Monday, March 9, 2015


The Accused
Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Cast: Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis
Released: October 14, 1988

Oscar nominations:
Best Actress - Jodie Foster (won)

The Accused is about a woman (Jodie Foster) who is gang raped at a bar and her lawyer (Kelly McGillis) wants justice and have all the men (those involved in the rape AND the ones watching) put away. While watching this, I kept expecting a twist. While Kathryn (the lawyer) does find out things about Sarah (Foster's character) that aren't great for a jury to hear on a rape case such as she does drugs and is promiscuous and was wearing a skimpy outfit that night she was raped, I was expecting Sarah to want the men to have sex with her so she could accuse them of rape because she wanted to get back at them for some other reason...but that was not the case...literally. I guess now I'm just so used in seeing twists in movies and TV shows I watch, I thought this movie would be no different. I probably should have watched the trailer first (I like to watch them after the movie so I'm not spoiled by anything) because it would have told me straight that this is a movie about a woman who is raped and how she and her lawyer want to take down the men who did this to her. There are no hints of twists or ambiguity. 

While all the men involved in the rape (either participating or watching) are all meat-headed neanderthals, there is one younger guy who obviously is uncomfortable about the whole thing and knows what's going on in front of him is wrong...although he just stands there and watches and doesn't call the police until AFTER Sarah has attacked a guy and gets the opportunity to run away. His name is Ken and Kathryn finds out he was there the day the rape happened because she notices his name on an arcade game with the date next to it. (Sidenote: Don't people usually put their initials when they get a high score on an arcade game? He had written KEN next to the score. Not that I really know anything about this because my name is more than three letters, plus, I never play arcade games and when I do, I certainly never get a score high enough to get on the board!) Kathryn looks through some yearbooks to find this Ken and I had to freeze the frame because there was a guy in the yearbook with the name of "Richard Dick". Okay, obviously this was some stupid joke because "Dick" is a nickname for "Richard" (God only knows why!) Why they are having a "Dick" joke in a movie about rape just seems a bit insensitive to me! Did you really go there, movie? Or maybe I'm just over thinking this and that guy's name is actually Richard Dick and his friends probably call him Dick Dick. Poor guy. His parents are just awful.

So Ken is put on the witness stand and he tells what happened that night. Sarah is put on the stand too but because she was drunk and seemed to be flirting with the guy who initiated the rape, they think she might not be the best witness. Ken tells what happened and it just seems so ridiculous that this rape happened the way it did. She was flirting with a guy who she thought was cute and a song she likes comes on the juke box (and it wasn't a real song, it was just some generic pop music which was amusing...I guess nobody wanted them to allow to use their song during a brutal rape!) Now she's drunk and her top is falling off and she looks like a total idiot, but it's obvious she is inebriated. The guy forces her onto a pinball machines and even though she is struggling and screaming, rapes her, then has these other guys who are watching and egging him on, to "have a turn" too. Now while this is going on, in the other room, a bunch of people are sitting at the bar, drinking and watching TV. Did they not hear a girl screaming and all those men shouting? I really found that hard to believe that NOBODY did anything. Except for Ken who called the cops after Sarah had escaped. It was a horrible scene to watch, but at the same time, I just didn't buy it, you know? Okay, so I just did some research on Wikipedia and apparently this is based on a true story of a 21 year old girl who was raped on a pool table by four guys at a bar in 1983 while the patrons did nothing. That's disturbing. I would hope that wouldn't happen in this day and age. And she went through all that only to die in a car accident three years later. (That did not happen to Sarah in the movie...all the men who who were involved were convicted.) That reminds me of this woman who worked at the World Trade Center and survived 9/11, only to be in that fatal flight only a couple months later when the horizontal stabilizer snapped off and the plane crashed in a neighborhood in Queens. It's just sad when someone survives a truly horrendous event, only to die in a freak accident a few years or months later.

Well, this was a depressing review. My next review won't be, that I can promise! 

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