A Suspicious Identical Twist

Persona was a movie that seemed to revolve around two different characters with identical and parallel experiences. I believe these two people resonate with one another, which is why Alma developed an attachment towards Elizabeth. On the other hand, Elizabeth would claim to “enjoy” studying her. Some of the scenes that show their similarities is through their history. Alma was in love with a man named Karl-Henrik, however despite this, she still joined the sexual activity by her friend Katarina with two other men. In effect to this, Alma became pregnant and decided to abort the baby. This was somehow parallel to the experience of Elizabeth. The latter was an actress who became unintentionally pregnant. In order to continue acting, she decided to abort the baby. However, she was unsuccessful as she shows hatred for her son. This could be seen how she saw a picture of a boy and tore it apart. This was all exposed when Alma confronted Elizabeth, which was a scene that repeated twice. I thought this was a way to place emphasis on this dramatic scene. 

Another way their lives were similar was in relation to the sexual experience. In a particular scene, a man appears out of nowhere and it seemed to be the husband of Elizabeth. However in a surprising way, which caught me off-guard, the husband addresses Alma as Elizabeth. Afterwards, they started to make out and even decide to make love to each other. The unusual part in this scene is the reaction of Elizabeth. She doesn’t seem to do anything rash about it and just acts as a spectator in this scene. 

It also caught my attention on how there are various scenes where Elizabeth and Alma would usually be together in mirrors, as if they are a part of one another. In fact, Elizabeth caresses the hair of Alma and in the concluding scene, Alma stares in the mirror without Elizabeth but caresses her hair in the same manner. I really think that both characters seem to have a lot of regrets, and can’t seem to forgive their past. Because of this, they can’t seem to move forward and face life with loneliness and anger. This could be seen on how Alma easily confesses to Elizabeth her personal stories, which I believe was ironic. Alma was playing the role of the nurse and yet, it became Elizabeth who served as the one comforting her troubled past.  On the other hand, Elizabeth can’t seem to move herself forward. At the start of the movie, she didn’t even move and chose to not speak in almost the entirety of the movie. In fact, in order to cure her, she was forced to live near the ocean with Alma watching over her as the nurse. It was like she did not even want to exert any more effort, a manifestation of this is how she never responds to Alma’s anger with exception to the part she almost throws a pot of boiling water at the actress. When Elizabeth was confronted with a picture of a boy, she expressed a great amount of rage. Both characters are greatly identical but I believe it’s anger, one-sided love, and troubled past that sets the tension between their relationship. 

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