Fracture

I’m back from Shanghai. Might do a couple of travelogue posts on it as well, but for now, it’s back to the main course: movies. By far the best thing about flying Singapore Airlines was the selection of movies on board. I ended up watching four movies, and none of them disappointed. My next few posts shall focus on these movies.

Fracture is the story of a man who shoots his unfaithful wife and figures out a way of getting away with it. Not in that order, though. Played by Anthony Hopkins, that wonderful actor who will forever be known as Hannibal Lecter, he is the sort of man who knows that he is the sharpest knife in the drawer. It is eminently possible that he shot his wife not because she was unfaithful, but because he wanted to demonstrate that he could get away with it. Indeed, in his early exchanges with the prosecuting attorney, he all but spells it out for him.

The attorney is a smart, young, driven lawyer who has had an amazing conviction rate and has parlayed these skills into an opening at a prestigious private firm. Everyone knows he has one foot out of the door, and warns him not to take the case lightly. Even the accused man himself. But he does, and the case ends up in a shambles.

I quite loved Anthony Hopkins’ mesmerizing performance as Ted Crawford, the millionaire who could’ve been Lecter’s brother who chose a different career option but had the same moral compass. And Ryan Gosling is quite effective as William Beechum, the cocky attorney who slowly wakes up to the fact that he needs to bring his A-game to beat Crawford. The cat-and-mouse game these two men play is shot more like a quiet chess game, with small-but-loaded conversations and the occasional courtroom scene.

However, I can’t quite bring myself to say that I absolutely loved the movie. I admired its willingness to eschew any grandstanding and stay quiet and intense throughout. But the Achilles heel, I felt, was the central “trick”. Crawford’s scheme relied on a couple of big contrivances that could’ve gone either way. Not to mention the fact that it was entirely predictable. I spent more than half the movie waiting for Beechum to wake up and get a clue. That I didn’t get bored while waiting is a testament to the movie’s skill, but unfortunately not its ingenuity. Pity.

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4 thoughts on “Fracture

  1. Sagarika says:

    Ramsu, welcome back! I too love S’pore airlines for that exact reason. (Although, traveling with kid(s), it’s a miracle if I catch one uninterrupted movie during that 10-hour stretch to Hong Kong from SFO. But I’ve made a sport out of counting little blessings over the years, so I’ve mostly come away feeling satisfied and grateful, no matter how miniscule the break.)

    Loved the steely-eyed Lecter in Lambs (although his eyes were obviously not the only thing steely about him). So good to know Fracture won’t disappoint.

    In a tangential way, your write up of Fracture reminds me of another “F” movie, this one from Ford, Fugitive. The dead wife, husband facing sentencing…but I guess the commonalities end there. And I thought they built up the suspense quite well, in Fugitive.

  2. Yeah, Fugitive was quite a ride. Very tight, never let up. Harrison Ford also has the Bruce Willis-like quality of conveying extreme doggedness in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Add Tommy Lee Jones’ matter-of-factness to the mix, and you get an action thriller that seems plausible even when Harrison Ford jumps into the water near that dam.

  3. Sagarika says:

    Ah, talk about Bruce Willis and his extreme doggedness, particularly in maintaining a singular facial expression thru the entirety of a movie, so perfect for an action-hero (or a ghost – Sixth sense, anyone?).

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