Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich is a nicely done story of the modern woman struggling to make her own in a man's world, using god-given assets to her best advantage.

Erin (Julia Roberts) is a single mother without a job. She convinces Ed Masry (Albert Finney), a lawyer with a low-profile practice, to hire her as an assistant. Inquisitive and curious, she runs into a peculiar situation of people in a small California desert town called Hinkely facing a abnormally high risk of a carcinogenic disease. She discovers a connection between the disease and the use of hexavalent chromium in the local Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company's power plants, thus contaminating the town water supply. This leads to a David vs. Goliath legal fight with PG&E and Erin makes a name for herself as a non-conventional defender of the public interest. Based on a true story, this law suit with the real Erin Brockovich apparently ended up being one of the largest settlements ever paid in a direct-action suit ($330 million, the same as the number of gods in the Hindu mythology).

Roberts puts in a great performance as a hot-headed legal secretary, complementing the feel-good nature of this film which relies on sentimentality to drive its message about the evils of faceless corporations home. The supporting cast, including Finney as Erin's boss, and Aaron Eckhart as her love-interest, also do a good job. The pacing is tight and the effectiveness in being a bit of a rebel is illustrated well, as is the non-effectiveness of being too stubborn and uncompromising (a lot of Erin's predicaments could be avoided by her being a bit more rational). Erin Brockovich is a compelling movie definitely worth checking out.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||