Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 57 -Martha Marcy May Marlene

My friends always talk about how much they hate the ending of The Mist.  I never saw it with them in the theater, but when they decided to get their hate on again, we all gathered together and watched the black and white version of it.  I, personally, had very little anger towards the ending, and I think with just a little time lapse, it would have been perfect.  But after seeing Martha Marcy May Marlene, I think I may have felt a little of what they did after they saw The Mist.
This film, while it was never going to be a classic (at least to me), was interesting enough.  Elizabeth Olsen (who, up until the Academy Award nominations, was getting all sorts of acclaim) plays the title character.  And the story revolves around her as she escapes from a cult and reconnects with her sister who she hasn't seen in two years.  That all happens in the first few minutes.  The rest of the movie spends its time going back and forth between her time with the cult (and how it's as bad as you think it would be) and her time with her sister and her sister's husband (played by Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy, respectively).  And those two are woefully underprepared to deal with the shattered psyche of Martha.
The movie instills a real sense of dread  throughout, and the constant back and forth between then and now keeps you on edge.  As we get closer and closer to the reason that Martha has had enough and leaves (deservedly so), you start to get more concerned with her current safety.  All of this starts to come together to bring us to what should be a startling ending... or not.
In what is the worst move ever, the ending craps out on us.  Without giving much else away, the movie decides to take a road that made me both angry and frustrated.  While I may have not thought the film was a masterpiece, I was involved in the characters and I wanted to see what was going to happen.  But the ending made me completely apathetic to the whole experience I had just seen.  Solid acting, an interesting color palette, and a nice sense of mood are all wasted.  As disappointing as Tintin was, this might have topped that because this was better for so much longer.

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