Photo: Sony Pictures
The interpretation of Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell is perfect in “Roman J. Israel, ESQ”.
Three years after The ranger, where Jake Gyllenhaal played an aspiring journalist amoral, Dan Gilroy confirms that he did not like to leave the actors of their comfort zone and get them to re-invent themselves. Badly undermined, glasses too large, the action awkward, the gait uncertain, the voice is monotonous, Denzel Washington makes us altogether to forget that it is he who is concealed under the african Novel J. Israel, idealistic lawyer and social. Also oscarisable as it is, the interpretation of Washington does not have the second feature film from Dan Gilroy a masterpiece imperishable.
Having worked for more than thirty years in the shadow of a modest lawyer, Roman J. Israel sees his world tilt when he died of a cardiac arrest. Unable to lead the cabinet, Israel is picked up by a large law firm with the ambitious and brilliant George Pierce (Colin Farrell, impeccable).
Despised by some, mocked by others, Israel fits difficult among his new colleagues. To him then comes the idea of changing his mode of life more than frugal — it has not changed apartment or wardrobe since the 1970s and he eats toast with peanut butter. To do this, the honest man of law is guilty of an abhorrent act. Hunt the natural, it returns to the gallop, said the other.
If The ranger was not a perfect film, too little developed that it was in his reflection on the media and on the info-spectacle, the spectator was a pleasure unhealthy to follow the character in his descent into the underworld. What’s more, the thriller was feverish and oppressive. Alas ! This is certainly not the case of this drama dull to cry, and turned without a soul or personality.
If one ignores the plot justice, which is a whirlwind miserably Novel J. Israel, Esq., Dan Gilroy offers a solid portrait of a man atypical. Brilliantly portrayed by the always excellent Denzel Washington, the character moves and fascinates all at once. We would like to follow him in his everyday life ; it happens even to enjoy the little escapade that it pays a day off. However, wanting to add complexity to the story, Gilroy has only managed to sow the seeds of confusion and harvest the boredom. In the process, one loses all interest in Israel. Better luck next time.
Novel J. Israel, Esq.
Drama from Dan Gilroy. With Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo and Tony Plana. United states, 2017, 102 minutes.