I am a huge fan of Dan Gilroy’s previous film, “Nightcrawler”. As such, I would have seen anything that came from him, and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” looked like an interesting thriller with the potential to deliver a lot of great societal commentary.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. is another successful film by Dan Gilroy
I found the story of this film to be extremely compelling, albeit flawed. The protagonist in this film is thoroughly complex and well-written. There is a lot of the character’s mannerisms that is left ambiguous, but that is so that Denzel Washington can do his magic in the role. The supporting characters are also well-written, with the purpose of bringing further development to the protagonist. The beginning of the film is more of a legal drama, but as it progresses, it turns into more of a thriller. There are a few moments that drag, but as a whole, the suspense is there. There were even some scenes that really had me on the edge of my seat. That being said, the suspense is tame compared to Gilroy’s other film. In fact, almost everything about the film to me (with the exception of Denzel Washington’s performance) screamed “tamer ‘Nightcrawler’ by a level” to me. It’s still good, but it’s not as good. The film also didn’t seem to have a perception of time, which is only one of the inconsistencies in the dialogue that I found. There are a few more, too, but that is the one that caught my eye the most.
I thought that the cinematography in this film was amazing. There are a lot of shots that just had me in awe, especially in the more thriller-oriented moments. The soundtrack is also great, with a lot of music being used with juxtaposing imagery in an effective way. The performances are excellent, too. Denzel Washington is amazing as always, with both charisma and humility that balance each other as the role requires. Colin Farrell is also fittingly diverse in his supporting role.
Overall, I seemed to like “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” more than most. It’s a really interesting thriller with an amazing performance by Denzel Washington, and while it does have its flaws, its merits far outweigh them. This film was “Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy”.
This review was written by Big Tuna of the Big Tuna on Film Blog. Be sure to check out the site for more great reviews like this one!