The premise for the film is intriguing. It is based upon the Victoria Thompson murder trial that took place in New Zealand during the late nineteenth century. Victoria is raised is some sort of orphanage from birth. At the age of seventeen, it is arranged for her to marry Mr. Thompson, a weird, older man whom she has never before met. She dutifully marries him, and when she comes of age goes to live with him in his home, which is run by his two creepy servants. Victoria soon discovers just how weird her husband really is. She ultimately takes the bull by the horns and finds herself standing trial for his murder by the time she is nineteen years old.
Jodie Foster places the role of Victoria Thompson, as if she were doing so under duress. She takes a character that is potentially sympathetic and makes her merely pathetic, leaving the viewer cold. John Lithgow fares somewhat better, as he does a credible job playing the weird Mr. Thompson, doing the best he can with the material with which he has to work. The film, unfortunately, is choppy and poorly edited, the story so muddled as to be nearly incomprehensible. The direction seems to be almost nonexistant, as it looks like it is every man for himself.
This film was originally released under the title, "Mesmerized". Word about the film must have traveled fast, as bad news so often does. When the DVD was released, it was retitled as "Shocked". The only thing shocking about this film is that it was ever released in the first place. It is a complete travesty.
The DVD itself has no meaningful special features of which to speak. The quality of the film is very poor, grainy and fuzzy. Even the cover art of the DVD has nothing to do with the film. It is simply a photograph of a contemporary Jodie Foster. All in all, this DVD is not worth buying. The only reason this film was not rated one star was due to John Lithgow's performance. If you are not a John Lithgow fan, deduct one star.