New South Wales detective sergeant Bob 'Snake' Inkster almost immediately suspects highly respected ethnic Croation businessman Andrew Kalajzich of the murder of his wife, shot in bed with ...
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New South Wales detective sergeant Bob 'Snake' Inkster almost immediately suspects highly respected ethnic Croation businessman Andrew Kalajzich of the murder of his wife, shot in bed with him while he just rolled out of bed unharmed. Professional criminal George Cannellis makes a deal to prove his admission to have been hired anonymously for the job, but fled rather then kill adolescent son Butch too. The hit was carried out, after more failed attempts, by clumsy amateurs Kerry Orrock and/or Bill Vandenberg. Snake suspects Andrew's motive is an affair with younger secretary Marlene Watson.Written by
Tara Morice, Bridie Carter and Marshall Napier played together. Tara Morice never had same scenes with Napier or Carter, even though Carter was credited In the episodes where Morice guest starred See more »
Director Peter Andrikidis' experience in making television is evident in this Australian made-for-TV movie based on a real life crime story, but this isn't a good thing, since it plays like an episode of a police series. Subtlety isn't much in evidence here, and because of this bias, our empathy naturally goes to the guilty person whom we are supposed to want caught.
Based on the book of the same title by Sandra Harvey and Lindsay Simpson, the teleplay raises some interesting aspects in the Croatian heritage of Kalajzich, now living in the Australian waterside suburb of Manly, where Andrew is the manager of a 5 star international hotel. The treatment claims that the Kalajzich marriage is a loveless one, with Andrew entertaining a major affair with his secretary, Marlene Watson (Lucy Bell). Murder is favored over divorce as the family considers divorce is `shameful' and murder is more cost effective, with an assumption that Megan would demand half of her husband's assets in a settlement. However, the title is also a misnomer, since Megan remains a cipher, and the narrative is mostly the police's point of view. Whilst the Kalajzich's family grief is presented as laughable silent meals, the teleplay also includes the domestic life of Detective Bob 'Snake' Inkster (Colin Friels) presumably in contrast, with Inkster's wife even contributing some strategic advice.
The crime itself is easily solved. The hard part is gathering evidence against Andrew as the mastermind, which includes the legally dubious act of mail theft for information. Inkster's listening abilities are also in question when he is given the love letters Andrew wrote to another woman, and he reads them in narration while the women is still speaking to him! However, the teleplay does feature one witticism in a parallel in obviousness made with `Has Rose Kennedy got a black dress?'.
Whilst Andrikidis uses the cliches of slow motion, hand-held and creeping camera-work for police interviews, flashes and drained color for flashbacks, and portentous music by composer Peter Best, he does manage the miracle of allowing David Field as the hitman Bill Vandenburg to give an understated performance. And concluding cross-cutting between the police coming to arrest Andrew and Andrew leaving his house, also includes flash-forwards to Bill hanging himself in prison. Regrettably, Linda Cropper is wasted as Megan, Martin Sacks as Andrew hardly speaks, but Craig McLachlan uses surprising tears for a confession. Friels, who worked with Andrikidis on the TV series Water Rats (yes, about cops), adds some gravitas to the role of Inkster, particularly with his direct gaze.
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