Pascal Laugier's Martyrs: Film Review

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Just, let yourself go. Give in.

In Martyrs, Pascal Laugier integrates science and thriller to make the audience grimis in terror through taboo experimentation and scattered scenes until the final conclusion at the end of the film. Laugier opens the film with a young girl screaming as she runs through an abandoned street, beaten and bloody. He continues to switch scenes to the screaming girl, Lucie, 15 years later, as a woman who suffers hallucinations of a woman who tortures and abuses her. She is visited by this hallucination after she massacres a family whom she believes to be the people who tortured her as a young girl, hence, the opening scene. The transition between scenes and topics are scattered through out the film until the very end, when they all tie together and come with the final conclusion as to why she, and many others, had been tortured. EDIT

During the first half of the film, Laugier makes the scenes quick and sudden during the massacre of the family and when Lucie hallucinates. The lights are very bright and character movement is erratic. (?)

The central characters in the film are Lucie (Mylene Jampanoi) and Anna (Morjana Alaoui). Martyrs starts off with a young Lucie, screaming as she runs through an abandoned street, beaten and bloody from over a year of torture at a warehouse. Laugier then switches to Lucie making a friend, Anna, at an orphanage where Lucie begins to show signs of posttraumatic stress; such as, seeing hallucinations.

The hallucination Lucie sees is of a woman whom she saw as a child during her torture. When Lucie escaped, she heard a woman screaming for someone to save her, but Lucie did not in fear of getting caught again. She must have been so guilt ridden that she began to hallucinate her as she got older. I believe that Laugier made this a point to show that posttraumatic stress can truly take over a person’s life. When she massacred the people, as well as their children, who tortured her as a...
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