It was the most sensational and widely covered lawsuit in the history of modern day celebs. It ripped America apart, divided opinion and shocked with its verdict that, was a “trial by fire” fuelled by people’s opinions and media coverage.” It shook America and the world. Netflix’s original series, The People vs OJ Simpson is as riveting, as it is gripping, even for a relatively feeble TV serial watcher. You are hooked from the first episode, of this sensational 10 part series, which prompted me to get a Netflix account to watch it, aka binge style! It’s that good. The provocative and award-winning show starts off with that foreboding siren, and explores this case that shook America on June 12, 1994.
You want to know if there is a real truth (not a spoiler as everyone knows the outcome of this case), this drama is as infuriating and it is shocking… how the scene of a crime can be viewed differently by two sides of a people, the Black and White folk of America. OJ’s wife is murdered in cold blood, stabbed to death with her lover. How the police, known for their racial profiling in earlier incidents, are shoddy in their proof getting, how the scene of the crime is contaminated… and then it emerges how one officer under scrutiny has shocking racist overtones … it keeps you gripped, you wonder how you can fast forward while watching each minute, to get to the real truth (if there was any) behind the gruesome murders of Nicole Brown Simpson, OJ’s estranged wife and her lover Ron Goldman. The Juice or the former National Football League running back was arrested and charged with their murders, and in a shocking verdict, was acquitted by a jury. The families of the victims subsequently filed a civil suit against him, and in 1997 a civil court awarded a $33.5 million judgment against Simpson for the victims’ wrongful deaths.
That, Simpson has had run-ins with the law since goes to show his character, and it stills one at silently observing how a public trial changed the outcome of a case that was considerable locked in on guilt.
The lawyer, who plays Marcia Clarke is the extraordinary Sarah Paulson who won an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for her deeply moving portrayal. Cuba Gooding Jr is fantastic as Simpson. He comes on as a star, painted with turmoil, arrogance and imperfections, and leaves as a fallen man, though not guilty at the trial.
Courtney B Vance as the clever, impassioned Johnnie Cochran, and David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian — who is a loyal OJ friend, whose battle with truth and loyalty is poignant. Needless to say, negative publicity has not hampered the Kardashian’s celeb run given his daughter Kim Kardashian is constantly in the news. And that seems to be the ilk of American drama watchers!
It must be said that John Travolta totally takes on the role of showbiz lawyer Bobby Shapiro with such alacrity and understanding. A sense of apprehension at how even under such a stark media gaze a lawsuit gets it wrong… to how Marcia Clarke’s fights till the end, even as she faces her own angst with her ex husband and their child… it’s like observing the underbelly of what is wrong in society… and fills one with a sense of dread. Yes. It’s a must watch, because of its reality that goes deep down into a brutal murder, a sporting icons fall from grace, and how society looked the other way, or in this case were blinded by prejudice.
The People vs OJ Simpson
STAR RATING : 4 on 5
MUST-WATCH? Even though you might know every thing that is there is know about OJ, it’s thrilling to watch it in real time, and gauge people’s reactions, with some gripping scenes and performances. You have to finish it, before you step away!