Film review: Devil’s Knot

I’ve been obsessed with The Memphis Three story for quite a few years now. I’ve watched all the Paradise Lost documentaries, I went to the West of Memphis premier where Peter Jackson spoke as did Damien Echols himself. So when I found out they were making a film based on the book Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt, I waited. And waited. I even thought Reese Witherspoon would be able to do a good job. I was excited to see Colin Firth with a southern American accent. I was more excited when I found out Dane DeHaan would be in it. All the blogs, all the forums, all the court transcripts and interview tapes, all the yelling with my sister over if those three boys were innocent or not. My obsession, finally, turned into a film for entertainment purposes. Yes please.

I wish I never knew about the case. I wish I never watched Paradise Lost or was invited to West of Memphis with Peter Jackson and Damien Echols. I wish I never read anything about it. Because then I think, I think… Devil’s Knot would have been good,

This movie brought nothing new to the table. It was just a dramatisation of everything the Paradise Lost and West of Memphis documentaries uncovered. So as a viewer who knew everything already, I was quite bored. But, the story is so compelling that if you know little or nothing about the three teenagers accused of killing those poor, innocent young boys, I’m sure you will enjoy this film.

Witherspoon portrays Pamela Hobbs, one of the murdered boys’ mothers. Her character was definitely portrayed in a way that is nothing like the Pamela Hobbs I have seen in the documentaries and news footage, but that’s Hollywood for you. I was also disappointed to see that Dan DeHaan was portraying Chris Morgan (a suspect), and had only about two minutes screen time (a good two minutes, mind you), because I think he is such a fantastic actor he could have really brought something extra to the movie. Firth pulled off the accent superbly, I thought, but he didn’t really pull any big emotions out of me.

As I mentioned earlier I wish I was seeing this movie from fresh eyes, because I may have enjoyed it more. But if you are seeing it from the perspective of someone interested in the case, just be warned there is nothing new in it and you won’t be questioning much when those credits roll.

Our rating 3/5

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