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#Film Review: Netflix’s Gerald’s Game (2017)

Director: Mike Flanagan

Rating: 5/5

Gerald’s Game is a new film on Netflix based on novel by Stephen King. It is a really interesting film showing importance of facing the past and overcoming trauma.

Therefore, Jessie Burlingame (Carla Gugino) and Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood) are going to a romantic getaway weekend in an attempt to find a lost connection in their marriage. Gerald tries to use handcuffs as a foreplay but before he sets Jessie free (after she freaked out and demanded that the game ends) he gets a stroke and dies.

The remaining part of the film is her inner struggle to stay sane and sets herself free. In that, she sees the spirit of Gerald and her own spirit having an argument. Her spirit, or her inner self, is trying to help her by guiding her what to do while Gerald’s one is mocking her as he did while they were married. Through this dialogue we realise that she always knew how bad her marriage was, that Gerald was cheating on her, and that she found the same type of abusive relationship in the marriage as she had with her predatory father who sexually abused her. Thinking she will die, she also thinks of her childhood and the abuse she endured as a little girl.

The importance of this film is that it shows us very clearly that we do know when something bad and inappropriate is happening to us, but in order to cope with the abuse we chose to hide memories deep in our brains. However, healing process can only happen if we confront issues and admit them at least to ourselves. The patriarchal society indeed prevents us from being open about the abuse, and many fear judgments if they admit that something has happened to them. As it is a common tendency to judge the victim rather than the perpetrator it comes as a no surprise that victims suffer in silence.

In addition, the film tackles consequences of parental abuse and correctly shows that parental abuse is not just an abuse that causes damage in that particular point in time when the abuse happens, but it is rather something that continues throughout the life. People make choices that are influenced by the abuse and thus their whole lives get ruined.

A very good film. Well made with a very vivid portrayal of an inner struggle. Also, a very good portrayal of childhood, and a good balance between the past and the present.

Thank you for reading.

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