“People say there’s no such thing as a perfect crime. You can plan the offense to the finest detail. You may have your alibi in place. But there’s always a flaw. However, in the mind of a criminal, the end justifies the means and the thrill comes from the execution of the crime.””
People say there’s no such thing as a perfect crime.
You can plan the offense to the finest detail. You may have your alibi in place. But there’s always a flaw. However, in the mind of a criminal, the end justifies the means and the thrill comes from the execution of the crime.
In Gregory Holbit’s Fracture, flaws speckle the reels from start to finish. But the end result is a film so intriguing and absorbing that Holbit could get away with murder.
Fracture, in theaters Friday, stars Ryan Gosling as Willy Beachum, an assistant DA who’s on his way out of his office in the city, climbing the ladder into a high-prestige private firm. But as his final day in court comes to a close, one client refuses to let Beachum escape his civil duties.
Enter Anthony Hopkins as Ted Crawford, a man on trial for the murder of his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz). Crawford was still in the house when the police had arrived. He had signed a written confession in custody. It is an open and shut case.
Or is it?
As the case begins to unravel, the evidence becomes irrelevant or twisted in such a way that it is unable to be used in the courtroom. And the murder weapon is nowhere to be found.
Beachum’s arrogance dwindles as his obsession with solving the case and putting Crawford behind bars begins to break him down. Crawford knows Willy’s weakness, and he exploits it to cripple Beachum’s case. Now, caught in the middle of civil duty that he’s trying to leave behind, and a corporate job that may be slipping away in the wake of a lost case, Beachum embarks on a desperate attempt to find the crack in this case that will put Crawford in prison.
Hopkins gives one of his creepiest and brilliantly manipulative performances since Hannibal Lecter. As he sneers with eyes squinted and teeth bared at his poor prosecutor, a welling up of hatred and distaste for his character can be felt in the bowels of one’s soul. You know he committed the crime. You saw it happen before your eyes. You know what he deserved. And you can only root for Beachum as he attempts to fit the pieces together.
But perhaps, the finest performance of Hopkins is his concession to let Gosling shine. Gosling, one of the most impressive actors in Hollywood, takes center stage in a skillfully accomplished portrayal of a man obsessed with success. He’s at the top of his game, following his critically acclaimed turn in Half Nelson.
In a pivotal scene, Hopkins, as Crawford, speaks of working with his uncle inspecting eggs down on the farm. It was then he learned the task of holding the eggs up to candlelight in order to expose the cracks and flaws in the shell.
If you were to hold the shell of Fracture up to the flickering flame, surely, there would be several flaws. The film, despite a heart-pounding beginning, lags in the middle and takes an excruciatingly slow pace until the climax. It is this pacing that make Holbit successful in twisting the gears of suspense. By the time the finale approaches, the audience is as desperate to solve the crime as Beachum is.
The performances are brilliant, the cinematography breathtaking and the music is haunting. Overall, Fracture, despite its breaks and cracks, hold strong as one of the best psychological thrillers this year.