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Girl Interrupted Review

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One popular cultural myth about the mentally ill is the archetype of the "Sexy Crazy Girl", which we've seen in movies, comic books, and music. Losing your grip with reality is not a glamorous subject, but that's not what you get from Girl, Interrupted. It is apparent that all the girls in the movie had some type of dysfunctional personality, and bad things happen to some of them, but it just did not seem realistic. First off, most of the patients prtrayed were young, which made the care facility look like a youth home rather than a mental institution. but only the main (well known) stars, (Jolie and Ryder) were focal piont. I'll also note that about half the young girls in the movie, Ryder and Jolie included, simply don't look like girls in the 1960's. Maybe that's a difficult statement to explain, but it has to do with that certain look each time and generation seems to have; and Ryder and Jolie don't look like girls of the 1960's. Of course, one could easily say that their displacement is part of their condition... but I didn't buy it. To finish this paragraph about this film's inconsistent appearances, I'll mention how convenient it seems that with the exception of one extra, nearly the entire cast of patients in this ward are under the age of 25 or so. Mental illness strikes women of all ages, so it was a bit perplexing to see it portrayed as a thing of youth. This also feeds into my prior statement about making "going crazy" look cool... this movie could've used a lot more incontinent, drooling women in their 50's.

Though the central character is Susannah, the author of the book as played by Winona Ryder, the spirit of the movie seems to be manifested in the character of Lisa (Jolie). The movie seems to pay heavy homage to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in using a character like Lisa, as she seems at first glance like the young female version of Randall McMurphy. Farther in, however, we discover that Girl, Interrupted is more aptly described as being completely the opposite... Lisa really is probably more messed up than anyone else in the ward. Jolie has gotten plenty of acclaim for her performance here, but I was never really taken in. It seems she's playing nearly the same sexy-vixen she's played in a few other films already; just this time, she's in a t-shirt, and occasionally gets tied to a bed. It'd be interesting to see Jolie really stretch beyond her type; maybe in a Jane Austen movie or playing a nun.

Overall, Girl, Interrupted feels like a movie that could've been rawer, more intense, and more confrontational... ie, a lot



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