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'Let Him Have It' film review

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Let Him Have It By Katja Rackin 'Let him have it' directed by Peter Medak is based on a controversial true story about the crime committed by Christopher Craig and Derek Bentley. Two policemen were shot on the rooftop and one was killed. Although the events actually happened the film is biased towards Derek Bentley as the film shows Bentley only witnessing the happenings, whereas Craig is fully responsible for the policeman's death and various scenes are included, persuading the viewer to agree with the directors opinions. The director shows Derek's side of the story and also shows him as a likeable character rather than a criminal. His family is overprotective because of his epilepsy which makes Derek seem vulnerable, meaning Christopher Craig could easily take advantage of him, which is how the director wants to portray the story. Throughout the film the presentation of Derek Bentley's character shows a helpless young boy who struggles in life. The viewers also see his character as innocent and scared. In the first scene during the war it shows Derek and his friends robbing a garden tool shed to be caught by the owner, which is when Derek has an epileptic fit. This scene displays Derek as a frail character and makes the viewers sympathise with him. ...read more.


He seems shocked and surprised at Craig for having a gun and I think the director uses these quotes to identify Bentley's innocence. The second quote shows him thinking of his family which gives a humanitarian affect. After Craig has shot the policeman, the slow-motion shot shows Bentley shaking and kneeling down beside the dead policeman, while Craig continues shooting. The differing behaviour indicates that Craig is to blame which the director purposely included to further justify Derek's innocence. By showing him shaking and kneeling the director is showing the misfortune of this character and how he just made friends with the wrong crowd or been caught in the wrong situation, which makes us empathise with him. It also makes viewers think that Bentley doesn't want to be there whereas Craig shooting his gun and acting gangster gives the impression he doesn't care or isn't bothered by what's happening. The trial starts with Bentley with his head down, while Craig is smirking. This immediately gives us the idea that Bentley feels remorse whereas Craig does not and it could even be said that he feels proud of what he's done. The prosecution lawyer's speech is made to seem laughable; 'Although he (Bentley) ...read more.


This all confirms that the director is portraying Bentley as innocent and by showing the public supporting him it shows the truth behind the innocence which also helps to gain the viewers sympathy. At the end of the film, the viewer reads that Bentley's parents fought for his innocence until their deaths and Iris still continues that fight today. The film 'Let him have it' make the viewer want to support that fight through making them feel sympathy for Bentley because the film makes us think that Derek did not deserve what he got, therefore making viewers want to get the truth out and do what's right for his case. The film makes viewers feel sympathy and compassion for both Derek and his family, which was the purpose of the film, presenting and justifying the director's views and opinions of the events and trial. By focusing the story on Bentley rather than Craig the director immediately gets the viewer on Bentley's side as viewers often want happiness for the main character. Scenes such as when Bentley gets rejected by the army and when on the rooftop he' shaking and kneeling fully emphasise Peter Medak's judgements on the events and convince the viewers to think alike, resulting in them maybe wanting to help fight for Bentley's innocence. ...read more.

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