Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam vet attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of disassociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death.
A thought-provoking and haunting exploration of how reality and dream-states may combine to form complex interactions. The line between the imagination and reality blurs when an accomplished Psychiatrist takes on a patient that appears to be suicidal. Written by
All of the books in the "bookstore" that Dr. Foster visits as he is trying to find Henry have library identification labels on their spines, revealing that the scene was actually shot in a public library (the 58th Street branch of the New York Public library in Manhattan, as it turns out). See more »
It is a truism that film, as a photographic medium, intrinsically resists the psychological. In the hands of a less gifted director, this would have been equally true of STAY, despite its overt plot in which a professor of psychiatry struggles to find a psychological clue in order to prevent a young artist from committing suicide at a precise time and location the artist has planned.
But without altering this plot as written, director Marc Forster has invented an editing style (combined with a rigorous control of transitions and point of view) to create nothing less than a parallel plot to the film, in which the professor must contend with the horror of his own descent into full-blown psychosis.
Since the director conveys this parallel plot entirely through visual means, and within the point of view of the hero of the story, its consequences are all the more disconcerting, and we feel the terror of the realization of losing one's mind more acutely than in any previous screen depiction of madness I have seen.
Much as the young artist's psychotic identity implicitly consumes the identity of his psychiatrist, so does the visual plot consume the overt, written plot of the film, like an unconscious motivation that overcomes a conscious one. By succeeding with such an ambitious design, Forster has invented a new kind of film in which the psychological, in all its frightening depths, finally becomes visible.
252 of 422 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?