TRIGGER WARNING: this post covers a movie which features rape as a main theme.
A wise friend once told me never to watch a bad movie simply because an actor I admire is featured in it. Oh, but had I heeded that advice! After a day of lying around trying to make my brain feel less like a deflated soccer ball and more like an actual working organ, the last thing I needed to do was inflict a terrible movie called Judicial Indiscretion on it. But that’s what I did a couple of nights ago.
The title would lead you to certain conclusions about the plot of the movie. So would the little description the cable company provides, something along the lines of “a judge faces blackmail and sexual intrigue.” Both imply that the judge in the story has somehow made a terrible mistake, that she’s done something horrible enough to warrant blackmail and have her character questioned.
Okay, let’s recap the actual story: Judge finds out she’s probably going to be nominated for the Supreme Court. Judge goes to San Francisco for some reason, where she meets a charming young man who sweeps her off her feet…then drugs and rapes her. Judge doesn’t report the rape, thinking the last thing she needs while going through the nomination process is the embarrassment of a rape trial. Charming young rapist turns stalker and follows her around threateningly. Judge does a background check, discovers he’s a criminal…and sits on the information. Judge is then officially nominated for the Supreme Court, goes around to various major cities. Charming young rapist keeps showing up. She still doesn’t tell anyone, but definitely feels terrorized.
Then, and here’s the kicker, a person who’s been with her for the whole campaign, supporting her, turns out to be the one who hired the charming young rapist (though, he says, the rape wasn’t part of the deal, the guy just threw it in for free – bonus!), and he intends to distribute a tape of the act online if she doesn’t withdraw from the nomination. Won’t that just mar her reputation? Yes, folks, he’s blackmailing her with a tape of her RAPE. She’s not a victim of a terrible crime – oh, no, she’s a party animal who drinks too much and has sex with hot young men.
Oh, but don’t worry. In true Lifetime Channel style, the charming young stalker gets too big for his britches, kills the guy who framed the judge because he wouldn’t give in to demands for more money, then goes after the judge and gets shot multiple times by her security detail. It’s all fixed. It’s only then that the judge steps forward with her story and refuses to let them control her life. Apparently, she had to be convinced to not drop her bid – I’ll admit I missed that part (thankfully), because by that point I was agog by all that had occurred prior to it – and there are big smiles all around for this empowered Supreme Court Justice.
Er. Yeah. The only “indiscretion” committed by the judge character was deciding to not report the rape; it would have ruined her chances at a nomination. And even then, it’s not an indiscretion so much as a bad judgment call. I realize the loss of a highly sought position is certainly a valid consideration, however it seems the only reason it was done in this scenario was so that, ultimately, she could magically be the victor in all aspects. She couldn’t make the journey to becoming empowered if she had power to begin with, you see.
And Lifetime Channel says it’s television for women. I should mention how wholeheartedly I disagree with that claim.