I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Elizabeth Olsen, the younger, hotter, way more talented sister of the Olsen twins. Since watching her in Silent House, I’ve come to realize that this woman is certainly someone to look for on film. When I heard that she was staring in Martha Marcy May Marlene, a low budget drama about a woman who escaped an abusive cult, I added it to my list of films to watch.
I finally had a chance to sit down and watch it last night, and to say that I was impressed with Elizabeth Olsen is like saying a skyscraper is a bit tall. She was absolutely fantastic! Her character had a head full of crazy going on in the film and she brought that to life in a scarily realistic way.
The film centers around Martha, a young woman who decides to hook up with this commune that is attempting to be self sufficient on a farm they are building. The group consists of several men and women, with one man leading them all. He seems nice, but it’s the kind of welcoming face that oozes deceit, throwing up signs of caution. Martha however, does not see these signs, even after he decides to rename her.
Things seem nice at first, but quickly go south. Not long after she decide to stay with this nutbag group that refers to themselves as a “family”, Martha awakes to find out she’s being pounded from behind by the leader of these lunatics. This should have been the “you’re fucked” wake up call (pun absolutely intended), but she decided to stay anyway. Her need to belong somewhere blinded her ability to see the danger in front of her.
The movie is made up of a series of flashbacks, as it actually starts with Martha escaping the cult and moving in with her sister. From there we see her attempt to assimilate back into the real world, though she never goes any further from the house than the lake it sits on.
Martha exhibits a lot of strange behaviour. The biggest clue that things were a bit off is when she decided to go swimming for the first time. In the middle of the day, she strips down completely and jumps in. Her sister flips out at her because of the other families that live on this lakes. Martha doesn’t see the big deal. Considering how great Elizabeth Olsen looks, I didn’t have much of a problem with it either.
The flashbacks continue, showing the cult getting worse. There is an obvious male superiority theme to this group. Ignoring the home maker chores being mostly given to the women, the biggest issue was how the men eat first. After that, the women are allowed to eat. I say allowed because they can not eat anything before it’s their turn, even a small piece of food. Martha found that out after being hit by another woman for it.
The group frequently participated in group sex, which the women seemed to enjoy just as much as the men. Given the heavy brainwashing that had to be taking place, that wasn’t shocking. Nor was the willingness to go along with breaking into homes to steal and even murder in one case.
The character’s mental breakdown was portrayed perfectly. It’s the kind of thing that isn’t easy to pull off in such a natural and realistic way. In this case, Elizabeth Olsen nailed it. She was very believable in this role and though I would love to see the story continue from the uncertain ending, I don’t believe a sequel would be a good idea, at least not a direct follow up. Perhaps following the character to see what happens in her life a few years down the road, as she attempts to live a normal life. Otherwise, leave it as it is. This movie was superb and can stand alone without additional treatments.
Now, I do want to mention the nudity in the movie. The reason is because I had heard originally that Elizabeth Olsen had quite a lot in it. I’m not sure where I heard that from anymore, but it wasn’t true. You see her ass once or twice and tits only once, but otherwise she stays clothed.
And as much as I’d like to see more of her without clothing, that was how the movie needed to be. If there was more, I think the focus of the film would have been damaged. Paying attention to the fact that she has incredibly perfect breasts that are worthy of an award all on their own, that would have screwed up the flow, emotional attachment and interest that the film commanded. Seeing a small amount of nudity made sense, but it really didn’t need any more.
If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out. It’s a great film and I believe Elizabeth Olsen should be commended for her work in the film. She really deserves the career boost that I hope this helps her to attain.