At the beginning of the finale, Marie (Julie Walters) stares out of the window at night. She is interrupted by Dee (Andrea Riseborough), who admits she is used to being up late. She suggests it is a habit from her drug fueled days. The next day, Paul (Robbie Coltrane) and his family arrive at the courthouse. During the opening statements, Gerry (Mark Lewis Jones) tells Marie that they’ve gotten a good jury. The majority women and somewhat ethnic jury should swing in their favor. Christina (Susan Lynch) is the first witness to take the stand for the prosecution. The woman tells the court about her time with Paul. She admits that Paul likes touching all of her assets. The jurors are also shown a picture of Christina as a young girl.
Christina speaks about Paul’s breathing and equates it to the sound of a horse. The defense quickly uncovers that Christina is not in a good financial situation. It is also revealed that Christina is scheduled to be paid 30 grand for her story after the trial is over. Christina remains adamant that she wouldn’t do this for money, but the damage is already done. On the way out of the courtroom, Jerome (Babou Ceesay) tells Marie that the defense won the day. Marie’s attitude seems to be taking a turn. That night, she gets out of bed and leaves. She winds up in Karl’s (Tim McInnerny) bed. Marie comments that Karl was gentle and polite. She admits she thought he would be more animalistic. Marie returns home in the morning. She offers to make the family eggs, but her offer is refused.
Back in the courtroom, Rebecca (Kate Hardie) takes the stand. She tells about her meeting with Paul. She insists Paul invited her to see the set. Rebecca explains that her friend, Grace, wasn’t a fan, so she visited Paul alone. She also exclaims that she told Paul she had a boyfriend, who really mattered to her. The defense quickly introduces the letters Rebecca wrote to Paul after the alleged rape. She finally relents and admits she was somewhat obsessed with Paul. Nonetheless, she remains adamant that she was raped. Rebecca explains that she only came forward after Grace died due to cancer. Zoe (Kerry Fox) reminds Rebecca that Paul admitted to sleeping with her. Zoe suggests Rebecca became upset, due to the harm Paul did to her relationship with her boyfriend.
That night, Dee sneaks out of the home. She finds Karl outside. Karl prepares to leave, but Dee convinces him to share a cigarette with her. Karl reveals he will be the next witness for the prosecution. He admits he is just there to verify important dates. They discuss Paul’s intention to take the stand. Dee explains that the defense attorneys have suggested otherwise, but Paul remains adamant he wants to tell his story. Moments later, Karl takes the witness stand. He tells the court about his 40 years working alongside Paul. He admits they spent a lot of time in the trailer together. He also agrees that Paul spend a lot of time with women. However, he denies that Paul could’ve been a rapist. He explains he never saw any type of behavior that would suggest Paul might’ve raped anyone.
Karl’s testimony forces Marie to get up and storm out. In the morning, Paul shaves and prepares to take the stand in his own defense. Jerome offers him drugs, but Paul admits he will not need any of that. Marie is given an opportunity to speak with her husband in private. Marie tells Paul that there are several layers to him. She tells him to look through those layers and find his true self. She also admits she is beginning to believe that he is guilty. Paul lashes out at his wife and insists she never really loved him. Next, Paul takes the stand. He tells the prosecutor how he would know if Rebecca wanted his advances. Paul describes their encounter, before he is forced to admit to sleeping with prostitutes. He denies liking violence, unless it is carried out with a prostitute.
The defense tries to stop some of the questions, but Paul exclaims he is comfortable with them. He admits the jury needs to know the truth. We see a flashback of the night of Christina’s potential rape. Paul returns from the taxi and approaches the girl. Dee watches from upstairs. Paul kisses the young girl. Back in the present, the judge gives the jury their instructions. Then, we see the moment Rebecca visited Paul in his set trailer. Paul begins his advances and Rebecca tells him about her boyfriend. Despite being told no, Paul continues on. Back in the present, the jury declares Paul not guilty on both counts. We see a flashback of Karl visiting Paul’s trailer on the night of Dee’s overdose. He hears heavy breathing and a girl whimpering from inside.
With the trial over, Paul returns home to celebrate. Marie isn’t happy in the least. She speaks with Karl outside. Karl admits it would’ve been much worse for Marie and Dee had Paul been found guilty. He insists it is probably for the best, before Marie questions what they do now. Meanwhile, Paul learns about the network wanting him back. Paul scours through his house. He receives congratulations, while looking for Marie. He eventually runs into Dee, who tells him she knows what shame is. She suggests that Paul is suffering from something entirely different. Paul heads downstairs and outside. He calls for Marie several times, but gets no response.
National Treasure Review
While National Treasure has finally concluded, I am still a little confused with it all. The conclusion wasn’t unexpected, but it felt satisfying. The flashbacks were either the truth or Paul’s friends and family members changing their views. Did Paul manage to clear his name in the public, while simultaneously destroying his family? Or did the drama of the trial ruin his reputation and turn his family against him? Regardless, we know that Paul went free and Marie went missing.
It is also clear that Paul’s life and family will never be the same. The finale wasn’t necessarily a black and white conclusion. The viewer is left with questions and it is almost certain everyone will have a different opinion. In a sense, that helps to make National Treasure very realistic. While the ending could’ve been more revealing, National Treasure was still a satisfying ride.
A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of National Treasure right now!