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Martha Marcy May Marlene Movie Review By: Beevers

Martha Marcy May Marlene Movie Review
By: Beevers

Martha Marcy May Marlene stars Elizabeth Olsen as Martha. This movie is very sad and disturbing. The movie begins with Martha escaping from a cult and seeking out her older sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy). Martha and Lucy have been estranged and haven't seen each other in over 2 years. Martha doesn't tell her sister where she really was and what happened to her but you can tell that something traumatic has happened.

The film focuses on Martha (Elizabeth Olsen), a young woman who flees from an abusive cult (loosely based on the Manson Family) in the Catskill Mountains that is led by an enigmatic leader, Patrick (John Hawkes). As part of their initiation, Patrick rapes all of the new girls, after having them drink a date rape smoothie. Lucy (Sarah Paulson), Martha's older sister, receives a call from a pay phone one day from Martha, asking her to come and get her. Martha, who has been missing for two years, slowly begins to assimilate into her sister's family, but her increasing paranoia leads her to believe that Patrick and his cult may still be watching her every move.

The movie alternates between the present and Martha's time in the cult. You see Martha at the beginning of her time with the cult when she is has a spirited and wonder how she would get taken in by the cult. As the movie continues you see some of the horrific things that happened to get her so broken down that she follow the orders of the cults leader (John Hawkes). The story progresses slowly but ends very suddenly. It is obvious that Martha is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and paranoia. She starts becoming confused between what is really going on and what are her memories. You wonder what is taking so long for her sister to realize that she needs more help than she can give.

At the end of Martha's time with the cult she witnesses a terrible crime which gives her enough courage to leave. I would have liked more of a back story to see how Martha got to the cult and also a more satisfying ending to her story. Elizabeth Olsen did a good job. Most of the movie she is portraying a broken down, very disturbed young woman but in the those few scenes of her time when she first joined the cult you see more of a range of emotions.

5.5 sandwiches out of 10

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