State Like Sleep: Film Review

I was keen to see State Like Sleep because it featured a great cast but it was just a massive letdown.

The film opens with Belgian film star Stefan (Michiel Huisman) getting shot in the head and dying. Police rule it a suicide but his wife Katherine (Katherine Waterston) isn’t so sure. She believes there’s more to the story and embarks on her own investigation, uncovering secrets about her husband along the way.

This plot summary makes State Like Sleep sound quite exciting and it certainly starts off that way but then the story is diluted by the addition of Michael Shannon as Katherine’s hotel neighbour Edward – who is great but contributes nothing to the central story – and her mum (Mary Kay Place) getting sick and hospitalised while visiting her in Brussels. Turns out State Like Sleep is more of a character study about Katherine, as we basically follow her and see how she’s coping almost a year after the tragedy, rather than a thrilling hunt for answers.

The film begins with an intriguing premise, introduces us to new and exciting characters – like nightclub owner Emile (Luke Evans) – and throws up plenty of questions about Stefan’s death so I was expecting this thrilling reveal that would blow my mind. This shocking moment where the truth comes out. But there isn’t one. Everything is explained in a simple, underwhelming way. So disappointing.

The ever-reliable Shannon is wasted in this role of no importance, Huisman is barely in it, and Waterston presented us with a character that was constantly sad (understandably) but not particularly interesting. Evans was fun to watch and looked different than usual thanks to his peroxide dye job and Place added some warmth as Katherine’s mother.

The film started off well but its potential was wasted. What a massive letdown – a mystery with the most unsatisfying, underwhelming ending.

State Like Sleep will be available on Digital Download from 18th November and can be bought here

Rating: 2/5

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