Fracture is a 2007 film revolving around a murder mystery. ‘Willy Beachum (played by Ryan Gosling) is an assistant District Attorney who gets sucked into a game of cat-and-mouse with a sociopath, Ted Crawford (played by Anthony Hopkins), set free on legal technicalities after being arrested for attempted murder. ’ (Thompson 2007 p. 1). Crawford’s’ plan for the perfect murder was motivated by his wife’s secret love affair, and resulted in a cold blooded exercise that was cleverly executed.
There are no moral challenges for Crawford, whose prime motivation is to succeed in engineering the perfect crime. ‘“It’s about a crisis in a man’s life as he flips back through time” says the Director’, Gregory Hoblit (Thompson 2007 p. 1). Crawford designed and built rolling ball machines as a hobby, being an aeronautical engineer by profession, and the constant referral to this concept creates a universal theme, bringing the all components of the film together.
Violence and Crime have a symbiotic relationship within movies in Hollywood, and Hoblit has ensured that these elements perfectly complement one another, allowing it not to detract from the core themes and storyline of the movie. The themes Fracture revolves around are that to do with ego, pride, arrogance, and redemption, however the movie’s primary underlying theme is about discovering a person’s flaw and exploiting it until they crack. The use of the rolling ball machine allowed Hoblit to establish the vulnerability of the themes and characters within the movie.
Hoblit saw ‘these “executive toys”... as reflections of Ted Crawford's persona and his psyche in the movie’, highlighting the antagonist’s attention to detail and reflecting back to the underlying theme of a person’s flaw. Hoblit employed a number of film techniques which enabled him to ensure that the audience received his characters the way he intended to. The use of close ups, also known as personal shots, concentrating on the characters face, gave us a sense of intimacy allowing us to emotionally connect with them.
This close up is also effective to explicitly communicate how the characters are feeling at the time. A way in which film techniques were integral in telling the story is highlighted whilst watching the changes made in terms of the antagonist – Ted Crawford. In the beginning of the film, low angles are utilised which insinuate power and domination assumed by the character (whilst he is deemed authoritative). However as the film concludes, and we see his demise, the transition to high angles are apparent, as these suggest that the character is now vulnerable and lacking in power.
These techniques that Hoblit utilises give him control over how the audience emotionally connects with characters. Overall Fracture is an enjoyable murder mystery, taking its audience on a journey experiencing emotional highs and lows. The twist at the end, resulting in Beachum convicting Crawford for first degree murder gives us satisfaction that we all yearn for – that good guys do in fact finish first. The combination of camera techniques and universal themes demonstrated throughout the film allow Hoblit to create a well rounded movie that is a pleasurable mix of crime and justice.