Witness: a Review

Witness: A Review
Witness, directed by Peter Weir is technically a crime thriller, but it is unlike most. Although featuring gunfights and an action packed climax it would be better described as a love story, the story of a man trying to fit in to a foreign community and the clash of cultures that results. With an academy award winning screenplay and beautifully crafted cinematography it has something for everyone.
The plot is centred around an eight year old Amish boy Samuel who is the sole witness to a murder. This is a murder the delves deep into New York police corruption involving some of the protagonists fellow police officers. John Book is assigned to manage the boy and his mother until they can make a statement and identify potential suspects. While the boy is in the police office he slips away to see a cabinet in which there is a photo of the man who committed the murder, James Mcfee who is an ex-police officer. Book reports this to a friend of his but, as he quickly learns this friend is also part of the corruption and ends up sending someone to kill him. The killer is unsuccessful and Book escapes, suffering a shot to the shoulder.
Book escapes to an Amish community, his only refuge and it is in this place that most of the movie occurs. The cinematography is breath-taking, increased dramatically by the sheer contrast made between the city and the country. The green rolling hills, the fields of wheat and a running river used to power the windmill are all shot with amazing grace, it is because of this that it was a nominee for the Best Cinematography award.
The beauty and simplicity of the Amish lifestyle is also presented with equal grace. Perhaps the most poignant example of this is the barn raising scene. In this scene the Amish people are shown putting together a barn for someone, a process completed without the aid of mechanical assistant in the space of only one day.
The range of scenes in this movie is quite astounding. Two main types are...