Witness (DVD)

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Witness (DVD)

After an Amish boy witnesses police corruption in a Philadelphia train station, a hardened cop takes him and his widowed mother back to their quiet Am...

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Review of "Witness (DVD)"

published 14/11/2008 | pmcds
Member since : 07/11/2005
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Good
Pro Artistic and probing
Cons Not for me
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"Ford and McGillis on a serious note"

Witness is a 1985 film starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, and features a moving tale of police protection in the Amish community. The film was critically acclaimed for its brutal handling of what could be a sensitive topic, something which is commonplace in cinema in the 21st Century, and for being very dark, not just in content but in filming as well. Directed by Peter Weir, it is one of the many films that chowcases Harrison Ford's talent as an actor and not just an action star.

Ford plays John Book, a hardnosed cop who must go undercover in the Amish community to protect a young boy named Samuel who is the only witness to a murder. Book befriends Samuel (Lukas Haas) and his mother Rachel (Kelly McGillis) as he becomes emotionally attached to the community as a whole and begins to understand it a little more. But there are some people who need the boy silenced, and the only person stopping them is Book.

There are some harrowing elements to this film, and is was rated R in the States at the time for the excessive use of violence it has. The reality of the violence rather than the extent of it is probably the more shocking of the two, and the cast portray this in a very mature light. The Amish community is treated with respect from the film's point of view, and this contributes to what I felt was a very mature film overall. There was no messing around and playing up for the audience. Everything was very raw and artistic, and didn't seem to be intended for Hollywood lights, more for the critics than anyone else.

Overall, I give this film a slight thumbs up. I can see the artistic side of it appealing to a lot of people, but I wasn't one of them. I felt it needed a bit more get up and go, but I was glad I had watched it, and put my disappointment down to the fact that I probably wasn't in the right mood for this film. It is definitely not a film you can have on to enjoy whilst doing something else. It's this and nothing else at the time.

The DVD had no extras to comment on, and as a 1-disc version, it is currently available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98. Like I said, if this seems to be your kind of film, then it's worth the money, but you'll need to be in the mood and switched on to watch it.

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  • ChemicalRomance published 14/11/2008
    Great Review x
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Product Information : Witness (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

After an Amish boy witnesses police corruption in a Philadelphia train station, a hardened cop takes him and his widowed mother back to their quiet Amish community. There, hiding from his crooked superiors, he is witness to a simpler and seductively innocent world. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Harrison Ford. Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing.

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Listed on Ciao since: 24/06/2005