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Erin Brockovich: a gripping drama of a woman’s quest for truth

Erin Brockovich (released in 2000) is a gripping drama based on real-life events. It explores a woman’s quest for truth amid dire straits and strong resistance.

The film received rave reviews for its portrayal of the single mother from California who made history.

Julia Roberts plays Erin Brockovich, a single mother of three who is struggling to make ends meet. She is a twice-divorced ex-beauty queen, uses foul language and wears revealing outfits. Brockovich is involved in a car accident and, as fate would have it, ends up at Ed Masry’s law firm. When Masry fails to win her any compensation, she asks him to give her a job. He reluctantly agrees.

Erin is looking at real estate files when she notices that Donna Jensen from Hinkley, California has received an offer to sell her house to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). After spotting medical documents in the file, she visits Donna, who reveals she has several tumours and PG&E are providing her with free healthcare. Through their conversation, Erin discovers that the dwellers of Hinkley are being deceived by the company into drinking water containing hexavalent chromium, a chemical that is not only toxic to humans but also harmful to the environment.

She visits families in Hinkley who trust her and share their problems with her. Erin is deeply saddened to find out that many people in Hinkley are suffering from cancer and other fatal diseases due to drinking the contaminated water that PG&E is telling them is safe.

Erin has no expertise in law, yet her drive and persistence propels her into filing a successful case against Pacific Gas and Electric. She makes history as PG&E is instructed by the judge to make a settlement of $333 million which remains the largest direct-action lawsuit settlement in US history. Masry’s law firm, Masry & Vititoe, gets its share of $133.6 million from the settlement, and Brockovich is presented with a cheque for $2 million.

Made on a budget of $52 million, Erin Brockovich proved to be a massive hit at the Box Office and grossed over $256 million worldwide. Julia Roberts received the Best Actress Oscar at the 73rd Academy Awards, as well as winning a BAFTA and several other awards. Critics heaped praise on Roberts and called it one of the best performances of her career.

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Erin Brockovich earned additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay.

The film consists of an original soundtrack by Academy Award-nominated composer Thomas Newman. The album includes two songs by Sheryl Crow, Every Day is a Winding Road and Redemption Day.

Erin Brockovich is one of Roberts’ finest films and should not be missed at any cost.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Featured Image: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com

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