The Accused covers many taboo subjects, which in itself would warrant it being a very highly regarded film purely on the bravery of its creators.
The film opens with a distressing scene of a young woman in, clothing torn, running around a busy road trying th thumb a lift, whilst a young college student is shouting down the phone to the operator that a woman has been gang-raped.
The story follows the Sarah Tobias (Jodie Foster), a young woman who was supposedly raped. However because of her previous history of drug abuse, admitting to being intoxicated and smoking marijuana on the night of the incident, it is thought that she would not be a credible witness. On top of this, "no-one saw it happen".
After being pressured by seniors, Sarah's solicitor, Kathryn Murphey (Kelly McGillis) makes a deal for the guilty trio to plead guilty to and be allowed parole in nine months.
Upon hearing this, Sarah is angered and demands a chance to tell her story. Sarah's solution is to charge everyone in the bar that night with criminal solicitation - encouraging the offence to be committed. This would mean the rape would go on record, and the initial guilty trio would get a more fitting punishment. All they need is to find a witness, and having nothing more to go on than the recorded phone call from the beginning and that he is close friends with the rapists, the future is looking bleak
The way in which the film is directed - so that the audience believes Sarah's story, but has "reasonable doubt" - is extremely intuitive. The audience never sees, and isn't informed (reliably) of the events leading up the the incident until the very end, leaving you sure, but unsure until the final verdict.
This directing style coupled with a strong storyline will provide entertainment for any wannabe juror.
The Accused on IMDB
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