Above Suspicion

It is very interesting the career of Emilia Clarke. There was the beast that was Game of Thrones and then there is the rest of it. What I mean by that is that Game of Thrones was so hugely successful and then her film career has kinda fallen flat. Rather than an indication of her talent, as she is usually good in whatever she does, it is usually the films themselves which are the letdown. Above Suspicion, which was originally released in 2020, will be added to that less than esteemed pile. I continue waiting for the film which is up to her talent.

Being a young FBI agent Mark Putnam (Jack Huston – American Hustle, Antebellum) is up for any assignment, but due to his inexperience he is given a small gig. Starting off slowly, he has to move his wife Kathy (Sophie Lowe – Blow the Man Down) and young child to Pikeville, Kentucky, a small run down Appalachian Mountain town.

A town in which all born there dream of leaving. Including, and maybe especially, Susan Smith (Emilia Clarke – Me Before You, Terminator Genisys). A poor young woman who is addicted to drugs, mother of two kids and divorced from her dealer husband (Johnny Knoxville – Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa, Men in Black II) but still living with him. Her life is a mess and does not seem to be going to change. From the first moment she sees Agent Putnam she dreams of a different life. Seeing Agent Putnam as her means of escaping from Pikeville.

She injects herself into his life becoming his star informant to crack a bank robbing ring. Soon they are sleeping together. When that case is done and it seems like Putnam is moving on from her, Susan becomes panicked. Wants to keep him in her life by keeping him in her bed. Soon she is tempting him back with her body and some information she has about a big drug dealer her ex-husband knows. This is a dangerous game to play, but she is a desperate woman.

The film is based on a true story. It is the story of the first conviction for murder of an FBI agent. Obviously it was a big story and scandal at the time for the FBI. Sounds like a story with plenty of substance, no? Yet the resulting film rings rather hollow. Rather threadbare. Plus it moves waaaayyyy too slowly. By the time it comes to its point most viewers will have given up out of boredom.

Really the only reason to watch Above Suspicion is Emilia Clarke. She is very believable as the desperate temptress. Even her Kentucky accent is great. Proves her versatility here. A transcendent performance in a weak film.

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