Friday, April 21, 2023

Overheard at Table 2: Dark Places (2015)

Dark Places

I do like the movies in which Charlize Theron does not have to play the "beautiful" woman.   She is a beautiful woman, who doesn't mind playing women who are not, indeed, beautiful, neither physically nor in personality.

In this movie, she is an adult who suffered a horrific trauma when she was six years old - the brutal murder of her mother and sisters at the hand of her brother - and she has actually been living on the money that has flowed in from emotionally supportive people.   

However, she has begun to "age out" - she's in her early thirties and the money's drying up, and she's never had an actual job.  She's a hoarder, and a misanthrope.  Barely any social skills.

Then, she takes payment for rehashing her story to a group of armchair detectives, who believe that her brother is innocent.   This takes her down the road to a deep introspection regarding all that she has ever known: unpacking the story that she has retold so many times that it has actually become fact, to her.

This story seems like it could be based on true events, because the murder is definitely something that happens, and our characters are flawed (just like the rest of us).  

There are some weaknesses in the plot (such as "where did the insurance money go?" and "how did that person stay hidden for so long?") as well what might be considered a Deus Ex Machina ... or what I call "forcing the story" (don't want to give away any spoilers, but watch it and you'll see what I mean)

However, overall, it is a very good exploration into the difference between what we remember happened and what possibly really happened.   

Definitely worth watching, especially if you are interested in the more cerebral horrors of the human character.  Similar movies would be Gone Girl and Nocturnal Animals

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