Published on November 22nd, 2019 | by Angele Colageo0
Dark Waters, the screenplay developed from the New York Times Magazine article: The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare. The article tells of Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), a corporate environmental lawyer, who headed the years long battle against DuPont in one of the landmark cases that held the company accountable for their actions.
Bilott, is visited by a farmer, Wilbur Tennant (Jim Azelvandre), who was an acquaintance of his Grandmother. As a child, he visited her home in West Virginia during the summers and had fond memories of that farm. Robert, having worked with DuPont on many cases, felt confident that he would be able to sort out the situation for Tennant. What he does not realize until he visits Wilbur’s farm is that the situation is more dire than he had known.
Wilbur had arrived with multiple VHS tapes recording the various issues that were happening to his farm animals. Bilott witnesses the mass graves that littered Tennant’s farm from his herd that had died from various illnesses. Wilbur is convinced that the reason is the dump that DuPont has created next to his property.
Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bilott is an exercise in subtlety. He becomes more purpose driven once his investigation and research in the information that DuPont had sent due to discovery. Anne Hathaway plays Sarah Bilott, Robert’s wife and steadfast partner. Over the years, Sarah had been supportive, however as the case drags on and Rob’s pay gets cut repeatedly, the strain begins to show.
This film has a stellar cast. From Tim Robbins, as Tom Terp, the managing partner at the firm, Victor Garber as DuPont’s in-house counsel. Mare Winningham as Darlene Kiger, a lead plaintiff in the class action suit and Bill Pullman as Harry Dietzler, lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
This movie has the quality that awards season loves. It is a David vs. Goliath, under dog wins story. Mark Ruffalo does a great portrayal of a man who initially does not want to pursue the case, then shifts to the defender of the people.
This movie is along the lines of Erin Brockovich and Norma Rae.
4.5 out of 5 Stars