Confession Review

Confession is an interesting trial film that shows us different perspectives as we learn more about the case along with the jury. It starts out a bit on the slow side but once we cut to the court room then the race is on. It ends up being a pretty solid film with good pacing and writing throughout. Definitely a nice title to check out.

The film starts out with Lisa getting a letter from the guy who seems to be stalking her. Inside the letter are 2 tickets to a play and Lisa’s friend who has all the bad advice says they should go and see what this is about. Turns out that one of the lead performers in the musical is a man named Michael who wants to be with Lisa. Lisa refuses him but the guy continues to follow her around and even tricks the school Lisa is at into allowing him in. Ultimately they have a brief affair but before things can go much farther, Michael is shot dead by a lady named Vera. This ends up going into trial. Can the Jury figure out what possible reason Vera could have for murdering this guy or will it all be a mystery all the way through to the end?

The second half of the film takes us back to the events leading up to the shooting from Vera’s point of view. We already knew that Michael was not a good guy and these scenes serve to further illustrate that. He really just thinks he can get away with anything and the main issue is that he always seems to since nobody actually holds him accountable.

Take the first girl Lisa. Part of the annoyance here is that she tells him several times not to call or write to her but he does so anyway. She then ultimately agrees to see him so in a sense his pestering actually paid off. He just keeps on going and she keeps on letting him. He even pulls the whole “I have to see you because I’m moving away” card and I don’t buy it for a minute. Seems awfully convenient if you ask me. If he hadn’t been shot by Vera then it seems like the affair would have actually continued.

Then you have round 1 with Vera. So she ended up choosing Leonide over him and got married. Michael doesn’t let this deter him though and still keeps on writing her which is then something that she tries to hide from Leonide. She should have just told Leonide herself the instant she received the letter what had happened so that he would at least hear the truth before the gossip. Running over to Michael was not the right move.

Additionally, I don’t think it was smart to go to this party either. It was quite clear that the main villain still liked Vera as he flirted with her openly so getting drunk out of her mind was not a great plan. If Vera had to go to the party because she was bored, then at least don’t indulge in all of the drinks. It just ended up putting her in a very vulnerable spot which did not end well.

I mean, the villain’s the villain. He’s a pretty terrible character of course so that goes without saying. The heroes are the ones who needed to be better judges of character and just keep their distance the whole time. That would have really gone a long way here.

As for Leonide, he was very quick to believe the worst about Vera. She didn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence but you would hope that he could have heard her out a bit. As for splitting up, well it’s easy to see how that would happen. Once you’ve lost trust it is incredibly difficult to the point of being near impossible to get it back again. So once the doubt was there, you could say the marriage was already all but finished at that moment.

The best part of the film would be the actual trial for me though. I always like a good case and this one was really on point. You had all of the players talking tough from different sides. Vera certainly wasn’t helping her case by staying silent for so long but her defense attorney was really trying his best anyway.

The main prosecutor was a tough but fair man. He actually did allow himself to be lenient when needed while also staying tough on the case. One of his best lines is when he yells that the courtroom cannot be blackmailed by the accused and demands that the suitcase be opened up. Now, the judge is the one who ultimately makes that call but I loved his conviction. This guy was definitely not going to be pushed around and he made that quite clear.

The judge was also a compassionate man who did his best to make sure that the proper justice was served in this case. He wouldn’t allow for any incomplete ruling to make a mess of things. If you’re ever in court, this is the kind of guy you would want to be judge over the case. To an extent you could say the courtroom part even overshadows the actual flashbacks that we get because it is easily the most compelling part.

Confession is a strongly well rounded film. The writing is good and the movie moves at a decent pace once the court scenes start. My main issue with the film is mainly in the slow first half. The scenes with Lucy right through to the villain getting shot feel rather slow and uneventful. You’re waiting for something to happen the whole time. After that is when the film really gets going.

The other issue is that the two heroines just allow themselves to be pushed around far too much. Lisa didn’t want to get into a relationship but lets herself get strong armed into one while Vera was married but still ends up attending a party and getting super drunk in the presence of someone who has threatened her marriage several times. The characters really needed to stand their ground more.

Overall, Confession is a good film. It ends on a high note which is always important and the writing is on point. You’ll be engaged as you watch the film. Even if the intro slows you down a bit, just hang in there until we get into the courtroom and it’ll have been worth the wait. We definitely need more films that take place during a trial since it’s always such a blast.

Overall 7/10

Top Secret Affair Review

Time for one of those films that has everything going for it. It’s got a court case which is always fun to watch even if it feels like half the time the judge refuses to even let the accused speak. Of course that is pretty accurate based on the cases I’ve seen in life. Half the time they just want a chance to take as many shots at you as possible and you’re not allowed to talk back. Then you’ve also got some nice banter with the two main characters and I always like that kind of dynamic. Makes for a pretty entertaining set of dialogue moments and this film is a solid ride from start to finish.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Dorothy, a boss who you do not want to cross. She is furious that General Goodwin is getting the political appointment for the position she and her magazine had been trying to get for someone else. Her staff tells her it’s too late to do anything about it but she doesn’t think so. She is determined to dig up some bad press on this guy in order to make sure he loses the appointment. It’s a pretty intense way to get her revenge but once Dorothy has her mind set on something she accomplishes it. Dorothy invites Goodwin to stay over at her place under the pretext of assembling an article that will speak positively about the army. The Army orders Goodwin to stay at her place. Will he be able to navigate the minefields of questions?

General Goodwin is portrayed as a very intelligent guy. He’s certainly skilled and very qualified for the position he is about to undertake. He doesn’t fall for any of the dirty tricks that the magazine has in store for him. He’s able to break records on their balancing game and knows how to avoid the loaded questions. He even manages to outdrink Dorothy when she tries to get to him that way. Still, we wouldn’t have a film if he perfectly evaded everything right? Unfortunately he has one weakness, Dorothy. As cliche as it sounds, he ends up lowering his guard around her which is a fatal mistake.

It’s too bad because otherwise Goodwin had been doing really good. He didn’t fall for the interviews which you would figure is the toughest part and he even outlasted her in drinking. It just wasn’t enough in the end. This eventually leads to the court room case where Goodwin handles himself well. His only unfortunate scenes here are getting involved with Dorothy and then spilling the beans about old events. It’s just not a mistake he should have made. Regardless, this doesn’t keep him from being the best character in the movie. I already spoke about how much I enjoyed the banter between him and Dorothy.

In many ways that is what keeps the movie operating at a high note the whole time. It’s just a very smart movie with a lot of good lines throughout. While Dorothy is the villain she is also a compelling character and a pretty interesting one to follow. She may get a little overly emotional at the end but otherwise it’s easy to see why she is able to lead this company. She’s quite witty and also good at strategy. She’ll use any kind of tactic to succeed and I’m sure that most would have faltered almost instantly.

Then you’ve got the supporting characters. The main two are Phil and Gooch. Phil is the guy who works for Dorothy. He’s usually around making sarcastic comments or subtly trying to get in Dorothy’s way. He has slightly more of a conscience than she does but seems to just be entertained by following whatever scheme she has afoot. He also gets drunk pretty quickly as well. His best scene is definitely when Dorothy has decided to flee the country so he calls in the government right away. He may not be quite as smart as Dorothy, but Phil definitely has his moments and I just thought he was a lot of fun from start to finish.

Finally you’ve got Gooch who is here to look after Goodwin. His job is to make sure that the story which gets published is positive. Unfortunately for him it’s not like there’s a whole lot that he can actively do about this. At best he can give out advice and talk a good game. He means well though and is a good sidekick to have at your side. He may not be someone who can just take over but if you need someone to carry out orders then he’s your guy. The cast is pretty small as a whole but it’s a solid squad.

The ending of the movie is a little rushed though. We literally go from one character threatening to murder the other to both of them jumping in the car together a few seconds later. Of course the whole murder thing was more figuratively speaking but she didn’t seem to be on good terms with the guy. There was definitely a ton of emotional back and forth going on but the last scene still just didn’t make sense in context to me. I dunno, feels like it all just moved way too quickly there.

The court case was fun though. It was as one sided and bias as possible but it still made for a lot of good entertainment. I just like to see court room scenes and it’s probably why political thrillers tend to be a blast. Of course this film was also part comedy with a lot of fun moments mixed in as well. It’s just a great mix and that’s why it all works out so well. When you’ve got excellent dialogue and a good premise then you’re in business. Really the element that probably should have been cut out was the romance and then this would really be all set. =

Overall, I would recommend checking this movie out. The film’s just very well written and engaging all the way through. The pacing is on point so nothing ever drags. Goodwin makes for an excellent main character and you can’t help but like his confidence. The cat and mouse battles with him and Dorothy as they talk politely but trade insults through subtext is great. You just don’t see these kind of verbal battles nowadays. You don’t want to miss this classic.

Overall 7/10