‚You changed the scenery but not the fucking situation!’
What separates normal from crazy? This is a question that becomes elementary when we talk about our state of mind. When could you consider yourself crazy? It’s the details you pay close attention to that will bring you closer to the answer. An answer, you are unlikely to get in life.
‘Girl Interrupted’ was first published in 1993. It is an autobiographical piece of text and is based on Susanna Kaysen’s book in which she tells her story of a short stay in a mental hospital. Angelina Jolie, Whoopie Goldberg and Winona Ryder are among the cast. They create a universe that is closer to reality than people begin to think. It is the vulnerability of the human beings that really evoke thought in this film.
After an incident that was considered a suicide attempt, Susanna (Winona Ryder) gets placed into a taxi towards ‘Claymoore’ – a mental health hospital. She checks in and finds herself in an institutionalized setting. She meets a group of girls that struggle in their own ways and are in a stage of recovery-at least the narrative suggests so. This movie is a collection of impressions that Susanna gains during her time at Claymoore. We experience how she feels, what she is trying to understand and above all how she copes. Lisa (Angeline Jolie) is crucial for the entire process of this and becomes an anchor point for Susanna, and already is for the other ‘patients.’
This film allows us to explore the actual meaning behind the question ‘Are you crazy?!’ a bit more seriously. Every day we throw it towards our colleagues, our friends, strangers, people. They might be. The most important element of ‘Girl Interrupted’ is that it is Susanna who signs herself in. How external forces work and that they can something be quite different to what we expect. But fact is, she is led to believe she was crazy. Her definition of sane and insane and her spectrum of mental illness are about to be turned over.
‘Girl Interrupted’ explores how to cope with something that will never go away. It pulls the state of mind inside out which leave’s you thinking, is the girl you see on screen actually interrupted. What answer is she looking for?