Youthful Director David Dilley remembers Phoenix. He remembers what it was like when mobsters controlled the Capital, and those who dared to expose them were blown up in their cars. Dilley’s sense of local history, combined with research and detail, culminate on the screen for his feature length film “Suspicion.” Darrell Jacobs (Brad Blaisdell) is a retired mobster living in Phoenix. As cancer consumes him, he quietly runs out the clock, roaming downtown daily and frequenting his favorite café. Young waitress Alicia Foret (Suzanne May), a law student at ASU, is intrigued by the mysterious regular and follows him home. They quickly form a friendship that puts Alicia in danger, and forces Darrell to finalize any unfinished ‘business.’ Alicia’s boyfriend Tom (Aiden Bristow) does not approve of their friendship and has the pair followed. Tom’s discovery of Darrell’s true identity puts him in a state of panic. Not for the safety of his girlfriend, but for his own. Cinematographer Danny Grunes and Director Dilley are symbiotic, as over 40 locations are explored and exploited. Grunes brilliantly resists the sleazy seduction of neo-Phoenix and points the lens straight into the spirits. The magnificent Luhrs Tower entices and tantalizes, Scottsdale stucco’s are ignored as John Long homes and 60’s suburbs fill the screen. The ASU campus is exquisitely portrayed as a sinister world of students making drug deals in broad daylight, amidst sunken sandstone architecture.
Blaisdell’s pure passion for performance carries this film smoothly and exotically from scene to scene. Major props to actor Carlos Larkin as the drug dealing dirtbag, Professor Evans. Larkin is all too believable as he portrays one of the creepy counterfeit cowboys that used to lurk around Phoenix in the 70’s and 80’s. Look for a cameo by Arizona indie Director Chris Redish as Darrell’s defeated doctor. Local indie eye candy Mario Guzman also checks in as the scary mob messenger. “Suspicion” has a first rate, big budget production look and feel throughout, and a weird, original soundtrack is provided by James Khoury. This is a film that clearly has its finger on the pulse, as downtown Phoenix and Arizona surroundings are a playground for the camera. “Suspicion” does not disappoint, and does not waste your time with fluff and filler. This is passion for Arizona first, followed by passion for Arizona filmmaking. An original and compelling production from start to finish, “Suspicion” is the one you will not want miss, and will definitely want to own.
Final Take – Bright glowing offering from the Valley of the Sun.