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Primal fear is thriller, crime, mystery movie. The film is set in the courtroom and church the City of Chicago in the year 1990’s. The movie is directed by Gregory Hoblit and this was his first theatrical film released. The movie is an adaptation of William Diehl’s 1993 novel of the same name. Gregory Hoblit is also known for his work for the shows Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue. The movie starring Richard Gere, Edward Norton and Laura Linney did an outstanding job portraying their roles. Norton’s role in the film received multiple awards, including a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. According to Imdb, the movie earned 10 million dollars on its first week with the budget of 30 million dollars. The overall gross of the movie is approximately 57 million dollars.
The story revolves around to an altar boy (Edward Norton) found running away from the scene of the viscous murder of the bishop who adopted him. while watching the news, An arrogant, high-powered attorney (Richard Gere) find the case interesting and he takes on the case to defend the poor church boy at no charge. The assigned to prosecute is the assistant district attorney Janet Venable ( Laura Linney), who is Vail’s ex-lover. The case becomes complex when the accused reveals that there may or may not have been a "third person" in the room during the murder. It gets more complicated than expected when a psychologist concludes that Adam Stampler suffers from a multiple identity disorder. Vail’s realized that a psychological disorder is not a valid defense and so they are losing the case. With further investigation, Vail and his team found a video tape of the arch bishop forcing Adam Stampler to perform sexual acts with a girl named Linda. The intensity builds when a surprise twist alters everyone's perception of the crime and what really happened.
Primal Fear is an exciting, fun, complex thriller with a love or hate twist at the end. The script in the movie has a nice flow, but also can be confusing at times. Some paths seem to work and do whereas others you think you see clearly but you don’t. Other than the great plot, all the actors in the movie did really well.
The movie starts slow but it will soon pick up. It all starts when a big crime happen. An arch bishop is stabbed and murdered in his bed room. From the house, the police chase Adam Stampler. His clothes are covered with blood and the TV news covers the chase live from their helicopters. Mr. Vail sees the TV coverage and decides he will handle the case for free for Stampler. Stampler is surprised but he agrees.
Mr.Vail reads Stampler the riot act on how to behave in court telling him, "I don't have to believe you. I don't care if you are innocent. I'm your mother, your father, your priest." He goes on to order him, "I speak. You do not speak. All you do is sit there and look innocent." He better look innocent and Vail better be a brilliant attorney because it looks like an open and shut case if there ever was one.
The prosecutor is Vail's ex-lover Janet Venable. Linney's performance as his ex-girlfriend works, she also convinces me that she is a prosecutor. She is perfect for the role.
As the trial goes on, Vail periodically talks more with the magazine reporter. Vail tells him, "I chose to believe in the basic goodness of people. Some basically good people do some very bad things." When he hits a low point in the trial he tells him, "You been saving up for a rainy day? Guess what it's raining."
What I have written thus far just sets up the situation. The best part of the film is the twist at the end which I will not reveal. In fact Gere demanded that critics who will see the film early will sign a contract not to spoil the ending. Personally, I didn’t like the ending, but that’s just me.
Gere did an exceptional performance. This is the first movie that I watch him as the main actor. I’m looking forward to watch more of his film. Edward Norton is the one who shines on this film. He is frighten, naive, respectful, and many other less obvious characteristics all at once.
To sum it all up, Primal fear is probably one of the best movie that I watch. The story is easy to follow but some parts are little confusing, Great actors, the twist at the ending. My score for this movie is 9 out of 10. I recommend it.