‘Marshall’ Review Written By Brian CoSign
No justice, no peace! Before Brown v. Board of Education, before becoming the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall was the NAACP’s sole attorney trying cases that would not only shape his career, but the American justice system as well.
This film focuses on one of those cases. Sterling K. Brown’s character is accused of raping Kate Hudson’s character, a high society white woman, and Marshall is assigned to represent him. Josh Gad plays Marshall’s co-counsel Sam Friedman, an insurance attorney who’s never tried a criminal case. Just when you think Marshall may swoop in and save the day, the imperious old white male judge throws a monkey wrench, and Freidman has to reluctantly become the MAIN counsel.
So, not only are the cards stacked against them in terms of judge, jury, and angry white mob, but now Marshall is forced to be a spectator in his own case. How’s that for suspense? “Marshall” is not a biopic, and I’m glad director Reginald Hudlin chose not to set it up that way. This is a movie with an intriguing storyline and plot twist which paces itself perfectly, not to say that Marshall’s life story isn’t compelling, but he’s tried some amazing cases and this case alone is worthy of its own story.
Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad have wonderful chemistry. It’s almost like a buddy-movie of sorts. Gad is the reserved guy worried about the repercussions the case will cause while Boseman is the confident, at times cocky attorney who frequently comes off as borderline arrogant. Their clashing personalities make for riveting drama and believe it or not…comedy.
Kate Hudson’s character is withdrawn, but given the nature of the case, her meek personality is louder than a bomb. Your opinion of her may change, but you’d have to dig deep for that, and I mean waaaaaay deep! You won’t have to dig deep for Sterling K. Brown’s character, though. He gives a solid performance throughout, and I’m certain his role will evoke emotions that may have you ready to march for equality. What’s so exceptional about “Marshall” is its plot.
Honestly, even if it didn’t have Thurgood Marshall and if it wasn’t based on his actual case, the storyline is thorough enough to have been a fictional film that would’ve been just as effective, but that’s a testament to how incredible Justice Marshall was. There’s a new “Marshall” in town, and his name is Thurgood.
“Marshall” is the type of film that could easily have a sequel. Had it been a biopic, that option would’ve been thrown out like a frivolous lawsuit. Like the pioneer Thurgood Marshall was, so might this new film concept be.
There are also some very interesting cameos at the end that will put a smile on your face. I’m co-signing “Marshall” to the fullest. It’s not a boring history lesson, it’s an entertaining drama that you’ll enjoy. America. God bless you if it’s good to ya.
Word to Kendrick Lamar.