Review – Waking Madison (2011)

df5rLpzg08jgIqiSvBvg5xuiINPWelcome to Mind Control Month | Mental Health Week – Day 5. We’ve done it, y’all. We’ve gotten through an entire themed month and four individually themed weeks based on that month. This is the last day for Mental Health Week, and I’ll have a brand new themed month for you – Movies on Media. Each week will be a movie based off of a different kind of media – first up, we’ll be looking at movies about movies, but that’s next week. Today, we’re going to look at Waking Madison, a film I saw listed on an article about one of the most accurate depictions of multiple personalities disorder – though…I feel like that should’ve been more of a spoiler than an actual part of advertising, because I feel like they were trying to keep that a secret…but then again, I still didn’t guess everything that ultimately happened in the film.

In New Orleans, Madison Walker suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID) and tries to commit suicide. She is treated together with other patients by the psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Barnes. Madison has an estranged mother, who is a religious fanatic woman, and her father was neglectful with her when she was younger. When Madison leaves the psychiatric hospital, she goes to her old apartment. Then she decides to lock herself in the apartment for thirty day expecting to find why she is so messed up since she has neither friend not a job. On the 30th day, Madison makes an important discovery about Dr. Barnes and her patients. (IMDb)

First impressions? Well, you automatically get the feeling that this deserves to be in film festivals because it does feel pretty darn independent overall, but at the same time, you’ll notice that the acting is pretty superb from beginning to end. The main problem the film runs into is pacing. It’s completely out-of-order, on purpose, but even after seeing the film, I’m a little confused as to why it needed to be as out-of-order as it is. While I do think it was partially needed, it does go over the top as a whole, which makes things a little convoluted, unfortunately.

Like I said, though, this is all just first impressions on a grander scheme of things. Let’s go ahead and break down Waking Madison to interpret the stars, shall we?

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PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 2

First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting, and thankfully, the acting was noticeably great. These characters were diverse, unique, and most importantly, memorable. I am convinced that nobody else can play these characters. They are perfect for these roles. In this film, there were characters that certainly held independent importance and purpose, but not enough. The main characters basically held the importance while everyone else sorta blended together. Everyone in this film really worked well together. Their chemistry was off the charts.

WRITING SCORE – 4/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 0|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 1

Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. Talk about a busy film. This is basically as over-convoluted as you can get a film. That means it’s either got too many locations, storylines, characters, or a combination of those things, which this film definitely has. When it comes to the actual story, I can’t really say it’s the best. It’s got a few things here and there that I think a lot of people will enjoy, but it’s certainly not the greatest story ever told. Is the film original? Well, I think elements of the film definitely feel fresh and new, but there’s always an itching feeling that we’ve seen this film before…so it’s not as original as it could’ve been. I’d say I was interested enough to watch the film, but as I watched the movie, my interested died down pretty rapidly and was gone before the film ended.

BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1

Next up, we’re taking a look behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals, and the visuals were pretty darn great here. Somebody knew what they were doing. Next, we’re taking a look at the directing, which slips by without you noticing it. That’s right, there wasn’t anything difficult or challenging for the director. They could’ve hired any director for the job and the movie would be exactly the same. The editing was pretty darn impressive in this film. I’m always impressed when something surprising shows up thanks to the editor, and that is what you get here. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as-advertised, which is good. There wasn’t anything fancy or memorable about the music. It was basically as good as it needed to be in order to keep the tone in place…and that’s what they did here, as well.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 6/10
Introduction – 0|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 1|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1

Next up, we’re taking a look at the narrative arc category, quite possibly the easiest category to score pretty highly in, which is surprising, given how the introduction really doesn’t exist here. While it does what it needs to do, there is no real clear intro…which is weird. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Well, I’ll say this much…there weren’t much. There was one main obstacle that they worked on for a while, but that was about it. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Alright, so how was the falling action? Well, it started to calm things down a little bit, but other than that, not the best. You never get the sensation that they are returning to a new norm, so it’s not a complete falling action.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 1/10
Rewatchability – 0|Fun – 0|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 1

Now, we get to ask the age-old question on if this movie is even entertaining! It’s not the best start since I wouldn’t rewatch it if my life depended on it. Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but I honestly don’t see me ever looking for it in order to see it again. What about its ability to b fun? Sorry, but this movie is about as boring as it gets. I didn’t have fun watching it, I wanted to stop it and leave! Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? Maybe in certain parts, but definitely not throughout.

SPECIALTY SCORE – 35/50
Monthly Theme – 0|Weekly Theme – 10|Drama – 10|Mystery – 5|Halfway Decent – 10

Now we’re onto the specialty categories that I wrote before seeing the film. How does this fit into the monthly theme of mind control? Not very well. While you can assume a lot of that is going on, it never flat out says that’s what’s going on or draws much focus on that theory. For the weekly theme of mental health, this film was filled to the brim with mental issues, so absolutely full points. Next, we’re looking at genre-specific subcategores. How was the drama? Yeah…there’s a lot of emotionally-charged scenes in this one – full points. How about the mystery? While I can say you’re confused while watching and you want to know what’ll happen at the end of the 30 days, it’s so convoluted that you lose focus on that mystery – half points. Finally, would I consider this halfway decent? Yes. Full points there.

TOTAL – 63/100

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