Gabrielle (Emmanuelle Vaugier - His Double Life) and her husband Parker (Michael Sirow) were getting away for some quality time together, camping and kayaking as work stress had started to dominate Parker's life. But when Gabrielle rides a rough stretch of water she looks back to see her husband's empty kayak being tossed about in the rough water. As the authorities led by detective Asher (Cameron Bancroft - Secrets of My Stepdaughter) search no body is found, just his mangled life jacket and it is presumed that he drowned, washed away in the rough waters. Having initially struggled with the loss of her husband as well as his business partner, Carson (Darren Wall), blaming her for his death, Gabrielle returns to work. But it is whilst away on a business trip that she becomes convinced she has seen Parker alive. Taking it upon herself to start snooping she becomes convinced he is alive and faked his own death, whilst others begin to think she killed him for the insurance money.
Thinking back through the many movies I have watched I can still remember the first time I came across a movie where a husband faked his own death only for the wife to discover the truth some time later, for those interested it was the 1991 movie "Deceived" with Goldie Hawn and John Heard. Trust me that is not the only movie I have watched which uses the husband faking their own death storyline and as such for me "Washed Away", which also goes by the name "A Life of Deception", ended up a little cliche but cliche delivered in a made for TV style which whilst I tend to enjoy I know others don't.
So what does that mean in "Washed Away"? Well after Gabrielle thinks she saw Parker she starts doing some snooping in to what was going on in Parker's life during the last two months as that was when he seemed to be getting stressed. At the same time having become suspicious about the state of Parker's recovered life-jacket she pays detective Asher a visit who whilst dismissive of her as just struggling to let go also starts a bit of snooping, following up on what Gabrielle told him whilst wondering whether she killed her husband to get the insurance money. And on top of that we have a suspicious fellow lurking around and watching both Gabrielle and her daughter. All of which, without being dismissive, are the usual ingredients of many made for TV thrillers and as such this one follows suit with moments of revelation and drama coming exactly when you suspect them to come, well many things in this are telegraphed.
The thing is that "Washed Away" is a made for TV movie and I have long come to the assumption that these TV movies are made for an audience who want to be entertained but don't need to be hit with stunning action, amazing special effects or plot complexity. And I know there are times that I appreciate the familiarity and uncomplicated nature of a TV movie. What that means is that "Washed Away" is lightweight with at times it seeming to linger on the actors involved, the camera almost in spellbound by their looks. That doesn't take anything away from the likes of Emmanuelle Vaugier and Cameron Bancroft as they deliver the sort of characters this movie calls for although these characters are generic and forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "Washed Away" takes the familiar fake death idea as a set up for the story and then follows it with the equally familiar drama of a woman investigating some thing on her own and of course ending up in danger doing so. What that means is that "Washed Away" is the sort of movie which will entertain those who like the easy to watch, familiar nature of made for TV movies and who probably like Emmanuelle Vaugier and Cameron Bancroft as well.