hopscotchee: jared leto score: 73.5 rating: R time: 127 minutes
based off of the memoir of the same name, girl, interrupted follows susanna kaysen's 18-month stay and journey at claymoore, a mental hospital, in the 1960s. at this time, mental health wasn't something talked about ~ let alone mental health for females!! the feminine mystique, which finally addressed the depression women often encountered as inactive, mundane house-wives in a society that gave them little choices and abilities, only came out in 1963 and first received criticism. additionally, therapy wasn't a commonality like it is today. we, as a society, were just supposed to buck up and not address these issues. girl, interrupted gives us true insight on these issues at the time as an informative, well-told, touching, and inspiring watch. and just so we give credit where credit is deserved, we have to thank our lovely mother for recommending this flick for batch three.
there were a lot of surprising stand-outs from girl, interrupted, being surprising since this movie did release 20+ years ago. out of these, we certainly have to say something about the set design. in particular, we have to say something about the green tinted walls. sure, it has the possibility of being at the responsibility of the early 2000s green camera, which IS a thing, but for the color-theory meaning being our praising-example, we will just have to assume that they chose the green walls or didn't mind that the camera made them look green. a lot of times hospitals or mental facilities are portrayed in films with stratch white walls. this gives off the impression that the enviornment is sterlie and unfriendly. we appreciated the tint on the walls at claymoore, because they set an unqiue atmosphere. at first we think of a green tint as gritty, but, in contrast from the white sterile walls, the green tint also makes the viewer feel, oddly, more comfortable. we look at the green walls, and our minds aren't thinkthing that this is some sci-fi, post-apocalyptic world. we instead think, "this feels more natural", "more realistic". we know we make it sound like being real in a film is something we love and score higher for, but we really don't mind a fantasy aspect. being more realistic or channeling realsim in your story just allows the audience to relate more and have a greater take-away at times. that said, if the claymoore walls were a clean white, we would've accpeted it as most hospital walls, however, because they had a tint, we were able to connect and appreciated them more.
likewise, the editing was another shining star. consistently throughout the film, the editors cut from susanna's life at claymoore to different moments in her life without warning. but in no way were they jumpy!! each intersplicing of past and present was placed appropriately throughout the movie, but also helped us understand susanna and her mental state. we know, "of course it tells you more about susanna, they are HER flashbacks after all". yes, yes. but correspondingly, this type of editing lets us understand her characterization without having long infopackets. we are being able to better understand where our character, in this case susanna, is mentally. if you caught, there were more of these cuts when susanna first arrived at claymoore and less of them when she was finally released. in other words, this type of editing is really impactful when associating a character's pov and can portray a scattered, busy, or overwhelmed state very effectively (which it did).
lastly, we can't go without mentioning the story. obviously, obviously, the credit goes to the real-life susanna kaysen for this one, since it was her story after all. not only has this story been relevant for so many women, to some extent, this story can reach all of us. we think everyone can relate in some way to the blow that was covid and quarantine. everyone had their own way to cope during that anomaly, and, whether that wasn't like susanna's or any of the other patients' struggles, we can all learn from the wisdom that their recoveries hold. so, if there was one take away from this entire film, it would be what whoopi goldberg's character, valerie, said. if you are going through a hard time or don't feel like your best self, "don't drop anchor here".
overall, girl, interrupted was an older film but it didn't lose its impression over time. this film was well respected, and you can tell that everyone a part of the project knew that. it would've been very easy for the actors to act 'crazy' and uncontrollable when depicting mental health, because that's the stereotypical norm, however, every actor took the time to understand their character and really saw them as the people that came into the facility and not the people already in the facility. we applaud this film for doing so, because the thoughtfulness brought it to life and has kept it that way all these years later.
-- thanks, jared xo