Film Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene
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. A horror movie, a thriller or a psychological drama? A thought provoking, disturbing masterpiece of a film, Martha Marcy May Marlene defies the restrictions of genre to become a film that should not be viewed lightly in any sense of the word. Martha is a young woman who has recently escaped to her sister’s house after fleeing the confines of a manipulative cult. What this cult believe and what they have done to Martha is at first unknown to those around her, but she has emerged from the ordeal a passive, untalkative person, unwilling to discuss what she has experienced. At times distant and uncooperative, she seems to have developed a very distorted concept of privacy and social interaction, one that begins to affect both her sister and herself as she attempts to suppress what has happened in her past. Aside from the mysterious plot, the most interesting aspect of the film is its non-chronological structure. Whilst watching the dark story of Martha's life unfold, you are asked not only to absorb the information on screen, but also to piece it together into an order that makes sense. Even more confusing are the moments when the story falters and we begin to question Martha’s sanity. Her mental instability forces us to ask when a scene has happened and sometimes, more unsettlingly, did it happen at all?
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