‘Dark Waters’ review – Lawyer takes on corporate corruption

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‘Dark Waters’ review – Lawyer takes on corporate corruption

Mark Ruffalo in ‘Dark Waters’. Picture: Focus Features

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The production is a long, rambling essay and patience is required to stay with the slowly unfolding drama.

Dark Waters, based on a true story, is about a courageous Ohio corporate lawyer who fights to discover the truth behind deaths in a small community exposed to deadly chemicals.

It’s an uphill battle for lawyer Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) but he is a gritty fighter, an individual who is determined to take on the corporate world, whatever the cost, in exposing the truth.

It begins when concerned farmer, Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp), approaches Bilott about the animals dying on his West Virginia farm. He cannot fully explain how this has happened but firmly believes that DuPont, one of the world’s largest corporations in the vicinity, is involved.

Bill Camp and Mark Ruffalo in ‘Dark Waters’. Picture: Focus Features

Tennant reveals that over the past couple of years, he has lost over 190 cows to strange medical conditions.

Bilott is in a tricky spot. As a corporate defence lawyer he actually helps chemical companies pollute the atmosphere without breaking the law.

After a short investigation Bilott, against the advice of his boss Tom Terp (Tim Robbins), decides to take on the case.

Mark Ruffalo in ‘Dark Waters’. Picture: Focus Features

The production is a long, rambling essay and patience is required to stay with the slowly unfolding drama as Bilott, now forced to work on his own and away from the prestigious law firm, assembles a case piece by piece.

The all-round acting is first-rate, with Mark Ruffalo’s sterling contribution especially noteworthy.

However, the subject matter and the constant flow of technical information may prove too dense for most viewers to absorb and the human aspect of it all is never truly engaging.

Anne Hathaway in ‘Dark Waters’. Picture: Focus Features

Info

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Victor Garber, Bill Camp
Director: Todd Haynes
Classification: 13 L

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