Movies with a deep and profound moral sense are not uncommon and “Liar, Liar” is one of them. It tells a story about a man who works as a lawyer and is very good at deceiving people, the court and even the judge. The man has a wife and a young son whom he loves but still, does not spend enough time with.
He keeps promising to change things but never does and so, his son makes a wish for his father to not be able to lie for one day. His wish comes true at the worst time possible, as Fletcher has an important case where he has to win by lying. He has much trouble in court when he realizes he cannot lie and he is forced to tell the truth, still winning his case. In the process he discovers his morals and in the end, reunites with his son and wife, after almost losing them.
The story described in the movie is one of egoism and a self centered person who will resort to anything just to win the case. Clearly, the character has violated several moral and ethical standards.
His primary responsibility is towards his son as caregiver and he does not provide the needed comfort and attention to this family. He is too focused on his success at work, as he is not able to see past himself. He has a reputation of being a good lawyer and winning the hardest cases because he is very good at deception, and to do this he must sacrifice all his time with the family and be at work.
This is clearly wrong because family is most important and work must be used to support the family and not get away further from it. Also, when the lawyer uses his position of authority and trust of people to lie in court, it is another violation of the moral code. He is the representative of law and must be truthful but this does not concern him, as he is only interested in winning cases.
His own reputation and fame got the better of him and this causes the man to get lost in own lies. His excuse to himself is that he is doing it for the benefit of his client. He creates elaborate stories where the person who is wrong feels like the victim and this is enough for his own conscience to believe his lies. This is a very obvious example of egoism where all a person thinks about is their gains in society, personal life and the reputation among co-workers and clients.
But the consequences of such egotistical behavior do not limit themselves to the person and their family. The society has given him the power to be the deciding link in a judicial system. The fact that criminals and offenders can use the services of such a lawyer and walk free, means that justice is not being served. The corruption of the courts has often shown to have a negative influence on the greater population.
The job of the lawyer is sometimes to protect people who are guilty. Since they are getting paid to defend a person, they must use every way to find doubt in their guilt in front of the court. The system should be changed, so that people who know they are innocent can represent themselves and have only advisors who will be able to guide them through the process. But there are also cases when even an innocent person gets convicted or the prosecution has enough evidence that convinces the judge and jury of someone’s guilt.
It is interesting that in the movie, even without the ability to lie, the character still manages to secure a victory for his client and he gets to see the result of his actions. The children of a father are separated from him unjustly because the lawyer was able to manipulate the law in favor of his client. Decisions that break up a family, especially if children want to see their parent but are not allowed to, are highly immoral and inhumane.
Because of such deception and lawyers who are able to break the honesty standard, people are forced to live unhappy lives and children are taken away. In the end, this sort of action is very detrimental to society in general, as the fabric of the family is broken. Children who grow up in separated homes and lead unhappy lives will become very depressed in the beginning of their journey and the whole society will suffer.
The correct and ethical decision would be to tell the truth, as it is always the best policy. In this case, the matters are much more complicated because the truth was told but the court still decided against children and their father, who wanted to be together. In reality, children should be given the choice who they want to be with and if they are too young to decide, the court should consider the circumstances.
If the parents are separating, both parties should be examined according to their morals, attitudes and behavior. If they are adequate people with good morals and ethics, they should have equal ability to see their children. The fact that parents are separating should not be a determining factor for children to grow up in a broken home. Unfortunately, this is what happens in the majority of cases because even while the courts are considered wise and ethical, wrong decisions are sometimes made.
The court system is a very intricate machine that will not favor a person who does not have enough evidence, even if they are not guilty. At the same time, someone who has overwhelming evidence in support of their honesty will be granted the win while they are at fault. It is clear that most ethical and moral decision is very hard to come by and a lot of effort has to be produced in order to act according to highest standards of honesty.
The movie is a very specific illustration of ethical and moral injustice. It shows how the justice system can sometimes grant favors to people who should not have them but it also depicts the personal problems that people have.
Egoism is very common among people and often, even if they have a loving family and a successful job, they are still not satisfied and want more. This shows that morality and ethical behavior are very sensitive subjects and everyone must be very careful in their self judgment, as it is very easy to lose track and become engulfed in morally wrong behavior.