Storm review

A Serbian war crimes courtroom tale done with conviction but sadly lacking dramatic impact. Kerry Fox plays a hardnosed prosecutor at the Tribunal in the Hague determined to send wartime military leader Kuhn to jail. He was responsible for the rape and abuse of a number of young women during a takeover in the early '90s and the legal eagle's only hope for convicting him rests on the evidence of Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), a Bosnian wife and mother who was subjected to his abuse.
She now lives in Berlin with her family and is reluctant to appear at the trial, but when her brother commits suicide after making false claims at the court she is galvanised into action after Fox's impassioned persuasion. She endangers her life by doing so however and is unaware of the political machinations that are taking place behind the scenes.
The script veers towards didactism on occasion and overall the tone is resolutely earnest, but the plotting is well handled and generally keeps one engaged. Fox and her boss Dillane are convincing as the lawyers, neither one eliciting sympathy, both being strong headed and argumentative, but it's Marinca who provides the film's heart, suffering a crisis of conscience in making her decisions and slowly gaining confidence in her desire to see justice done.
It's commendable in getting its points across and addressing the issues involved but lacks impetus - more pace and vigour is required to keep one fully satisfied. That it shies away from melodramatics is all to the good but more aggressive and tighter handling would have perhaps paid greater dividends. Worthy and admirable to be sure but never powerful enough to truly hit its targets. An honourable attempt though.

Storm at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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