Tuesday, 24 June 2014
In the Name of the Father (5 Stars)
Gerry Conlon died on June 21st 2014 at the age of 60. He spent 15 years of his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. That's 25% of his life, a big chunk for anyone to lose. The film tells the story of his time in prison and the events that led up to it. In my opinion, this was Daniel Day-Lewis' greatest role. He brings Gerry Conlon to life and makes him deeply sympathetic to the viewers.
I don't want to make a political statement about the imprisonment of Gerry Conlon and the rest of the Guildford Four. If a crime is committed the guilty ones should be punished. In my naive way of looking at things it's as simple as that. The police failed in their responsibility by arresting the wrong people, and the courts failed by finding them guilty. The police who arrested the Guildford Four were certainly heavy-handed. They used beatings and threats to force the suspects to confess. Gerry claims that he signed a blank piece of paper and told the police to write whatever they wanted. If his claims are true, the police officers should have been sent to prison, but they were found innocent of perverting the course of justice. Something seems wrong somewhere.
It's a very good film. Pete Postlethwaite also excels as Gerry's father Giuseppe.