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Charles Lattimore, an author of a book about a famous murder trial, meets up with his ex wife Laura, at her college, where he is due to give a series of lectures, on how to write a successful novel. When one of his students, asks to meet him later that night, to discuss the course, and is found murdered. Lattimore has no alibi, and he begins to suspect, that the subject of his book, has arranged the killing, to get back at him, for the evidence, Lattimore gave during the trial. Written by
Pierce Brosnan plays Charles Lattimore, a crime writer/college lecturer who assigns his students the task of writing the perfect crime. Shortly thereafter, one of the students is found murdered, and Lattimore becomes the main suspect.
The film's underlying premise is fine. The main problem here is that the film has a fairly high "fluff" factor. Its elemental, no frills screenplay, perhaps the result of budget constraints as a TV movie, makes the film seem shallow, too casual, and of low import. There is nothing wrong with fluff films, as they can be very entertaining. But some viewers dismiss them as unworthy of attention. In addition to having a plain vanilla screenplay, "Murder 101" contains some creative humor at the end, which further amplifies its fluff quotient. The result is that some viewers perceive the film as a spoof, or satire, of the murder mystery genre.
But I found "Murder 101" to be a viable whodunit puzzle worthy of my time to try and solve. The plot does contain a few flaws, but they do not detract from the overall effect. Clues to the identity of the killer are very subtle, as one would expect in a good whodunit. One seemingly irrelevant scene is actually a major clue to the killer's motive.
Viewers looking for razzle-dazzle special effects, innovative cinematography, fabulous costumes or set design, or unusual cinematic gimmicks will need to go elsewhere. What "Murder 101" offers is a basic, but nifty, whodunit puzzle. It will take all of your analytic skills and cunning to figure out the correct solution. And, if you're like me, you will really like that exit scene with actress Dey Young. It's a nice final touch.
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