Laura and Martin have been married for four years. They seem to be the perfect, happiest and most successful couple. The reality of their house- hold, however, is very different. Martin is an abusive and brutally obsessed husband. Laura is living her life in constant fear and waits for a chance to escape. She finally stages her own death, and flees to a new town and new identity. But when Martin finds out that his wife is not dead he will stop at nothing to find and kill her.Written by
Sami Al-Taher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Martin displays the classic cycle of spousal/partner abuse with Laura. First, the building of tensions, which continually increase between a couple, ultimately culminating in an abusive episode. After an incident, the abuser has released built-up tension, and thus the abuser is usually incredibly remorseful. This leads to the honeymoon period, which is characterized by apologizing, promising it will never happen again, and/or gifts. Finally, there is calm in the relationship for a time until tensions build again. Where Martin departs from the pattern is that his behavior is pathological, in that he is a true sociopath. In other words, there is a genetic defect that affects the way that the brain is wired, and which is untreatable. As such, he doesn't feel genuine guilt, shame, remorse, or empathy. He is not capable of recognizing his own faults and is incapable of taking responsibility for his actions. All of his actions, even the seemingly benign ones, are ultimately self-serving, an example being his gift of the red negligee, which was not for his wife but for satisfying his own sexual desires. If he beats her, he sees it as a quarrel. If she fails to conform to his standards it is because she is at fault. While "normal" cases of spousal abuse are abhorrent and are routinely life-threatening, cases in which the abuser is a genuine sociopath are rare. Nearly half of all female homicide victims are killed by a current or former dating partner, according to a 2017 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See more »
When Martin has Symphony Fantastique playing in Laura's home at the end, it inexplicably vanishes when Ben arrives. See more »
There's the telephone. You could call the police. I know your every thought, Laura. You're wondering if they can protect you. Who knows? They may issue an order instructing me to stay away from my own wife. Nothing can keep me away. I love you, Laura. I can't live without you. And I won't let you live without me.
See more »
Much of the violence and sex is removed in the version aired on broadcast television. See more »
By-the-numbers thriller is boosted by good performances.
I think most people tend to overlook how well-done the first 20 minutes of this movie really are. Ruben carefully builds a creepy atmosphere, relying on brief glances, moments of silence and quietly expressive performances (especially by Julia Roberts) to help the viewer understand that, behind the image of a perfect couple, something is really wrong. Unfortunately, after Roberts escapes from her husband, the movie turns into a strictly by-the-numbers thriller, where you can predict almost every development of the script. It's a visually polished movie, though, and the very good performances give it a strong psychological center that keeps it above-average.
50 of 67 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this