Dramedy about the criminal justice system and its transgression from the pursuit of truth
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Producer/s : Katarina Klaric,
Director/s : Katarina Klaric,
Writer/s : Katarina Klaric,
Actor/s : Drew Tingwell, Elissa Stephens
Dogged Truth centres on a barrister whose preparation for court concentrates more on what he’ll wear than the details of the defendant’s case. “I don’t need to know what happened,” he says. “Justice is not about the truth. It’s theatre.” You can tell from the way he declaims this, that he loves it that way. He gives a lot of guff about Lady Justice, and whether she’s going to love the accused, but justice actually about him.
Congratulations to Drew Tingwell for portraying the most nauseatingly oily lawyer imaginable. The smoothness is undermined by his badly folded collar. Is that deliberate? Or a case of “Where’s the costume department when you need them?”
We don’t see the defendant, but we hear him. If the voiceover seems badly acted, bear with it, there’s a reason. It’s not supposed to be utterly authentic – the prosecution case is presented as melodrama, Lady Justice a is a real person, and it’s all going somewhere…
When it finally lands it does so with such a shift in tone, we just pull our eyebrows down from our foreheads, and go “What???” It does make sense, if you think about it. But you do have to think about it, and that’s why some will say the piece falls short. Satire, which this is, succeeds by marrying mirth with message. Is the punchline funny? And even if it is, can the humour survive the need to puzzle out what the film is actually saying?
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