I must have been in 9th standard when Tom cruise made his entry into my life… I know he existed on Hollywood scenario even before that but it was me who was late in giving him a glance…
He enters the court room and submits plea for his clients stating they aren’t guilty… turns around and says “so this is how a court room looks…!” and those marvelous deep eyes say the rest… Lt. Daniel Kaffee has made his mark and so has his 5 hairs (… obviously random figure… don’t take out his photo and count 5 hairs…!) falling on his forehead!!! In my favorite list Tom cruise had arrived and with a bang!!!
A few Good Men- one of the masterpieces made in Hollywood and one of the highlights of Tom’s career… blew me away. What immediately stood out with this film was the depiction of Daniel’s character who knew that his clients weren’t wrong but he also knew very well that he needed some magic to save them, because the government had so framed the case, that their survival was impossible!!! Quiet like, what we think at times, when we know certain elements in our society are wrong and yet we fear to frame them or raise voice against them…in fear that either this will lead us nowhere or else it will lead us to some unknown and unforeseen circumstances that, ultimately we would repent getting into it!!! It indeed requires a good man’s courage to fight it out amidst such situations and hold his own against such corrupt scenarios.
Daniels’ disappointment at minute details reaching him late in the court room was genuine and believable. Being junior grade Corp’s lawyer this was his first case and he knew it very well that he will be losing it. With lot of explaining to his client to accept the crime and serve for 6 months and get free, all he receives in return is his client’s firm stance in not accepting the crime and get dishonored in return. Instead the client forever maintains that they followed their orders!!! Ultimately Daniel gives in and vows to fight the case with only information that Lt. Kendrick issued orders of ‘Code Red’ to be executed by his client Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and PFC Downey to another PFC William Santiago, of which he has no eye witness at all!!! But those were orders… how could they not follow it??? Later, as the role of Colonel Nathan Jessep in this order comes to fore, Daniel pulls in all his efforts to put him behind bars and save his client!!! Though his confidence shakes up a couple of times, it’s Capt. JoAnne Galloway played by Demi Moore which plays influential role in getting him to reorganize and put up a brave fight!!!
Colonel Nathan Jessep played was Jack Nicholson is the legend!!! No one could have played that character better than Jack ever… Being able to maintain stoic coldness after committing most heinous crime and yet putting up his air of designation and throwing weight around, Jack was Colonel Jessep to the ‘T’… His dialogue-“I run my unit how I run my unit. You want to investigate me, roll the dice and take your chances. I eat breakfast three hundred yards away from four thousand Cubans who are trained to kill me. So don’t think for one second that you can come down here, flash a badge, and make me nervous”-comes out so powerful that it sets the stage for a clash never seen before!!!
The ultimate confrontation between Daniel and Colonel Jessep is the highpoint of the movie and it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat… With Colonel getting arrested and his client being found guilty for “conduct unbecoming a United States Marine” and thereby getting dishonorably discharged, movie comes to an end.
Daniel ultimately says to his client-“you don’t need to wear that badge around your arm to have Honor” to which Lance Corporal Harold Dawson, salutes in response.
Indeed, in life you don’t have to have a badge around your shoulder to have honor in good things and for fighting against bad things. All you actually need is a good man’s courage in your heart and able support of your people.
‘A few good men’… makes me believe that yes, good things and good men exist and more so in each one of us provided we give them a chance!!!
Now, although this post started with how Tom made his way into my heart… I was destined to get lost with movie review … that’s because I saw A few good men yesterday night for the nth time and was left in awe the whole night after… and probably still in it…
If you haven’t seen it yet… go get yourself a DVD and watch it…its worth your life!!!