(br) wrote: After a mature and captivating MNIK, KJo delivers a complete dud. A complete nonsensical high school, cliched melodrama. Majority of the things in this movie, from the plot to the characters to the get-ups, make absolutely no sense. Ishq Wala Love and the mashup are nice songs.
(es) wrote: What Laymen Think Schizophrenia Is It does not, for the purposes of this review, matter if Dissociative Identity Disorder (as we're calling it now) really exists. Not all mental health professionals believe it does, though it is in the DSM-IV and may appear in the DSM-V. I will talk some about whether or not a woman named Shirley Ardell Mason really had Dissociative Identity Disorder, because there are some things I want to establish about that. However, for purposes of the story, it doesn't really matter. Cornelia Wilbur may or may not have manipulated the woman into her diagnosis; the woman may or may not have lied about her symptoms. I have no way of knowing that; given that both Mason and Wilbur are dead, I don't think any of us can be truly sure. Especially since my understanding is that Wilbur destroyed quite a lot of her notes, a thing I will admit that I find suspicious on its face. However, it isn't relevant to Sally Field. Her whole life, Sybil Isabel Dorset (Field) has been losing time. She suddenly comes to herself and is doing things she wouldn't do. She has new clothing she didn't buy. She breaks glass, and she doesn't know why--or remember doing it. One day, she ends up having to go to the hospital because she cut her wrist while breaking her window. The doctor who takes care of her wrist is concerned by her apparent confusion and orders a neuro workup. This is performed by Dr. Cornelia Wilbur (Joanne Woodward), and she comes to the realization that there is more wrong with Sybil than she is revealing. It turns out that Sybil is not alone in her own head. Dr. Wilbur discovers this when Vicky calls to tell her that Marsha is going to throw Sybil out a window in a Harlem hotel. Marsha, you see, is in control of the body at the moment. What Dr. Wilbur must now do is assemble the fractured self into a whole, waking Sybil who can face the world. The thing that irritates me about the people who claim that Shirley Mason wasn't really "a multiple," as they called her at the time, is what they want to diagnose her with instead. It's true that Shirley's--Sybil's--case led to a sudden swell in claimed cases of DID, and it's certainly true that the whole hypnosis thing has always bothered me, given that I very clearly remember the havoc wrought by "recovered memories" in the '80s. However, the claim I keep coming across is that, instead of having multiple personalities, Shirley Mason was really just "a hysteric." I don't mean at the time, either. I mean, there's a book that came out in 1998 diagnosing Shirley Mason with hysteria. Now, it's possible that Wikipedia is just oversimplifying their book review, but even relatively technical information uses the term instead of, you know, a condition that anyone is actually diagnosed with anymore. There may have been something else wrong with Shirley Mason/Sybil Dorset, but hysteria was not it. Sally Field was far from their first choice for the role; Joanne Woodward had to talk them into letting her audition. After all, as of 1976, she was basically Gidget. She was the Flying Nun. Whatever else you have to say about the role, it was seriously challenging. There's adult, though broken, Sybil. There are all of the varying personalities, which range in age from baby Ruthie to teenaged Vicky. And again, whatever else you have to say about the movie--for example, that it has a ridiculously cheesy soundtrack or that the filming is about what you'd expect for a TV miniseries--Sally Field stepped up. She managed mousy, terrified Sybil as well as dignified and classy Vicky. (Vicky's style always struck me as at odds with her alleged age, but anyway.) I knew a woman once who claimed to have DID, but I didn't know that at the time and don't believe it anyway, so I don't know how Field matches with the real thing. I will say that I think she does an excellent job at the part as written. I've read the book any number of times. The course of events between the two is substantially different, though the horrific abuse allegedly perpetrated by the paranoid schizophrenic Hattie Dorset (Mattie Mason) is about the same either way. However, instead of the real-life roommate who helped Sybil for years and appears in the book, we get friendly neighbour Richard (Brad Davis), a busker with a young son. He finds out about Sybil, and there's nothing he can do about her problems. She can't be with anyone until she is fixed, and he knows and understands that. Obviously, the movie also abbreviates the process of treatment, elides most of her personal life that doesn't directly relate to the multiples. The movie also has a weird chronology. The flashback sequences of Hattie and young Sybil (Natasha Ryan) seem to happen in the real 1920s era that Shirley's childhood encompassed, but modern-day Sybil appears to be a young woman in the 1976 period in which it was actually filmed. I don't care enough to watch the remake, but I hope they fixed it.