I found Anatomy of a Murder a fun film, despite that it was about a rape and a murder. There was cheerful, smart and smart-ass bantering throughout the movie that made it a joy to follow. Part of the reason I found the topic lighter than expected because I had a lingering feeling (no more than that: an active anticipation) that something will turn out differently. I kept hoping for a twist, that would revel that there is a real bad guy, of whom we knew little beforehand. That revelation never happened, so I was somewhat disappointed at the end. I had my hopes high to the very end.
So I learned, again, that I should enjoy the journey just as much as reachnig the goal, if not more. The flow of the film, the interactions between the colorful characters, the vivid portrayal of them, the unrelenting script, the camera work … these were all excellent on their own that together made up a near perfect movie. I would have noticed it even more, had I not invested my attention to the unrealized twist.
IMDB’s summary: Paul Biegler is a small town lawyer who until recently had been the local prosecutor and given a lack of clients, he spends a lot of time fishing. When a murder takes place in a trailer park on the outskirts of town, he is asked to defend Lt. Frederick Manion who admits to having killed Barney Quill, a local bar owner who allegedly raped his wife. He now claims temporary insanity. The case is both prominent, with the State’s Deputy Attorney General personally prosecuting the case and lurid, given the rape and the sexual nature of much of the testimony. Biegler and his friend Parnell McCarthy, now a bit the worse for wear and given to drink, must find a way to convince the jury when they little or no evidence to support their case