An Affair in Mind (1988)

 “Come on writer, live a little.”

affairNovelist Graham Harston–also known as Gray (Stephen Dillane) meets a beautiful married blonde named Druscilla–Dru for short (Amanda Donohue) at a literary party in London. He offers to give her a lift to the train station, and he’s shocked when she boldly propositions him. Within minutes, they’re in a hotel room, and this is the start of a long-term affair. Over time, Dru confides that her marriage to her husband, Tiny, is unhappy, and when Graham urges her to leave, Dru explains that she’s too afraid of Tiny to seek a divorce. And then Dru concocts a plan involving Tiny’s ‘accidental’ death….

Graham’s story is told through a series of flashbacks. At the suggestion that he should help Tiny have a little ‘accident’ he argues with Dru and they break up. But he can’t forget her, and most of the film is dedicated to Graham in the present with his memories of the past. Graham’s memories serve to ‘catch’ the viewer up to the present time, but they also seem to provide Graham with the opportunity to mentally chew over events.

When the film’s flashbacks catch up to the present, circumstances cause Graham to reconnect with Dru, and he finds himself caught up in a web of intrigue, betrayal and murder. Graham is obviously NOT Dru’s speed, and one wonders why he doesn’t question some of the huge inconsistencies in her story.

The quality of An Affair in Mind is the sort of thing you’d expect for an average made-for-television film. One of the biggest problems with the film is that it starts in the past, and Graham’s memories take up two thirds of the film. That leaves very little time left for the amount of material the film needs to cover, so there’s an unsatisfying feeling at the film’s hasty, clumsy conclusion. The film is based on the Ruth Rendell novel The Face of Trespass and it does not, unfortunately, reach the level of quality of the Inspector Wexford made-for-television mysteries–Road Rage and Simisola for example–these films manage to transcend average television quality–whereas An Affair in Mind does not.

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