12 Angry Men Review – 12 Angry Men is an American drama released in 1957. 12 men in the Jury have to come to a unanimous decision for the verdict of a criminal trial. All of them find the accused to be guilty but for one person in the room who wants to talk it through before taking a decision. The rest of the movie is on if they are able to build consensus on the verdict they are going to arrive at.
The movie is an adaptation from a teleplay done by Reginald Rose who had co-produced this movie. Director Sidney Lumet had made this movie predominantly in a single set which is the Jury room. There are very few scenes which covers any other location than the Jury room. Although the entire movie is in a Jury room and is very dialog oriented still the movie has a gripping 96 minutes. It is as equal as any racy thriller.
The discussion is happening on a very hot afternoon in the New York City caused due to depression. The fan in the room is not working and the group is having a heated argument and actually sweating it out. As the movie travels it reaches a point when the whole atmosphere is gloomy and then there is light and then there is wind. The use of atmosphere as a metaphor for the high points in the discussion is brilliant. Even the position and stance of the 12 men is neatly coordinated and at any frame you would realize the level of involvement, consensus and agreement they have with the ongoing topic. The names of the men in the Jury is not revealed to us and only in the end there is a scene where you get to know the names of two of the men which then becomes irrelevant. The characterization of the 12 men is done very well. There are men who are not so sure of what they want, there are men with strong opinions and there are men who want to just get this out of the way so that they can attend to what they had planned for the day. The verdict is also quite serious involving death sentence or the release of the person who is accused.
This is a movie that every movie buff should watch for the sheer brilliance of the plot, characterization, props, acting and the dialogues.