The Hawk

"The Hawk" is a mild serial-killer suspenser hooded by a stop-go script and telefilm-style direction. The tube looks like the cosiest nest for this BBC Films effort, which is making the fest rounds.

With:
Anne Marsh - Helen Mirren
Stephen - George Costigan
Mother-in-law - Rosemary Leach
Brother-in-law - Owen Teale
Norma - Melanie Hill

“The Hawk” is a mild serial-killer suspenser hooded by a stop-go script and telefilm-style direction. The tube looks like the cosiest nest for this BBC Films effort, which is making the fest rounds.

Helen Mirren toplines as Anne Marsh, a northeast England housewife with two kids who gradually suspects spouse Stephen (George Costigan) to be “The Hawk,” the media name for a sicko who’s raped six women in the East Lancashire area.

Stephen has been out of town on business each time a murder has been committed, and there’s the strange matter of a missing hammer from the toolshed.

His brother (Owen Teale), an automobile mechanic, acts mighty suspicious, too.

After much to-ing and fro-ing, Anne kicks Stephen out of the house, later vacationing with her kids in a country retreat.

Double-twist finale is clever but dramatically weak, more like an afterthought when the main action has peaked.

David Hayman’s direction has its cinematic moments, but they seem more spliced into a suburban drama than part of a bigger movie.

Mirren does what she can with Peter Ransley’s poor script (from his own novel) but sends mixed dramatic signals after her powerhouse roles as a manhunting cop in the “Prime Suspect” duo. Costigan and Teale, with lesser reps, come off better.

Technically, the production is solid.

The Hawk

British

Production: A BBC Films presentation of an Initial Production, in association with BBC Enterprises/Screen Partners. (Intl. sales: The Sales Co., London.) Produced by Ann Wingate, Eileen Quinn. Executive producers, Mark Shivas, Eric Fellner, Larry Kirstein, Kent Walwin. Directed by David Hayman. Screenplay, Peter Ransley, based on his novel.

Crew: Camera (color), Andrew Dunn; editor, Justin Krish; music, Nick Bicat; art direction, Charmian Adams; costume design, Pam Tait; sound (Dolby SR), Kant Pan; assistant director, Mary Soan; casting, Leo Davis. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 15, 1993. (In Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival, Toronto Festival of Festivals.) Running time: 84 min.

With: Anne Marsh - Helen Mirren
Stephen - George Costigan
Mother-in-law - Rosemary Leach
Brother-in-law - Owen Teale
Norma - Melanie Hill

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