Primal Fear (1996)
Running Time: 129 minutes
Directed by: Gregory Hoblit
Starring: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton, John Mahoney
Primal Fear is a drama thriller that starts off with a young altar boy, Aaron (Norton) who is charged with the murder of Archbishop Rushman. Then, in comes an arrogant, hot-shot lawyer, Martin Vail (Gere) who takes on Aaron’s defense pro-bono. Vail is convinced that Aaron is innocent but finds it difficult to prove his belief to the jury when all evidence points to Aaron as the murderer.
I absolutely fell in love with this film, and its story. It was easy to follow, well-paced without much unnecessary, draggy scenes. The director and writers did an incredible job by first introducing the main characters, their personalities, and then moving on with the main plot of the story, which then introduces Edward Norton’s character, Aaron. It was not a surprise that Norton was nominated for an Oscar for his role in this film, he truly did an incredible job. The little movements and minute changes in the facial expressions and voice were almost flawless. It wasn’t hard to fall for Norton’s portrayal here, and believe that he was Aaron. Richard Gere delivered a solid performance as the attorney who will stop at nothing to win his case, and his belief that people are good-natured at heart. Laura Linney too, gave an amazing performance as the prosecutor, definitely one of her best performances.
Overall, Primal Fear is one of those movies which will stay with you for a while even after the credits are rolling, and the screen blackened. The performances were all commendable, especially Norton. If you’re a fan of thrillers, this is definitely one not to be missed, and if you’re a fan of Edward Norton and have not watched this film, make sure you don’t miss it.
Rating: 8 out of 10