The Tenth Circle (2008) A Movie Review

Director Peter Markle

Kelly Preston as Laura Stone
Ron Eldard as Daniel Stone
Jamie Johnston as Jason Underhill
Michael Riley as Mike Bartholomew
Haley Beauchamp as Zephyr Santorelli
Gerodie Brown as Moss Minton
Brittany Robertson as Trixie Stone
Jon Cor as Seth Dummerston Synopsis

The Tenth Circle is a made-for-TV film based on the novel of the same title by Jodi Picoult. It tells the story of fourteen-year old Trixie Stone who accused her ex-boyfriend Jason Underhill of rape. She tried desperately to reason out with Jason so they could get back together again. But when that failed, she agreed to a plan concocted by her best friend Zephyr Santorelli throw a party at Zephyrs house, make out with other guys present there and make Jason jealous. The party went on with no sign of Jason being jealous. The party eventually ended and only four of them was left Zephyr, Trixie, Jason and his best friend Moss Minton, and they decided to play strip poker. The game progressed with Trixie on a losing streak she only had her blouse and pants (with nothing underneath) left with her. She lost again so she opted to remove her top. She covered her breasts before facing her three companions. Upon facing them, Trixie was blinded with a flash of camera  Moss has taken a photo of Trixies half-nakedness using his camera. She became upset and ran out of the kitchen towards Zephyrs room. Jason followed suit, consoling her that eventually lead to a make out session and to the rape.

Trixie is the daughter of Laura Stone, a professor at their local college who teaches Dantes Inferno, and Daniel Stone, a comic book artist who works at home to be a hands-on father. Prior to the rape, Laura had been sleeping with one of her students, Seth Dummerston, who apparently sells drugs to students. They were together when Trixie was rushed to the hospital by her dad. She was made to undergo a battery of exams while being bombarded with questions about the rape. Daniel, all the while, stood behind the curtains as he listened to all the nitty-gritty details of his daughters painful experience. Laura arrived and was questioned by Trixie about her whereabouts. Daniel had suspicions already about Lauras infidelity, but he tried to keep a semblance of normalcy for Trixies sake.

Mike Bartholomew is the local investigator who took on Trixies case. His job was to determine if theres enough evidence to substantiate a case. Trixie was caught lying about her virginity  the said rape was not her first time, and she lost her virginity to Jason from a former consensual intercourse with him. Interviews with their schoolmates including Zephyr and Moss revealed that Trixie is only exacting revenge from Jason after he dumped her. Inconsistencies in Trixies statements further weakened her case. These compounded with the fact that Jason cannot be tried as an adult because he is only seventeen years old at the time of rape, renders Trixies rape as invalid. Until Mike thought of ketamine, or more popularly known as date rape drugs. Evidently, ketamine can cause confusion, some form of amnesia as well as hallucinations, to the victim, which explained a lot about Trixies seemingly fragmented recollections.

The involvement of a date rape drug, and ketamine at that, resulted to a favorable development to the case Jason can now be tried as an adult. Still, he insisted upon his innocence, and most of the town stood behind his back. He is after all the local hero, him being the star of the hockey team. The town rallied behind his back, for they hope that he could place their team (and town) on the sports map. But with this controversy, these hopes were put out along with Jasons chance of gaining a sports scholarship. Jason pleaded with Trixie but to no avail. He was found dead the following morning.

Jasons death had the town mourning Trixie as well, grieved his passing. Once again, Mike was assigned to investigate Jasons death. Suicide was the apparent nature of his death, with Jason jumping off the bridge and drowning in an ice-crusted river autopsy of his body revealed otherwise. Jason had sustained bruises and a black eye that are not characteristic of someone who jumped off a bridge. He also had a few cracks on his jaw and ribs and slivers of wood in his fingertips. Later, footage of Daniel and Jason fighting was found, but before everything could be resolved, Trixie escaped to Alaska. Daniel and Laura went after her and brought her back to Maine.

Daniel admitted to letting off steam at Jason because he saw him talking to Trixie. Laura revealed that her student Seth confessed that sold the date rape drug to Trixie. She also divulged that she had something to do with Jasons death. She saw him standing by the bridge and she approached him. They argued for a while before Jason came to her, she shoved him away but he fell off the railing. He was still hanging on to the railing, Laura started to help him but his hand slipped from hers.

The Tenth Circle tackled several issues that are of legal and moral concern. Rape should be recognized, even though the victim had given up her virginity to the person whom she accused of rape. Trixie was obviously viewed as a slut by her peers. True she was trying to win back Jason, but that did not mean giving her self without consent. One must remember that for a sexual act to be qualified as rape theres the blatant verbal and nonverbal No. Rape is also qualified since Trixie is a minor, being fourteen years old at that time (Roberts 2009). Though it was made complicated by the date rape drug, it should still qualify as a rape because she refused to have sex with Jason. The question now is Should Trixie be left blameless She was after all at fault also, because it was her who bought the ketamine and ingested it herself. She had also concocted the plan to win over Jason back by making him jealous and acting quite promiscuous. This whole thing might have been prevented if only Jason and Trixie never engaged in premarital sex.

As for Daniel, he was a father first and foremost. Parents would do anything to protect their children from harm, and in the event, that their children was harmed, they would do anything to obtain justice for them. Any father would behave like him, maybe there are those who would even claim justice into their own hands. Yes, he had beaten up Jason badly but he only did so because he thought Jason is into causing Trixie harm again. He simply lost his cool, maybe because of trying to keep calm through the whole ordeal that Trixie has been through.

The same is true for his wife, Laura. She must have felt extremely guilty, not being by her daughters side when her daughter needed her most. Her guilt was magnified also by her act of infidelity that was later compounded when her beaustudent confessed that he sold the drug to Trixie. That must have been too much to bear you wanted justice for your daughter but it seems that she might somehow brought about this to herself, so when she was at the bridge with Jason, it seemed as if an instant solution has presented itself to her. In her hands, she held Jasons life. Maybe she was in this battle with herself to let go of Jasons hand or not For no one will know. For it will simply look as if Jason committed suicide.

The availability of ketamine is also a cause of concern. According to the World Health Organization (2008), it is among the regulated drugs in the world. For it to be sold to students and sold by a student, an investigation must take place.


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