Behind Her Eyes
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
A single mother enters a world of twisted mind games when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss while secretly befriending his mysterious wife.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
At face value, Behind Her Eyes appears to have your average love triangle revenge-plot - husband cheats on wife, and someone ends up dying either out of jealousy or love or both.
It even starts as boring as it might sound - the husband and future-mistress meet, the doting wife seems to be stuck in a prison created by her marriage and the two women randomly fall into a friendship without knowing the full picture from either side.
The one oddity is that the audience is given a look into the woman's dreams and night terrors that cause sleepwalking - clearly stemming from unknown trauma and deadly secrets festering in the shadows. It's the one thing that might grab your attention in the first episode - an otherwise banal first impression that honestly would have made me move on to something else if I didn't have to review it.
However, Behind Her Eyes is a slow-burner, and you'll get hooked quickly if you push through to the second episode of the limited series. Based on a best-seller book, the series delves more into a psychological analysis of what drives these characters towards their inevitable doom and how they project their emotional trauma unto others. Instead of looking inwards to find their healing, all three of them depend heavily on others to fix their lives for them and become blind to the venom they leave behind in the pursuit of their own perceived happiness.
Louise (Simona Brown) - the mistress who either through fate or lousy luck got drawn into the toxic marriage of the Fergussons - is the only one who eventually gains some level of clarity on this destructive path she has put herself on but still puts herself and her family at risk trying to save those hellbent on destroying themselves. It's a simple yet effective message that we can all use in one way or another.
Compared to the book, some changes were made to make the story just a little less dark, and I think that might have been a wrong call. While I thought Eve Hewson perfectly managed the white-hot fury always bubbling underneath the surface as the unhinged Adele, the show should have done more to shock the audience and hide the villain a little better until the end - although nothing will prepare you for the absolute mind-bending twist that will knock you off your seat. It's tough to talk about the plot too much without giving it away, but it is worth sticking it out through the mediocre character development and vanilla sex scenes, even just for the last two episodes.
Once you've seen the end, you'll start looking back on the earlier episodes and realise how well the writers set it all up and how everything suddenly starts to make more sense. Regardless of the issues of how the characters came across on-screen, that plot weaving alone was some brilliant writing and makes me want to read the book even more. It almost puts M Night Shyamalan to shame.
Behind Her Eyes may require a little extra motivation to push through in the beginning, but the pay-off is well worth it if you're looking for a bit of surprise in your life. While I wish they went even darker with the TV-version of this psychotic story and spent more time fleshing out the characters for a series so focused on the complexities of psychology, it still provided one entertaining joyride into the subconscious mind and the darkness it can harbour.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: