Hmm.. well to start with.. I had known “Philadelphia” as the name of a University and a vague mention of it as High class society in Titanic .. Wondering what the ostentatious
cruiser has got to do with Philadelphia ??…On their second meeting, Kate Winslet aka Rose would say to Jack aka Leonarda “..500 invitations have gone out and the whole of Philadelphia society would be in.. “ So much very little was my knowledge about this city before watching the movie starring Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Antonio Bandareas.
The original Home video CD which i bought recently termed this movie as “ A landmark film that dazzles with deep emotion and exceptional acting” and the two Oscars, which the movie won for “Best Actor” for Tom Hanks and “Best Original Song” in the then Academy Awards. “Streets of Philadelphia” is the song and it’s played while title cards are put. It hails Philadelphia as the “City of Brotherly love”.. Errr.. of course the movie is about the plight a lover.. but he’s a same sex lover who is infected with one of the deadliest diseases. Released at a time when the epidemic AIDS ‘s outbreak was more and the stigma discrimination of the people infected by the same was very much in vogue, this movie had indeed thrown light on the painful perils of discrimination of the AIDS infected and their acceptance in the then society.
Andy (Tom Hanks) is a successful lawyer and works for one of the prestigious Law firms in Philadelphia. Shortly after the discovery of his illness, his employers fire Andy cooking up a Cock and Bull story about a missing document. Andy join forces along with his lawyer Joe Miller(Denzel Washington) to sue the firm for discrimination. Antonio Bandareas plays the role of Andy’s partner Miguel. As the lead characters are lawyers, a majority of the happenings are in the court room.
In terms of acting I found Denzel to have excelled better than Tom Hanks. Keen on winning the lawsuit in favour of his client and at the same time trying to balance his marital and public life, Denzel has indeed proved his mettle. Though initially reluctant to argue in favour of a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, Denzel steps in to help Tom, against his very own bias . Tom on the other hand is an equally competent actor. Be it the ailing patient or the active lawyer he leaves you with a heavy heart during the climax. The biggest strength of the movie happens to be the dialogues and excellent acting by the lead actors. Thankfully the same sex orientation and the acceptance of the people are portrayed in better optimism. A wide contribution has been done in condemning AIDS discrimination.
It ‘s a must watch movie if you are a penchant viewer of drama. Watch out for those strong arguments and equally potential counter arguments during the trial.