Sunday, 9 December 2012

Jenifer 8

The Police Cops and thriller film of the week is Jenifer 8. Arriving in small town rural California for a new  job recommended by a friend and  police colleague, John Berlin ( Andy Garcia) works out that there is a relationship between  the body part of young woman in a garbage can, a severed hand, and an unidentified murdered girl which remained unsolved despite a six month investigation. Berlin notices that marks on the hand indicate that the girl used Braille and could be assumed to have been blind. He discovers there were also other unsolved cases which convinces him they are looking for a serial killer. Under pressure from a long standing colleagues who was passed over for promotion to make way for Berlin the local police chief refuses to accept there is any connection between the new and previous cases.

It has become a clich√© that once the police  on both sides of the Atlantic have a suspect who they believe is guilty they do not explore other possibilities.  In total there were eight girls within a radius of 300 miles who were killed or disappeared and had sight problems. He names the unsolved case Jennifer 7 and the latest Jenifer 8, hence the title of the film. He then meets a blind young woman (Una Thurman) and is convinced that her room mate is Jennifer 8 and because she has knowledge of the voice of the person with whom the girl came to associate she is also at risk. Because the girl resembles his ex wife Berlin becomes attached to her.

There is then one of those situations which is not uncommon, Berlin arranges for the wife of the friend, who arranged the transfer to look after the girl while they keep watch on her accommodation believing an attempt will be made on her life. When investigating what looks like  movement in the girl’s room Berlin is knocked unconscious and his gun taken and used to kill his colleague and friend. He is then accused of the murder and questioned by the FBI special agent, John Malkovich in a brilliant cameo performance, egged on by the colleague who was passed over for promotion.

Berlin becomes convinced this is this is situation and gets into an understandable panic after being freed because the passed over colleague is on his way to the home of the widow to take the witness  back to the residential centre the blind to go over what happened in relation to her friend Jennifer 8. We the audience are not immediately aware that the widow has switched positions with  the witness and  accompanies the killer who is under the impression she is blind. When he attempts to kill her, she turns round with a gun and shoots him dead thus bringing the story to its successful conclusion.

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