In Caddo Parish, Louisiana, Janet Gregory (Julia Ormond - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is a paralegal who finds herself dealing with the case of Calvin Willis (Mahershala Ali - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2). Willis, an African-American husband and father, found himself thrown in prison for the rape of a local girl, a crime which he and his family swears that he didn't commit. With some thing about the case just not adding up for Janet she agrees to take his pro bono case which begins a twenty two year battle to fight the system and prove Calvin's innocence to get him released. It is a troubled journey with plenty of ups, downs and heartbreak along the way as both Janet and Calvin have to deal with personal battles.
A movie featuring the long battle about a woman taking on the legal system to get an innocent man out of jail is a powerful one especially when you learn that this is not a work of fiction but based on a true story. That is what you get in "The Wronged Man" and the dual story of Janet Gregory's dogged determination combined with the revelations when it comes to the case of Calvin Willis makes this a fascinating and frankly a moving drama. I will go as far as to say that I am sure those who watch "The Wronged Man" already aware of those ins and outs of this powerful true story will find the movie all the more powerful.
But here is the thing about "The Wronged Man"; whilst the storyline is unique there is something familiar about a person fighting to prove a prisoner is innocent. But the strength of "The Wronged Man" comes from the characters and rather than being served everything up on a plate it slowly reveals the character's depths. As such right away we know that there is something which troubles Janet yet we don't learn about it till later on in the movie and that twists things slightly when you consider what she is doing. And the strength of "The Wronged Man" also comes from seeing the friendship which forms between Janet and Calvin which isn't with out its problems but has so much depth and beauty to it.
What this all boils down to is that "The Wronged Man" is a strong movie with most of that strength coming from the true story on which it is based. But there are also strong performances which do a brilliant job of bringing across the turbulent nature of the story and bring out the subplots surrounding each of the central character's personal turmoil.