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Girl, Interrupted (2000)
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Review Date: January 10, 2000
Director: James Mangold
Writer: J. Mangold, L. Loomer, A. Phelan
Producers: Douglas Wick and Cathy Konrad
Actors:
Winona Ryder as Susanna
Angelina Jolie as Lisa
Plot:
Set in the sixties, this film takes place in a ward reserved for girls with mental problems. The main character in the story is a depressed girl who is not sure about whether or not she is really crazy, but knows enough to sign herself into the recuperation center. Over time, she finds out more about herself, life and the other so-called "insane" girls around her.
Critique:
Dry rehashed depressing material coiffed in a couple of solid performances from Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, does not impress much in story, original characters or insight, but did manage to haul itself in less than 3 hours, so I guess that it ain't all bad! Surprised was I that this film wasn't as boring as I had initially anticipated, but definitely far from being a visual page-turner as well. Jolie's performance alone kept me interested for most of the runtime, with plenty of energy, attitude and sheer presence to make up for the basically depressive story similar in vein to Jack Nicholson and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. This film might certainly be useful or even insightful to many people who could relate stronger to its characters, but in my own case, I found very little new or rich material here. In fact, the final "confrontation scene" which was built up to be one filled with emotions, left me with little more than a roll of the eyes.

Is it truly depressing and will you want to go out, find the nearest bar and drown yourself in liquor over the pitiful state of your measly existence after having seen the movie? Certainly not. It does provide for some levity in parts and even teases you with an epilogue which definitely might be mistaken as an optimistic one by some. Unfortunately, I just didn't find anything fresh or engaging in much of the film's narrative, save for the bang-a-gong performance by John Voight's daughter, Angelina. Actually, Winona Ryder was also pretty solid as the girl falling apart at the seams, as were most of the rest of the girls (Ixnay on Whoopie Goldberg, who basically felt like Whoopie Goldberg in some big-ass hair!), but on the whole, the film just didn't leave me with much more to think about once it was over. The only thing on my mind after the movie was all that damn snow that I was gonna have to clean off my car, but alas, that is my life in the Great White North.

See it if you haven't seen ONE FLEW, enjoy depressing material, feel as though you may relate to the unstable characters or really dig Jolie and Ryder. Otherwise skip this downer and live to smile another day.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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