The Accidental Witness
The Accidental Witness, a 2006 made-for-TV movie, opens with Victor Sandeman (Currie Graham) veiling his mounting desperation as friend after friend denies his appeals for a personal loan. Ironically, millions are just a handshake away for Victor. As he wheels and deals for a multi-million-dollar merger, his entire future, as he sees it, is being […]
The Accidental Witness, a 2006 made-for-TV movie, opens with Victor Sandeman (Currie Graham) veiling his mounting desperation as friend after friend denies his appeals for a personal loan. Ironically, millions are just a handshake away for Victor. As he wheels and deals for a multi-million-dollar merger, his entire future, as he sees it, is being paralyzed by one reluctant person, Raymond Brunel, the owner and founder of Brunel Global Securities.
A slave to the corporate world, Victor sees himself as “just trying to survive.” Selfish desperation overwhelms any regard for others’ lives, and eventually manifests itself in cold-blooded (and bloody) murder. Victor draws us into a calculating killing as he slyly evades cameras, timing his actions perfectly. Oddly, his role is somewhat the pro-antagonist as we anticipate his precision and success. The resulting assault is violent as Victor shoves Brunel’s head in a bag, then brutally beats him. Victor is close to completing the disposal of Brunel’s body and car when he smashes the fender of Christine Sternwald (Natasha Gregson Wagner), the accidental witness and new layer of conflict in the film.
Christine, an overworked paralegal, doesn’t have time for fender benders. Victor surely doesn’t, and he convinces her to quickly exchange information, promising he’ll have her car fixed. Another layer: he must show her Brunel’s insurance information. Now he’ll have to get rid of her too. Victor plunges into several frustrating, unsuccessful attempts at Christine’s life, one resulting in mistaking her unlucky roommate for her. Meanwhile, Christine has come to suspect something odd is going on with this Mr. Brunel, as well as the two recent near-death experiences she’s had with a white van. Defying her loving yet skeptical fiance, Jeff (Aaron Pearl), she dons her fighting armor, pursuing Mr. Brunel. Her own investigation, coupled with that of police investigators, drives Victor to an all-or-nothing mission to eliminate Christine. Ironically, a dangling shred of mercy alters Victor’s focus for a quick moment, but will it be enough to change her fate, and his?
The Accidental Witness, although made for TV, has a nice film feel, predominately because Graham Currie’s performance is exceptional and lends an intriguing chameleon-like aspect to the acting. Production values are sufficient, although we perceive some slowdowns in pace here and there. The fairly formulaic storyline offers a couple of entertaining twists. Overall, The Accidental Witness is engaging, but the few violent killings coupled with a scene of implied extramarital interlude prevents it from being Dove-approved.
The Dove Take:
By drawing us into the story of murder and an unfortunate position of an unsuspecting secretary,The Accidental Witness provides suspense, but displays a few scenes too violent for Dove audiences.