Table of contents
Basic Information about the Movie:
Name: 12 Angry men
Director: Sidney Lumet
Producer: Henry Fonda and Reginald Rose
Story By: Reginald Rose
Year of Release: 10th April, 1957 (USA)
The Time Duration: 96 minutes
Genre: Crime, Drama, Legal Drama
Movie’s thesis/Purpose: It discusses the befuddling parts of lawful framework and the mind boggling theme of partiality. It likewise exhibits why correspondence and respectability assumes a critical job. It investigates numerous methods of accord building and the troubles experienced in the process among this gathering of men whose scope of identity adds to power in clashes. It likewise investigates the power one individual needs to inspire change.
“12 Angry Men' centres around a jury's thoughts in a capital homicide case. A 12-man jury is sent to start thoughts in the primary degree murder preliminary of an 18-year-elderly person blamed in the wounding demise for his dad, where a liable decision implies a programmed capital punishment. The case gives off an impression of being open-and-shut: The complainant has a frail justification; a knife he professed to have lost is found at the homicide scene; and a few observers either heard shouting, saw the executing or the kid escaping the scene. Eleven of the legal hearers promptly vote liable; just Juror No. 8 (Mr. Davis) makes a not blameworthy choice. At first Mr. Davis bases his vote all the more so for the discourse; all things considered, the jurors must accept beyond a reasonable doubt that the respondent is blameworthy. As the considerations unfurl, the story rapidly turns into an investigation of the members of the jury's perplexing identities (which extend from shrewd, splendid and sympathetic to egotistical, biased and hard-hearted), previously established inclinations, foundations and connections. That gives the scenery to Mr. Davis' endeavours in persuading alternate hearers that a 'not guilty' decision may be proper.
Among the twelve jurors during the deliberation, Mr. Davis is the only one to believe that there is a reasonable doubt and persuades others that the ‘not guilty’ vote would be more appropriate.
The Jury room of New York Court of Law, 1957. A very hot summer day.
The Main Characters:
There are twelve total jurors. Juror 1 serves as a foreman, who is responsible for systematically organizing the jury. The 2nd juror is an unexperienced juror and a bank clerk. He can easily be convinced by others opinions. The 3rd juror is an angry gentleman and an antagonist. He’s quick to lose his anger and others majorly disagree with his opinions. We can see that his poor relationship with his son has biased his opinions. Juror 4 is a stock broker and urges fellow jurors to avoid emotional arguments and persuades them to engage in a rational discussion. Juror 5 is young and faces difficulty and shyness in expressing his opinion and has grown up in slums. Juror 6 is found as a dull but honest man and is slow to see good in others. The 7th juror is an intolerable salesman and expresses that he would have anything to miss the jury duty. Juror 8 is thoughtful and humble and is devoted towards justice. He is the one who convinced that there is a reasonable doubts and convinces others for the same. Juror 9 is an older man and is the first one to agree with Juror 8. He is also one to recognize junior 10’s racist attitude. Juror 10 is prejudiced gentleman and is openly bitter. Most jurors opposes him because of his extremely racist behaviour. Juror 11 is a European and has experienced injustices. The 12th juror is an arrogant advertising executive and eager for the discussion to over so that he can get back to his social life and his career.
Analysis and Evaluations:
The movie through its different instances, occurring during the jury discussion; where twelve jurors belonging from different background and possessing different personalities try to solve a capital homicide case and teaches different concepts of organizational Behaviour. Movie portrays morals and values of jurors and talks about societal issues.
It shows the concept of perception in which individuals organize their sensory beliefs to give meaning to their environment. Here, from the beginning jurors perceive prosecutor to be ‘guilty’ and then gradually change their opinions to ‘not guilty’.
It showcases that murder is objectionable. Though the jurors aren’t able to agree on something and the uncertainty exists, they all agree that murder of father wasn’t acceptable. Even in the act judge says” One man is dead. Another’s life is at the stake.” which shows the belief that the society holds that murder is not permitted. The movie also shows that prejudice and stereotypical mentality exists. As we can see in the movie, several jurors have racist tendencies. Juror 3, he is found extremely opinionated throughout the story, he isn’t accepting any opinion that differs from his. Juror 3 also brings his racial prejudices in the jury room. Later during the discussion juror 10 comments that the boy has lived in slum and that his words cannot be believed; which shows that he lacks respect for boy’s life and has prejudice for people that belong from the slum areas.
The movies shows some traits of effective leadership. The juror 8 is the only one to vote ‘not guilty’ as he wants to have a discussion and doesn’t want the decision to be taken because of pre-judgements. He is gradually seen growing as a leader which was because of the traits his possessed such as honesty, patience, empathy etc. He, during the deliberation, is convinced that there is a reasonable doubt. He persuades other jurors to put themselves in that boy’s situation and brings out certain important points that change votes of jurors from ‘guilty’ to ‘not guilty’. He was calm, composed and considerate about every single detail related to the case.
Juror 8 also possesses task-oriented approach as he doesn’t sick status and ego boost. He uses a lot of questioning skills and motivates other jurors to analyse the evidence in a concrete manner. Throughout the movie, he says that he is not sure whether the boy has killed or not, but solicits feedback from jurors on different points to make an accurate decision. Juror 8 shows the strongest change oriented behaviour. He is the only one to vote ‘not guilty’ and when he is asked to clarify his decision, he encourages to view this case differently and shows his discomfort that decision about the death punishment cannot be taken in five minutes. The film also draws the examples that how leadership can minimize conflicts and integrate opposing views. In this approach it tells that it is important to view diversity as an opportunity rather than counting it a threat to progress and actually provides the benefit of better and greater understanding.
Empathy is an integral part of Emotional Intelligence. In the beginning Juror 8 says that we cannot and should not send the boy to death without properly discussing whether he is guilty or not. Group of jurors are found cross functional (Cross Functional Team) as though these people have same hierarchy but come from different background and have various perceptions.
Apart from these concepts, movie also shows the four stages of Group Development forming, storming, norming, performing.
Forming- This is an initial stage of group- building as in this stage various members of the group are new to each other and tries to start basic conversation or tries to know about each other.
Storming- In this stage, conflict can be found among members, as they agree or disagree on each other’s point of views. In this movie we can see that the first juror tries to be leader of the group and asks other jurors about their views related to the prosecutor.
Norming- This is a very important part of group development as in this stage, members try to resolve their conflicts and try to understand each other’s point of views. Here, juror 12 agrees with juror 8’s point of views and changes his opinion to ‘not guilty’. Performing- at this stage, the team works hard to achieve the goal for which the group is formed. Gradually we can see that all the jurors agree with juror 8’s arguments and change their votes to ‘not guilty’.
12 Angry Men holds a wonderful significance in how it looks at the way criminal justice system works. The characters are well drawn out and portrays distinct personalities which makes it more interesting. It is a very excellent movie as it shows the realities in the judiciary system of the United States of America. As we can see, in the movie prejudice and discrimination is found involved in the decision as some of the jurors are easily agreed with the fact that the boy can stab his father and is involved more in the criminal activities, because of the fact that he belonged from a socially backward class and voted ‘guilty’ before getting into whole discussion.
I would recommend this movie and give it a “B” grade, as it is pure from a simple, undeniable classic. Much of this can be attributed to the exceptional writing and amazing performances in one of the best assembled casts in the film history. The dialogues are realistic and so sharp with a brilliant acting from Henry Fonda. This film reflects a lot of past problems and the proposed solutions of immigration, youth violence and of course overcoming one’s own background and discrimination and deals with moral issues of the society. The film surprised me in how progressive it was, and ending social conclusions that it reach. Though, I feel it was a bit incomplete. Conniving decision of judiciary should have been revealed with the truth. This story conforms to the one man’s beliefs and perceptions against all and tries to persuade others as well. However, it should have more focused on facts and enlightening arguments.
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