Persona: a Disturbing Work of Art

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It’s safe for me to say that the movie, Persona, is one of the most confounding movies that I have ever watched. Despite this, I still think that the movie was a work of art. The tone of the movie was set early in the film. The first scene of the movie, which showed the boy in what looked like a mortuary bed, was a bit creepy for me. This continued on with the awkward and uncomfortable close-ups, pauses, cut scenes, and repeating images all throughout the film.

Persona-screenshot-1170x713The plot of the movie was confusing for me. This is probably because of the mysterious effect that the personality of Elisabet brings to the mood of the movie. It was unclear to me what triggered her decision to be silent. Most of the close-up shots made on her face also made me think that maybe she would do something psychotic later on in the movie, like maybe murder her nurse, Anna. But, this didn’t happen and to my surprise, the two developed a  very intimate relationship.  In fact, Too intimate at some points of the movie that sometimes I would think their relationship would level up into an erotic homosexual love affair. An example of a scene like this was when Anna was sleeping and then Elisabet secretly enters her room and watches her sleep. Anna then wakes up and they stare at each other, massage each other’s heads and look at the mirror at the same time. This, for me, was strange. The movie was very unpredictable. Personally, my expectations or predictions on what might happen in the movie were consistently let down. This added to the “shocking” factor of the movie.

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With this said, the movie was also shocking, making the movie somewhat a horror/ thriller one. The aesthetic of the movie only added to the mysteriousness of the film. As well as the black and white color of the movie that gave a lot of depth to the film and heightened the “thriller” effect of it. The cinematography matched the overall mood of the movie for me. For example, the close-up scene of  Elisabet, wherein she was on stage and suddenly stared into the camera with an unexplainable face and decided to become silent. And this shot was repeated many times in the movie that made me feel uncomfortable and scared. Besides this scene, many others confused me. Such as when the husband of Elisabet went to the beach house where they were staying and mistook Anna for Elisabet.

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However, I liked how the shots of the film somehow evolved. Starting with very minimalist, boring, and plain backgrounds such as the walls of the hospital and the mortuary and then moving to the picturesque beach and beach house. The beach gave so much life to the movie and despite the strange events in the movie, it was nice to watch the movie and witness the artistic images brought by the well-thought-out shots.

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