The Firm (1993)
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The Firm (1993)
For this assignment, I chose Option 2 and watched The Firm (1993). The movie depicts the story of a young man from a poor background who graduates from Harvard Law School, top of his class. Mitch McDeere, the protagonist, is a hardworking, young man trying to give his wife a good life and trying his best to avoid his past. However, at the end of the movie, his past proves inevitable, and he quickly figures out that all that glitters is not gold. The most common theme in film is betrayal (Canby). There are several instances of betrayal in the movie. First instance is when Mitch McDeere was being recruited to Bendini, Lambert & Locke and they failed to disclose the kind of clients they represent and lured McDeere into trap since if he wanted to leave they would not allow it. A second instance of betrayal is when McDeere betrays his wife by sleeping with a girl he met on the beach on his first trip to the Cayman Islands (Pollack). He betrayed his wife’s trust. Thirdly, the FBI betrayed their agreement to McDeere about releasing his brother on parole but instead did so on subpoena and failed to disclose to McDeere. McDeere also betrayed their agreement by refusing to give the paper trail that would show the firm was laundering money for the Morolto family who were associated with the mafia.
The most important lesson from the movie is making decisions independent of external influences. McDeere had a lot of pressure from within the firm, at home and from the FBI. He needed to make a decision that would influence how he lives the rest of his life. His life was at a paradox. His wife had found out he had cheated and wanted to leave him. His firm was on the verge of knowing he had spoken to the FBI and wanted to blow the whistle about their activities (Pollack). Thirdly, the FBI did not care about his future after whistleblowing, that he would lose his licence to practice and he would always live his life on the run. He never wanted to live under the influence of the firm or the FBI (Canby). Therefore, he figured a way to expose the firm was overbilling, which was punishable by law. He gave this evidence to the FBI to prosecute as he acquired evidence against the Morolto family so he could use it as a bargaining chip in his negotiations with the Morolto and Joey. In the end, he had his way as he still retained his license, his firm was closed and all partners arraigned in court, his wife returned, and he was able to set up his brother with a good life.
Lessons from this movie are of value in both my life and business career, in that, I have learnt to be more vigilant of any agreements I commit to as money should not be the only motivating factor. Sometimes what is unseen in an agreement is more crucial than the monetary value of the agreement (Canby). Secondly, it is important to have the freedom of making my decisions as opposed to making decisions based on influence and external pressures from different aspects of life. Thirdly, family is more important and should always come first despite the ongoing conflict or disagreements that could exist family should always be the priority. Lastly, I have learnt the importance of fulfilling commitments and agreements (Canby). Although under duress, McDeere had to deliver to the FBI evidence that would incriminate the firm. He also had a commitment as a lawyer under the attorney-client privilege not to disclose any information he had seen about the Morolto family business.
Canby, Vincent. "Review/Film: The Firm; A Mole in the Den of Corrupt Legal Lions." The New York Times 30 June 1993. <https://www.nytimes.com/1993/06/30/movies/review-film-the-firm-a-mole-in-the-den-of-corrupt-legal-lions.html>.
The Firm. Dir. Sydney Pollack. Perf. Jeanne Tripplehorn, Holy Hunter, Gene Hackman, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, Wilford Brimley, Ed Harris, Terry Kinney, Gary Busey, Tobin Bell, Karina Lombard, Steven Hill, Jerry Hardin, Margo Martindale, Tom Cruise. Amazon Prime, 1993. 9 April 2021. <https://www.amazon.com/Firm-Tom-Cruise/dp/B001JYP8H6>.
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