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The Client

A District Attorney Out For A Conviction. A New Lawyer Out Of Her League. A Young Boy Who Knew Too Much. 

Year: 1994 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

"The Client" is a suspense drama in the truest sense of the words, and the latest book-to-film transition from author John Grisham, following the success of "The Firm" and "The Pelican Brief".

Following on from this August block-buster success, The Client is set once again in the legal world, with the emphasis refreshingly breaking from the overly-positive L.A. Law type, to include the rule-breaking, win-at-all-costs ethic of some lawyers.

The two characters, played by Jones and Saradon, are both lawyers; Jones a hot-shot, high-profile Deputy District Attorney, nick-named the Reverend Roy (for his tendency to quote the scriptures; and Jones on seriously stonking form), and Saradon a recently qualified private lawyer, more familiar with the more seedy and mundane areas of law practice.

The two come into contact when Saradon's character becomes the lawyer of a young boy witness; who is being chased by both the Reverend Roy and the D.A.s office - for his testimony, and the mafia - who want to kill him before he can give evidence against them.

In this instance, the contrast in types; but the similarity of motives adds a new edge of drama to this film, as Saradon fights through the legal red-tape, and her client flees for his life as the mob begins to close in on him.

The plot has all the trimmings of classy direction and action, from the chase sequences which sustain the fast moving pace of the film to the excellent performances from the two stars, who are more familiar in secondary billed roles. This makes what could have been an ordinary legal drama absolute funkdom personified entertainment (nuff said - Alex). Indeed, Jones' dynamic acting dominates the film; making the part his own, and leading to some absolutely class confrontation scenes between the Reverend Roy and Saradon's fiery character.

The Client offers all of the plot detail and suspense that is a feature of Grisham's previous novels, whilst being refreshingly distinct from the pop-corn belt of action and adventure novels. Dry, witty, fast-moving, well acted and plotted; all in all a character-full little number!

Sam Hillyard.

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Screenings of this film:

1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)