Mysteries involving clinical psychologists have been popular for a while,
and British TV has done a lot to boost the genre. Cracker and
Wire in the Blood are both excellent, well written series where the
mysteries are unraveled by a doctor of psychology. The latest British
entry in this vein is State of Mind, where a female psychologist
tries to determine the reason for a lady's death. Unlike the previously
mentioned shows though, this is a fairly pedestrian work that doesn't really
hold the viewers interest.
Dr. Grace Hazlett (Niamh Cusack) is called in to evaluate a murder suspect.
Julian Latimer (Andrew Lincoln) was waiting for his wife to open the garage
door after doing some shopping, when he accelerated the car and crushed
her to death. He did this in front of neighbors, and claimed to have
no memory of the event afterwards. Grace, who is in the middle of
a divorce herself, has to discover if Julian is faking the amnesia or actually
has a missing memory.
Very reminiscent of the first episode of Cracker which also dealt
with a suspect who had lost his memory, this movie pales in comparison.
The movie moves very slowly, and their really isn't much of a mystery.
You know that Julian did kill his wife, but the question was weather it
was intentional or not, and that just isn't enough to hold the viewer's
interest. In Columbo, the fun is watching the bumbling detective
solve the mystery, but Grace isn't interesting to watch. She doesn't
have any style or elan. She's not very good at her job either.
It takes her the first 40 minutes of the movie to come up with the brilliant
theory that Julian might have been having an affair.
In both Cracker and Wire in the Blood the psychologists
are interesting because they are almost as crazy as the criminals they're
hunting. But Grace doesn't have any interesting traits, besides the
fact that her husband is having an affair.
The "twists" that the movie has weren't very surprising and I could
predict all of them in advance. Having seen a good number of mystery
movies, I thought all of the plot points were fairly standard, and I wasn't
surprised by anything that happened. Actually, I take that back.
*spoiler warning* I was surprised that
Grace didn't solve the mystery. When all is said and done at the
end of the movie, you find out that none of the theories Grace came
up with were correct. Not only didn't she solve the case, but she
didn't get any aspect of it correct. She was worng at every turn.
When all is said and done, this isn't a bad movie, just not a very good
one. Neither the script nor the acting was good enough to hold my
The English stereo soundtrack was adequate, if not spectacular.
The dialog was clear and the background music was crisp. There wasn't
any distortion or audio defects.
The video quality, like the audio, was average but not very spectacular.
The image as a little washed out, and slightly dark. There was a
good amount of digital noise in the sky scenes, but none of this was too
disturbing. A typical made for TV movie.
The only extra was a trailer for the film.
As far as psychological profiling dramas go, this is one of the weaker
ones. The main character wasn't very interesting and her investigation
wasn't engaging either. While I'm not sorry I watched the movie,
I didn't think much of it afterwards. This is a good one to skip.