Physical and psychological pain in various manifestations

Physical and psychological pain in various manifestations Actress Brenda Song peers around a door in the psychological thriller film Secret Obsession.

Sepsis attacks more than 250,000 people in the UK every year and 60,000 of these people die. Starfish (Amazon) is the true story of a man who succumbed to it and survived. After a very traumatic period where he almost lost his sanity – and his wife – he came to terms with it.

This is a very moving account of his journey and the pain he inflicts on his family as he struggles to deal with his trauma as well as a facial deformity. It makes for disturbing viewing for a lot of the time but in the end it’s an inspirational story that I’m sure will be a great comfort to people suffering similar problems, either directly or offering support from the periphery.

When Brenda Song wakes up after an attack in Secret Obsession (Netflix) she gets a lot of tender loving care from her husband. But is he too good to be true? Is he everything he makes himself out to be?

Identity fraud

Yes, folks, this is one of those identity fraud films where the main character develops amnesia following a trauma. As her memory comes back, the villain’s wicked manoeuvres start to unravel.

Mike Vogel is the man pretending to be her husband. Dennis Haysbert, a kind of poor man’s Morgan Freeman, is the policeman trying to join the dots. It’s standard fare but you have to give it to Ms Song for perseverance. She hobbles about Vogel’s secluded mansion with commendable zeal as her psychotic husband kills everyone in sight.

All the genre clichés are present and correct, including my favourite one from Vogel to Song, “You’ll never appreciate all I do for you, will you?”

Fatal Affair (Netflix) comes to us from the same director as Secret Obsession, Peter Sullivan, and that isn’t the only similarity between the two films.


A wealthy lawyer (Nia Long) living in a luxury home by the sea has what might be called a “knee-trembler” rather than an affair with a man from her past (Omar Epps). Afterwards he becomes obsessed with her. You can guess the rest. When she says she doesn’t want to see him again he goes nuts. Then dark secrets from his past come out.

The problem with the film is that Epps looks too normal for the actions he performs. This took away a lot of the fear factor for me. Long also waits for too long (sorry!) before telling her husband about the threat he represents. But of course if she did there would have been no plot.

Patagonia (Amazon) is a beautiful film charting a very unusual connection between Wales and Argentina. Two women in radically different circumstances are on emotional as well as geographical journeys.

It’s beautifully filmed and very gentle in its delineations of the different trajectories the characters are negotiating. The soundtrack, the scenery, the performances – all these will take your breath away. It’s both a love story and a genealogical one. Don’t miss it.