I was fortunate enough to be a guest of the NSPCC and Childline at a private pre-screening of The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr (RDJ), at The May Fair Hotel last week. The Judge chronicles the tale of a seemingly successful corporate lawyer, who is forced to leave his materialistic comforts of a glass house, sexy wife and thriving career in the city, to return to his small town hometown upon receipt of some tragic news. Aside from the melodramatic cross-examination, I believe it was a perfectly depicted family and courtroom drama that highlighted the flaws in humanity and the legal system. I left already placing it on my Top 3 legal films of all time, behind The Devil's Advocate and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Without further adieu, its time for a thematic review in true BLEURGH style.
Blazer : Urban Outfitters | Shirt : TM Lewin | Trousers : Littlewoods | Chelsea Boots : Primark
TIME The Judge's strained relationship with his son following a tumultuous past, is heartbreaking and yet, hopeful. I'm sure there have been some, myself included, who have had difficult relationships with parents in the past (or present). At times, it feels never-ending. There is no light at the end of the tunnel in a heated exchange, and once those words have been spat out venomously it is even harder to retract. Allowing past demons to plague the relationship lands you nowhere but in the pit of regret, malice and anger. In order to truly move forward, one must decide to briefly visit the past but resolve to wipe the slate clean. Words and actions affect not only the parties involved, but put a strain on all connected parties such as siblings and partners, and its better in the grand scheme of things, to let peace reign. Time truly is the healer of all wounds, but active pursuit of a resolve within the time allotted to each of us is a better use of the ticking clock.
PROJECTION The Judge is RDJ's titled father, who has earned the respect of his peers and those in the community, but lacks it from his son. This is the result of bad decision making in the past, and allowing pride to cloud one's judgment. Learning not to project your disappointments, feelings and insecurities on others is one of the greatest lessons in life. It gives you room to trust, to love and to grow as an individual. And it also helps to avoid resentment and hatred from either party. I was prone to projecting my insecurities on others, and judging them by my actions or thoughts. Once I learned to let each person earn my honest opinion of them based on their own actions, I learned a greater deal about humanity as a result.
REDEMPTION As a christian, it is my core belief that once tainted, one can ask for redemption and be purified. This has enlightened my outlook on humanity, as I am less judgmental about one's character as a result of one act, trait or flaw. I do not believe we are all born and remain one way. I truly do think it is demeaning not to regard others as multi-dimensional characters; funny, smart, loyal, charismatic, etc. If we have sinned prior, and fallen short of His glory, there is still time and room for change. RDJ perfectly embodies this, as the end of the film shows him reckoning his past and present, with a new future that's brighter.
"Sometimes you've got to forgive in order to be forgiven" The Judge