Thursday, March 27, 2008

Defending Karen Crowder

I finally got around to watching Michael Clayton. [Warning: spoilers ahead.] The performances were very good, but the writing was terrible. A three billion dollar class action? Eighty-five thousand documents in discovery? 30,000 billable hours? Is this supposed to be impressive? Couldn't the writer have talked to a real attorney and got a reality check for these numbers? Nothing in the movie is remotely realistic, especially the idea that a memo like the one featured would be signed by four senior executives.

The most interesting part to me was trying to figure out how much evidence they actually had on the Tilda Swinton character. She makes no admissions regarding Arthur or the attempt on Clayton during the final conversation. Clayton's statements can be interpreted as an attempt to extort the company by threatening to reveal the memo Arthur discovered to the plaintiffs or the public (notwithstanding the fact that the memo is, as she notes, privileged). The car bomb can easily be blamed on some of the mobsters and loan sharks who Clayton consorts with--do they expect to get the Greek to testify that he was paid off on time? Her acquiescence to his demands can be portrayed as caving to a shakedown artist who threatens the settlement negotiations. Am I missing something?
blog comments powered by Disqus