A Time to Kill is among the best films based on John Grisham’s novels. It is not just a thriller; it is a human tragedy of several generations of Americans shown with a particular example. This paper describes the plot of the movie and my impression of it.
The two thugs have raped a black girl, and her father crushed by grief understands that they can avoid punishment and takes justice into his hands, shooting them on the way to the courtroom. His friend, who is a young lawyer, defends him. It is a usual start of a thriller, but at the same time, the plot of the movie is also a social drama.
The acute racial hatred is added to the story line. The world is divided into black and white, and all sides of the case have their stakes. The prosecutor needs the victory in this high-profile case to pave the way for the post of governor. People, who want to apply their sadistic skills, unite under the umbrella of the Ku Klux Klan. The black part of the population wants, finally, to express its protest against the “white” lawlessness. The race war has swept the area, and the trial is gaining momentum provoking abduction, murder, arson, and threats.
No one can be convicted of a crime and subjected to criminal punishment in another way than by a court sentence. Thus, the court is required, and there should be no exceptions. Without such an organization as the court, the world would turn to chaos. However, there is still an innocent little girl, raped, tortured, hung, and dropped from the bridge. It is difficult to explain what to do. The little girl is afraid to go out because the perpetrators will be released soon. And the reason for their release will be the difference in skin color.
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The movie always makes the viewer wonder whether the court is objective, impartial and represents the ultimate triumph of justice. The trial of Carl Lee is not so because he has been sentenced in advance, just because he is African American. The judge initially is on the prosecutor's side, and the chairperson of the jury is an ardent racist, whose eyes fill with hatred whenever he sees Carl Lee. A fair trial is just a bunch of jurors with their prejudices, who support the majority to avoid a confrontation with someone. They want to arrive at a verdict quickly and go to their houses to their little girls, with whom certainly nothing bad will happen because they had the luck to be born white.
The jury is ready to believe that Carl Lee has ruined such young lives. Rascals, alcoholics, and pedophiles in the courtroom look almost like loving brothers and sons. Unfortunately, these people represent the supreme justice. While watching the movie, I wanted Carl Lee to be free.
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Overall, this movie is really good and interesting. In any case, it is worth watching because of the plot and excellent acting of talented actors. The movie makes it clear that any crime requires an individual approach. The law is not always higher than morality. Moreover, the picture raises dilemmas of conscience and questions of understanding justice issues and racial discrimination. Also, the movie is thought-provoking. I cannot say what would happen to humanity if everyone started to kill for revenge.