Philadelphia (1993)

by missizziemcguinness


‘Explain it to me like I’m a four year old’ 

Jonathan Demme directs this drama about a homosexual former lawyer called Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) who has AIDS, and teams up with a lawyer called Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) to back him up against wrongful dismissal as a result of being fired.

I suppose that AIDS and HIV is an uncomfortable thing to talk about, mostly if it is exploited in media forms such as film. Philadelphia was also done around the time when nobody knew much about it, but the movie makes it perfectly clear.

From a glance, it looks like an ordinary film that lectures you about that sort of stuff and involves dreary court room scenes. However, that is where you are wrong. The director allows all the court of scenes to come to a conclusion and leaves you asking questions.

As for the cast,I am a huge fan of Tom Hanks’ work, so it came to no surprise that he was going to give it his all, and it was sad to see him decline in health as the character until he is merely a body on a hospital bed, but Hanks was convincing throughout the whole performance simply because he is Tom Hanks. Denzel Washington was also very good and it wasn’t surprising that he would put 100% into his character. Mary Steenburgen and the young Antonio Banderas also gave impressive performances.

The theme song ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ by Bruce Springsteen is a good but sad song when you apply it to the context of the film. Overall, a great cast and a brilliant director who really knows how to make you emotional.