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My feeling is the cultural shift right now promotes exactly this sort of Ďmurdering guys whose only crimes are domestic abuseí thing. This was the case with Vigilante (2017) with Olivia Wilde and even back in ĎIn Bed with the Enemyí with Julia Roberts...
(emphasis added)

Very curious as to why @AgrippinaX would say this. ďDomestic abuseĒ is rampant throughout the world. Police officers have told me it begins with verbal abuse, gaslighting, control, manipulation & then escalates to physical abuse.

I enjoyed the movie yesterday. (Vigilante was also very good.)

I was glad when Moss was finally rid of that monster. Saddest thing for me where I live is to see mothers & their children hiding & sheltering from their abusive partners. Canít even imagine a life like this.
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I wasn't impressed by the first part, hope the 2nd will be much better. If you wanna watch something like this movie take a look at Gone Girl (2014).
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Welcome to the human race...
Why compare this to Gone Girl?
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A system of cells interlinked
I wasn't impressed by the first part, hope the 2nd will be much better. If you wanna watch something like this movie take a look at Gone Girl (2014).
I am not seeing a similarity here...
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Yes they aren't 100% similar, but Gone Girl is much better as a thriller.

Can you write your list of movies similar to Invisible Man?



Welcome to the human race...
The Invisible Man isn't a thriller, it's a horror.



(emphasis added)

Very curious as to why @AgrippinaX would say this. ďDomestic abuseĒ is rampant throughout the world. Police officers have told me it begins with verbal abuse, gaslighting, control, manipulation & then escalates to physical abuse.

I enjoyed the movie yesterday. (Vigilante was also very good.)

I was glad when Moss was finally rid of that monster. Saddest thing for me where I live is to see mothers & their children hiding & sheltering from their abusive partners. Canít even imagine a life like this.
I am in no way denying the reality and prevalence of domestic abuse. I think for me itís about narrative, I donít see these plot lines in film as Ďreal lifeí (which I think is part of the point in any creative medium) and on a diegetic level, I often feel thereís not enough nuance in them. Itís like a rape fantasy turned backwards - a certain type of man likes to imagine raping a woman who degraded/disrespected/dumped/didnít like him and films like Vigilante create the opposite fantasy of a woman getting her own back on a man, both these types of film to me lack nuance. Iím pretty sure I have used this exact example here before but I feel the ending of Kill Bill shows the Bride & Billís relationship as complex and demonstrates that she has conflicting feelings for him to the very end.

Many people will disagree but thatís how Iíve always seen it. This is nuance, the films where women kill abusive men lack that, for the most part, in my opinion. The Invisible Man was a reasonably good film but someone here said it could be seen as a tongue-in-cheek thing if you wonder whether Adrian was really the monster, which makes it that bit more fun. Iím pretty sure weíve discussed this at some point somewhere with @Takoma11 and Iím aware Iím in a minority.

I think I find it so difficult to explain this viewpoint because people always make reference to real life and why domestic abuse is bad. But itís not about real life, itís about art and I usually try to view art as abstract. I think it makes for poor, boring, underdeveloped stories with one-dimensional characters who donít grow and always Ďwiní against men disproportionately more often than other tropes, thatís all.



I am in no way denying the reality and prevalence of domestic abuse. I think for me itís about narrative, I donít see these plot lines in film as Ďreal lifeí (which I think is part of the point in any creative medium) and on a diegetic level, I often feel thereís not enough nuance in them. Itís like a rape fantasy turned backwards - a certain type of man likes to imagine raping a woman who degraded/disrespected/dumped/didnít like him and films like Vigilante create the opposite fantasy of a woman getting her own back on a man, both these types of film to me lack nuance. Iím pretty sure I have used this exact example here before but I feel the ending of Kill Bill shows the Bride & Billís relationship as complex and demonstrates that she has conflicting feelings for him to the very end.

Many people will disagree but thatís how Iíve always seen it. This is nuance, the films where women kill abusive men lack that, for the most part, in my opinion. The Invisible Man was a reasonably good film but someone here said it could be seen as a tongue-in-cheek thing if you wonder whether Adrian was really the monster, which makes it that bit more fun. Iím pretty sure weíve discussed this at some point somewhere with @Takoma11 and Iím aware Iím in a minority.
I think that it's so important to note that retaliation was not the main character's initial desire, at all. Not even after she had been subjected to mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. She just wanted to escape.

Adrian not only pursues her and antagonizes her, he continues to escalate things.

I'm curious what you think would be left for this character to do. He is clearly not going to stop coming after her. He has hurt or killed multiple people she loves, sabotages her getting a job, etc.

This isn't a "Goodbye Earl" fantasy where a man hits a woman a few times and she decides to murder him. Adrian has the intellectual and financial resources to make the rest of her life complete hell. He is a sociopath.

There are a lot of horror movies in which main characters eventually rise up and kill the person who has been antagonizing them. I don't see the nuance in the film being about the relationship she has with Adrian--I see the nuance in watching a woman coming to terms with understanding something that should be impossible, in the way that the camera pans to the corner of a room and she (and we) have to wonder if it really is empty.

I also don't think that it is comparable to a "rape fantasy". A man wanting to rape a woman out of wounded pride is WAY different than a woman fantasizing about killing or having power over a man who has abused her. Especially when the woman's first instinct was NOT to harm him, but just to get away from him.

I think I find it so difficult to explain this viewpoint because people always make reference to real life and why domestic abuse is bad. But itís not about real life, itís about art and I usually try to view art as abstract. I think it makes for poor, boring, underdeveloped stories with one-dimensional characters who donít grow and always Ďwiní against men disproportionately more often than other tropes, thatís all.
I do think that she grew, though not in a way you liked! Because I think that her growth is about realizing that she has to become as ruthless as the man who is tormenting her. The first two thirds of the film is the emotional journey of her realizing what is happening to her and grappling with whether or not she is going crazy. Then in the third act, once she gets clarity on what is happening, it's about how she will defeat the monster.

Yes, there is a trope of "becoming a monster to defeat a monster", but I felt that the film took common tropes and executed them incredibly well in both the acting and the direction.

I also think that a fantasy of putting down a person who has abused you is incredibly relatable. I mean, go and watch the documentary I just reviewed about domestic abuse. Watch the woman who, two years after rebuilding her life and moving and taking her husband to court, is once again being stalked by him. She can only look incredulous as the social worker tells her she needs to move to a new town and "disappear," but in the same breath warns her that her ex may get angry at her shutting him out and do something "extreme." Consider the look on her face as he says that her husband has just gotten really good at doing creepy things that are not technically illegal. This woman is facing the rest of her life of looking over her shoulder, wondering about any phone call from an unknown number, and not knowing whether or not a person who has threatened her life knows where she lives. She loved this man at one time. She had several children with him. But at a certain point his behavior crossed a line and there just isn't any "nuance" left in her attitude toward him because she just wants to survive.

I'd say it's certainly no worse than the trope of the man avenging the rape/murder of his wife or daughter.

On the other hand, if this is a trope that irks you, that's fine! We all have our storytelling pet peeves.



I'm curious what you think would be left for this character to do. He is clearly not going to stop coming after her. He has hurt or killed multiple people she loves, sabotages her getting a job, etc.
In terms of plotting, I feel a more entertaining take is something like the original Rebecca (updated contextually of course), where she does marry him (maybe even falls pregnant) and leverages her thus obtained status in any way she can. She could discredit him professionally (he could well be intimidating his colleagues as in Novelís Last Will (2012), and science is by nature a precise thing, so he couldn't Ďgaslightí his way out of the predicament), Ďoutí him using that very secure status of a wife and thus make it public & leave him with no way to save his reputation. There was a real life story like that recently where some CEO was filmed in a lift abusing a dog and when that video went viral he lost his job and all the perks that came with that. I think that this would make for a far more entertaining, plot-driven story, in the broad style of Gone Girl where the woman has an elaborate plan to discredit an ex. As creative writing tutors say (Iíve got friends among them), it would give her agency and she would be the one taking action from the get-go, rather than Ďreactingí, which would also nicely avoid the problem of her being the victim.

This isn't a "Goodbye Earl" fantasy where a man hits a woman a few times and she decides to murder him. Adrian has the intellectual and financial resources to make the rest of her life complete hell. He is a sociopath.
Exactly, and I think as far as fiction is concerned, she and the director would be wiser to use those very resources to discredit Adrian.

I don't see the nuance in the film being about the relationship she has with Adrian--I see the nuance in watching a woman coming to terms with understanding something that should be impossible, in the way that the camera pans to the corner of a room and she (and we) have to wonder if it really is empty.
Yes, thatís hair enough and I know weíve discussed this. I do remember what points you made and Iím not ignoring them. Itís just that to me, any such film is and cannot avoid being about the two partiesí relationship, hence my earlier points that I would expect far more time spent on their relationship pre-escape, thatís how I see it. Even Sleeping with the Enemy we had a proper relationship intro showing us how they work as a couple. I stand by my view that thatís necessary.


I also don't think that it is comparable to a "rape fantasy". A man wanting to rape a woman out of wounded pride is WAY different than a woman fantasizing about killing or having power over a man who has abused her. Especially when the woman's first instinct was NOT to harm him, but just to get away from him.
Iím not sure that I agree but I donít know if we want to go into the semantics of that outside the film. I distinctly remember making these points the last time we discussed this film, I.e. that she did make a conscious choice to use his financial resources while it suited her. That is a choice, when you make a choice like that you accept the consequences and the fundamental restrictions on your life and freedom that come with using someone elseís resources. I donít see it as WAY different though Iíll admit it is slightly different.

I do think that she grew, though not in a way you liked!
Yes, exactly. And thatís a preference in terms of what it interests me to see in film. No more, no less.

Because I think that her growth is about realizing that she has to become as ruthless as the man who is tormenting her. The first two thirds of the film is the emotional journey of her realizing what is happening to her and grappling with whether or not she is going crazy. Then in the third act, once she gets clarity on what is happening, it's about how she will defeat the monster.
Sure, except I donít see her as Ďruthlessí at all. She gets her sister and friend involved which is such a clichť - youíd think with her implied understanding what kind of man Adrian is, sheíd know what a selfish and stupid thing it is to do to put someone elseís child in danger. I definitely already made this point here. She is simply relying on other people who suffer for it, how is that ruthless or particularly impressive or laudable?

I also think that a fantasy of putting down a person who has abused you is incredibly relatable. I mean, go and watch the documentary I just reviewed about domestic abuse. Watch the woman who, two years after rebuilding her life and moving and taking her husband to court, is once again being stalked by him. She can only look incredulous as the social worker tells her she needs to move to a new town and "disappear," but in the same breath warns her that her ex may get angry at her shutting him out and do something "extreme." Consider the look on her face as he says that her husband has just gotten really good at doing creepy things that are not technically illegal. This woman is facing the rest of her life of looking over her shoulder, wondering about any phone call from an unknown number, and not knowing whether or not a person who has threatened her life knows where she lives. She loved this man at one time. She had several children with him. But at a certain point his behavior crossed a line and there just isn't any "nuance" left in her attitude toward him because she just wants to survive.

I'd say it's certainly no worse than the trope of the man avenging the rape/murder of his wife or daughter.

On the other hand, if this is a trope that irks you, that's fine! We all have our storytelling pet peeves.
I might have to teach myself to see it as just that. But it does always come up in discussions and I see no harm in exploring it as long as no one gets too annoyed or vexed.



I also think that a fantasy of putting down a person who has abused you is incredibly relatable. I mean, go and watch the documentary I just reviewed about domestic abuse.
What documentary is this? I want to see it.

In terms of plotting, I feel a more entertaining take is something like the original Rebecca (updated contextually of course), where she does marry him (maybe even falls pregnant) and leverages her thus obtained status in any way she can. She could discredit him professionally (he could well be intimidating his colleagues as in Novelís Last Will (2012), and science is by nature a precise thing, so he couldn't Ďgaslightí his way out of the predicament), Ďoutí him using that very secure status of a wife and thus make it public & leave him with no way to save his reputation.
Iím confused. The original Rebecca with Olivier? Are we talking about the same movie?



What documentary is this? I want to see it.



Iím confused. The original Rebecca with Olivier? Are we talking about the same movie?
Yes, I recently rewatched it and if you take Maximís version of events at face value, then Rebecca hated him but refused to divorce, instead choosing to fall pregnant by another man to raise the child as his heir and have a claim to his fortune, besides flirting with the cousin and just deliberately making Maximís life hell. Thatís how he sees it, or tells the nameless protagonist he does. I think in this film youíre not expected to be sceptical as the revisionist approach wasnít in fashion yet.



Yes, I recently rewatched it and if you take Maximís version of events at face value, then Rebecca hated him but refused to divorce, instead choosing to fall pregnant by another man to raise the child as his heir and have a claim to his fortune, besides flirting with the cousin and just deliberately making Maximís life hell. Thatís how he sees it, or tells the nameless protagonist he does. I think in this film youíre not expected to be sceptical as the revisionist approach wasnít in fashion yet.
Got it. I always thought the first half or so of this movie was terrific & then fell apart somewhat with the subplot, which didnít interest me one bit.

Joan Fontaine was so good as the frightened little miss.



Got it. I always thought the first half or so of this movie was terrific & then fell apart somewhat with the subplot, which didnít interest me one bit.

Joan Fontaine was so good as the frightened little miss.
I totally agree with that. Itís an uneven thing and not super-relevant here, just something that came to my mind at the time.



In terms of plotting, I feel a more entertaining take is something like the original Rebecca (updated contextually of course), where she does marry him (maybe even falls pregnant) and leverages her thus obtained status in any way she can.
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As creative writing tutors say (Iíve got friends among them), it would give her agency and she would be the one taking action from the get-go, rather than Ďreactingí, which would also nicely avoid the problem of her being the victim.
The idea of marrying a man you don't want to be with and getting pregnant with his baby just in the hopes that the power this gives you might one day put you in a position to discredit him would be a horrendous attempt at agency.

If someone says they want out of a relationship, they should be allowed out of that relationship.

I mean, pregnancy permanently changes your body. Having a child with someone means that that person is directly connected to you for the rest of your life. And having a baby with Adrian would give him yet another thing to hold over her. There's a reason that there's a stereotype about men who keep their wives "barefoot and pregnant".

Her escaping from him in the beginning is agency. She is making a choice about what she wants and makes it happen.

Iím not sure that I agree but I donít know if we want to go into the semantics of that outside the film. I distinctly remember making these points the last time we discussed this film, I.e. that she did make a conscious choice to use his financial resources while it suited her. That is a choice, when you make a choice like that you accept the consequences and the fundamental restrictions on your life and freedom that come with using someone elseís resources.
How can you say that we don't understand their relationship but then argue that she "made a conscious choice to use his financial resources". I would hope that if I one day agreed to move into a house with someone who made more money than me, it would not be implied that one of the "consequences" of that would be someone keeping me prisoner and deciding that I don't have the right to use birth control. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "a choice like that". Is there ever an implication that she went wild with his money? Or that she was dating him because he was rich?

And how can we say that him keeping her prisoner and sabotaging her birth control is a reasonable consequence of her actions, but her seeking revenge on him for murdering her loved one is not a reasonable consequence of his actions?

Sure, except I donít see her as Ďruthlessí at all. She gets her sister and friend involved which is such a clichť - youíd think with her implied understanding what kind of man Adrian is, sheíd know what a selfish and stupid thing it is to do to put someone elseís child in danger. I definitely already made this point here. She is simply relying on other people who suffer for it, how is that ruthless or particularly impressive or laudable?
She becomes more ruthless at the end.

And getting support from her loved ones is exactly what any abuse victim SHOULD do!

We can't have it both ways. If he is so dangerous that she shouldn't risk even being near her friends, then how is she not justified in seeking revenge? Is she supposed to cower alone in an apartment, waiting to Adrian to do something horrible to her?

Isolating people from their loved ones is Abuser 101. Hurting the people that someone cares about to harm them is also Abuser 101.

Again: what does she do at the beginning? She leaves. That's it. She just leaves. She tries to rebuild her life outside of their relationship. And unless she is putting on one heck of an act for the entire film and even when she is by herself, this is clearly a person who has been traumatized by her experiences, to the extent that she can't bring herself to walk down the sidewalk to check the mail. She relies on her loved ones in the beginning of the film, and then when it becomes clear just how far Adrian will go to hurt her, she becomes more ruthless and begins to fight back.



The idea of marrying a man you don't want to be with and getting pregnant with his baby just in the hopes that the power this gives you might one day put you in a position to discredit him would be a horrendous attempt at agency.
If thatís a view you take, fair enough. I never said it would win any original screenplay prizes. It would depend entirely on how itís done, but I would at least find it refreshing as opposed to the woman-in-trouble-running trope. Besides, people do it, plenty of people are that calculating and see far ahead, as in, Iíll marry him at 19 and divorce at 30 as a wealthy woman with a property portfolio. Iíd say it would depend on how much power and money the man had and how little the woman did.

Her escaping from him in the beginning is agency. She is making a choice about what she wants and makes it happen.
Yes, but itís not as if she wants to move to New Zealand and then does. Itís a choice stemming exclusively from her circumstances, orchestrated solely by Adrian. If she actually had her own narrative and plan outside leaving him, she would have more agency. I am well aware then plenty of critics & reviewers think sheís a very well-rounded character with her own story. I just donít see it - we donít even get to glimpse her drawings.

How can you say that we don't understand their relationship but then argue that she "made a conscious choice to use his financial resources".
Well, thatís the problem, when weíre not told explicitly, we make assumptions. But I would say we are all adults here and we understand that if you live in someoneís huge house and donít pay the bills, thatís not because the house owner has forced you to and is a horrible person. I do feel that more context & background would massively improve the film, but I honestly have very little patience for the argument that you can spend someone elseís money (yes, Adrian was the one that got her to stop working, but she agreed to it, she wasnít literally chained anywhere and we donít even ever see him hurting her physically) because this person made you/ forced you to. I mean, come on. She lives in his house and she doesnít work, that means she at some point came into that house knowing she had far less money and would be dependent on him if she fell sick or for anything, really. I was watching The Nest yesterday - which someone has for the most part completely ****ed up for me, but thatís another matter - and it does a great job at showing what Iím talking about. Allison married a rich guy when she was living in a 1-bed flat with her kid, and yes, he remembers that and will remind her if need be, and itís addressed a few times that she understands she has made a choice to be a rich woman and with that come the bad parts, like moving across the world every 3 years etc. Some will say, well, that film is set in the Ď70s, but Iíd say, thatís reasonable behaviour of someone who has far less financial leverage. Even so, she has savings that she wonít let him touch, which shows she doesnít trust him and decided to keep her own safety net. Cecilia doesnít have any savings and doesnít put away of the spending money that he must give her to at least look presentable, which means sheíd totally happy to spend his money without a second thought. Not splashing, but simply living off it also counts.

I would hope that if I one day agreed to move into a house with someone who made more money than me, it would not be implied that one of the "consequences" of that would be someone keeping me prisoner and deciding that I don't have the right to use birth control. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "a choice like that". Is there ever an implication that she went wild with his money? Or that she was dating him because he was rich?
I mean, we donít actually know about the birth control until much later and neither does she. I donít know, I can totally accept that no one sees it the way I do. And Iíve said this before - I never intend to antagonise you when weíre having these conversations. I just think itís so self-explanatory, she is a person who has always had to earn a living. She has no capital, even the lifestyle that comes with living with Adrian means she canít pay for anything they do even if she wanted to. I think when women come into these relationships they know theyíre dependent. They know itís dangerous in many senses of the word and still do it. And this is completely separate from barefoot and pregnant and imprisoned and so on. He has cameras in the house not just to soy on her but because heís a control freak who conducts secret experiments likely involving parents he wouldnít want stolen and he simply has money, all that makes the cameras reasonable. Who says all the cameras are exclusively on her account to keep her prisoner? How about the reclusive billionaire trope that wants to hide away in his fortress?

And how can we say that him keeping her prisoner and sabotaging her birth control is a reasonable consequence of her actions, but her seeking revenge on him for murdering her loved one is not a reasonable consequence of his actions?
What I do agree with you on is thereís no way to resolve these kinds of narratives in any other way, thatís why I find them reductive. In the stories about men seeking revenge, you can have any kind of resolution - failed revenge, man chooses to keep personal enemy alive (e.g. Quantum of Solace), man being killed during his act of revenge, man marrying enemyís love interest, finding out the said enemy was his father/brother, et cetera, ad infinitum. But female revenge always ends with the woman killing the man, thatís it. Iím not trying to out-argue you about anything, but I think none of the above makes for a good story. If something isnít a good story on a narrative level, even if it does happen in real life, just donít make films about it.

We can't have it both ways. If he is so dangerous that she shouldn't risk even being near her friends, then how is she not justified in seeking revenge? Is she supposed to cower alone in an apartment, waiting to Adrian to do something horrible to her?
Itís kind of the only scenario I can envisage, but I do appreciate that would not make for a good story, either. The tension rests on the invisibility gimmick, which is why the film mostly works. But if it wasnít for that, there no development at all. Seriously, even if she did stay and cower alone and was killed, in terms of storytelling, it would be pretty original.



If thatís a view you take, fair enough. I never said it would win any original screenplay prizes. It would depend entirely on how itís done, but I would at least find it refreshing as opposed to the woman-in-trouble-running trope. Besides, people do it, plenty of people are that calculating and see far ahead, as in, Iíll marry him at 19 and divorce at 30 as a wealthy woman with a property portfolio. Iíd say it would depend on how much power and money the man had and how little the woman did.
But this is assuming that her goal is to get back at him. She doesn't want revenge. She wants to get out of an abusive/controlling relationship.

Yes, but itís not as if she wants to move to New Zealand and then does. Itís a choice stemming exclusively from her circumstances, orchestrated solely by Adrian. If she actually had her own narrative and plan outside leaving him, she would have more agency. I am well aware then plenty of critics & reviewers think sheís a very well-rounded character with her own story. I just donít see it - we donít even get to glimpse her drawings.
But that is how abuse works! When you are basically being controlled by another person and possibly in physical danger from them, getting away is the priority. Survival comes before career ambitions.

Well, thatís the problem, when weíre not told explicitly, we make assumptions. But I would say we are all adults here and we understand that if you live in someoneís huge house and donít pay the bills, thatís not because the house owner has forced you to and is a horrible person.
I feel like we didn't watch the same film. If being in that house was a choice, why did she have to sneak out in the middle of the night? And it wasn't embarrassed sneaking---it was "running for my life" sneaking. And if he's not a horrible person, why is his response to her leaving him to run after her like a psychopath?

Many relationships that involve abuse and control do not start out that way. Sorry to keep going back to that documentary, but the one woman talks about once she lived with her husband, every day when he went to work he would take her wallet (to keep it safe, naturally!) so that she didn't have her driver's license. He kept all of her credit cards in a safe.

I'm not recalling the exact wording, but I'm pretty sure there is a part where she alludes to sexual abuse. But even if he doesn't physically/sexually abuse her, it doesn't matter. The most abusive relationships I have seen from people I know have not involved someone having a hand laid on them. They have included: breaking into someone's personal e-mail and sending messages "from" them to others; making threats of self-harm; using children as emotional weapons (saying in front of a child things like "No daddy can't stay because mommy has decided she's mad at him"; not showing up for custody visits and saying "I wanted to come but your mom doesn't want me there"; literally not picking them up from a summer camp so often that the camp took the children to a police station where the police then called mom); calling their workplace and/or embarrassing them intentionally in front of co-worker; etc.

And, honestly, even the most conniving, gold-digging person does not deserve to be held captive and also be
WARNING: spoilers below
impregnated against their consent
No amount of frivolous spending on her part (which we get no hint of) means that she "owes" him what he tries to take from her. To me, that is morally black-and-white. Human beings are not commodities. You don't get to invest a certain amount of money in them and then get to "own" them. Plus, Adrian's desire to control her clearly isn't about money. It's about "How dare you leave me? How dare you not do what I want?"

I mean, we donít actually know about the birth control until much later and neither does she. I donít know, I can totally accept that no one sees it the way I do. And Iíve said this before - I never intend to antagonise you when weíre having these conversations. I just think itís so self-explanatory, she is a person who has always had to earn a living. She has no capital, even the lifestyle that comes with living with Adrian means she canít pay for anything they do even if she wanted to. I think when women come into these relationships they know theyíre dependent. They know itís dangerous in many senses of the word and still do it. And this is completely separate from barefoot and pregnant and imprisoned and so on. He has cameras in the house not just to soy on her but because heís a control freak who conducts secret experiments likely involving parents he wouldnít want stolen and he simply has money, all that makes the cameras reasonable. Who says all the cameras are exclusively on her account to keep her prisoner? How about the reclusive billionaire trope that wants to hide away in his fortress?
If Adrian wants to hide away in his mansion, go for it.

But agreeing to be in a relationship where you are financially dependent (though, at the same time, it seems pretty clear she would have been more than capable of making a living and supporting herself), is not the same as agreeing to be someone's prisoner.

Any relationship where one partner cannot walk out the door when they want to is not a healthy relationship. It is not okay. No person has the right to dominate a person and disregard their consent.

And it's clearly not about the money, as evidenced by the part where she is offered a bunch of money and doesn't want to take it and has to be talked into it.

What I do agree with you on is thereís no way to resolve these kinds of narratives in any other way, thatís why I find them reductive. In the stories about men seeking revenge, you can have any kind of resolution - failed revenge, man chooses to keep personal enemy alive (e.g. Quantum of Solace), man being killed during his act of revenge, man marrying enemyís love interest, finding out the said enemy was his father/brother, et cetera, ad infinitum. But female revenge always ends with the woman killing the man, thatís it. Iím not trying to out-argue you about anything, but I think none of the above makes for a good story. If something isnít a good story on a narrative level, even if it does happen in real life, just donít make films about it.
I think it is a good story because of the suspense and the performances that are lifting up a story that has a lot of typical revenge tropes. It's not the story itself that is worth attention, it's how well it is executed. Much the way I feel about John Wick or The Man from Nowhere.

I also thought that the direction was interesting and the effects were used very, well, effectively. I saw it in a theater and there were gasps and cheers from the audience.

I would argue that male revenge basically always ends with the man (protagonist) killing the man (antagonist). I agree that there are films with different endings, but they aren't big-budget horror/thrillers. Waiting for her to get the upper hand on Adrian was what kept me hooked into the film. To me it's not about the ending itself (because, again, 99% of revenge films end with the good guy killing the bad guy), it's the journey to that ending.

I don't feel antagonized, but I stand by my feeling that her fear and paranoia, as well as Adrian's later actions, tell us everything we need to know about their relationship. It is, after all, a monster movie. And the man who
WARNING: spoilers below
knifes an unsuspecting, innocent woman because he can't handle being left by a romantic partner . . . he's the monster



But this is assuming that her goal is to get back at him. She doesn't want revenge. She wants to get out of an abusive/controlling relationship.
I wrote you a reply this morning, but it vanished before I could send it. Oh, the joys of using the mobile version. Not a bad thing, as it gave me a chance to go over it again and be more specific.

But that is how abuse works! When you are basically being controlled by another person and possibly in physical danger from them, getting away is the priority. Survival comes before career ambitions.
I feel like we didn't watch the same film. Ö.Many relationships that involve abuse and control do not start out that way.
To me, itís not that we watched two different films, but that we take different methodological stances. I believe we need to distinguish between how we talk about films and how we talk about domestic abuse in real life.

Separating fiction from life is, in my view, the only way to be able to enjoy the Ďaestheticí, side of art (I think @Iroquois and I had a conversation about this in the Shoutbox in relation to Cabaret or Sound of Music, canít remember). When I watch a film, I root for the more entertaining character. Not the Shakespearean fool as much as the one that Ďacts outĒ. That doesnít always mean itís the villain. But this is partly why I keep banging on about the lack of backstory in the film. Cecelia is not entertaining and it doesnít matter whether this is because in real life, she wouldnít be.

If Cecelia had a personality outside this relationship, if she smoked weed, for Godís sake, or did anything of note, such as watching porn while Adrian was asleep, that would keep me hooked. This has nothing to do with Ďcareer ambitionsí. Yes, I do understand being in an abusive relationship leaves no room for personal growth or building new skills, but this is where we need to distinguish between life and fiction. Yes, I do understand that she would be, in short, too scared to do anything whatsoever of any interest, but that is boring to me as a viewer and consumer.

Creating a film or a novel means arranging events in a particular order to create an artificial semblance of progression and development, which is what we call a narrative. This is especially the case in a genre film. We know that is not how life works, things do not all progress to a conclusion, nothing gets resolved, but this is what I expect in a work of fiction (unless itís some post-modern experiment). Even if in real life, Cecelia would have lost all sense of identity and agency in this relationship, this is not enough of a justification to make her interesting to me.

In Gone Girl, Amy Elliott-Dunne is fascinating because she schemes, she sets up Desi, she has her own weird and fascinating personality, and she entertains, while we still sympathise with her a bit because Nick cheated. (Could also note that we do get a lot of Nick-Amy flashbacks and that Amy has a hell of a backstory with the books about her). Amy is fun to watch. Cecelia isnít. You have explained very well why Cecelia isnít, but why should I be engrossed?

I keep brining up Gone Girl,, because this is another film in the broad genre of Ďdomestic thrillerí. (Incidentally, Gone Girl does show both sides and shows both parties as having been at fault in the past in some way.) Even Adrian is, as you say, a Ďmonsterí, he is more entertaining than Cecelia is (which is bad news as he is also quite boring).

Sorry to keep going back to that documentary, but the one woman talks about once she lived with her husband, every day when he went to work he would take her wallet (to keep it safe, naturally!) so that she didn't have her driver's license. He kept all of her credit cards in a safe.
Do go back to it all you want. If you PM me a link, Iíll watch it, sounds fascinating. I really mean that. But think about. Letís make a narrative film about this specific woman, for argumentís sake. She had everything taken away from her and then told the world about it. I will definitely watch this thing now, but while I havenít, I can confidently say what already interest me most is how she ended up in this relationship. Backstory. We are back to square one.

If Adrian wants to hide away in his mansion, go for itÖ ÖI think it is a good story because of the suspense and the performances that are lifting up a story that has a lot of typical revenge tropes. It's not the story itself that is worth attention, it's how well it is executed. Much the way I feel about John Wick or The Man from Nowhere. I also thought that the direction was interesting and the effects were used very, well, effectively.

I saw it in a theater and there were gasps and cheers from the audience. I would argue that male revenge basically always ends with the man (protagonist) killing the man (antagonist). I agree that there are films with different endings, but they aren't big-budget horror/thrillers.

Waiting for her to get the upper hand on Adrian was what kept me hooked into the film. To me it's not about the ending itself (because, again, 99% of revenge films end with the good guy killing the bad guy), it's the journey to that ending. I don't feel antagonized, but I stand by my feeling that her fear and paranoia, as well as Adrian's later actions, tell us everything we need to know about their relationship. It is, after all, a monster movie. And the man who
WARNING: spoilers below
knifes an unsuspecting, innocent woman because he can't handle being left by a romantic partner . . . he's the monster
I see your point, I really do. Iím doing my best to articulate why that approach to characterisation is not enough for me.

If her paranoia and fear tell us Ďall we need to knowí, fine. I appreciate this is a conscious choice Whannel made. He is telling her story, focussing on her perception, doing his best not to take away from it, because this is the kind of film he wanted to make. But it then becomes (for argumentís sake, letís ignore the invisibility gimmick) a story about her feelings. There is nothing to it except her knowing she is right and the world telling her she is crazy. It is her feeling versus objective reality. This is why I feel this kind of film needs more characterisation than John Wick. If Whannel makes a choice to focus on her feelings, then she should be more interesting. You canít, as you say, have it both ways. John Wick gives me gorgeous fight scenes and Kill Bill-style fight choreography. The Invisible Man gives me Cecelia figuring things out.

There are millions of films like that that have nothing to do with domestic abuse, all the way to Prisoners where Loki has a gut feeling Alex Jones has something to do with the girlsí kidnapping, but canít prove it. If itís just about that, about knowing you are in the right but have no evidence and feeling undermine by that, then in a sense that makes it even more trivial. How is it a Ďmonsterí movie if all we are concerned with is whether or not she is crazy? Itís what I would call an entirely inward-facing plotline, like A Beautiful Mind, where the resolution depends on John Nash realising he is schizophrenic (shorthand here). Cecelia, conversely, realises she is not crazy. All she desires as a character is to get out of the relationship, you have convinced me Is that all it is? All Iím getting is Ďno, this character is not crazyí. But then this is where I will again readily admit this is something Iíve always hated. I hated A Beautiful Mind. So, perhaps you got to the bottom of it and I have reservations about it because underneath the invisibility-cloak-gimmick exterior, it boils down to the ĎAm I crazy?í narrative.



Besides, people do it, plenty of people are that calculating and see far ahead, as in, Iíll marry him at 19 and divorce at 30 as a wealthy woman with a property portfolio.
Depends on which state she lives in here in America. If she lives on the west coast she might get half. If she lives on the east coast she might get an equitable distribution.

If she lives where property owned by either party before the marriage is off the table, then she wonít succeed.

Eleven years of marriage might not be considered substantial depending on where she lives.

But, good luck to her!