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Psychoanalysis

Score: 70%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Candy Factory Films
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 79 Mins.
Genre: Mockumentary/Drama
Audio: English 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English

Psychoanalysis is a mockumentary focusing on a psychologist whose revolutionary approach makes him the top in his field, but when several of his former patients commit suicide in close succession, the nature of his relationship with his patients, as well as his style of treatment, come under scrutiny.

Paul Symmonds (Benedict Wall) has developed a technique that makes his patients open up more freely and fully with him. His belief is that most therapists treat the sessions as one-way streets and, in order to gain the full trust of a client, the doctor needs to be just as open with the patient in return. Paul's success rates are through the roof and he has a desk full of trophies and awards to show how well recognized he is in his field.

Unfortunately, when five of Paul's former clients commit suicide, the board must suspend Paul's practice, review his process, and make sure he hasn't crossed any lines with his clients, thus putting everything under a microscope. Of course, Paul has full confidence in his style, and when he learns that rival psychiatrist, Andrew Fendell (Ryan O'Kane, City Homicide, Mary, The Making of a Princess), is not only the person that will be reviewing Paul's cases, but also Paul himself, the defamed doctor starts to cook up a conspiracy theory. Could Andrew, who is second only to Paul, have caused the former clients' deaths in order to discredit Paul?

Just prior to Paul's first meeting with the board where he was suspended, the psychiatrist contacted James Raue (the mockumentary's writer and director) to follow Paul around and record everything. James and his camera man follow Paul around as he spirals down into his conspiracy theory, attempts to talk to family members of the dead patients, push his wife, Ally (Jennie Lee), away more and more, and even recruits a patient, Ryan Pilgrim (Michael Whalley), into the investigation.

What results is a film that explores the potential problems with a psychiatrist becoming too involved with their clients and how easily it can be to shift blame if you don't want to take responsibility yourself, and even a touch of exploring how events could play out different if there is a camera involved. In fact, one character points out that if the documentary had not be in-play, Paul's behavior and actions could have been drastically different.

Psychoanalysis is an indie film (and it has the laurels on the cover to prove it), but the low-budget aspect lends itself well to the documentary style being used. While I went into the film expecting it to be somewhat comedic, what humor there is, is dry if anything, so it wasn't exactly what I expected from the descriptions I read. That being said, it isn't a bad movie, but it felt very slow and drawn out. If you know what you are getting into, then Psychoanalysis is worth watching, provided the subject interests you at all. For most people though, this is a movie that can be skipped without really missing much.



-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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