Writer: Tom Provost, W. Peter Iliff (Screenplay) Claude Miller, Jean Herman, Michel Audiard/John Wainwright (Original Screenplay/Book)
Starring: Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Monica Bellucci, Nydia Caro, Miguel Angel Suarez, Pablo Cunqueiro
Plot: A wealthy attorney in San Juan comes to the police station for “10 min.” of follow up questions to finding a 12-year old girl’s body in a park. Another young girl was also raped and murdered weeks earlier and the evidence points to him.
Tagline – A hidden past, a secret life, witness or suspect, guilty or innocent?
Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Under Suspicion starts as Henry Hearst (Hackman) agrees to go into see Captain Victor Benezet (Freeman) in a follow up to discovering a dead body on his daily run, only part of Henry’s story doesn’t add up. As Victor and Detective Felix Owen (Jane) start investigating Henry’s story more, they start to see him being the prime suspect.
Henry’s position of power as an attorney makes the case more difficult, as any false story would ruin both Henry and Victor, with each conversation offering new clues to the truth about what really happened to the murdered young girls.
Thoughts on Under Suspicion
Characters – Henry Hearst is wealthy attorney, married to a young wife, respected in the neighbourhood, he discovers a dead body of a young girl, whose story doesn’t add up, making him the prime suspect, he must give details about his personal life, which sees that his life isn’t what everyone else believes, having secrets that aren’t going to help his side of the case, always claiming his innocence to the truth. Captain Victor Benezet has worked with Henry in the past, they have been through cases for years and he knows that if the investigation comes out, he will handle things with more care, only to need to play both sides of Henry, his friend and the cop after a killer. Detective Felix Owen is the younger investigator, he wants the case solved, he will step over the line at time, needing to be kept in place by Victor, while needing to push the boundaries. Chantal Hearst is the younger wife of Henry, she has become distant from him, with his actions driving her away, she could answer a few of the big questions, but doesn’t want to bring her family down, even though she has a grudge about what Henry might have done before.
Performances – We do have two of Hollywood’s heavyweights in the leading roles, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman, who both show why they are on top of most best actor lists, they carry the film with their performances, while being joined by Thomas Jane and Monica Bellucci giving very strong supporting performances too.
Story – The story here follows what is simply a follow up set of questions about discovering a dead, soon turns into a full blown investigation into the man that could have been behind the murders. This is a story about people on power being able to play this card to try and get out of questioning, though we do balance the guilty or not guilty side of the story very well, showing us who could be behind the crime. The constant switch in stories does help us question everything we are seeing, showing that trust is what will always be the most difficult thing to maintain. The do only see how one man is being questioned to new limits and how this pressure could create differences in stories given too.
Crime – The crime is two murders of young girls, they need to be solved fast with the police needing to focus on all sides of the story, making sure everything is covered before the killer could strike again.
Settings – The film is set on an island, which shows us just how the characters are living in luxury away from the big cities.
Scene of the Movie – Henry and Felix questioning.
Final Thoughts – This is a tense thriller that does keep us on the edge of our seat throughout, as we are left to wonder just what is really happened, being carried by powerhouse performances.
Overall: Twist Filled Thriller.
Signature Entertainment presents Under Suspicion on Digital HD July 31 and on Amazon Prime August 3rd