Martha Marcy May Marlene

The main character is living in a cult with a satanic leader when she calls her sister to retrieve her. Little information is shared between any of the characters in this movie. It is as if they were all living underwater not just in the actual swimming scenes of which there are many, but in the murky exposition of the story.

It is frustrating to hear the older sister ask repeatedly “What the fuck is wrong with you?” and not really mean it. She does not wait for the answer. She does not get it, and neither do we. Poor Martha. She has no one to turn to. Her sister and her sister’s husband seem like they want to take care of her, but there is something off in the tone of the direction that makes you doubt it. Poor audience who don’t really know what the meaning of the movie is, except that at the heart of it is a sterling performance by the young actress, …

Well photographed, with effective music, the movie’s editing includes transitions that are out of a horror movie.

Who would you become if you had a sketchy childhood with no present parents and then joined a commune where you had to sublimate your better instincts to the abusive leader. What is most spooky perhaps is how Martha repeats the phrase, “I am a teacher and a leader” because it is what her guru told her she was. But we never learn who she really is, even with this string of names.

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About Patricia Markert

Moviegoer.
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