Thursday, April 19, 2007

Movie Review: Fracture

The definition of the word “fracture” means to break.
If everything has a weakness then that weakness shall be where it can fracture.
Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins), the meticulous structural engineer claims that if looked closely enough, we can find a weakness in everything.
He said it in such devious terms when he looked into the eyes of Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), his prosecutor.
He had found Beachum’s weakness.
Beachum is cocky, egoistic and doesn’t like to lose.
With the prosecutor already having his feet on the clouds, Crawford has found the perfect opportunity.

Crawford had shot his wife, confessed to it and refused a lawyer.
This is straightforward for district attorney Willy Beachum, the defendant had confessed, the evidence gathered and witnesses called upon, the scale is weighing heavily in his favor.
This is after all his last case before his big move to highly reputable law firm, Wooton Sims.
An easy case, a great new prospect and a gorgeous new boss (Rosamund Pike) waits in the horizon.
Things could not be better, brighter and simpler.
Only thing is it is not.
If it were then the film means nothing.

This is it. The fracture.
The law states “Innocent until proven guilty”.
The evidence, the gun that Crawford shot his wife with ended up useless.
It has never been fired.
The key witness, detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke) who took the confession off Crawford was nullified.
There was reasonable doubt that the detective had threatened the defendant into confession.
Detective Nunally had an affair with Mrs. Crawford (Embeth Davidtz).
Without new evidence, Ted Crawford would walk free.
The table is turned.

Willy Beachum can end up with nothing.
He could have walk away but he wouldn’t.
He wants to win.
But how could he?
He has nothing to prove Crawford shot his wife.
He has to make a case out of nothing.
He wants to prove that he can win.
Things can only get more interesting or worse.

I was waiting to see what happens next.
Could Beachum prove that Crawford shot his wife?
More importantly could Fracture prove to be dramatically suspenseful playing on the aspect of legal technicality?
It looks increasingly like a fracture to Fracture as the case wears on.

More questions were raised but without an increase in intensity to the drama.
I’m not sure why Crawford did not tease Beachum more.
Maybe Anthony Hopkins did not want to awake the Hannibal Lector in him by playing the psychology down.
Beachum with his career on the line could not master enough desperation and emotion.
He looks surprisingly unbreakable.
The only guy who broke was detective Nunally.
It was quite unbelievable.

No evidence, no evidence and no evidence.
The story is clever, but it was not clever enough.
As with all suspense movies, all will be revealed towards the end.
That part is undisputable.
The only thing is there really should been more tension.
That should be how the game should be played.
But there was too many of Gosling and too little of Hopkins.
I would have love to see more of Rosamund Pike and Billy Burke who are in their own right terrific actors.
Scenes where they appeared, the temperature raised.
When the two of them gave up and left the running entirely to Gosling, it somehow signaled a bad last stretch right to the end.

I saw the fracture so to speak.
And it left me broken.
The film told a certain truth and proven it.

“If you look close enough, you'll find everyone has a weak spot.”

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