|Index||6 reviews in total|
Typical made-for-TV Thriller in the mode of "Cracker" but doesn't really deliver. The plot could have been told in a good episode of "The Bill". Niamh Cusack kept trying to be Amanda Burton in "Silent Witness" which was fairly irritating. Ending too predictable.
"I thought I'd be locked away in a padded cell and they'd throw away
the key" (Thus is a paraphrased snatch of dialogue from "State of
One wonders in what tangled forest Paula Milne and her co-writer found the magic mushrooms they must have eaten, to create this feeble "whodunnit" and bring such rubbish to our screens. A padded cell should indeed be left available.
Niamh Cusack did her best, (as did the other actors) but surely her talent deserves a better vehicle than this. The height of absurdity has been reached, and this particular "State of Mind" is best buried and forgotten, and certainly not just "placed in a box and locked away in a drawer".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Utterly predictable silly show about a man who has killed his wife by mowing her down when driving and claimed he had blacked out. Why was he still driving a car? Why did he still feel able to drive a car having killed his wife with one? This question has not occurred to the writers. The story then witters on about a psychologist and her failing marriage which is tied into the failing marriage of wife-killing blackout driver. An omniscient mother and one dimensional child are thrown in for good measure, and the whole builds up to a predictable denouement and crashing finale. Are police psychologists so easily taken in? Deadful writing that the actors do their best with, but they are doomed to failure. This is on a par with a Harlequin Romance. Don't waste your time watching this one unless that's what you are aiming for.
This was a psychological whodunit that held my interest throughout. It might be categorized as a "woman's movie" because it involves all those teary real-life situations like when sex-driven men have affairs and dump their devastated wives. That must be a huge yawn to juvenile Bond devotees who prefer casual sex as an option on their breakfast menu. I liked the movie because it included the real-life dilemma regarding the children's divided loyalty whenever there's a split in the household. The parents are dealing with hurt feelings and huge sense of betrayal. The child may think it's their fault and feels abandoned by the parent that leaves the home. These fractured families carry these emotional scars for a lifetime.
Whatever happened to British TV drama? From John Major through Tony
Blair, the focus of the genre appears to have shifted from social
realism to smugly normative women-focused tales about the piddling
domestic problems of nice middle class professionals.
(Or perhaps TVNZ doesn't buy the good stuff? Please let that be what it is...)
The writer's long career in soaps probably explains why the dialogue is made up mostly of stale clichés. Niamh Cusack's performance is strong on meaningful looks, each held by the director for at least half a dozen beats longer than they deserve. Baleful looks, however, are a poor substitute for depth of character, if the writer has failed to provide such material for actors to work with.
Of course this is theoretically a thriller, about a murder investigation; but that's not as important as the central character's failing marriage and its attendant problems. Is Cusack's character's husband a complete bastard? Will her son be utterly traumatized by the marriage break up? Making these the central issues isn't a sign of insight -- it indicates a profoundly narcissistic identification by the writer and director with a character who should be getting on with her job.
Lynda La Plante knows how to write this stuff so that it feels as if it matters and involves viewers other than housebound neurotics ; evidently Paula Milne isn't up to the task.
I watched this with my family and the quality strikes you from the first. It avoids the clichés of other TV dramas on the whole. The acting of Niamh Cusack and Dominic Mafham was truly believable. Hugh Mitchell as the son was just right. The overt plot was rather predictable. A question of whether to believe the story of a killer. Is he ill or is he a murderer? Of course, like all serious drama, this was just a vehicle for the real story of loss, betrayal and redemption. The harrowing scenes of betrayal are bound to strike a chord with any sensitive person. They are almost too unbearable to watch. Buy it. You won't be disappointed.
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