‘Marshall’ Review



Chadwick Boseman is working really hard to portray every important Black person that played a major role in the history of the United States. He played Floyd Little in The Express, Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get on Up, and now Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. Marshall is a semibiographical legal drama film directed by Reginald Hudlin. The story focuses on a young Thurgood Marshall, before he became the first Black Supreme Court Justice, while he was working one of the first big cases of his career. Along with Boseman, the film stars Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown and James Cromwell. The case in question is The State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell, on which Marshall worked with a local attorney named Sam Friedman. What makes the case more interesting is that Thurgood was not allowed to speak while in the courtroom and had to win the case via Sam Friedman, who had never worked a criminal case. Chadwick Boseman is phenomenal as Thurgood Marshall. He brings a certain weight and swagger to the role that makes the character feel unbeatable. He also brings in emotion and heart to the character. During this time in his life, Marshall spent a lot of time on the road trying different cases across the country. He barely gets to spend time with his wife or time on his own. He also rarely stays in town long enough to witness the outcome of his case in person. Boseman balances this weight very well. The audience can tell he is feeling the pressure on his shoulders, but they also believe that he will not break. In contrast to the strong demeanor that Boseman brings to the screen, Josh Gad brings comical and innocent lightheartedness as Sam Friedman. He feels that getting involved in the case would be bad publicity for his family and his law firm, but stays involved because he knows it’s the right thing to do. The film’s supporting cast turns in terrific performances as well. Sterling K. Brown is such a treasure and he is always showing his tremendous talent on screen. Brown portrays Joseph Spell and there are a few lines he delivers towards the end of the film that may just get him some awards consideration this year. Reginald Hudlin does a fine job at placing the audience in the 1940s. He works in the multiple flashbacks seamlessly and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats trying to figure which ones are real. In addition, seeing how a lawyer can win a case in this society was very educational. Focusing on the racial injustices in the North during this time is something that is rarely seen in film today. Most films of this nature focus on discrimination in the South. I give Marshall a Decent 8/10. I wonder which historical figure Chadwick Boseman will decide to play next?


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