Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Amanda Knox Film

Almost every great tragedy gets a Lifetime movie. For a story to be picked up by Lifetime, the network actually has to be certain that viewers will tear up at least twice. This is why, when the good people over at the network heard about the murder of Meredith Kercher, they jumped on the opportunity to make it into a movie -- the meredith kercher and amanda knox film.

However, usually Lifetime movies are about the victim--not the alleged murderer. Many people would be shocked to hear that the movie is not called the "Meredith Kercher Story", but instead, "Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy."

Yet, the film is still a tragedy. To the parents of Amanda Knox, the real tragedy is how the film portrayes their daughter. While the makers of the film claim that the movie remained neutral, viewers will be left with a very clear impression of the case. But is it the right one?

How Does the Film Depicts the Trial and the Defendents

The Amanda Knox film is based on real events, but does veer off course on multiple occasions. The story is, of course, sensationalized. Television networks don’t necessarily aim to paint the truest picture of a situation, but get the highest ratings. And this movie is sure to pull in viewers.

In the movie, Hayden Panettiere plays Amanda Knox. Hayden comes off as bratty, selfish, and an all-around unpleasant young woman. Her character is cold and doesn’t appear to be bothered by her roommate’s brutal murder. Panettiere defended her acting by saying that when watching recordings of the trial, she noticed that Knox appeared “bubbly and happy”. She admitted that Knox’s demeanor was a bit “creepy”, but she tried to play a girl whose personality was unaffected by her horrible circumstances.

Unfortunately, if viewers based their opinion on Hayden’s portrayal alone, they would undoubtedly assume that Knox was guilty. This is unsettling when considering that Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are currently appealing the guilty verdict of their 2009 trial. The timing of the movie is not exactly ideal for either of the defendents, who are hoping that the film will have no impact on their case.

Overall, Lifetime did maka an attempt to be impartial. One scene depicts police treating Knox unfairly and basically forcing her to lie during questioning. The film really didn’t give viewers a reason as to why Amanda would want to kill her roommate. Other than the fact that Knox thought Kercher was too innocent and Kercher thought Knox was too untidy, the film did not explore the motive behind the crime.

Producer, Trevor Walton, claimed to have created the film to be as unbiased as possible. Creators did not want to affect the ongoing trial and felt that the movie was “responsibly” done. Unfortunately, some major media outlets are giving the film poor ratings. The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Boston Herald, and People magazine have all had negative things to say about the drama.

What the Stars Have to Say

The film’s producers unsurprisingly defend their portrayal of Meredith Kercher’s murder and the ensuing trial. The stars of the film seem to be proud of their work as well. The star of the film, Hayden Panettiere, claimed that the movie was based very closely on fact, which those that have followed the case would know to be untrue, as many of the scenes are pretty off-base.

It’s obvious that Hayden believes that the film is accurate and “tastefully done.” When later asked if she believed that Knox was truly innocent, she seemed undecided. However, regardless of whether Knox is innocent or guilty of the crime, even Hayden agrees that her treatment has been completely unfair. Unfortunately, many people believe that her portrayal of Knox was very much unfair as well.

How the Film Has Affected Public Opinion

Neither the victim’s, nor the defendents’ families wanted this film to happen. So far, it’s difficult to say how the public has been affected. It’s safe to say that viewers with no prior knowledge of the case will probably believe that Knox is either guilty, or very strange.

Amanda Knox has seen parts of the film and is in no way happy with her portrayal. Her parents are also irate. The lawyers working for Meredith Kercher’s family, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox have all threatened legal action against Lifetime.

The real issue is whether people in Italy will see the movie. If the judge and jury were to watch it, would their opinion of the case change? Would they feel more negatively about Knox because of her portrayal in an American movie? The Amanda Knox film has the potential to sway Italian audiences and help keep an innocent woman in jail, or on the other hand, help a murderer go free. Only time will really tell how the movie will affect the events and people it portrays.

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