25 September 2023

Spinning Man

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Simon Kaijser, Defiant Screen Entertainment.

Starring: Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Alexandra Shipp, Odeya Rush.

Based on a book by George Harrar, this murder mystery unhurriedly explores the fine line between blamelessness and remorse.

Evan Birch (Pearce) is a good-natured university philosophy professor, whose charm and reputation make his class popular at the distinguished college. He has an idyllic family, that is, until he becomes the main suspect in the disappearance of 16-year-old Joyce Bonner (Rush) at a local lake.

On his way home from the supermarket one evening with his 10-year-old twin sons, Birch gets pulled over by the police. Taken in for questioning, he learns that a car much like his grey Volvo was spotted in the area when the local high school student went missing.

Damning circumstantial evidence continues to pile up, even though he’s released after questioning. Suddenly, the questions Evan faces aren’t merely academic, but a matter of life or death

Bad tempered police Detective Robert Malloy (Brosnan) has even more reason to be suspicious when crucial evidence makes Evan the prime suspect in Joyce’s disappearance.

Even Evan’s long-suffering wife Ellen (Driver) questions his alibi following

previous dalliances. Of growing concern to both her and Evan’s newly-hired lawyer (Clark Gregg) is the professor’s caginess and antagonism toward the police.

It makes you think of a question Pearce’s character asks early on in the film: “Do you have trouble remembering things sometimes?”

The film’s premise holds the promise of being intriguing, buoyed by the fact that the acting talent of the main cast makes it worthwhile.

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