Ray (Sachin Mehta) is one of the best defense attorneys around, to his own detriment. Years after his losing his wife to a murderer he helped keep out of prison, Ray continues to practice his trade, though with a new idea of ultimate justice. Under suspicion of foul play, as some of his more dubious clients seem to disappear shortly after acquittal, Ray’s latest case involves the defense of a socialite, Allyson (Kristina Klebe), accused of the murder of her husband. As the facts of the trial pile up, Ray finds himself stuck trying to decipher whether his client is guilty or not, and whether he can win the case regardless.
Tamas Harangi’s The Advocate is one of those crime-and-courtroom dramas that is incredibly entertaining. With numerous subplots swirling under the surface, the film remains layered without being needlessly convoluted. There’s the main mystery of the socialite’s murder trial, sure, but there’s also the possibility of defense attorney as vigilante (and one of my favorite films is The Star Chamber) along with other twists that I don’t wish to spoil here (pretty much all of the above you can get in the first ten minutes of the film, maybe even less).
It all plays out at a proper pace that is never too slow to lose your interest or too fast to confuse the mystery; it’s just right. Add to that the fact that Sachin Mehta is an enthralling presence on the screen, and it’s hard not to go along with the film. It just gets so much right, it’s hard to find anything I felt was “off” about the picture.
That said, while it is entertaining, it’s not something I would rank up there with the top films of the genre. It’s very good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s very good in the sense that some Law and Order episodes are really, really good. I enjoy them, but they’re not transcendent. And there’s nothing wrong with that. A home run is a home run, even if it’s not a grand slam.
Ultimately, The Advocate is a quality film in every direction. If you like crime thrillers or courtroom mysteries, this one should be on your list to check out.
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