Under Suspicion


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

This was never a play, although it looks like it should have been. Based on Claude Miller's film, Garde A Vue, and John Wainwright's novel, Brainwash, it is an interrogation drama.

There is the old cop (Morgan Freeman) and the young cop (Thomas Jane) and the chief suspect (Gene Hackman). There is also the suspect's beautiful young wife (Monica Bellucci).

In Port San Juan, Puerto Rica, Harry Hearst is the most powerful lawyer on the island. When Capt Victor Benezet, late of the NYPD, now chief of police in his old home town, asks Hearst to drop by to clear up a couple of points about a child-killing, it seems nothing more than routine.

Instead, Hearst is given the third degree, with the young cop playing bad cop and Benezet probing delicately into the lawyer's private life, especially his sex life. Three young girls have been raped and murdered and there are doubts about Hearst's movements around the time of their deaths.

With actors of Hackman and Freeman's class, a verbal duel would have been electric. The Pate brothers pulled off exactly that in Liar, with Tim Roth, three years ago. Why this fails is because director Stephen Hopkins can't leave the arty flashbacks alone, destroying any semblance of tension.

Reviewed on: 24 Jan 2001
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Under Suspicion packshot
A lawyer is called in for a routine chat about a child-killing, only to face a verbal duel with cops who believe he did it.
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Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writer: W Peter Iliff, Tom Provost, based on the novel, Brainwash, by John Wainwright and the film, Garde A Vue by Claude Miller, Jean Herman, Michel Audiard

Starring: Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Monica Bellucci, Thomas Jane, Nydia Caro, Miguel Angel Suarez

Year: 2000

Runtime: 111 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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