I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about American history or politics even though I studied them briefly in middle school. So when I heard about The Trial of the Chicago 7, I was apprehensive, but curious. It did look interesting and I knew a lot of the cast members. Despite not understanding everything, I thought the film was very well done and it definitely left an impression on me.
The story follows seven people who all share the same goals and beliefs are put on trial during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), David Dellinger (John Caroll Lynch), John Froines (Danny Flaherty) and Lee Weiner’s (Noah Robbins) lives are intertwined forever and will never be the same again.
One of the things that really stood out to me was the writing. It was sharp and witty when it needed to be, heartbreaking and somber during other moments. I enjoyed the small quips that were integrated to lighten the mood and found that the overall pacing flowed properly.
I already mentioned that a selling point of this movie for me was it’s cast. I cannot stress enough just how perfect everyone was in their roles. Particular stand outs included Sacha Baron Cohen who is incredibly diverse in everything he does, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II whose portrayal of Bobby Seale left me breathless and Mark Rylance as the seven’s lawyer helped hold everything together flawlessly. And who could forget Eddie Redmayne himself who shines every single time – that American accent was quite something, I have to say!
Overall, I learned a lot while watching as well. I like when movies are educational because it adds something extra to the entire experience. In addition to history and politics, the themes of race and police brutality were also brought to the forefront which I found to be very topical, especially with everything we have been experiencing in the world today. Sometimes it seems as if history is repeating itself and we can only hope to learn from our mistakes going forward.
I highly recommend The Trial of the Chicago 7 for anyone who wants to open their minds and immerse themselves into something new. I guarantee that you won’t be sorry!