BEING A GOOD GUY
Bypassing the devoted allegiance of millions of people towards Harrison Ford as an icon-like impersonification of a positive character, a living synonym of the adventure of his era, the very first minutes of ‘The fugitive’ story foster the mysterious murder with unobvious detective puzzle. Equally, the attentive viewer benefits from the parallel montage, a means of swapping the protagonist, in his bloodied shirt, with a retrospective of the previous eve and the crime itself. As far as we experience the fact, that doctor Richard Kimble clashed with the murderer of his wife, the story pushes forward a contrast between the indeed tragedy and true image of the main character on the one hand and formed the public opinion (within this cinematic universe) on the other. The prologue scenes demonstrate good faith with the audience with no ace in one’s narrative sleeve. Moments after the initial doubts, we fully entrust our belief to Harrison Ford’s character, and the story is to be rendered through the prism of Richard Kimble.
Regardless all of a heap of the experienced tragedy, the emotional and physical exhaustion, exacerbation of the public mind, breach of justice and biased attitude, the start of a manhunt and deprivation of all the privileges, doctor Richard Kimble does not harden his heart against the whole world and other people. He distances himself from becoming a real criminal with assorted actions. At the moment of Kimble’s escapade, the doctor had been exposed to public humiliation and ostracism both by the powers of the legal system and mass media, left face to face with own powerlessness, separated from his friends and craft, finally his home. Therewith, Richard remains ‘a good guy’, a man with virtues and principles, who used to live to pay care to other individuals for all his mature life. Even under the threat to lose his life, being a fugitive beyond the law, he is true to oneself in saving lives: of the wounded officer and later a boy: two strange people to Richard Kimble.
Doctor Kimble stinks in taking a life for the sake of his salvation, which comes to the light due to a memorable scene within a dam tube when a convicted felon does not inflict harm to a U.S. Marshall. Regardless of the revealing of the truth about the indeed perpetrators and murderers in the final scenes, Richard does not dare to take the law into own hands and kill either Frederick Sykes or dr. Charles Nichols. As the story goes to the end, Richard says: ‘They killed my wife’, thus drawing a line the fact, who should be treated as criminals. One can make an argument, that Richard escaped from custody, performed picking and stealing, falsified the ID to enter the hospital, and finally broke into the apartment of Sykes. At the same time, this breaking of the law fails to characterize Richard as a criminal. Relatedly the very fact of his escapade should be regarded as the only way to find the indeed murderers of Mrs. Kimble and to clear one’s name, finally, to save one’s life from the death penalty for the crime, Kimble never committed.
Richard Kimble finds oneself to be an obstinate individual, trust no chances, and have rare reliance on other people not to run them into danger. Richard does not rely on good timing holds up well in contrast to almost every circumstance facing his battle for truth. Summing up, the personal identity of the main character gets the better of the fact, that Kimble’s cinematic image has become the iconic one. ‘Does this guy ever quit?’. All while being in advance of his chasers, Richard pushes Marschall Gerard to breathe a new life into the underlying circumstances of the case to force investigation with a vengeance. On the one hand, the ‘case closed’ is being reexamined by U.S. marshalls and by the Doctor himself on the other. One step at a time, they dig to the roots of the missed clues, previously omitted in favor of the more obvious verdict, easy one for the Chicago police.
Each of two principal characters acts as a master in his craft, faithful to their principles, and granted responsibility. U.S. Marshal Gerard keeps on going at the tail of convicted felon, sidelining an attempt to deep into Kimble’s motives as well as into the background of the old case. Doctor Kimble is being depicted as no less than an ace of a neurosurgeon, has been praised by his colleges for years. In a meaningful contrast to Charles Nichols, who betrayed a best friend (Richard) and killed another one (Helen) to conceal the dangerous drug side effects for the sake of one’s profiteering, Kimble is clean-handed enough not to stand aside with the truth. Richard’s true purpose in life is to save lives even with the fact that he is a wealthy and praised surgeon. He deserves credits with a scene of self-treatment, later with his care about the wounded officer and, finally, with the iconic scene and the help to a boy. This last example is known as one of the most recognized ‘good deeds’ in movie history and plays the role of a final flourish for the image of Richard Kimble as a ‘goodie’. You will never find him ‘ he’s too smart’ — another portraiture, which leads us to the admiration about the escapee.
REMAKING THE PUBLIC MIND
The detective officers of the Chicago Police Department provides their emotionless judgment far before the final verdict of the court. The factual relics of the case (the 911 phone call and blood under nails) form their only reasonable attitude towards the evens and the main suspect, supposedly greedy enough to kill his wife, the stylish and wealthy representative of the Chicago privileged circles. His fingerprints are all over the lamp, the gun, and the bullets. and the good doctor’s skin is under her fingernails. The testimonials of doctor Kimble seem to be flimsy and unconvincing all the more so witnessing a murderer with an artificial limb is an ominous argument in favor of the alternative version. Financially, you’re not gonna be hurt after these things, are you? Detective Kelly sincerely believes in a chosen version due to the prism of his routine case and the criminals, in fact, socially distanced enough from Richard Kimble. A short ‘verdict guilty’ scene in a courtroom comes across the prologue with a painful shadow over the image of the main character with affirming a sentence and the inevitable death penalty. ‘The fugitive’, as a detective story, initially confronts the social dogma of the doubtless guilty of a man, convicted as a criminal.
Why did you run? Running only makes you look guilty. In the minds of Richard’s lawyer, the publicity, and particularly law-enforcement authorities, the very fact of the escapade serves a fundamental argument to support the previously delivered judgment. At the same time, the story of Richard Kimble turns such habitual assertions upside down. Preserving the vital desire to face the indeed murderers of his wife and to clear one’s good name, without hiding a head in the sand, doctor Kimble acts oppositional to the characteristics and assumptions, conventionally associated with the jailbreakers and murderers. The short story side-line with Copeland is being finished with a bullet of Samuel Gerard, all while the second escapee had acted himself aggressively and predictably. Going back to the court scenes, the movie gives us the assumption, that doctor Kimble and his high-paid lawyer had no hard arguments against the judgment. Every piece of the given information left the public mind with no alternative aside from the guilt of a wealthy surgeon, who had committed the crime against own wife for the sake of the insurance. His escapade and the upcoming deeds along with preserving one’s personality would change a lot.
Richard Kimble makes oneself up, takes care of his wounds, assists the hurted prison guard more than once, and avoids causes no damage to a U.S. marshal, taking the mortal risk of jumping over the dam. In substitution to an escape as far as possible from Chicago, Richard makes his way back home. Even the shielded certainty of the Marshals in performing one’s mission of getting the criminal takes in water face to face with Kimble and his deeds. His improvised investigation is wholly at odds with the official sentence on Helen Kimble’s case. All while visiting the public institutions and his friends, taking chance within a hospital, Richard constantly takes the bear of danger by the tooth a hand’s width apart from being jailed or killed. By virtue of the fact, that his deeds have diverged from the expected behavior of the fugitives from justice, Richard is always in advance of his chaser, including Gerard.
Richard unintentionally uses the investigation for Gerard to reposition his mind towards the past and current events: a means U.S. Marshal now strives to get wise to Kimble’s thought-patterns and to shorten the distance between the chaser and the fugitive. Not so much breaking the truth with every scene, the protagonist leaves clues and orienteers, important enough to be ignored. Doctor Richard Kimble takes up еру position of a leading force rather than an escapee. Bypassing the initials roles (the U.S. Marshal and convicted felon), Richard steadily reshapes Gerard’s attitude, reaching the climax in the final scenes, when the main character saves his shadower from Nichols. Along with that, the persecutor holds true to his identity and the granted responsibilities in a scene, when he shots Richard through the bullet-proof door, having had doubts on the case. Gerard’s sense of duty prevails over his deeds till the fall of the curtain, a moment of certainty with facts and Richard.
The prologue of the story infiltrates our mind with a scene of Doctor Kimble is being gently taken to a police car, a victim, and a witness at the moment. Months before the sitting of the court, the moments worth mentioning as the story ends with pretty the same picture, yet with Kimble’s image has been transformed in the eyes of the public. The mass media took the full advantage from the story of a wealthy surgeon, who had brutally taken the life of one’s wife, later committed an escapade, and was to become the center of the persistent manhunt. Relatedly, even the dead-wright of the public dispraise is to be transformed into reasonable issues against the fact of Kimble’s guilt. All while the Chicago police detectives retain stability with the initial sentence, the journalists and a general public start to pay regard to the deeds of the fugitive, far enough from the expected ones. Another brilliant example of breaking the public mind could be traced within a scene of unmasking Charles Nichols. In the minds of the guests, the VIP orator provokes both respect and awe until the words of Richard Kimble devastate the myth on Doctor Nichols.