Saturday, 4 April 2009

Suspicion

Travelling on a first class compartment with a third class ticket, Johnny Asgarth played by Cary Grant meets the shy Lina Mclindlaw essayed by Joan Fontaine. She is beauty personified and Johnny uses every trick on the book to court her. She comes from a wealthy background, a factor that drew Johnny towards Lina. She had to elope since there was no way her father played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke would approve their marriage. After a wonderful honeymoon, she discovers the mess Johnny is in. She feared for their future due to his reckless attitude and constant gambling tendencies.
Each time she feared, he used to calm her down with his charm. He was broke and in desperate need of money and also engrossed himself reading a lot of murder mysteries.

He had a good friend in Beaky, who did have money and they had made plans to start a business. Beaky dies under mysterious circumstances and Lina suspects her husband to have played a role in it. Her suspicion overrules her senses to an extent where she feels the tag of being the next target. She suspects Johnny to kill her and take the money from her insurance.
Her state of mind could be summed up with a scene, where Johnny gets her a glass of milk. Interestingly, the scene is shot in a strange manner. He holds the glass of milk which is glowing and Lina feels, the milk is poisoned.
Fearing for her life, she decides to leave to her mother's place and Johnny hesitantly insists he would drive her.
The highlight of the movie and probably the best scene is the last one as they drive along the road, with Johnny speeding up the car, driving close to the cliffs. Lina anxiously and fearfully expects her death, watches Johnny take a shortcut and finds her door opened. He lends his hand to close the door, she feels he is trying to push her out. In the end, he manages to drag her back and stops the car.
He questions her behaviour and clarifies, he didnt murder Beaky, instead he was reading murder mysteries to commit sucide as he was ashamed of his inability to pay off the debts and face prison.

Joan Fontaine as Lina impresses with her acting skills, charm and elegance in this movie. Cary Grant plays the role where there is love in the heart and trouble in his mind. A cameo from Alfred Hitchcock, where he is seen posting a letter in a scene at the post office.
The ending of this movie was altered to keep the Cary Grant's heroic image he had with the audience.
This film marked the first instance of Alfred Hitchcock producing and directing a movie. This also happens to be the only time, he has directed someone to an Oscar winning performance. Joan Fontaine won the Oscar for Best Actress.
Released in 1941, Suspicion was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Music.

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