Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Movie Review: The Orphanage (El Orfanato) 2007 & Spoiler

Plot Summary from IMDB.com "The former orphan Laura raises her adopted son Simón with her husband Carlos in an old house and former orphanage where she was raised. Simón is HIV positive and tells Laura that he has five invisible friends, and she believes they are fruit of his imagination. Laura decides to reopen an orphanage for handicapped children in the location and during the opening party, Simón calls her to show the little cabin of his friend Tomás. The busy Laura does not gives much attention to her son; then she sees a mysterious masked boy and Simón vanishes. Laura feels the presence of other persons in the house and months later, the desperate Laura invites a team of parapsychologists to try to unravel the mystery. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil "

First let me say, one I do NOT like Scary or Gory Movies! I refuse to watch them, they usually leave me sleepless for days. So I am VERY picky about the kind of Suspense/Thriller type of movies that I pick out and I will not be caught watching movies like Saw but more like movies like Silence of the Lambs etc...I do not like Gore, I think it is useless and cannot make a movie even more better than a good mental movie with some suspense and thrill. If that makes sense. I also want to say I am including Spoiler because I have an opinion about it, not to be mean. I decided to watch this movie with my partner because he, on the other hand likes horror type films but not stupid ones, plus we both had watched Pans Lanbrynth by the same director and it was very good! :)

Now I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, at first I was hoping the director wasn't going to turn this into one of those horror movies, but after I had watched it I saw, he had took great care when thinking of the plot of this film.

The beginning of the film of course is a little slow, but I think it did that to slowly build its suspense for the climax and ending.

I think its sweet that Laura, the one who comes back to the Orphanage that she had originally left decided to purchase it and open it for disabled children. I also think it is sweet that her and her husband decide to adopt a child named Simone.

In the middle of the flick, before Simone's disappearance her and Simone get into a tiff because he finds out that Laura is not his real mother and she does not want to come with him to visit the old room of Tomas, then he disappears during the Welcome Party for the disabled children that would be coming to live with them. Then ironically the boy, the ghost of Tomas shows up and scares Laura, and pushes her into the bathroom, tearing her fingers and locks her into the bathroom, her husband then has to use a crow bar to get her out and then her son is gone. Now depending on how you look at it, I thought it was Simon who wore Tomas Mask and locked his mother up because he was and if you were someone else, you may have thought it was an actual ghost of Tomas.

Now part of the film is open for interpretation, which is, whether or not the ghosts were real or if it was a figment of Laura's imagination. Personally I think the ghosts are real and I am still debating between the Tomas/Simon thing.

Now the part of this movie that really made me want to cry was towards the end when she finds Simon and realizes that in a way she had accidentally killed her son. When she lets her husband leave and decides to set the place up like how it was when she was an orphan there, she asks the ghosts where her son is, six months after he had been missing. They (in her mind) lead her on a Treasure hunt for answers). She also decides to heavily dose on Sleeping pills and more so once she finds him dead in Tomas old room in the basement.

Oh I could go into so many details but once she finds him she decides to commit suicide by overdosing on her sleeping pills so that she can be with him, and then at that point of her death, he is alive again and he wishes that she would take care of her and the orphan children and of course she agrees.

NOTE: The Orphans died of poison because they decided to play a game with Tomas who is deformed and take off his mask and leave him in the cave, and told him he could come out and get his mask back if he showed his deformity. Of course he doesn't and the high tide on the beach kills him, so his mother at the orphanage decide to poison the children. Simon dies from being locked in the basement, falls to his death and breaks his neck. Towards the end, his mother removes the mask* (which makes you think he played Tomas) and sees that her son is dead.

For horror/suspense film, it is very touching. It left me heartbroken as a mother to ever think to lose a child yet happy at the same time because she finally found him again.

I also I wanted to add one more thing - this thing was meant to be taken two different ways...either there was supernatural involved or Laura was delusional during her traumatic experience looking for her son. I already mentioned which parts seemed real and which didn't to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just watched the film and must say that your interpretation is pretty interesting! The fact that it was Simon who wore the mask and locked his mother in the bathroom makes much more sense that the fact that it is a ghost. Especially since, in my opinion, ghosts cannoe be touched and Simon is furious after his mother's rejection. On the other hand, if the ghosts were harmless, who put the doorknob somewhere else? Simon couldnt have done that.
Well, maybe it does make sense. Maybe the ghosts were indeed playing games but it was actually Simon who hurt Laura. Maybe the ghosts were friendly and helpful, attempting to guide Laura towards her son as she was one of their friends.
Ok, too many maybe's, but it's nice that films can make people think and debate.
I loved the film, it was touching. The end was amazing, the peaceful reunion between the "orphan family" and of course between mother and son, the reference to Wendy and (beit suggestive) to Neverland made it work for me.
Nice review!