January 09, 2005

Under Suspicion

Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman have dual starring roles in this film, and they are the Executive Producers. So if I understand the latter position correctly, the two actors jointly financed this film. If true, it's really only a side note, because the film is quite good. If they intended to give themselves a vehicle to showcase their talents, then they pulled it off well. Their project is another mindbugger film, but in much more subtle ways than the film dicussed previously.

Under Suspicion is certainly not a high budget spectacular. Filming in Puerto Rico probably doesn't cost that much, and the production is beautifully sparse enough, that this script could be produced as a stage play with a few minor alterations. In fact, it would be a good one if you had two actors the calibur of Freeman and Hackman. If you appreciate the acting of either, or especially if you like both, you need to experience this film. The beauty of Monica Belucci doesn't hurt either.

Morgan is a cop, and Gene is the main suspect. So naturally their interplay is intense. They go at it like two chess grandmasters. From the outset Gene looks guilty as hell of killing two pubescent girls. The complication is that he is a very prominent lawyer in San Juan (the movie takes place in Puerto Rico too). He's part of one of the most glamorous couples on the island, married to a beauty about 25 years younger than he. And her role in the drama is much more than that of an ornament.

IFC, Sundance, Flix, sometimes I get tired of trying to keep track of what's on all these movie channels. But finding something like this on IFC late on a Saturday night really justifies the expense. I had never heard of Under Suspicion, and loved discovering it. Check it out if you get the chance.

Posted by Wayne at January 9, 2005 07:14 PM

I saw this a while ago, and agree with you. Should be more widely known. Especially with Monica Bellucci playing "the beauty". Good acting. Held my interest. Solid film.

Posted by: Quack Corleone at January 12, 2005 02:48 PM

Thanks for your comments Quack. I'm glad to see that you are posting again. "Solid" is a good word to describe this film. It's not a classic, but a great way to kill a couple of hours on a weekend night, without wasting it on an CGI-soaked action film. Good readers, check out Quack's link. His or her writing style, and attitude toward film, is different than mine.

Posted by: Wayne at January 12, 2005 10:43 PM

I just saw the film last night while in bed. Did I miss anything? I don't understand the ending. Did he do it or what? I must have fallen in sleep or something?

Posted by: Dennis at January 28, 2005 01:55 AM

I didn't fall asleep and I missed something. Just saw the film and was riveted. But it lost me with the ending. Whodunit?

Posted by: T at January 30, 2005 10:24 PM

C'mon guys. I don't want to engage in spoilers here. Watch it again sometime.

Posted by: Wayne at January 30, 2005 10:32 PM

I'm not quite sure about the end either. Some lady-cop says that they've caught a man in the act; that he's guilty of killing the two other girls. Gene Hackman had just admitted to being the murderer. Morgan Freeman lets him go. What's the deal here? Is the wife trying to frame Hackman? Why would he admit something he didn't do? Is the guy they 'catch in the act' the real murderer or just some guy that's taking the blame for some dough? Who did what?

Posted by: Thor at January 31, 2005 01:23 PM

Okay since Thor doesn't mind spoiling it for others, I'll state the obvious. Hackman's character didn't do it, but it was been proven that he DOES like VERY young females. He's basically confessing to his perversion even though he didn't actually kill the girls in question.

Posted by: Wayne at January 31, 2005 06:39 PM

I thought everyone here had seen the movie already - sorry Wayne. If you haven't seen the movie yet, then stop reading this comment - it might screw-up the movie for you. That being said, I have a few comments, if you don't mind. It's kind of odd that Gene Hackman runs into both of the dead girls - don't you think? Could've been just coincidence; anything's possible, right? However, there's something that maybe someone could help clarify. Here goes - does Hackman take pictures of the dead girls or is that just Morgan Freeman's imagination we see? Maybe Hackman gets off brushing the girls hair and fixing their clothes after he finds them? Maybe he does a bit more.

Posted by: Thor at February 1, 2005 12:52 PM

Nope. It was not him taking these photots. They actually did only just find photos of the girls (still alive).

But I'm not sure about his confession... why did he do it? Only because he felt guilty about his perversion!?

He might have had //some// connection to the young girl... but actually his wife mistreated him for NO reason (that we know about). This forced him into prostitution and so on...

Posted by: P-Dawg at February 2, 2005 06:19 PM

I don't know why he confessed either, P-Dawg. Maybe he just felt miserable. He was also tormented by his actions and by his wife's sudden disdain. I still don't see how he could confess to something he didn't do. Murder - that's not peanuts.

Posted by: Thor at February 7, 2005 12:14 PM

I think this discussion further identifies this as a very damn good film. Really good films do not have cut-and-dried, black-and-white interpretations. Although it should be clear that Hackman didn't do it, but for some reason he started to confess. This can also be partially attributed to the fact that he had been in interrogation for hours. Because he did have some degree of a perverse attraction to young females, he did need to get that out. Being broken down by intense questioning allowed for that. Another point of fact here that hasn't been mentioned: It came out that he first met his wife when she was only 11 years old.

Posted by: Wayne at February 7, 2005 10:23 PM

So whats going on? he confessed that he liked little girls. why did he have to to lie about killing them? whats the POINT???? What was going on with him and his wife??? what happened after the investigation when they were outside and they almost talked to each other but didnt? and sat on different benches? why would he say he did it???? whats wrong with him??? can his wife have kids or not?????

Posted by: Eric at May 29, 2005 02:13 AM
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