Brian Banks had big dreams of playing in the NFL and was on the right path for that. At 16 years old he was accused then wrongly convicted of rape and sent to prison. He fights to clear his name when he is released and cannot get a job.
This is one of those films that you have to keep reminding yourself that it is based on a true story, Brian Banks is a real person and he went through this horrendous ordeal. It is very difficult to watch because you cannot believe that someone would tell a lie so bad that it would wreck someone’s life. At 16 he was charged as an adult and placed in with some real criminals.
His case was not even looked into properly with DNA evidence not even being presented. He was given some bad advice from his lawyer and everything just seemed to be against him. He had to survive within the prison and look after himself which meant bad choices at times. He was even placed in solitary confinement for 60 whole days, those scenes were extremely powerful and showing his breakthrough to accepting what was happening to him.
He was in prison for six years and on release he was then on parole. This meant that he struggled to find a job due to his conviction and parole status. He needed to get this removed from his record so he could actually have a second chance at life. Losing all that time is just devastating especially considering nothing even happened with Kennisha who got a big payout after it all! The moment she adds him on Facebook and he slams the computer closed is something I am sure we have all related to when it comes to social media, obviously not to the extreme of a person who has accused you of rape. I personally found that shocking that she could just add him as a friend as if nothing had happened.
Brian battled to try and prove he was innocent and tried to get Justin Brooks to help him out. This was something that wasn’t as easy as Brian had hoped, to reopen the case they needed new evidence or something major. Even when he managed to get her to admit that she lied and he did not rape her as they had no consent for the filming.
I mean I obviously guessed that it was going to have a somewhat happy ending if that was possible, or a film wouldn’t really have been made about it. Brian Banks became the oldest rookie in the NFL when he made his debut at 28 years old. I feel that shows that you need to always believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams. He was cheated out of many years of playing football which made everything a lot harder for him to then get a big break. He went for it in terms of the training and when told her he came back stronger and fitter again.
Aldis Hodge is outstanding in the leading role of Brian Banks and having seen him recently in The Invisible Man I must say that I am very impressed with him. I also hope that we get to see a lot more of him in particular in the leading role. He deserves so much credit for this performance as he really is something else! Greg Kinnear and Sherri Shepherd both offer very good support and that is something that helps Hodge push forward.
A very emotional tale that will leave you feeling very angry and annoyed that men can be put in this situation and not be given a fair trial. It certainly raises so many issues when it comes to rape allegations as so many women who have actually been raped don’t speak out in fear of not being believed in this case a woman lied and a man lost a big portion of his life.