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Under Suspicion

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Stephen Hopkins

Director Stephen Hopkins' (LOST IN SPACE) crime thriller is a remake of the 1981 French film GARDE ? VUE, and is adapted from John William Wainwright's novel BRAINWASH. On the evening of the San Sebastian festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, wealthy … see full wiki

Genre: Drama
Release Date: September 22, 2000
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Under Suspicion

Under Suspicion 2000

  • Jul 31, 2002
Pros: tight acting by Freeman & Hackman

Cons: n/a

The Bottom Line: Good character study movie

Based on the book Brainwash by John Wainwright and the screen play Garde à vue by Claude Miller, Jean Herman and more, Under Suspicion is a character study of the destruction of human values.

Filmed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, it is mainly acted in the interrogation room of the police station, much like The Interview. The four main characters are police Captain Victor Benezet (Morgan Freeman), his sidekick detective Felix Owens (Thomas Jane), the accused Henry Hearst (Gene Hackman) and his beautiful young wife Chantal (Monica Bellucci).

Hearst is a filthy rich tax attorney with a penchant for photography. One of the leading citizens in the town, he is giving a speech, trying to extract money from the wealthy, to help the children of the town, due to a hurricane that had passed through. At his side, but no longer in his bed, is the charming Chantal.

Chantal suspects Hearst has designs on her young niece. Seems Hearst likes ‘em young and frisky, he had hooked up with Chantal when she was 11 years old.

Capt. Benezet, former schoolmate and friend of Hearst, has asked him to come to the station for an interview. It appears, while out jogging, Hearst has found the raped and murdered body of a beguiling 12 year old girl. Benezet and Owens both think he knows more than he is telling, in fact, may be guilty of the crime himself.

This is solidified even more when information comes in that he was seen at a previous crime scene, involving a 13 year old girl, as well. Add to this, Chantal’s confession that she believes he is dallying with her niece.

Hearst continues to deny his guilt, yet after pictures show up in his darkroom and continued interrogation, he finally confesses the crime. Yet, did he do it? This is left to your own decision. (that isn’t how the movie ends, however, so I’m not giving anything away)

Quite a few disparaging remarks have been made about this movie. I think the problem lies in the viewing public. Few people are satisfied these days with a character driven movie. People rely more on the visual wham-bang, preferring not to invest their own mental capabilities in a movie. Personally, I prefer a movie that requires a bit of thought process.

Freeman and Hackman work very well together in this movie. I always feel a little dirty after watching Hackman, I don’t know why. He just portrays that voyeuristic characterization about himself in most parts. Freeman, as far as I am concerned, is just a topnotch actor in anything he does.

Director Stephen Hopkins used some unique sound in this release, as well as different visual concepts. Often the scenes would overlap each other, repeating themselves, with the words echoing through all the showings. In addition, through the telling of the various stories, Freeman appears to actually be on the scene instead of in the interrogation room. I just liked the layout of the idea.

You are not forced to view the rapes and murders of these young girls. The deed has already been done, you are simply part of the interview process. Intellectually you wonder what brought Hearst to confess the crimes finally and the ending will leave you a little surprised. Just enough suspense to make it worthwhile.



Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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1971 Hollywood crime film starring Gene Hackman

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