Wednesday Movie Night: Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

  After escaping from a violent cult in rural New York, Martha tries to reconnect with her estranged sister, Lucy, and Lucy’s well-to-do husband, Ted. But the brainwashing Martha endured continues to prevent her from forming an identity of her own.
  It seems over the past few decades we’ve all become more aware of the danger of cults.  I haven’t checked out any movies that dealt with the topics though, except for the few documentaries I’ve watched on television.  I saw the previews for Martha Marcy May Marlene on Carson Daly one evening, and I thought it looked interesting. I also thought it was interesting that the Olsen twins younger sister was breaking out on her own. 
  The movie catches you from the beginning right as Martha is escaping from the cult. From then on we are getting glimpses into how badly her stay there as rid her of her own identity, and brainwashed her.  Elizabeth Olsen is really good in her first major role though. I don’t think she will get any awards for it, but it is a great start for someone looking to break out. I’m sure it will cross your mind how much she also looks like Maggie Gyllenhal. Something you don’t realize till the end is how much the movie has been building the tension till it catches you off guard. 
 This is a quiet movie, meaning there is almost no background music, and most of the time everyone speaks very softly. Like people do in cults, you know?  So as I said, when you finally realize the intensity is building it gets you. That is if you don’t fall asleep beforehand. All the whispering, and sounds of nature do have the effect of lulling you to sleep if you don’t watch it. As for a few other things someone might consider negative, it has no heavily founded plot. There was enough there for me, but if you like something to have a heavy theme, or meaning then you’ll be missing it with this film, unless “don’t join cults” is enough of one to take away from this. 
  Overall, this movie will keep you entertained. You may not remember the title afterward, but saying “Martha May something..” will probably be enough of a hint to other what you’ve just watched if you can’t get it out. 

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