Seeing the Story – The Pelican Brief


The Pelican Brief – Theatrical release poster | Wikipedia

Pakula, A. J., Roberts, J., Washington, D., Grisham, J., Warner Bros. Pictures (1969- ), & Warner Home Video (Firm). (1994). The Pelican brief. Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video.

Reasons for Watching: I saw the movie around the time it came out . . . on VHS. When I eventually picked up the audiobook, I discovered I was comparing it to a movie I’d thought I’d forgotten. Well, this time, I requested and checked out the VHS from HCPL.

Summary :  Darby Shaw (Julia Roberts), a Tulane law student  unearths a crazy enough to be true explanation for the recent assassination of two Supreme Court justices. She writes about them in “The Pelican Brief” which, with the help of her law professor/boyfriend Thomas Callahan (Sam Shepard) reaches to the highest levels of the government. With the help of Washington Herald reporter Gray Grantham (Denzel Washington), Darby unveils an outstanding cover up by some of the biggest officials in the land.

Book to Movie Adaptation : The biggest difference would be Darby’s relationship with journalist Gray Grantham. For a spoiler difference, check out this link at Wikipedia.

Review : After I read the book, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the movie again. I knew there would be big differences and I feared this would ruin the film for me. Yet, I did watch it again, rediscovering the great performance of Stanley Tucci (Khamel). Roberts and Washington were good but I was disappointed by the change in their relationship.

Three Out of Five Pearls 

John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief


Amazon.com: The Pelican Brief (Unabridged) by John Grisham, Read by Alexander Adams | Amazon

Grisham, J., & Adams, A. (1992). The pelican brief. Santa Ana, CA: Books on Tape. 9780736689113

Reasons for Reading:  As I enjoyed The Firm, I looked for some other books by Grisham. I saw The Pelican Brief audiobook on a shelf at HCPL.

Summary:  The deaths of two quite opposite US Supreme Court Justices rock the entire nation. These mysterious deaths leave the country wondering what the heck just happened. Tulane University Law student Darby Shaw sets out to research these odd circumstances. Afterwards, she writes a legal brief which states that assassins killed the two justices on behalf of oil tycoon Victor Mattiece. Mattiece wants to drill for oil in Louisiana marshland where an endangered species of pelican lives. Darby passes along “The Pelican Brief” to her law professor boyfriend Thomas Callahan. Quickly, more people die and Darby must run for her life.

What I Liked : I admired Darby a lot. She was smart and tried to do the right thing. I also liked Gray Grantham. I found Garcia intriguing.I appreciated the pace of the novel – mostly, Grisham got to the point. Oh, and nice Easter egg with Denton Voyles!

What I Disliked: So far, this is the third Grisham novel I’ve read. The ending seemed similar to that of The Firm. I might pick up one of Grisham’s non-legal thrillers next time.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: ‪Aretha Franklin – Chain Of Fools – YouTube

Setting : New Orleans, Louisiana, Washington DC, New York City, The Caribbean

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