Murder in Mind (1997) / Mystery-Suspense
MPAA Rated: R for violence and language
Running Time: 88 min.
Cast: Mary-Louise Parker, Jimmy Smits, Nigel Hawthorne, Jason Scott Lee
Director: Andrew Morahan
Screenplay: Michael Cooney
Review published March 2, 2003
The plot: Police arrive at the mansion of a wealthy business man to find that same business man and one of his handymen butchered. A further search of the house finds the wife of that businessman staring blankly at static on a TV screen with the murder weapon in her hand. The problem is that she has no memory of anything that happened that night. Things become interesting as she goes to a psychiatrist who makes her undergo hypnosis to try to piece together the events which led to the fateful evening.
MURDER IN MIND is a smart thriller, written by Michael Cooney (IDENTITY) and adapted from his play. Twists and turns abound as the film progresses, as we're never quite sure what is fantasy and what is reality, what is an accurate memory or one that is embellished over the years of wishful thinking. Alas, the cast is not very strong, with Jimmy Smits offering a particularly strained performance, but luckily they do not detract from the film's overall entertainment value. In terms of being able to figure it all out, it's not the best mystery, and while it isn't a great film, it does make an interesting diversion amid some of the more predictable thrillers churned out of the Hollywood machine.
©2003 Vince Leo