Monday, November 11, 2013

The Advocate - A Twisty Script Shores Up an Indy Drama

(I received a free screener of The Advocate.)

The Advocate is a twisty little courtroom thriller with a ripped-from-the headlines case plus a dose of Dexter-style justice in the mix. It's an indy, and there's a look and feel of indyness to it that kind of makes you wish the filmmakers  had had a few more bucks for noir cinematography and production design, but if you focus on the core story, it's intriguing and well wrought.

Ray Shekar (Sachin Mehta) is an attorney whose fiancé was murdered just after he was able to buy their dream house. The loss has left him with a dark sense of justice.

His job may occasionally mean getting guilty offenders off, but he's not inclined to let the worst of the worst get away.

Enter Allyson Dougherty, played by Kristina Klebe of Rob Zombie's Halloween. She's the wife of a wealthy man who may or may not have been pushed off a cruise ship. Shekar's asked to represent her and to defend her if necessary.

It is. There's money involved. She was having an affair.  Ray has a challenge. Marshaling the forces of an assistant, his private investigator and a mock jury, he sets out to preserve Allyson's freedom, even as he wonders about her guilt and his own sense of absolute justice.

Oh, there are some nosey cops following him to keep his life complicated. Seems they're suspicious about Shekar's sleazy ex-client who's nowhere to be found.

As  an acquittal looks iffy, and Shekar allows himself to become enraptured with Allyson, he has tough decisions to make if he's going to be able to convince a jury she's not behind her husband's death. Just stressing that there's no body, doesn't seem to do the trick.

The story is the flick's strongest feature. It features a solidly crafted plot, and it uses Shekar's complex personality and back story to good effect.

Mehta is an interesting lead attorney as well. At times his delivery may seem a little flat, but overall he's a refreshingly atypical lead.

Yes, there's one obvious breech of courtroom procedure for dramatic purposes, but overall, the way the story's put together makes for a passable hour and a half or so, and surprises persist until the credits roll.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

It's fairly rarely that I watch a lawyer kind of drama. Once in a while. This one looks pretty intriguing.

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