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DVD Review: ROMAN J. ISRAEL ESQ. Has Good Characterisation But Poor Structure  - Movies In Focus
A rare Denzel Washington film that failed to connect with audiences, Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the star’s lowest grossing film since Mississippi Masala back in 1992 (fun fact: both these films have terrible titles). Written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), this legal drama is a well composed piece on a technical level, but it’s an oddly structured beast which doesn’t quite know what it wants to be story-wise. Washington is the titular Roman J. Israel, a brilliant lawyer somewhere on the autistic spectrum who finds his life unanchored when his partner suddenly dies. He’s given hope of survival by Colin Farrell’s swish high-end attorney but their very different styles lead to problems in the work place. Israel’s quirky style and unorthodox methods might not be perfect but he’s swayed by the money which Farrell’s firm holds. This leads to a crisis of faith and a subplot which swings the film into thriller territory late in the game. Roman J. Israel, Esq. is built around Denzel Washington’s performance and he rises to the challenge to deliver a character full of ticks and quirks and you can see why he was Oscar nominated for his work (note: in the words [...]