Persona Review

The first few scenes and images bothered me because it seemed creepy and eerie. I think that the black and white color added a more horror effect to the film. I really thought that I was about to watch an old horror film. Even as the next scenes showed Elisabet and Alma in a psychiatric ward, I still assumed that it was going to be horror or thriller. But as the movie progressed, I realized that Elisabet wasn’t actually crazy but she was definitely battling with something inside of her that she could not express. Alma was also really patient with Elisabet even if at first she doubted her capacity to be able to get through her. Their relationship seemed to develop as they left the city and isolated themselves. For a time being, I really thought that Elisabet would eventually converse with Alma. Although it would appear that although Elisabet was the patient, it seemed Alma had her own battles inside that she tried to conceal from everyone else. I was a bit confused as to whether there was sexual tension or infatuation going on between the two women or if it was simply a deep friendship and sisterhood that had developed. I think that somehow, Alma looked up to Elisabet and she felt proud to know that someone like Elisabet who was beautiful and successful would actually listen to her rants and choose to be friends with her. As the movie progressed, the difference between nurse and patient started to blur and at one point I wasn’t really sure who was taking care of who.

Another thing emphasized in the movie was the likeness of the two characters in appearance. Although I don’t really see how they look alike, the movie plays with camera angles to show their likeness. I think Alma liked the idea of being/having the life of Elisabet. Which is why Alma also felt betrayed when she found the letter of Elisabet stating that she was observing Alma. She felt like she opened up to Elisabet and really created a relationship with her. She felt used and tricked by Elisabet. The scene where Alma almost throws boiling water at Elisabet for me shows how although she is the nurse, she has the tendency to be unstable as well. Which again begs the question of who was really being observed between the two characters. This scene was also the scene where Alma hears Elisabet talk for the first time out of fear. I would say that this proves that Elisabet has the capacity to talk but she just really chooses not to. I’m not quite sure what she’s really scared of. Things start to get weirder when Elisabet’s husband who appears to be blind, mistakes Alma for Elisabet and sleeps with her. I think this was another indication of how Alma did want Elisabet’s life.

Up until the last scene, I was still left pretty confused at the situation the two characters were put in. It felt like, the movie never really answers any of your questions but leaves you to wonder about it on your own. In the last scene I couldn’t confirm if Alma’s analysis of Elisabet was right or if it could have been an analysis of her own life. The very last scene shows the two faces of the women put into one picture indicating that their lives may have intertwined more than we know.

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