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The action movie directed by Andrew Davis and starred by Harrison Ford, The Fugitive, is a film built up on suspense carefully created with action and details. The story begins with the crime scenes where Dr. Richard Kimble's wife is murdered, alternated with the sequence of Kimble's trial and his sentence to death after being accused of killing the woman. While he is in the bus on his way to the prison, the other prisoners manage to deceive the guards and kill the driver, causing an accident. Kimble survives and manages to escape, but now he has to run away from the police. Deputy Gerard is the chief of the police forces that will hunt him through the entire movie. However, instead of trying to disappear from the scenery, Dr. Kimble goes back to Chicago, where he used to live. Then, he starts his own investigation in an attempt to prove his innocence.
As the movie progresses, we learn that Dr. Kimble is kind hearted. While looking for clues that would help him to find the real killer in a hospital, he helps a little children that had the wrong diagnosis, so he changes the medical orders and saves his life. Moreover, the fact that he puts his own life in risk in order to solve the case or his wife's murder reveals that he is not guilty. Therefore, the audience is caught in this man's fight, which will become also an investigation on the people that planned him to be accused of the crime. The outcome is that the main promoter of a medical drug was trying to cover the side effects of this medicament, and he needed Dr. Kimble out of the picture. The doctor had access to information that would have sent them to jail immediately. At last, Kimble manages to solve the mystery and get back his freedom.
There are many examples of the use of foreshadowing in the movie The Fugitive. First of all, the music sets the mood for the suspense to come. Then, during the scenes of the trial he uses a series of flashbacks that show Dr. Kimble's wife murder alternated with what is happening at the court room. There is a brief moment when we can see Kimble suffer as he hears the tape record of his wife's call to 911. This is a slight suggestion of his innocence. But we do not start to suspect that he may not have committed the crime until the scene of the bus accident, when he saves a cop's life. There are many other examples of how the director foreshadows his innocence. When he is followed by Deputy Gerard and the other cops through the water canal, he had the chance to shot the deputy in order to escape, but he does not. This shows his respect for life. Next, the police officers are surprised that he came back to Chicago, where he used to live, since it is like coming back to the crime scene. Therefore, our suspicions increase. Finally, it can be told for sure that he did not murder his wife when he is at the hospital. First, because he helps the little child that had the wrong diagnosis and changes the medical order to save his life, which proves his humanitarian character. Second, because when learn at this point that he is investigating on the man that he denounces at the court as the real killer.
After that, the other moments that foreshadow the outcome of the movie are focused on Dr. Kimble proving his innocence. One clue that is relevant in this aspect is the conversation that Deputy Gerard has with Dr. Charles Nichols, who says that Kimble is a very smart person. Then, there is a sequence when he trespasses the house of a man connected with the murder and calls the police from this place so they can find the evidence that he has just gathered. As a result, we know that Dr. Kimble is directing the police to take his side against an enemy still unknown. Consequently, we can infer that the movie will end with the real criminal captured. In addition, the director cleverly suggests that the villain is another doctor, showing Kimble analyzing liver samples with his friend Kathy. This implies that there is a connection between the person who switched the samples and the trap set up against him.
USE OF ACTION TO SET UP THE CHARACTERS
In the previous examples of foreshadowing, we learn how the director gave us information of Dr. Kimble's character. What we can conclude of his noble actions is that he is incapable of murdering someone. We can tell also, from his other actions, that he is incredible smart and precautious. When he meets Dr. Nichols in his car, he does not tell him where he is going and only asks him for some money. Besides, he is brave enough to put his life at risk saving the cop after the bus accident when the vehicle is about to be crashed by a train.
The other two main characters that are defined by their actions are Deputy Gerard and Dr. Charles Nichols. The first one is very stubborn, as we learn after he makes the police to search for Dr. Kimble after he jumps from the water canal. Even when he knows that it is almost impossible that he would have survived, he insists in maximizing efforts to find him. This is when we know that he will follow Kimble to the last corner of Earth if necessary. He also has cold blood to perform his job. When the police break into one the black man's house that was being taken prisoner in the bus with Kimble, he tells a police that he does not bargain. What he is implying is that he rather let an innocent person died than losing power in front of a criminal or whoever is his target. We can also tell that he is very clever and he is not impulsive, although at the beginning of the movie seems to be speeding in his actions to capture Kimble. The proof of his smartness is when he says that he would wait until Kimble feels comfortable in Chicago to continue the search. This also shows that he can be patient when it comes to accomplish his goals. He is also honest, because when the press interrogates him and other police members on Kimble's innocence, he prefers not to answer the questions while one of the other police officers keeps saying that Kimble is guilty without any doubt. And he is a man who believes in justice. When Dr. Kimble tells him that he had thought he did not care, he says it as an expression of gratitude, because he has realized that in the end Deputy Gerard continued his efforts to find him because of his innocence.
The character of Dr. Charles Nichols appears briefly in the movie, but his interventions are significant. When he is interrogated for the first time about Richard Kimble he does not lie and tells the police that he asked for some money and then vanished. This information does not serve the police any good, but he tells them that anyway, which means that he has not scruples and maybe he would tell them the information that they needed if he had had it. The second time that he is interrogated he denies having talked to Richard Kimble. There are two reasons for him doing that. First, he has realized that Kimble is getting closer to the truth about the medical truth that he is promoting and the connection with Kimble's wife murder. Second, this is a scene that the director uses to show us how the reaction of Nichols at the time of being interrogated points him as the villain. His attitude is of anger and simulated indignation, instead of tranquil like the first time he was questioned.