Action / Drama


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Downloaded 9,293 times
June 22, 2015 at 10:51 PM



James Franco as James
Alan Cumming as Alan
Catherine Keener as Catherine
753.64 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 1 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by meytal rose 7 / 10

admirable work

Despite two main pretensions in the form of unnecessary captions and a few over the top voice overs, the movie raises good points regarding mental illnesses and the borders between normality, perversion and infliction. captions are used too widely and do not work when one of the characters has to repeat them during the following scene. the queer issue is nicely addressed, and not too salient. the directing is very good- a few shots and a few scenes are remarkably done. most characters are round and well written as well as acted. Catherine Keener is great as always, and David Straithairn as Delmar is a quite surprising strong character. the second part of the movie, starting with a compelling scene in which the mane character (James Franco) meets a blind old woman at the beach, is considerably better than the first part. the ending is a bit unrealistic, but works. very nice and observant cinematography most of the time, that serves the themes of the film well.

Reviewed by gooroov 8 / 10

Interesting but not satisfying

"Maladies" was slow but I never felt bored.

(I reveal some parts of the story but it's not like the movie is based on the surprise of these things happening such that knowing them would really "spoil" the movie, it's not a mystery or anything, but be forewarned.)

One thing that people say about this movie is it is about mental illness and although it is mentioned a few times and the portrayal of the characters is unusual I didn't see them necessarily as "mentally ill" in any way--they might have been, but also, maybe not. It just focused on people who themselves are focused on doing "work" which they found meaningful, living in a house together.

It did have a lot of expression of what the James character was thinking, but what's mentally ill about that? Don't most people walk around thinking about things?

Just because the movie is focused on the psychology of its characters doesn't mean there is anything psychologically "wrong" with them.

I myself was very interested in this being mostly about what people think about things. Near the beginning they show James musing about the "tall" water glass Catherine requests. I think that it is very human to show how people really have momentary thoughts about almost everything around them.

Some say the conclusion didn't work but I thought it was a fascinatingly surreal approach, where one character becomes emotionally unsettled and that manifests in something being "wrong" in the story which attracts the police, because we all know that the police are in the world to intervene and try to "solve" problems. I thought the fact that Carter refused to make this literal, maybe showing cuts where James really WAS doing something dangerous, like wavering a knife around, was brave and interesting.

In the end James is so damaged by his disturbance he dies...don't we all sometimes feel like something bothering us could lead to some kind of "end"? "When she left me I thought my life was over." Showing this as ACTUAL death just made it more poignant.

I thought that sound was used brilliantly to complement the action.

There is one scene that shows Delmar, played by David Straithairn, as he realizes that there is no way for him to join in and experience the joy and pleasure others are experiencing just from dancing to a song, that I thought was emotionally devastating.

I found it to be a unique and worthwhile "experimental" type movie, and I got a lot out of it. If you demand action or an explicit narrative from movies you may not like it as much, but if you aren't obsessed with such things this movie has a lot to offer in ways rarely seen in film.

Reviewed by deborahdebbiedeb 10 / 10

Loved this movie so much

The structure of this film is unique, which I feel is part of what kept me. I saw a great deal of myself throughout, so it resonated with me unlike any other I've seen before. I'll be watching this over and again because I loved it that much.

I don't think we'll ever completely understand mental illness, ever have all of the answers that we need or seek to help us in the many ways we wish them to. I was diagnosed at eight-years-old, started writing when I was twelve. The thoughts are constant, and the need to write is with me always. James Franco's character was the one that I closely related to, and the why is so hard to explain. Mental illness can take away so much, yet show us what we are capable of. I keep thinking back to the number of times James corrected Delmar about his leaving the acting world to become a writer. It's hard to say for sure whether he left or whether he was fired. There came a point when I knew that my illnesses limited my abilities at work, that it affected my performance in ways that I never imagined it would. It got to the point where my job fired me. Had I not been fired, I probably would have left anyway because I'd never allow myself to give less than what I was once capable of. Mental illness took me from something that I loved to do, which was quite painful, so I sought to find other things to do in order to feel like I was giving, that I was capable. I wanted to be able and be good at it at the same time.

Mental illness can very easily take more than what one is willing to give up. The thoughts are constant, and the need to write is with me always. Sometimes I find myself having episodes where I can't put pen to paper because the illnesses take over. They effect the thought process. Whether they're left incomplete, blur before I get a really good look at them, scatter, or overlap one another... my thoughts are one of the few things I have left. It's frustrating because I know that I'm capable. I know and yet I'm horrified every time I see myself fail. That's why I hardly ever use paper. I'd rather type and backspace than have my floors covered with those crumpled up failures, reminding me of what I am and what I'm not.

This failing made me look at James and how he wanted so desperately to write, to have his work finished, to have it exist. "Everything needs to be made, and it needs to be made by someone. I just want to be thoughtful, to be full of thoughts." This was his new purpose, what he sought to do, and we watched as his illness made him slip even further. It made him slip so much that he couldn't even write anymore, couldn't even think anymore. When everything is taken away, we have a hard time seeing what's left, and sometimes when we see what's left, we find that it isn't enough. It isn't enough to make us feel like we're enough, and sometimes it takes that feeling like we're enough to believe we have every reason to be here.

I could keep going, but I feel this is enough. What a great movie.

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