A lawyer is asked to come to the police station to clear up a few loose ends in his witness report of a foul murder. This will only take ten minutes, they say, but it turns out to be one ...
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A lawyer is asked to come to the police station to clear up a few loose ends in his witness report of a foul murder. This will only take ten minutes, they say, but it turns out to be one loose end after another, and the ten minutes he is away from his speech become longer and longer... Written by
Maarten Hofman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
'Under Suspicion,' a remake of the French film 'Garde a Vue,' is as compelling and engrossing a psychological thriller as I've seen in years. The drama is wonderfully tense and taut, and, best of all, the suspense holds out until near the very end of the film, lingering on afterward for hours in the viewer's mind.
Gene Hackman plays Henry Hearst, a successful attorney in San Juan, Puerto Rico who lives an apparently blissful life of luxury--he's got money, respect, a gorgeous house on the coast, and, most of all, a stunningly beautiful young trophy wife, Chantal (Monica Belluci, the voluptuous heir-apparent to Sophia Loren, in one of her first US roles).
On the eve of the feast of St. Sebastian, during which Hearst is set to deliver an address at a fundraiser for hurricane relief, he is called in to the police department by his longtime acquaintance Victor Benezet (Morgan Freeman) for additional questioning surrounding the death of a young girl. It seems that earlier that day, Hearst discovered the girl's body while jogging. It doesn't take long to discover that Hearst is a suspect, particularly when he is repeatedly threatened and insulted by the tactless Owens (Thomas Jane), a loose-cannon junior detective hot to make his first big bust. As the interrogation progresses--interspersed with stylish flashbacks combing memory and real-time--it becomes apparent that the case is far more complicated than it first appeared. It seems that the imminently respectable Henry Hearst has a fetish for young girls and a secret life involving internet pornography and prostitutes. Simultaneously revealed is Captain Benezet's longstanding jealousy of Hearst, whom he has watched gain wealth and prestige while Benezet has lost his wife to divorce and struggled to get by. As the intense intellectual combat continues, truth becomes more and more murky, to the point that the characters are not even sure of their own motives or actions.
This movie really stuck with me. Without giving anything away, let me say that the film will force you to consider the complexity of truth and memory and the degree to which psychological trauma and coercion can influence what we know about ourselves. Hackman and Freeman are superb, and it's a pleasure to watch them stretching their skills and chewing up the excellent dialogue as their characters confront each other. Thomas Jane gives one of his better performances as the hot-tempered Owens, and Monica Belluci gives a subtle and convincing performance while simultaneously being so unbelievably gorgeous that you can't take your eyes off of her. The direction by Stephen Hopkins is superb--creepy and stylish, the cinemetography makes maximum use of San Juan's many settings.
For some reason this one really flew below the radar when it was released. I highly recommend it as an excellent, memorable suspense thriller with meaning and substance.
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