Breaking Free

Jaclyn Smith in Victim of Rage (1994) aka (Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story)

After relocating back home to California Donna (Jaclyn Smith) meets Narcotic cop Dennis Yaklich (Brad Johnson) and she is quickly swept off her feet by the tall, dark and handsome former body builder. But after getting married and taking on David's step-daughter Patty (Hilary Swank) things start to turn bad as David's testosterone filled side comes out as he starts taking steroids and training again with Donna on the receiving end of his violent outbursts. Despite trying to leave David has too much power especially being a cop forcing Donna to take desperate measure to free herself from her abusive marriage.

I will leave the synopsis there but as "Victim of Rage", which is also known as "Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story", is based on a true story you can easily find out what happened if you like. It is the fact that it is based on a true story is its USP as when you take that out of the equation, that this is a dramatization of someone's life what you have left with is a by the book movie about a woman who was abused by her husband and took matters in to her own hands.

Brad Johnson in Victim of Rage (1994) aka (Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story)

Now please don't take that the wrong way as any movie about domestic violence has an important part to play, to encourage those suffering abuse to take action before it is too late whilst highlighting the signs for those who are unaware. But there have been quite a few made for TV movies which tackle the subject of domestic violence and "Victim of Rage" only hits the same notes as other movies which tackle the subject of abuse and battery. Of course you have how this plays out with Donna forced to take drastic action but even then there are other TV movies which feature a woman having to take dramatic measures to free herself from the cycle of abuse.

As such I have to say the acting through out whilst good is also only typical with Jaclyn Smith doing a great job of playing a character who we can sympathise with whilst Brad Johnson does big and bad surprisingly brilliantly. Plus for her fans Hilary Swank shows up as Dennis's step-daughter in a minor but important role.

What this all boils down to is that "Victim of Rage" whilst based on a true story only ends up hitting the same sort of notes which other made for TV movies about domestic violence do.

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