Murder in Greenwich (2002)

Murder in Greenwich (2002)
 
 
 

Meloni Probes Moxley's Unsolved Murder

This isn't really a happily ever after story. If it was, I'd wake up right now. I'd wake up and I would be 42 years old - Martha Moxley

Christopher Meloni in Murder in Greenwich (2002)

22 years after Martha Moxley (Maggie Grace - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2) is discovered murdered in the well to do Belle Haven, Greenwich, Connecticut former LA detective Mark Fuhrman (Christopher Meloni - Runaway Bride), the man who became notorious for perjury during the O.J. Simpson trial, is investigating the unsolved murder for a new book. But he finds his investigations blocked not only due to his notoriety but also the locals of Belle Haven who even 22 years after Martha's murder try to ignore what happened. But with the aid of retired detective Steve Carroll (Robert Forster - Mulholland Drive), who was in charge of the real investigation, they revisit the crime scene and piece together what happened and who the murderer was.

"Murder in Greenwich" is an interesting movie on a couple of levels. Firstly the unsolved murder of Martha Moxley in 1975 is a true story and so is the investigation of Mark Fuhrman 22 years later who prior to this had perjured himself in the O.J. Simpson trial. These two facts make this made for TV movie feel a little different, more real rather than a fictitious explanation of what may have happened to Martha Moxley. But sadly "Murder in Greenwich" is a movie which ends up being out of balance because it spends so much time going over the facts and evidence, revisiting the crime scene that when Mark eventually comes up with his revelation to who the killer is it almost feels like it has been tagged on to the end. That is not the only issue with "Murder in Greenwich" as the styling which sees Martha giving us a flashback narration as present and past merge into one is also a bit wrong making it almost a bit too fantasy like spoiling what could have worked as a good thriller.

Maggie Grace in Murder in Greenwich (2002)

So as already mentioned "Murder in Greenwich" is based upon a true story of not just the murder of Martha Moxley but also Mark Fuhrman's investigations 22 years later. And this makes a huge difference because whilst over the years there have been movies which have explored unsolved crimes, delivering their own viewpoint of what may have happened we actually get a dramatisation of his investigation, the investigation which lead to the conviction of the killer over a quarter of a century later. It makes it far more interesting when you have these true stories going on and you really want to know how Mark managed to solve a crime which had remained a mystery for over 22 years.

But whilst this makes "Murder in Greenwich" interesting it is sadly not used to its full potential. It's understandable that for part of the movie we will have Mark and his partners working their way through the evidence from the original investigation and in doing so this nicely establishes what happened and what the police thought had happened. It also highlights the issues of the murder with the Skakel family being involved who were connected to the Kennedy family. But sadly it does two things wrong, it not only makes it plainly obvious who Mark will suspect of the murder early on but spends so long going through the old evidence that when he suddenly comes to a conclusion it not only feels tagged on but almost feels plucked out of the air. Maybe that was the case, maybe everything did suddenly drop into place for him to come to his conclusion in real life but it feels too easy that all of a sudden he worked out what exactly happened the night Martha Moxley was murdered.

And sadly that isn't the only issue because we also have a narration from Martha as she takes us from the present to the past as we have flashbacks to what life was like back in the 70s. It sort of works when it sets about establishing what Martha's friendships were to various people back then but when it merges with the present it seems too fantasy like. It almost makes the character of Mark a man with special powers who can see into the past and it comes off a bit cheesy.

As for the acting well for the most it is forgettable be it Toby Moore who plays Tommy Skakel or Maggie Grace who plays Martha Moxley and Robert Forster is sadly under used as Steve Carroll. But fortunately Christopher Meloni does stand out as Mark Fuhrman making him a man who harbours resentment over the way he is treated for being known as the man who perjured himself during the O.J. Simpson trial. It makes him interesting especially in the way he deals with all the negativity which he receives where ever he goes and stops the character ending up flat.

What this all boils down to is that "Murder in Greenwich" is an interesting movie thanks to the double true story of the murder and investigation 22 years later. But it is a movie spoilt by not only making it far too obvious early on who the murderer is but also making it seem too easy for Mark to suddenly work out what happened all those years ago.

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