Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad, was an entertaining experience that gives the viewer great insight into the world of law and the world of 1940’s racism.
The film centers around Thurgood Marshall, lawyer representing the NAACP who would later become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. He and Sam Friedman, played by Gad, are assigned to represent Joseph Spell, played by Sterling K. Brown, when he is accused of raping his employer, Eleanor Strubing. The resulting court case results in drama between the two lawyers, the defendant, the judge, the prosecutor and the family they represent.
The movie was simply phenomenal. The score by Marcus Miller really helps to establish the 1940’s setting, which I thought was a nice touch. The cast all give very good performances, and at points I nearly forgot that I was not watching a colorized documentary from the actual court case.
The scenes in the courtroom are very engaging. As someone who finds the legal process a bit dull at times, the acting and direction change that. There is a great amount of tension between the judge and the lawyers, which leaves you on the edge of your seat as to whether the judge will make a ruling that helps the defence or the prosecution.
Marshall has a very serious overall tone. The film deals with very serious issues like race, religion, gender roles and sexual assault. Since this does take place in the 1940’s, the discrimination towards African Americans takes a prominent role. This film is rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and some strong language.
The film was extremely enjoyable and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in history or law. It is up there with My Cousin Vinny with intense yet enjoyable films about the legal process. It is one of the better movies that I have seen this year. 8/10