Denzel Washington stars as Roman J. Israel, Esq. in the self titled film. Washington wears frumpy outdated suits and rocks an afro as he portrays a legal activist that denies himself to serve others. The wardrobe is a constant reminder that Roman spends none of his income on trendy clothes. Israel’s apartment is just as meager, only enough space to store his treasured vinyl collection and jars of peanut butter for sandwiches.
Events transpire that lead Roman to question his devotion to people who are ungrateful for his services. Roman J. Israel, Esq. captures the despair felt when there is no indication your sacrifice has made a dent in the problem. The legal system is still ineffective and corrupt.
I could watch Denzel read the phone book (Is this available?) The script delivers some weighty one-liners that provoke thought and evaluation of our justice system. Roman J. Israel, Esq. highlights the injustice of our bogged down legal system. Overly harsh sentences are cast on low level offenders to promote plea bargains. This tactic is used to speed things up in the courtroom. Very fascinating. Denzel was nominated for an Oscar in 2017 for this role – if nothing else, that earns it a watch.