'Sleeping with Danger' Review: Lifetime thriller about human relationships and mental illness is empowering
Spoilers for 'Sleeping with Danger'
Lifetime’s ‘Sleeping with Danger’, inspired by the renowned author Ann Rule’s true crime collection, is yet another brilliant addition to the network’s list of thrillers that you wouldn’t want to miss out on. The movie follows flight attendant Grace Tanner (Elisabeth Rohm) and her rather tumultuous relationship with Paul Carter (Antonio Cupo). However, what grasps your attention is the takeaway ‘Sleeping with Danger’ has to offer its viewers.
A 38-year-old Grace is worn out from years of service as a flight attendant without any development in her personal life. Just when Grace gives up on her dreams of having a suitable partner and leading a quintessential family life, she meets Paul, a nutritionist who she approaches for a self-care program. The professional relationship between the two soon turns into a romantic one when Paul manages to woo Grace with his captivating charm. Meanwhile, Grace finds herself head-over-heels in love with Paul, for he becomes her knight in the shining armor. Their relationship sets off on a perfect note and Grace couldn’t be happier as Paul is everything she ever wished for.
Although Paul treats his relationship with Grace as the most prominent part of his life, his jealousy and possessiveness towards his lady love end up getting the best of him. As time passes, Grace starts to witness the other sides to Paul’s persona, which come across as truly shocking.
What starts as bouts of insecurities and jealousy soon turn violent when Paul starts to establish his authority over Grace, questioning nearly every choice of hers. While Grace at first forgives Paul, mostly driven by her unconditional love for him, she regrets her choice when Paul’s true behavior begins to surface with their every fight. On realizing Grace’s reluctance to put up with his abusive behavior and on learning that she's aware of his history with multiple cases of sexual assault and harassment, Paul confesses he’s suffering from Bipolar disorder and uses that as a leverage for his ill-treatment of Grace.
But, with time Grace realizes that Paul is a mere victim of mental illness in the situation as he continues to pursue her to be the submissive one in their relationship. When Grace finally stands up for herself and fights back, Paul tries to finish her. Will Grace be able to evade him? Or will she fall prey to his master plan and end up becoming one of his helpless victims? You ought to watch the movie for an answer.
What makes ‘Sleeping with Danger’ compelling is its focus on prevalent issues with a realistic approach. It highlights the hazards of an abusive relationship while touching upon factors that could lead to it. Furthermore, through the lens of its female lead character, the film emphasizes the need for the empowerment of women.
Meanwhile, by offering a character as intriguing as Paul, ‘Sleeping with Danger’ has turned its entertainment factor up by several notches. The ever-talented Elisabeth Rohm has done a brilliant job in bringing the characters to life and enacting the transformation of an independent woman to a victim of domestic violence most aptly.
'Sleeping with Danger' premieres on August 1 on Lifetime.