The Counselor

Peter Carlisle
Partner, O’Connor Playdon & Guben LLP

What is your official title/occupation? Third elected prosecuting attorney of the City & County of Honolulu, 13th mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, currently partner with O’Connor Playdon & Guben LLP.


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Peter Carlisle

Where and with whom did you see the movie? Consolidated Theatres, Koko Marina, with my wife, Judy.

Overall, what did you think? Explicit sex and/or deviant sex; graphic violence, including mutilation and torture; palpable greed and material possessions obsession – and consequences for all of the above.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes? More memorable than favorite is a close encounter of the X-rated kind between a woman and an exotic car, coupled with the description of this by the sole male witness.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film? ★★1/2

Was the message/theme clear? If a person takes desperate action based on material desire, the consequences will preclude that person and those involved from returning to the world as it was prior to this folly.

Did it remind you of any other works of film? It seemed to me to be a combination of No Country for Old Men and Pulp Fiction, which I consider four-star movies. The endless violence in No Country for Old Men had the burdening and cruel elements of chance and random evil. Pulp Fiction portrayed the sensationalism and dime-store philosophy of fiction printed on inferior paper stock made of wood pulp. This combination in The Counselor produced neither an additive nor synergistic effect, but rather a detractive one.

To whom would you recommend this movie? This movie is controversial. Judy and I both agreed that it did produce tension and sympathy. As a result, it is a film that has different impacts on different people. It is a film that we will remember. The five principal actors/actresses, in my opinion, gave A-level performances. I would recommend this film to the fans of these actors/actresses and those who want to draw their own conclusions about a controversial film. It is not under any circumstances for those of delicate sense and sensibility.

Did any of the actors stand out? Each of the five actors/actresses expertly played convincing roles. Considering the longstanding appreciation of Cameron Diaz in kinder, gentler roles, her portrayal of a ruthless, cunning, manipulative bloodthirsty femme fatale is genuinely inspired.

Did you identify with any of the characters? I certainly hope not.

What’s your favorite movie snack? When I go to the movies, I let my hair down and return to the simplicity of my youth, including salted buttered popcorn, classic Coke and Junior Mints. Judy behaves in a more adult fashion with plain popcorn and bottled water. Her single concession is peanut M&Ms.

On a different note, what’s new with you? O’Connor Playdon & Guben has allowed me to continue to foster international relationships I established as mayor. I recently joined ceremonies in Bruyeres and Biffontaine, France, in remembrance of the courage of young soldiers of the 100th Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. We also celebrated the courageous members of the French resistance and the civilian survivors who endured the unendurable.

By the end of the battle, the 442nd liberated the townspeople from the Nazi regime, relieved 211 Texas soldiers of the surrounded “Lost Battalion” of the 141st “Alamo” Regiment. The cost was staggering: 863 Nisei soldiers died and only 275 survived. In doing so, they overcame the bigotry of small-minded whites and proved their undaunted courage, despite many having family members rounded up and herded into desolate internment camps throughout the United States. We are all obligated to preserve and remember the tragic events that connect Bruyeres, France, and Honolulu, in a timeless effort to prevent such inhumanity from occurring again.