Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mama (2013)

“A ghost is an emotion bent out of shape, condemned to repeat itself, time and time again until it rights the wrong that was done.”

            Mama has a bit of a different take on telling a ghost story. If a ghost story can be told differently from the typical crap that gets chugged out I am totally on board with it. I definitely got on board with Mama.
            Jeffrey D’Asange (Nikolaj Coster- Waldau) has lost his money in a financial crisis. In shock and deeply distraught over the loss of his fortune he kills a few of his business partners and his estranged wife. He goes home to pick up his young daughters Victoria, who is five, and Lily, who is one. He drives them away on a winding, dangerous, snow covered road. Victoria keeps asking questions and Jeffrey turns around to yell at her to stop. He loses control of the car and it careens off the road down a cliff. Everyone fortunately survives. Jeffrey takes Lily and walks away towards the car with Victoria in tow. They come to an abandoned cabin. Standing outside Victoria sees a figure moving in the window and she tells Jeffrey she saw someone inside. Not believing his daughter, Jeffrey takes the girls inside. Sometime later Jeffrey cannot handle what he has done. He takes Victoria by a window and tells her to take off her glasses so he cannot see him take out a gun to kill her. When Jeffrey goes to put the gun the Victoria’s head a dark figure takes hold of him and pulls him out of the house by his tie choking him and killing him. Since Victoria could not see without her glasses all she saw were blurry figures. That night Victoria sat with Lily in her lap in front of the fire. From the shadows roles a cherry for the girls to eat.
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            As the credits role we see what looks like children’s drawings of their life. They have been in the cabin for five years. They have grown up feral but with the help of some kind aid from a mysterious figure.
            For five years Jeffrey’s twin brother Lucas (also Coster-Waldau) has been searching for the girls. He is an artist who does not make a lot of money and he lives with his punk rock girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain). The two men Lucas have hired stumble upon the car Jeffrey was driving. With a blood hound and a found toy near the car they find the cabin. The feral girls viciously jump out at the intruding men.
            Victoria and Lily are taken to a psychiatry hospital to be examined. They are examined by a doctor named Gerald Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss is interested in a story Victoria told him during one of their sessions. She told him that they were not alone in the cabin all those years. There was a woman that looked after them that they called Mama. Dreyfuss thinks this story is Victoria’s story of a maternal figure since she had to take care of Lily all those years. Lucas wants full custody of the girls. Annabel is not so sure she really is not fond of kids. The girls’ maternal great-aunt is also looking to seek custody of them. Dreyfuss supports Lucas in the custody battle. He tells them that he will say to the judge that they are the better caregivers for the girls and he will also put them in a house owned by the hospital so he can continue to help them.
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            Victoria adjusts to living in a house and Lucas and Annabel’s care. Lily not so much. She was one years old when they started to live in a cabin she has no memory of living in a normal house. She continues her feral ways including walking around barefoot, sleeping under Victoria’s bed, and walking around on all fours. The girls can also be seen talking with another person in the room that is not Lucas or Annabel. One night Annabel thinks she saw someone reflected in a mirror. She panics thinking someone is in the house. Lucas goes to investigate and he knocked unconscious.
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            To make a long summary short: Dr. Dreyfuss investigates Victoria’s story about Mama and it turns out the woman was a real person in the late 1800s. She had a baby, the nuns took it away from her, she took the baby, ran away, got stopped at a cliff, and jumped. The woman and her baby hit a branch on the way down. She was knocked unconscious and the baby died. The baby remained on the branch stuck there from its blanket. After looking for her baby not being able to find it the woman had been looking for substitutes and she found Lily and Victoria. She is jealous and upset that she has been replaced by Lucas and Annabel and attacks them. She is also upset with Victoria who is willing to adjust to a normal life. Lily is the only one who wants Mama to be around.
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            I am not going to give too much of the plot away because honestly the movie is really good and the story is interesting. The only downer to the movie is the ending and that is only because it felt really rushed.
            Mama was a really good movie. I read a lot of reviews and heard some people say it was not good but I enjoyed it. Guillermo del Toro produced it and the guy knows what he is doing when it comes to telling different kinds of scary stories. His book series The Strain is amazing and his movie The Devil’s Backbone is genius. I definitely recommend seeing Mama. The story was good, Jessica Chastain is brilliant (no movie ever suffers when she is in it), and the direction was fantastic. I am going to sound cocky (if that is the right term) and say trust me when I say Mama is worth seeing because I am not a huge fan of horror movies to me they are all the same. 
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