Mesmerized

 (69)4.71 h 29 min198513+
Featuring 2-time Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster as an orphaned New Zealand girl who marries an older, wealthy businessman, and has to learn to deal with his strange sexual desires.
Directors
Michael Laughlin
Starring
Jodie FosterJohn Lithgow
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Producers
Antony I. Ginnane
Studio
FilmRise
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
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Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

69 global ratings

  1. 39% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 14% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 26% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

retrobabeReviewed in the United States on October 1, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointing and boring
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I love Jodie Foster and John Lithgow's work. That coupled with the fact that I expected to watch a dark tale of obsession and a young woman's desperate desire to escape her husband was what led me to be very disappointed with this movie. I just could not get anything out of this movie. I thought Jodie Foster looked dazed and stiff throughout the whole film, even during moments when she was supposed to be scared. John Lithgow seemed nutty, but even then, I never really felt as if I should be afraid of him as a viewer. There were too many people involved in the story; I lost track of who was doing what. I was hoping to feel tense and unsettled by Lithgow's sexual perversions, but instead, I was bored.
The movie was slow, and I just could not feel fear from Jodie Foster's character. This movie turned out to be a one-time viewing for me.
3 people found this helpful
SharpReviewed in the United States on December 30, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Dark, Intense, and Questionable
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Partial spoiler: This is a dark and intense story about a man obsessed with a woman from her youth forward, married her in youth, and did not live with her until a year past. John Lithgow plays the part of the obsessive husband and does a fine job of representing a character who is probably insane. Jody Foster portrays the young wife and the story takes all sorts of questionable, twisted occurrences, in regard to, incidents of abuse and character flaws in people surrounding her character and others, such as the attending doctor, minister, father, and so on. The young wife is at the husband's mercy & little by little the story plays out to the benefit of the wife. I did not research the "based on true" story. Often times, I thought the young wife just as disturbed as her obsessive husband. It was a brilliant movie and I will leave it at that.
12 people found this helpful
PLBReviewed in the United States on March 14, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful move. Where has it been?
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In truth, I was mesmerized by this surprisingly good movie based on a New Zealand true story. The John Lithgow character (Mr. Thompson) marries Jodie Foster (Victoria) through an arrangement while she was in an orphanage. She doesn't go live with him until she is old enough. He is obviously perverted to an extreme degree, but we aren't really shown much more than that he likes to observes her undressing through a peephole. She falls in love with his younger brother but is led to believe that Mr. Thompson had killed him. Jodie Foster, by the way, is glowingly beautiful in this film and a good actress to boot. John Lithgow is, as always, a marvelous actor and does "crazy" very well in this part. As his desperately unhappy, ill-treated wife hypnotizes him into taking liquid chloroform, he behaves in an increasingly bizarre manner. She also has both the minister and the doctor in her thrall so no problem from them. His father, even nastier than his son, somehow isn't on the scene at the right time to catch on to this; but he has his suspicions. The conclusion to this film is partly satisfying; partly mystifying; but I'll not tell you more.
9 people found this helpful
Khristine JacksonReviewed in the United States on August 24, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
A rare .............GEM
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I have been a fan of Jodie Foster's work since she was a child.. This was her destiny like that of Bette Davis,Meryl Streep and others to become GREAT ..actresses ! I have never even heard of this film nor have I heard her interviews from the past bring this film up? John Lilthgow did an excellent job as a "sneaky pete" pervert husband. Yes I said it...he spied on her from a peep-hole in another room. The cast were pretty good and I read up on how there was a protest due to the fact that they did not use local actors that much in the film. Ms.Foster was also a producer in this project.... I really loved her costumes and hair styles for the period.. Did you check out those "St Bernard" dogs.. Yes..once and a long time ago...I owned one.. Or shall I say she owned me..! They are fabulous dogs to have as a pet parent...so if you ever want one.. Please adopt one from a rescue not a pet store... The story was a bit confusing...but I don't want to spoil it for the rest of you all.... Sit back ...and enjoy this little story of a young girl's journey..
One person found this helpful
LeeReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2017
2.0 out of 5 stars
Strange
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I must be missing something here. There must be more to the story, which would cause a young bride to despise her husband. There was slight inference to the dogs as if there might be some perversion there. She tried to get away from him by running away with his brother who was apprehended with her on a ship, a fight ensued, and trying to hit her husband with a sharp object she accidentally hit his brother causing his presumed death, which was not the case, but her husband made her believe his brother was dead, her fault, and he would keep quiet about it. Possibly the husband was not only a peeping tom but perverted in the bedroom as well. It just is not clear. The actress, Jody Foster, appears to be in a catatonic state throughout this film with the camera zooming in on her expressionless face and blue eyes. She was accused of killing her husband and the doctor found chloroform in his stomach on autopsy. There was hypnosis involved taught by the preacher who disappeared conveniently at the time of her arrest. There was also a hint that there may have been some relation to the
young bride's father-in-law who looked like the man that left her at the orphanage to be raised until she was at age at which time this strange man appeared at the home and asks for her to marry him, pre-selecting her from all the young girls there. If she was the illegitimate child of her father-in-law, then this was incestuous at best. She gives birth to a stillborn baby. We do not know if she took something to cause that, or could the blood lines have been too close. She goes to trial for the murder of her husband and is acquitted due to reasonable doubt. We next see her at the symphony with an older man. She leaves there with a note and the postscript at the end of the film indicates she went to America with her dead husband's brother, George. If this is truly based on a true story, more fact finding could have been done to support this film.
5 people found this helpful
PeachyPatReviewed in the United States on December 23, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
How many people are really guilty?
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How can John L be so horrible? How Jodie F be so devious? They are great actors, that's how. The story is not new; older husband, not a nice man marries a much younger wife. He has no kindness towards her and does nothing to help her feel comfortable in the marriage. Resentment, then hatred build up in the young woman and she contrives a way to get out of the marriage.
It would seem that most of the men that come into her life are mesmerized by her beauty. The camera lingers on her face quite often and it is lovely. While her husband grows increasingly ugly both physically and mentally. After the husband dies, she is put on trial for murder. The cause of death is certain, how it happened is inexplicable. What end awaits the young woman?
3 people found this helpful
KRReviewed in the United States on April 7, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
What a boring waste of time.
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I watched the entire thing somehow believing that the movie would eventually find it's footing and go somewhere. In the end though, it was just a boring stinker. Even the exemplary acting skills of Jodie Foster and John Lithgow could not make it film interesting. In fact, it struggled to even be a story at all. The only thing memorable about this film is in regards to the hour and a half of my life that I will never get back. What a waste of time.
lawyeraauReviewed in the United States on November 25, 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars
SHOCKED THAT THIS FILM WAS EVER RELEASED IN THE FIRST PLACE.
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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.
46 people found this helpful
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