Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.
Elizabeth Olsen Through the Years
And yes, I purposely used the analogy of slow electrical torture because that may be how it feels to some of you. It may feel frustrating, annoying, outright boring and torturous, but if you like your movies on the slower, more cryptic, artistic side, then I guarantee you won't be disappointed. So let's hope my 1st two paragraphs were enough to help you make a decision on whether or not to watch this flick. I'll be the first to admit that some days I'm just not in the mood for "2001: A Space Odyssey" and I'd rather just pop in... Saw IX.
Yay you're still here. Ok here's what you can expect if you choose to watch M.M.M.M. It's the story of a young, late-teen, early-20s girl who escapes a bizarre cult commune, and now she's attempting to adjust to a normal existence. Mystery surrounds her, as she doesn't want to talk to anyone about it (brushing it off with a manufactured lie about some ex-boyfriend), and we the audience are kept in the dark for almost half the film. Why was she there? What did they do to her? Are they hunting her down? Perhaps stalking or planning to kill her?
There are no quick answers, but instead the film jumps back & forth between 2 timelines: the current one after she escaped, and the past one where she is slowly being initiated into the cult. And in order to get a grasp of what's going on, you really have to watch the whole 102 minute experience.
But as suspenseful and powerful as the plot is, that's not the point. The point is to draw us, the audience, into the mind of a person who's suffering severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And it accomplishes that masterfully. This is not some Hollywood cliché about PTSD, but it's a complex, heavy, powerful depiction of the anxiety, delusion, paranoia and growing madness of someone who is haunted by ghosts that just won't go away.
Elizabeth Olsen absolutely knocks it out of the park with her performance. Her approach is very layered: on the surface she acts like it's no big deal and that she's a normal person in control of her life, but she frequently exhibits bizarre "socially unacceptable" behavior prompting others to wonder "what the hell is wrong with her??" even though she herself doesn't understand what she did wrong. At the same time you can feel the rising tension and paranoia, especially as the timeline cuts back to darker & more disturbing episodes, and even though there aren't any car chases and chainsaws, we start to feel every bit of her disturbing, confuse existence.
If this slow, powerful approach to cinema appeals to you, then don't hesitate to check out M.M.M.M. I would group it alongside other slow, "uneventful" psychological films like "Shadows & Lies" with James Franco, "Ginger and Rosa" with Elle Fanning, or maybe even the iconic Soderbergh flick "Sex, Lies & Videotape". All of these movies are somewhat slow, heavy and extremely non-Hollywood but they deliver a powerful shock that you won't soon forget.
- Oct 24, 2019