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Mainstream - Martha Marcy May Marlene

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson
Written and directed by Sean DurkinFox Home Entertainment 2012
102 minutes

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a psychological thriller for those who do not mind having to figure out pretty much everything and not being able to and also do not mind not being given enough information to come up with the answers. This is not a movie for the impatient or casual viewer. Martha Mary May Marlene is very good if you can accept this movie, like life, does  not come with all the answers

The movie opens with a bunch of women waiting for the men to finish eating so they in turn can eat. The next morning Marcy May (Elizabeth Olsen) runs away from the house. She is chased but not found. Someone from the home does find her but leaves her to her own devices. Marcy May calls her sister Lucy who comes and picks her up and brings her to the summer cottage she and her husband are living in.

It is soon obvious there is something wrong with Marcy May whose real name is Martha. Some of her story is revealed through incomplete flashbacks to her life with Patrick and the other people in the house / commune / group. These flashbacks become more and more sinister. It also turns out Lucy and Martha had a difficult childhood though, again, not much is revealed.

The ending to Martha Marcy May Marlene is open ended and you have to pay attention to a couple of details in the two scenes before it to perhaps understand some of it.

I find it rather odd that in 2011 the director could not create a more credible green screen for the scene where Martha and her brother-in-law are in the boat together.

Special features for Martha Marcy May Marlene Blu-ray include the original short film Mary Last Seen (also on the DVD), The Psyche of a Cult, Spotlight on Elizabeth Olsen, Making Of,  A Conversation With Filmmakers and The Story both of which do not answer any questions, and Marcy’s Song video.

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