Martha Marcy May Marlene

Charles Manson once said that “If youre going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy. In the case of this engrossing but tiresome film,there is a witchiness but it unfortunately falls short of a productiondone well. I say this because I was irked by its many mediocrities. The parallels established betweeen our protagonist, Martha, and her dual realities of the communal dystopia and the corporatecitizen mundane left me in disbelief. I felt that these comparisons were highly unrealistic in an otherwise believable scenario: the characters of Ted and Lucy were far too stereotypical and I was glad actors Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy had salvaged the most they could from the roles. Equally, Martha was played very well by Elizabeth Olsen; her performance increasingly compelling following Marthas egress from the clutches of Patrick. This Mansonlike figure was also played adeptedly by John Hawkes (Winters Bone) but none so convincing as to warrant accolades. The films climactic drive was equally powerful to the acting, but unfortunately lacked the production values to let this film accomplish.

At the end of the day, Martha is director Sean Durkins smugly crafted amalgamation of his previous projects (such as the short Mary Last Seen) into what I believe is a failed attempt at understanding the mindset of someone shellshocked by indoctrination.

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