Ted (played by Sir Anthony Hopkins) makes a very disappointing discovery about his own wife and decides to choose a very murderous path, committing a terrible crime. As the audience, there is no mystery to what Ted does and we discover that Ted is a manipulative criminal who is very crafty and thinks through his action. After the crime is committed, there is very little proof or evidence to show Ted’s dark nature or prove that he committed the crime.
Our other lead character is a young lawyer ‘Willy’ (played by Ryan Gosling). Willy is climbing up the ranks in his career and on the right path to achieving great success… until he meets an unlikely opponent in the courtroom. When taken to court, Ted (Hopkins) refuses a lawyer and wishes to represent himself in the courtroom. It is up to Willy to try and prosecute Ted.
The film tells the story of these two men in a roller-coaster mystery as we see the truth unfold and view many tough choices, in particular for Willy’s character. Willy is given two different paths: choose what’s best for his career or what is simply right…
The greatest strength in this film, hands down, is when Ted (Anthony Hopkins) and Willy (Ryan Gosling) are on screen at the same time and watching Ted continually play mind games with Willy (Gosling) from the word go. Also, remember that this was a film before Ryan Gosling’s career seriously took off. The only film I can recall seeing Ryan Gosling in before Fracture was “The Notebook” (which is a different film to talk about on another day!). Even in his early days, this film shows that Ryan Gosling was going to be a strong actor. The film itself is also very dark. Given the director’s history (Gregory Hoblit) this is something is to simply be expected (previously directed Fallen, Primal Fear, Frequency & Hart’s War).
Overall, Facture is a great crime thriller with added amounts of Drama. The Mystery alone kept me wanting to see the film’s ending, because, at times, you just weren’t sure which way the film was going to end. Once you know the film’s ending it will be hard to have a strong experience again. The film’s ending does feel a little rushed and I wonder if the director had other ideas but struggled himself with deciding how to end it.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden