, whether they like it or not. However, these differences in attitude to life mean that not everyone wants to conduct the Trial in the same way. Some simply want to prove their innocence, while others see the Trial as a good opportunity to publicly make the point they traveled to Chicago for at the time. Sorkin wisely does not take sides in this. It is up to the viewer to decide which is the most appropriate way of protest.

Solid performances

If you look at the trailer of Trial or The Chicago 7, you immediately realize that there are a few big names tied to it. It might not be a real star cast, but a stronger ensemble than this one we’re probably not going to see this year.

Mark Rylance is perfectly cast as a passionate and pragmatic lawyer. In addition, Frank Langella puts down a deliciously hating judge, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is allowed to elevate the role of prosecutor to something more human than what is usual in courtroom movies. And while it may seem somewhat lazy to present Eddie Redmayne as a good student and Sascha Baron Cohen as a transverse hippie, as idealistic opposites, they end up surprising the most. Their acting duel towards the end is a true highlight. These two actors continue to surprise me in their acting performance. Even though Eddie Redmayne has already won an Oscar once.

Definitely in my top 3 of 2020

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is probably one of the purest courtroom dramas ever created. For the most part, the film is set in the courtroom. It only shows the story with flashbacks when the details are dealt with in the Trial. This happens mainly with witness statements, in which there is often jumping back and forth between different angles.

As most people know, 2020 is not such a good year for everyone. This is also the case for film lovers. However, sometimes we get a pearl, and this is clearly one of them. Next month I will start my post of the top 10 movies of 2020. I can already tell you that this will undoubtedly be in my top 3. At the moment I don’t know which film is going to come first.

That says enough about how great this film was. The bottom line is that I had set up this film with little interest because I doubted that I would like this kind of film. It’s not just a smart, put together film, but it’s actually quite entertaining.

Conclusion

The Trial of Chicago 7 has greatly exceeded my expectations. It’s a must-see movie of 2020. On top of that, it’s educational, amazingly directed, tremendously acted, and is one of the best films of this year.

Trailer