Surprisingly, though, one of the most complex characters is one of the most minor.
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.
At Claymoore Susana meets a group of unusual young women who eventually become her closest friends and as a result light her way back to something she had lost herself.
She is intelligent and her goal after graduating was to write rather than go to college.
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.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.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.For example, Susanna’s choice to go back to the mental institution instead of going to Canada with her pseudo-boyfriend (Toby, played by Jared Leto) seems strangely out of place.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.As an understanding of Susana’s character there is actually nothing wrong with her.Susana is a typical teenager who refuses to conform to the life her parents want for her.