29 April 2001 | maralex
A well made powerful film with an excellent cast
In general true-crime films look as though they've been made in a hurry and rely on violent domestic scenes and acting histrionics to keep your attention. This one is different. Candice Bergen gives an excellent performance as the Polish woman, Eva, who has come to America with her Polish husband, a nuclear scientist, in search of a better life. Tragically, her husband,Adam,played by Jurgen Prochnow, is mentally unstable and finds it impossible to cope in a country where you're free to make your own decisions. Life was easier for him in Poland, where he simply had to follow the rules. As a result he turns into a complete control freak at home, even deciding at what time his wife should go to bed. He loves his two small children, but they too must obey all his rules. As his personality becomes more paranoid and aggressive, his wife turns to counsellors and the police for help as she tries to start a life for herself and the children without him. Adam cannot understand what's gone wrong, and decides that his wife is evil. Incacerated in a mental institution and divorced by Eva he realises that his only hope is to trick the psychologist in charge of his case, played by Eli Wallach, into believing that he's now penitent and cured. He succeeds, and as a result is free to wreak a terrible revenge on Eva, a revenge which resulted in a change in the law in America regarding the release of mental patients into the community. Despite the fact that there are very few scenes of real violence, Prochnow's Adam is terrifying and his brooding rage and obsessive, controlling personality linger in the mind long after the film is over. The trouble is, you just know that despite changes in the law people like Adam are always going to be very hard to stop.