Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
DWF ’13: The Advocate
Shekar is no idealist. He is a
lawyer. He defends guilty monsters all
the time, as long as they pay the piper.
His new client can afford his services, but he has trouble reading the Widow
Daugherty. The attorney-client relationship
will be pushed and pulled all out of shape in Tamas Harangi’s The Advocate (trailer here), which screens as
part of the 2013 edition of Dances with Films in Hollywood, USA.
Shekar’s one hundred percent acquittal rate and the unsavory nature of his customers,
he is not likely to be popular with the police.
Nursing a particularly personal grudge, Det. Perkins senses an opportunity
for payback when the mouthpiece’s most recent client disappears under
mysterious circumstances. A similar fate
seems to have befallen Daugherty’s husband.
When she woke up on their yacht, all that was left of him was a massive
pool of blood.
will pound on the missing body issue, but the constant dribble of embarrassing
revelations will complicate his case.
Motivation will not be a problem though.
He is dangerously attracted the Daugherty. However, he cannot determine to his own
satisfaction whether she is guilty or not.
The Advocate sure loves its flashback
sequences, but in fairness, there is a method to their madness. Granted, the reverse Jagged Edge concept is well worn territory, but at least Harangi
revisits it with conviction.
Essentially, Advocate is a lot
like the sort of scandal-driven thrillers that often turn up on late night pay
cable, except it is surprisingly demur.
Even without a lot of naughty bits, the film still pulls viewers in,
almost in spite of our better judgment.
truth, it is rather good fun to watch Harangi drop one shoe after another. Nevertheless, there are head-scratchers
strewn throughout, starting with the obvious fact Shekar’s Della Street is
considerably more attractive than his femme fatale. Man, that’s just weird. Also, the whole
working-out-of-his-house-while-the-office-is-remodeled thing would not inspire
a lot of confidence in the real world.
Of course, it is probably easier to get a presentable but not palatial
pad with a view on the cheap, rather than an L.A Law office suite.
not wildly charismatic, Sachin Mehta’s Shekar is convincingly smart and driven,
which is certainly a good start. As his
associate and on-the-wagon investigator, Steffinnie Phromanny and Marc Cardiff,
respectively, flesh out the film nicely, adding character and credibility. Unfortunately, the uninspired and uninspiring
Kristina Klebe is a conspicuously weak link as Daugherty.
Harangi deserves credit for scrupulously
establishing each twist and turn he throws at viewers. Individually, none is especially shocking,
but collectively they are rather impressive.
The multi-ethnic composition of the cast is also aesthetically appealing,
as is the lack of fuss the film makes over it.
Oddly entertaining in a B-movie kind of way, The Advocate screens this Saturday (6/8) during Dances with Films ’13
at the Chinese 6 on storied Hollywood Boulevard.
Labels: DWF '13, Legal thrillers