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Monday, March 5, 2012

Martha Marcy May Marlene Review

Martha Marcy May Marlene is an intriguing look at the life of a woman who has just escaped a pretty bizarre and dangerous commune of people. The very start of the film she decides to leave and from there we see her interactions with her sister and fiancee. The story is consistently switching back between Martha's life on the commune and life as it is now. This style of film making can get very confusing but the audience is very politely eased in to the past as well as the present from visual or audio cues and occasionally a slow fade out. It is a simple story and a very simple way of making a film but yet it is very effective and the 70s style tint over the film is a pretty cool touch. The acting is great, the story is shocking yet very believable, and the interactions between characters add to the alarm of the film. The ending many people feel leave you wanting more but to me it ends at a great point where you could decide to debate as to what would happen or accept the fact that this is where the film ends.

As great as the story and film itself are again I am going to harp on the sound design which is very lacking. At points during the film I would have to turn the volume up insanely high then instants later turn it back down because everything would get ear piercingly loud. Many of the shots are long takes but it seems like they didn't even boom because the things closer to the camera are really loud and the things further away are very quiet which hints at the fact that they may have used an on camera microphone. I pray this is not the case but the way everything sounds certainly suggests that. Other than that though everything else is a solid package. I say it is worth a watch if you can deal with a slow paced dramatic film. Otherwise it is not really for you.

Thanks for the support,
Daniel Hess

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