The Bone Collector

Cast: Denzel Washington as Lincoln Rhyme

Angeline Jolie as Amelia Donaghy

Leland Orser as Richard Thompson


Lincoln Rhyme was a very genius police officer assigned in NYPD at the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). He wrote a lot books about forensics. When he was on duty investigating a murder, he got an accident that made him totally paralyzed. Since then, he had to stay in bed surrounded by many kinds of equipment, from medical equipment to electronical ones, such as computers, monitor, and telephone. He could not move his whole body except his head and his fingers, which he used to press the buttons in both sides of his bed, so that he could operate the elecronical machines. He still could talk, was still working as a policeman, and did his work from his bed by using his genius brain and the machines. He was also fully paid by the NYPD. One day, a mysterious murder happened, and the first police officer who examined the crime scene was Amelia, a traffic policewoman. She took some pictures of the scene. Linc was assigned to find the murderer, and he directly took some actions to solve the case by gathering some police officers to become the members of his team. He also asked Amelia to join the team since he was very impressed with her work on examining the crime scene. And so, the team started to collect evidence and began the investigation. The murder was genius though. He did his crime very neatly, and he always left some mysterious clues for the police. The clues could lead them to the next target of the serial killings, but every time Linc found out the meaning, the murderer had already killed the victim. The killings continued to happen until the murderer came to his main target, who was Linc himself. It turned out that the murderer was Richard Thompson, the one who took care of Lincoln’s medical apparatus. He did all the murders to take revenge on Linc because he felt that Linc had ruined his life and made him suffered. By the time Richard was about to stab Linc, Amelia showed up and shot Richard. In the end, Richard died and Linc survived. He was not staying in bed anymore; instead, he used a wheel chair, a sophisticated one, of course.

The Kinesics of the Good Guys

v Lincoln Rhyme

Linc had the required characteristics of a good police officer as well as a nice person. He was brave, firm, tough, smart, emotionally stable, wise, and understanding. Moreover, he had a strong leadership and intuition. This judgement is based on the way he talked and the kinesics he used. His kinesics mostly involves eye gaze and facial expression, and occasionally head

¨ When Linc wanted to speak seriously with someone, his eyes usually were fixed upon the person and hardly any smile could be seen.
He maintained the intensive eye contact until the talk was over. This is shown in some scenes, such as, when he asked Amelia to work with him in investigating the serial killings, and when he described the jobs of each members of the team, and ordered them to do
their respective jobs.

¨ In other time, when Linc was criticized, he would only smile slightly with no look of anger in his face. It happened in one scene where Amelia protested him for being authoritative in asking her to join his team.

¨ Although Linc was a firm police officer, he could act wisely in some occasions. When Amelia didn’t want to examine the first victim’s body because she couldn’t stand seeing the condition, Linc didn’t look angry with her. Instead, he tried to encourage her to do the work. Still, Amelia didn’t want to and she even intended to resign from the team. Linc called her and was able to make her tell her bad experience, and with his comforting eyes, he told her that he understood everything and convinced her to rejoin the team.

¨ When making analysis by recalling his memory
and thinking seriously, Linc’s eyes were either blinking or focused on no direction without
blinking. It was sometimes combined with contracted eyebrows.

¨ When observing things related to the crime, such as the evidence or the clues, Linc’s eye gaze was very sharp examining and analyzing the things while also pressing the buttons in the sides of his bed.

¨ Linc was not afraid to show his dislike to even a high-rank police officer. He was not hesitate to only look at the person he disliked with one eye and then looked away, or even not looking at all, but only using head movement to respond to what the person’s saying. We can find it in one scene where a bad police officer named Howard came to his place.

¨ Linc was very intuitive. When Richard came to kill him, he had already felt that there’s
something wrong before Richard told him everything. He had already tried to call the police station by pressing the buttons with his fingers silently. However, he had to say something on the phone and this was the moment when Richard knew what he was up to.

¨ Linc’s genius brain was still working even though he’s in a very difficult situation. In a scene
where he’s going to be killed by Richard and he was obviously helpless, he could find a way to postpone the murder, that is, by biting Richard’s neck and making him injured.

As an ordinary person, Linc still showed his sentimental side in some occasions.

¨ When Linc was asked to have a break by his crew since his health condition was decreasing, he looked angry, but not long afterwards, his eyes revealed his sadness. He was actually desperate with his condition and he had even signed an agreement for euthanasia. However, he could conceal everything and still became a brave and tough leader for the rest members of the team.

¨ Linc also showed sad eyes in the scene where he saw the victims of the murders, who were usually badly wounded.

¨ Linc’s happiness could still be seen in some scenes, like when he made a friendly smile while joking with Thelma, his nurse, or when he smiled slightly seeing Amelia’s good job which showed that he was proud and happy with it.

¨ Linc was paralyzed, but his feeling toward woman was not vanished. He knew that Amelia’s got feeling on him and when looking at her, his eyes showed that he felt the same way especially in some scenes where they were in a very close distance.

v Amelia Donaghy

Amelia Donaghy is not way different from Lincoln Rhyme, except that she’s a woman. She is also a good police officer, a brave, smart, tough, responsible, self-reliant, and careful one. Although she is a woman, she could cope with her colleagues and did her job as well as they did. It is shown by her kinesics, which can be identified as follows:

Ø Eye gaze

¨ She always looked directly at the eyes of the person she was talking to.

¨ She used friendly eye gaze when seeing a child who gave her information about a murder,
so that the child would not be afraid and worried.

¨ When she felt that she had to defend herself, she tended to look at the eyes of the
person she was talking to more strongly.

¨ When her supervisor asked her to change her current job and moved to his division she
looked directly at him even though he was her supervisor.

¨ When she was asked to see and observe another victim, Mrs. Rubin, her eyes gave a sign
of shock and sadness, but she tried to be strong

If she felt touched, she could not hide it from her eyes. She even cried when she was
reminded of her late father and her eyes showed pain, sadness and disappointment. When she experienced or saw a very sad moment like when a young girl’s grandfather was murdered, she also could not resist on crying.

Ø Body movement

Her movements were fast and she had a good reflex. She moved very fast, carefully and well arranged when she heard about the news of murder as if it had been her habit as a member of police department when she heard any bad news.

She carefully and thoroughly took pictures of events around the crime scenes that
might become important evidence.

When she walked with her man colleagues, she did it as fast as her colleagues did.

She was so curious when she was in the place where the murders had happened that she
walked slowly and cautiously examining her surroundings

Ø Proximity

She kept around fifty centimeters distance when she talked to the child she found in the first crime scene.

She kept around fifty centimeters distance from her colleagues when she walked with them.

Ø Posture

She bent her back when she talked to a child so that her position was almost the same
with the child.

She is very sturdy in the way she was standing, sitting, and walking.

Ø Facial expression

She talked to Lincoln Rhyme when he urged her to change her position with an expression of a strong and tough person to defend her position

She looked very shocked and disappointed when she found the victim of the murder,Mrs. Rubin, but she kept on being tough and doing her job, collecting the signs of the murder.

The Kinesics of the Bad Guy

Frankly speaking, the bad guy was rarely shown in the film. Everytime he did the murder, he
was wearing a mask. So it was difficult to see his facial expression. Fortunately, his body movement and eye gaze can still be identified. And luckily, in the end of the film, when he tried to kill his last victim, he wasn’t wearing a mask. The kinesics of Richard Thompson as the bad guy (murderer) can be identified as follows:

Ø Eye gaze

When Richard look at his victims, he used a threatening gaze. He gazed at the victim with sharp look and lack of blinking. From his eyes, it could be seen that he was a cold-blooded murderer.
He tended to sweep the room finding a victim with his eyes. He always used steady gaze when he looked at people.

Ø Body movement/ posture

The bad guy rarely moved his body. He didn’t like to move here and there without any purpose. When he drove a taxi and the victims screamed and yelled, he kept driving, he did not turn back, he ignored the victims. His ignorance scared the victim. No matter what the victim did, he kept driving without feeling bothered.

Some exceptions happened to Richard when he came to his last victim, Linc. Since Richard had
known Linc very well and Linc was the reason why he did all the murders, Richard did something that he had not done to other victims. When he wanted to kill Linc, Richard was talking much. He tended to get closer to Linc.
Usually he rarely moved, but in front of his last victim, he often moved. He used to be very calm but in this case, he was careless and did everything in a hurry. He did many mistakes that he couldn’t succeed in killing Lincoln.

Ø Proximity

The murderer always took a distance with his victims. After he handcuffed the victim, he stayed away from her/him. He approached the victim, touched her/his body only it he wanted to hurt her/him, like cutting the victim’s body with knives. After that, he moved away. When he came to his victim, he walked slowly, steadily, with heavy step.

Ø Facial Expression

Fortunately, we can see the bad guy’s facial expression in the last part of the film. He smiled with sly face. His eyebrows went down near his eyes and he stared at Linc sharply with anger. When Linc could make him injured, his face showed pain. However, the more pain he felt, the more angry he got. He was shaking when he expressed these two feelings, pain, and anger.

So, it can be seen that people’s kinesics can reveal many things, their characteristics, feelings, intention, and so on. Just like in the movie, the characters do not show that they’re the good guys or the bad guys merely through their speech or the style, but also their kinesics. In real life, other people can also see who we really are from the combination of what we say, how we say it, and what kinesics we made.