Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler/My Cousin Vinny) steps into the more mature role of Danika Merrick – a mother of three with a nice house and a nice job at the bank, living the atypical normal family life. This is what is presented to us on the surface. Danika’s flip side is that she is possibly losing her mind. She has an overprotective streak when it comes to her children that is stressing her relationships with them. It may have something to do with her constant hallucinations. Visions of murdered children and their demises, which flood her daily life and cause her to seek psychiatric counseling.
Straight to the point – Danika quickly begins to unravel. The movie, and this woman’s mind. It’s well shot, well written, and very well acted. Marisa Tomei is so convincing at being this oversensitive, overprotective, mentally slipping mother that it’s almost too good. Because her insanity became mine. I was wary coming into this film when I had read the synopsis – about someone wondering if they were perhaps going insane. This scares me, because it leaves no boundaries of reason for a screenplay.
Hidden plot teasers and familiar themes casually occur from time to time. There are many things to pick up on – such as the buses driving by. Children being injured or hurt. The deception of her husband. In a mysterious, suspenseful and psychological thriller such as this, they are key, because as you watch and wonder, you want to try and perhaps put it together. Make some sense out of it before all the confusion is explained in some twist ending that justifies it all. And it does – to a point. But is it worth watching and wondering like a mental patient for 80 minutes? That’s where the two sides of the fence divide on this one.
Four did as with piece then severed quiet tin whispers. Oh – excuse me – was I not making sense? Some of Danika just didn’t make sense. The bank robbery, which did or didn’t occur? And then the boss, who fired her I assumed, calls her back to see what’s going on, and the bank robbery starts in the background… The sixth grade teacher, her death, and the book? You know what – lets just cut it here and get to the final analysis – because its like trying to zero in on the method to someone’s madness.
Danika is a beautiful mess. Marisa Tomei is an incredible actress and really has you believing that she is struggling with her mental grip on reality. Thirty minutes into the movie, you really find yourself wanting to like it. But when you have the story of a sweet protective mother of three, who starts to hallucinate and question her own sanity, the poetic license of the filmmaker has nothing to answer to. Anything can happen and be filed under the category of “dream sequence” or “flashback” or “visions”, and soon you’re watching bogus news reports and ghosts appear and strange plot loops that make no sense and you’re the one who ends up needing Zyprexa. Resolution aside, this was 80 minutes of off-balance second guessing, and when it comes together in the finale, its a bit frustrating, because as you look back and apply it – some of it didn’t fall within its own context. In fact, some of this film was as confusing as looking into the mind of a psychopath. Perhaps by having induced such a conclusion, this movie was successful and true to its own nature – just on a slightly disappointing level. I’m not sure anymore. Where am I?
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