Martha Marcy May Marlene Reviews
The Director Sean Durkin did a fantastic job in working with Elizabeth Olsen in portraying the psychological damage and dysfunctional mindset that cults of this nature bring out in people. The catalogue of beautiful scenes that is on offer in this haunting and sophisticated movie is not short in supply. The most gripping, beautiful and seductive scene comes after Martha has been initiated into the cult in the most disturbing fashion. After the initiation of Martha or Marcy has accrued she struggles with her own self confidence and is torn between what is right, what is normal and what is happening. The leader of the cult begins to serenade her in a way that is seductive to her soul and really capture her into the warped sense of being that they believe to be the righteous way of life.
This move offers everything you need in a gripping thriller that really plays with your imagination. The continued struggle that Martha faces to bring herself back to reality and fight to control her inner demons offers the audience something to relate to and connect with.
The Movie does have a slight anticlimactic feel to it, this could be noted down to its brilliance. The feel of the why Martha decided to flee the cult would have been more dramatic if it was her that performed the act that swayed her outlook upon her new family.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who really enjoys the quirky brilliance of the indie movie culture. The weird feel to the film will have to thinking about the direction and script long after the credits roll and you will have been gifted in watching something ground breaking.
But at the end of it, I couldn't feel satisfied with the movie and what it was trying to say.
Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) runs off from an abusive cult and calls her sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) who she has not communicated with over the last 2 years. She is currently living with her husband Ted (Hugh Dancy) in a spacious lake side home. While they welcome and try to do right by Martha, her inability to fit into the society, the memories from the past haunts her into depression, outbursts of emotion and anger pushes the couple to the limits on how much they can take it anymore.
Elizabeth Olsen is not just a pretty face but also a charmer. She didn't look like an actor on the screen but a real person going through real turmoil and agony which was the only reason I could finish the movie. The gimmick of toggling screenplay always do not work right. I hated 21 grams for it. But the way the past and present are intertwined here is systematic, purposeful and well connected. What the protagonist feels for the cult is not hatred but just fear as she discusses some ideologies that has rubbed on her, some new things she learned thus establishing the fact that nothing in life is just black or white. The reason how she delves deeper into the cult from being skeptical to committed and to the point that makes her runaway shows tremendous writing prowess.
The screenplay is also thoughtful by carefully revealing the concepts of adjusting to society, her thoughts and perceptions as well as of others others towards her and placing hints of her past on what led to this. So huge credit to Olsen and the director Sean Durkin to bring life to an otherwise uninteresting plot. The cinematography felt intentionally dark while showing picturesque locations and the background score never came out of the background.
Olsen and screenplay brings life to an otherwise depressing story without a purpose.