Film Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

| 2 February , 2012 | Reply

Directed by: Sean Durkin
Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes
Sassi\’s Star Rating: 2.5/5

We meet Martha, played by Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of the famous Olsen twins, at a very difficult time in her life where she has escaped from a cult that has damaged her outlook on life. What transpires is a very raw story of her trying to assimilate herself back into ‘normal\’ life. After being absent for two years, she reconnects with her sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) who is newly married and glad to have her sister back in her life. Olsen was cast as Martha, however, Director Sean Durkin was looking for an unknown actress at the time. She auditioned twice before gaining the role and then she was filming just two weeks later.

Things don\’t go to plan as Martha is having trouble understanding what she has been through and how she can fit back into society. At times, we aren\’t sure if she wants to, which probably resembles the true concept of a person breaking free from a cult. Durkin is also the writer and has mostly been involved in short films and this is evident in this story. Don\’t go looking for a beginning, middle and end in this one, as it is a ‘piece\’ of someone\’s life.

We are taken into the privacy of the cult, the dreams in her head and the reality of our social structure but answers are not the focus of the film. Durkin is happy to tell us part of the story and perhaps let us imagine what may have happened next and gain an understanding of the hopelessness of some people and what can happen when one is truly lost. As quoted by one of the cult members “There\’s no such thing as dead or alive; we just exist.” and THAT is scary yet very true for some!

Working out Martha Marcy May Marlene will keep you guessing! In cinemas now.


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Category: Film & TV

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