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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » State of Mind
State of Mind
Wellspring // Unrated // September 21, 2004
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 6, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

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.  *end spoiler*

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 interest.

The DVD:


Audio:

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.

Video:

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.

Extras:

The only extra was a trailer for the film.

Final Thoughts:

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.
 

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