Film Review: Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene
HAVING suffered at the hands of an abusive cult for two years, Martha (re-named Marcy May by her captors) escapes to the home of her sister and brother-in-law.
Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene
HAVING suffered at the hands of an abusive cult for two years, Martha (re-named Marcy May by her captors) escapes to the home of her sister and brother-in-law, who struggle to help her re-adjust to normal life.
Unable to sleep, suffering from paranoia and plagued with harrowing memories, the line between dreams and reality begins to blur for Martha.
A lot is left unexplained and even more is implied, which can be frustrating, but is probably done to help us understand the uneasiness felt by the damaged young woman.
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Complete novice, Elizabeth Olsen (yes, related to the Olsen twins) displays astonishing depth in the title role, with skills beyond her extremely limited experience.
Writer (and director) Sean Durkin does well not to sensationalise the subject matter, choosing instead to focus on the private turmoil of the characters, and, together with Olsen, crafts a gripping, believable victim in Martha.
The pair picked up ‘break-through’ awards all over the film festival circuit last year but I’m not sure the film will make much of a dent in the box-office due to its disturbing nature.
A more experienced director could have called on their arsenal of terror-tricks to turn Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene into the creepy thriller it promised to be, but Durkin is sure to go from strength to strength, considering this is his feature-length directorial and writing debut.
In the same pool as Never Let Me Go and We Need to Talk About Kevin-not a rip-roaring shocker, but subtly obtrusive and unsettling.