Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Philadelphia (1993)

In Hollywood, for every Twilight films, there are at least two films which tackle touchy issues. While Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia is a little bit cheesy at times, the film is still relevant today as it was when it came out.

Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), a former lawyer, got fired from his firm because he's a homosexual with AIDS. His boss, Charles Wheeler (Jason Robards), said he fired Beckett because a file was only found at the last minute before going to court. Beckett, on the other hand, believes his condition led his boss to show him the door.

Andrew ask for representation from Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), one of the most known lawyers in Philadelphia. This is because no other lawyers want to defend Beckett against his former employer. Miller will accept to represent Beckett despite being himself a homophobic.

While Philadelphia doesn't have the same quality as Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, it's one of the best films on gay issues. This is mostly due to Tom Hanks' memorable performance as Andrew Beckett. Sure, the film might look a little bit cheesy because it's set in Philadelphia, the self-proclaimed "city of brotherly love". Add to that the very predictable road to "redemption" taken by the homophobic character of Denzel Washington. Nonetheless, with its strong script, the film Philadelphia succeeds in casting a compassionate glance on the problem of AIDS that affect homosexuals and straight people alike.

Although Philadelphia has a preachy tone, it looks at the American or any other society with such an incredible honesty. In fact, as the film points out, many people just use AIDS as the ultimate excuse to discriminate gays.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:USA (1993)
Length:125 minutes
Screenplay:Ron Nyswaner
Director:Jonathan Demme
Starring:Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington

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