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'Silence of the Lambs', it's not
on July 13, 2003
I watched "When the Bough Breaks" last night as an uncut, no commercials, cable TV movie.
Up front, to give the movie credit, it was entertaining enough. No boredom. Just nagging thoughts.
Too early in the movie, the parallels to "Silence of the Lambs" become very apparent. That started with the isolated underground captivity of the key informant/psych patient and continued all the way through the confrontation with the villain in the basement.
But even before that comes the nagging impression that police department had simply not done a competent investigation. Does it really take a profiler from the state to see all these July 16 connections?
Then comes the prosecutor's nightmare. Ali simply breaks into the house without a search warrant. With all the things she sees, there goes any hope of a conviction. And this is a trained law enforcement officer?
Does a trained law enforcement officer go into as dangerous an environment as that basement without notifying a dispatcher and asking for some backup? Of course, having backup arrive from two miles away would have ruined the climax of the film.
And so many loose ends....
--The predominace of smoking, even extending to the child patient.
--Unexplained scratch-mauling of the profiler's back.
--The disappearance of the police captain in the middle of the plot.
--The ability of a cop to so effectively hypnotize an autistic child.
--The question of the patient's Jordan/Jennifer identity and reason for the wrist markings when the identity of the other twin seems so apparent.
None of these mar the film's entertainment value. It's only afterwards that one feels diminished by a badly written screenplay.