TIME DOESN'T HEAL ALL WOUNDS- 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' review

Elizabeth Olsen as Martha in 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'
Some time ago my partner showed me a song. It was 'Marcy's song' by John Hawkes (originally sung by Jackson C. Frank in 1965) - a theme from a thriller drama called 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'. John's voice was so magnifying that I couldn't get it out of my head for many months. I have listened to 'Marcy's song' thousands times but haven't had time to watch the movie until very recently.

'Martha Marcy May Marlene' is a story of a young girl trying to re-adjust to a normal life after escaping from an abusive cult. She lives with her sister and brother-in-law in their beautiful lake house in Connecticut. 
Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) is an emotionally damaged and lost girl. She thinks that the guru Patrick (John Hawkes) and his people are coming to get her. Even though she seems to be safe at the lake house with her family, the longer she lives there, the more paranoid she gets. Sometimes we see that she connects with her old self (prior living with the cult), but these are only moments which disappear in a blink of an eye. She is withdrawn and petrified. It seems that she forgot how the 'normal' world looks like. 
Her family, not aware of where she really was for the past two years, doesn't understand her strange behaviour. And things just get worse, and worse. Elizabeth Olsen gives a phenomenal debut performance in this movie. She is charismatic but natural and unshowy. 
I have got to mention John Hawkes (Patrick) as his remarkable performance adds a lot to the film. It was his intriguing voice that made me fall in love with 'Marcy's song' and made me watch 'Martha Marcy May Marlene.' Patrick created a cult and surrounded himself with young girls and boys. He is like a new father to them, who gives his kids new names, new lives and re-shapes them mentally and physically. Cruel and unpredictable leader, drugs and rapes his new 'daughters.' Patrick rules their world without even raising his voice. He is both creepy, and magnifying. 

Elizabeth Olsen as Martha in 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'

This film is visually breathtaking. 
The beautiful cinematography and natural lighting create an intimacy with the leading character. Jody Lee Lipes couldn't do it any more appealing. Chapeau bas! 

The storytelling of 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' is phenomenal. Even though the scenes are long and sometimes slow, the story is so gripping, that it doesn't allow you to blink in some moments. Very absorbing and thought-provokingWe don't know if the cult is really trying to get Martha, or not. The movie never tells you that.  Her past blurs with her present. We seem to have the same hallucinations as the leading character. The movie is thrilling, even though there is no much action in it. The director doesn't judge the characters, he just follows them. He allows the viewers to have their own opinions.  I must say, that next to 'Mustang' directed by Denis Gamze Erguven, 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' is my another favourite debut film.

I love when one person both directs and writes the movie. This gives a chance for an artistic vision to be executed in the most beautiful way.  There is some kind of poetic, nostalgic harmony to this movie. All its scenes create a stunning but very haunting and dark picture. Hats off to Sean Durkin for creating a masterpiece.

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