FMP: Research – ‘Girl Interrupted’ 360MC
”Susanna is depressed and direction-less after finishing high school in the late 1960’s. A suicide attempt lands her in Claymore, a mental institution. She befriends the band of troubled women in her ward (Georgina the pathological liar, the sexually abused Daisy, the burn victim Polly) but falls under the hypnotic sway of Lisa, the wildest and most hardened of the bunch. Will Susanna “drop anchor” at Claymore and perpetually act out like Lisa, or will she finally pull her mind together and leave institutional life behind? Written by Martin Lewison”
This is by far the best film I’ve seen in a long time, not only for the images used but for the simple reason that it is so real, as when watching it, it was almost exactly how my participant described their stay at the mental health clinics. With the girls that create destructive friendships, the close watches by the nurses, the psychiatrist sessions, sexual promiscuity, and drug abuse/addiction. I have watched this film twice now as the first time, I felt sad to see and know that this is somewhere that my participant had experienced, knowing that this portrayal was all so real. After I had watched it I felt a sense of what it must be like to be mentally ill and how one must have felt being in a place like that.
The film goes back and forth in time as Susanna has flashbacks, which are lit somewhat warmer to the flatly coloured blueish present. There are not many long shots and again I think this is to keep you close to the characters and their story. It relies heavily upon music to set the mood on many occasions, however, in one scene where Daisy commits suicide there is a record playing on repeat which shows that music may be used by mentally ill people as well as those who are well, as a distraction and escape from troubles and worries.
A lot of the visuals match my ideas for the visuals in my film, which goes to show that I have been able to put myself in the shoes of a mentally unstable person, using the information I have been given and through watching other films and programmes that relate to mental illnesses. This film also came up in conversation with my participant, and they said they had seen it and told me to watched it if I hadn’t already as it illustrates exactly what it’s like when in an institution for the mentally unwell.