"Maladies" was slow but I never felt bored. (I reveal some parts of the story but it's not like the movie is based on the surprise of these things happening such that knowing them would really "spoil" the movie, it's not a mystery or anything, but be forewarned.) One thing that people say about this movie is it is about mental illness and although it is mentioned a few times and the portrayal of the characters is unusual I didn't see them necessarily as "mentally ill" in any way--they might have been, but also, maybe not. It just focused on people who themselves are focused on doing "work" which they found meaningful, living in a house together. It did have a lot of expression of what the James character was thinking, but what's mentally ill about that? Don't most people walk around thinking about things? Just because the movie is focused on the psychology of its characters doesn't mean there is anything psychologically "wrong" with them. I myself was very interested in this being mostly about what people think about things. Near the beginning they show James musing about the "tall" water glass Catherine requests. I think that it is very human to show how people really have momentary thoughts about almost everything around them. Some say the conclusion didn't work but I thought it was a fascinatingly surreal approach, where one character becomes emotionally unsettled and that manifests in something being "wrong" in the story which attracts the police, because we all know that the police are in the world to intervene and try to "solve" problems. I thought the fact that Carter refused to make this literal, maybe showing cuts where James really WAS doing something dangerous, like wavering a knife around, was brave and interesting. In the end James is so damaged by his disturbance he dies...don't we all sometimes feel like something bothering us could lead to some kind of "end"? "When she left me I thought my life was over." Showing this as ACTUAL death just made it more poignant. I thought that sound was used brilliantly to complement the action. There is one scene that shows Delmar, played by David Straithairn, as he realizes that there is no way for him to join in and experience the joy and pleasure others are experiencing just from dancing to a song, that I thought was emotionally devastating. I found it to be a unique and worthwhile "experimental" type movie, and I got a lot out of it. If you demand action or an explicit narrative from movies you may not like it as much, but if you aren't obsessed with such things this movie has a lot to offer in ways rarely seen in film.
A talented and successful actor retires at a young age due to a perceived mental illness. Now living in a small town with his deranged sister and his best friend, we watch as their Maladies intertwine.
Downloaded 9,394 times
April 13, 2019