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Roe vs Wade and the Right to Life


A preface: Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. Even in movies, shows, games, or whatever else I review which has a major political agenda structured within it, I try to base the merits of the product based on how invested I am in the story. Inevitably though, any review a critic makes about a movie with a controversial subject will have to involve itself in that subject, ideally as objectively as possible. Whatever your stances on abortion, I won't try to convince you of whether your opinion is right or wrong. Instead, I'm simply going to review the upcoming movie produced by Director Nick Loeb titled: "Roe vs Wade" on how the film is structured, organized, and how the actors perform in their roles. Of course, I'll discuss the topic this movie is centered around itself, but again, the goal here is only to review the movie on its objective merits and how I personally felt while viewing it. With that out of the way, let's begin.


Roe vs Wade revolves around the controversial Burger-led Supreme Court decision of seven to two that legalized the right for a woman to have an abortion. There is a degree of focus throughout the movie on the Supreme Court's decisionmaking itself, but these moments are set-up through scenes depicting the actions of other characters and their agendas in either ensuring that abortion is legalized nationwide or preventing it, whether motivated by social, political, or religious beliefs. Given America's modern political climate where either side is either on the side of heroism and righteousness or the epitome of devilish evil, the women's rights advocates and those promoting abortion throughout the film are never picturized as cartoonishly evil or dedicated to slaughtering fetuses wholesale to achieve some evil goal. There are certainly instances where the 'pro-choice' side can act sleazy or ruthless in pursuit of their goals, but it's established their side hails from the same merits of wanting to achieve a greater good as their opposition. Of course, given the film has a conservative cast and is primarily set in the viewpoint of the pro-life activists, lawyers, and former abortionist doctor turned pro-life supporter and public speaker, we mostly see these events through their perspectives.


So, all this aside... how IS the film? Well, admittedly the initial twenty minutes felt rather generic. The main protagonist loses his unborn child due to a pregnancy complication (that we later find out was the result of him terminating the fetus) and becomes involved in a circle of lawyers and activists with vested interests in seeing abortion's legalization and utilization throughout the United States. Subsequently, Bernard Nathanson operates in a Planned Parenthood clinic dedicated to giving women abortions. Besides the lighting being overbearing at times and having a strange obsession with colorizing everything in a yellow tint, the movie itself is rather entertaining and educational (if you choose to believe the messages it espouses). For me personally, the most poignant scenes resonate from depictions of the fetuses after they've been terminated, with the last one in particular being rather difficult to look at and not at least feel a volt and natural initiative to vomit. All the actors give convincing performances to display how invested their characters are in this conflict and how it ties into the overall story arc. The Supreme Court justices are characterized as hesitant, but through social pressures most eventually cave into voting for the landmark decision regarding Roe vs Wade. However, the storyline I felt was most compelling and interesting was the main character's.


For a majority of this film, Nathanson is strictly on the side of abortion. Beyond any financial, political, or social incentives his colleagues may bear in seeing the landmark Roe vs Wade decision passed, Nathanson genuinely believes his work in performing pregnancy terminations is contributing to a betterment of humanity by controlling population demographics whilst saving women who could potentially place themselves in harm's way. Over the movie however, his faith in both his cause and atheistic beliefs is challenged by the scrutiny he receives from co-workers at his office, the portion of the general public that is pro-life, and Doctor Mildred Jefferson near the story's conclusion. We're told despite a Jewish ancestry, Nathanson is strictly atheistic regarding beliefs in any higher deity, but as his psychological justifications break down, his moral confidence in the cause he believes is so just evaporates. It's a believable change from someone so certain of his cause to a disillusioned; guilty individual with a shattered conscience. This change is most epitomized during a scene where Bernard visits a Church and blames the misgivings of his occupation onto God himself. Thus, when his transformation reaches its apex upon the advent of ultrasound technology proving his theory of a fetus not being a living being at conception incorrect, his character arc finally comes to a believable close. Of course, the entire film is a dramatization of real events, but the movie does excellently with the real-world source material, ensuring that only the most pertinent and interesting parts are kept in to provide the viewer an entertaining experience while also remaining true to its message, whether you agree with it or not.


Whichever side of the political spectrum you align with (or even if you bear no opinion on these matters whatsoever); I believe you should give Roe vs Wade a try. Despite the clear message it attempts to deliver regarding the belief of life beginning at conception with a fetus, it does so while backing itself with factual evidence yet still ensuring a level of dramatization in the narrative to provide an entertaining watch simply beyond just another film attempting to convince you of one point or another. Each 'main' character undergoes an arc of some sort, and each 'group' of characters has their own individual personalities and motivations while also being connected to a central narrative. There are also quite a few emotional moments to keep you tethered onto the topic after the movie engulfs you in a hefty amount of political discourse and jargon, primarily when characters themselves break down. After all, the subject matter of this movie can weigh heavily on anyone's shoulders, no matter what their background is. Many times, the right to life committee's bring up that few ever speak for the unborn children, and it's in these moments the humanity of this subject is brought back to the light rather than just the historical controversies whirling behind it.


You may never want to watch this movie because it fundamentally opposes what you believe. That's completely alright and understandable, your life is your own and your choices are yours to make. Personally, I was quite neutral on this matter beforehand and this movie gave me some insight into the Texas-based decision that changed the course of American reproductive history. For those of you who have that glint of curiosity and want to know more however; I encourage you to watch this film, trust me. Even if you still bear the same opinions you had prior after finishing it, I guarantee you'll at least have an entertaining and engaging hour and fifty-one minutes of time well spent. For me, this movie was a solid 9/10, my only concern with it being the choices of lighting and constantly present yellow color tint. Great stuff!