Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:April 11th, 2012 17:13 EST

DVD Review By Robert Paul Reyes: Martha Marcy May Marlene

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Martha Marcy May Marlene" is a psychological thriller written and directed by Sean Durkin, and starring Elizabeth Olsen. She is the younger sister of the infamous twins Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. Unlike her better known sisters she`s a terrific actress, and it certainly helps her as an actress that she`s not anorexic.

elizabethThe plot focuses on the  Elizabeth Olsen character known to her family as" Martha," and to the members of the abusive cult that she ran away from as "Marcy."

Martha runs away from the cult and calls her older sister to come pick her up. Martha doesn`t tell her sister that she escaped from a cult, she makes up a story about living with a boyfriend in the Catskill Mountains.

Martha has a hard time adapting to living in a normal household with her sister and her husband. Martha`s sister, Lucy, played by Sarah Paulson, quickly realizes that Martha has serious issues, as they say. Martha`s behavior is odd, for example she takes off all her clothes when her sister invites her to swim with her and her husband.

The movie is told in flashbacks between the present and Martha`s time with the cult. It`s difficult to tell exactly when a flashback begins, sometimes it`s not until somebody calls her "Marcy" that we realize we`re back in the past.

The past is always with us, even if we didn`t have a traumatic history living in a cult. Sibling rivalry never fully dissipates, and we are always comparing the present to moments from our past.

At one point when Lucy is trying to get Martha to talk about their mutual past, Martha responds that the "past doesn`t matter. But it does, it does. Dwelling too much in the past is the road that leads to insanity.

Martha`s behavior becomes increasingly odd, and it reaches a boiling point when she accuses a bartender at her sister`s house party of being a member of the cult.

The film ends with Lucy and her husband driving Martha to a psychiatric facility. Martha nervously looks back as they drive, it appears that a man might be following them.

The ending is deliberately ambiguous, we don`t know what the future holds for Martha, we can only hope she will overcome the demons from her past.

Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter:

Photo Credit: Wikipedia