(STOP!! IF you haven't yet seen it, this might be considered a bit spoilery, although NO SPECIFIC PLOT DETAILS are discussed - Just sayin.)
I really really enjoyed this cinematic peep into the heart of madness. For me, that’s what it was – a picture from within - of what it must be like to gradually lose all sense of reality and succumb to the darkness of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and to some extent, depression and manic depression. To know that things are not right, that you need to get a grip, shake it off – and yet be utterly helpless to stem the tide of paranoia and delusion that grips the mind when such an illness is doing its worst.
These things seem to grip at the very worst of times – the mind’s cries of “Noooo, not right now, when I’m about to get that promotion, or sit that exam, or compete in that race etc” those times when we are pushing ourselves to the very limit (whether we know it or not) are the very times we are most vulnerable. And whilst I’ve never been quite so grippingly dramatic in my self delusion, I’ve suffered many a moment of utterly irrational darkness fed and nurtured by my own self destructive tendencies. And nearly always at the very worst, most inconvenient of times.
The flip side for me being those equally deluded and irrational highs - dreams and plans of soaring high on my achievements.
But my own struggles are never anywhere near as pronounced or as signposted as the ones in the film, and I’m thankful for that aspect of the storytelling here. For at least throughout we know this is a fiction, because things are maybe too neat and single stranded for it to be a true depiction of such illnesses. The truth tends to be a lot more fragmented, and thus delusions and their causes are harder to spot, recognise, own and control. The complexity of mental illnesses, and the depth of their root causes make them difficult to explain to others, and therefore so much misunderstanding still surrounds conditions like Schizophrenia, BiPolar disorders and severe despression.
Thankfully, this is a piece of fiction, a truly gripping, highly entertaining depiction of the Blackness. It twists and turns with all the grace, drama and forboding of the Tragic Ballet at its centre. Well worth a watch. Highly recommended.