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Ultimately, though, the small conflicts provided by Lisa and Daisy (and even Toby and other random characters) are hardly enough to amount to a plot.The movie instead focuses on the emotions of the characters and life in the ward.Unfortunately, some of the worst moments are those in which she tries to be strong, which come across as disjointed.
By Amy Meadows Staff writer Directed by James Mangold Written by James Mangold, Lisa Loomer, and Anna Hamilton Phelan based on the memoirs by Susanna Kaysen With Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea Du Vall, Brittany Murphy, Elizabeth Moss, Jared Leto, Jeffrey Tambor, Vanessa Redgrave, Whoopi Goldberg Mental illness: if all else fails to be entertaining, throw in some crazy people to liven things up. Saddled with a weak plot, the film rests on conflicts between the characters to maintain dramatic credibility.
Although compelling and even visually arresting, Girl, Interrupted comes across as simply melodramatic.
The ward nurse Valerie is played very understatedly by Whoopi Goldberg.
Although omnipresent in the turning points of the movie, her character is used in a disappointingly limited capacity, almost refraining from acting.
Also, the use of lighting provides an amazing tone to most of the movie, while the colors and shadows of night-time scenes set a very clear mood.
The use of shadows is highly reminiscent of black and white movies for fostering tension and tragedy.Surprisingly, though, one of the most complex characters is one of the most minor.Daisy, played by Brittany Murphy of Clueless fame, is not so much insane as compulsive or even just odd.As the iconoclastic figure in the ward, Jolie’s character provides the majority of the conflict in the movie.However, instead of promoting strength in the other patients (a la Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Jolie asserts psychological control.As the adaptation of Susanna Kaysen’s memoir, the movie portrays the psychological struggles of Susanna (Winona Ryder).A privileged teenager, Kaysen is diagnosed with an unclear personality disorder after a suicide attempt and placed in a mental hospital.But the emotions of the characters and life in the ward are topics that have already been portrayed brilliantly.In fact, The Bell Jar and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest both contain these as structure, but not as the plot itself.Susanna Kaysen is an eighteen year old that has been placed in a mental hospital ‘Claymoore’ after an attempted suicide.However, Susana is in denial of attempting suicide and claims that she drank the bottle of aspirin and bottle of vodka to cure her head ache.