“Unfortunately, the man is a tax-paying citizen and entitled by our constitution to try and manipulate the legal system like everyone else.”
– Judge Pincus
Theodore “Ted” Crawford is a meticulous man, intelligent, rich and a talented aeronautical engineer who has a problem – he knows his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) and police detective Robert Nunally (Billy Burke) are having an affair together, and cannot bear the thought. Confronting her about his love for her and her infidelities, Jennifer doesn’t even attempt to deny the accusation, and Crawford shoots her. Police respond almost immediately, though Crawford has been doing some clean-up of the crime scene. Nunally arrives at the scene and freaks out. He assaults Crawford, who confesses to having shot his wife, who is not dead. Attempted murder charges are brought against him.
William “Willy” Beachum is an excellent deputy district attorney who is moving over to private practice. He is known to be incredibly good at closing cases and getting convictions. Beachum gets raked into the Crawford affair, which he considers to be a slam-dunk seeing as the gun was recovered at the scene and they have a confession from Crawford, not forced. The gun that was recovered at the house, however, has never been fired and does not match the shell casings at the scene. Beachum is not worried, he still has the confession. Beachum is overly involved with his move from criminal law to corporate law, joining with Wooton & Simms that he does not put his everything into the case, though at the behest of Crawford liking him, he decides that he will make the Crawford case his last as DDA. His new boss and new lover Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike) is not impressed with Beachum still being caught up with the Crawford case, but leaves him be.
Crawford is representing himself, and is silent the whole way through trial. Beachum’s ego is boosting, this is too simple a case for his talents. However, trouble in paradise starts when Beachum puts Nunally on the stand and Crawford objects on the grounds that his wife was having an affair with the witness, who also happened to be the arresting officer as well as in interrogation with Crawford when the confession was done. Beachum is furious – his whole case has just fallen to pieces. His witness was dishonest, and a whole new light has been shed. Judge Robinson (Fiona Shaw) has given him the long weekend to come up with new evidence, otherwise she will grant Crawford his motion of having the case thrown out. Nunally is desperate when the gun still fails to turn up, and calls in favours to plant falsified evidence. Beachum is desperate to have Crawford convicted, whom he knows shot his wife but can no longer prove it. He toys with the idea of falsifying evidence, but it is against his moral code. Deciding against it, Crawford is acquitted. Nunally commits suicide outside of the courtroom.
Wooton & Simms have definitely cooled their attitude towards Beachum, and his promising career there has been thrown away. The state does not want him either, though he knows that somehow he needs to get Crawford convicted, which is seemingly impossible. The case is closed and cannot be appealed. Beachum’s career is in a shambles, and the knowledge that Crawford is guilty is wrecking him. What lengths will Beachum go to in order to prove his point? What will Beachum do to bring Crawford to his knees? What will Crawford do now that he is a free man? The case has gotten personal for Beachum, and he is prepared to go to any lengths to make things right in the world, though he has not an inkling how.
A 7/10 for Fracture. This was a decent movie, though by no great length a fantastic one. It was well put together, and the story was pretty good, though at times there was too much lull and it was your typically average psychological thriller. Anthony Hopkins delivered another flawless performance, and again I had to wonder what his obsession with “Williams” is all about. Hopkins again nails that role of smart, deranged and having utterly way too much fun despite his circumstances, he gives another look at a crazy man. At the same time it is very simple to understand why he would have done the things that he did, though you still no that it is wrong how he went about doing what he did. Ryan Gosling was decent in this, though it definitely wasn’t one of his stronger roles, to be honest. Something just fell short with him in this one (maybe it had to do with his character permanently looking stoned in this). The plot was alright, and Hopkins was classic to watch bring Ted to life, and the games that he so ruthlessly plays with William Beachum. There were a few holes, and a few places where the scenes simply fell flat, but overall the film is fine to watch to pass time with or between other movies. The character development was predictable and easy to follow, so nothing new was brought to the table there. There was some humour in it, but not an abundance, just enough. The relationship that sprang up between Nikki and Beachum was absurd, there was no build up to it and there was nothing that made it feel like it was special or important. It just seemed rushed.