"Girl Interrupted": Movie Review

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About this sample


Words: 489 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Nov 15, 2018

Words: 489|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Nov 15, 2018

This article is about very interesting movie named girl interrupted. I am happy to write this article, because this movie inspired me a lot when I first watched it. Being psychologists this movie is a must watch as it holds many important points that every psychologist has to know. Girl interrupted movie portrays very beautifully the life of the patients in a psychiatric institution. This movie was first released in the year 1999. It is a psychological drama film. The movie plot goes like this:

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In the spring of 1967, while everyone else in her senior class seems to be making plans for college, Susanna consumes a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of vodka. “My hands have no bones,” she observes. Soon, with a push from her family, she has committed herself to Claymoore, an upscale psychiatric institution. The diagnosis? “Borderline personality disorder,” say the shrinks. A supervising nurse played by Whoopi Goldberg offers her own diagnosis: “You are a lazy, self-indulgent little girl who is driving yourself crazy.” Winona Ryder plays Susanna Kaysen, whose real-life memoir tells of how she lost two years of her life by stumbling onto the psychiatric conveyor belt. Although mental illness is real and terrifying, the movie argues that perfectly sane people like Susanna can become institutionalized simply because once they’re inside the system there is the assumption that something must be wrong with them.

Goldberg’s nurse has seen this process at work and warns Susanna: “Do not drop anchor here.” But Susanna fits easily into the cocoon of Claymoore, where the other women include a rebel misfit named Lisa (Angelina Jolie), a roommate named Georgina (Clea Duvall) who would like to live in the land of Oz, the burn victim Polly (Elisabeth Moss), and the deeply troubled Daisy (Brittany Murphy). The staff is headed by a bureaucrat (Jeffrey Tambor) and an intelligent but detached psychiatrist (Vanessa Redgrave).

The film unfolds in an episodic way. Themes make an appearance from time to time, but not consistently; the film is mostly about character and behaviour and although there are individual scenes of powerful acting, there doesn’t seem to be a destination. That’s why the conclusion is so unsatisfying: The story, having failed to provide itself with character conflicts that can be resolved with drama, turns to melodrama instead.

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One problem is the ambivalent nature of Susanna’s condition (“ambivalent” is one of her favourite words). She isn’t disturbed enough to require treatment, but she becomes strangely absorbed inside Claymoore, as if it provides structure and entertainment she misses on the outside. Certainly Lisa is an inspiration, with her cool self-confidence masking deep wounds. Instead of being in a women’s dorm at college, Susanna is in a women’s dorm at Claymoore, where her subject of study is herself. Susanna is not therefore a captive of an evil system but someone seduced by a careless one, and there is the temptation to suspect she deserves what she gets.

Works Cited

  1. Davis, L. (2003). Girl interrupted: The book and the film. Film Criticism, 27(1), 49-64.
  2. Frank, L. (2004). Girl interrupted: Women writing about mental illness. New York, NY: Random House.
  3. Kaysen, S. (1994). Girl, interrupted. New York, NY: Vintage.
  4. Kaysen, S. (1999). The camera my mother gave me. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
  5. Kaysen, S. (2000). Girl, interrupted (Movie Tie-in Edition). New York, NY: Vintage.
  6. McLean, A. (2009). Girl, interrupted: A personal story of borderline personality disorder. New York, NY: Hyperion.
  7. Moss, G. (2000). Girl interrupted: The connections between women and depression. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
  8. Peterson, L. (2006). Girl, interrupted: A feminist assessment. Women's Studies in Communication, 29(1), 35-58.
  9. Weis, R. (2009). Girl, interrupted: From page to screen. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 37(2), 68-74.
  10. Whalen, M. A. (2004). Representing madness: Girl, interrupted and the politics of film adaptation. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 32(2), 50-58.
Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

“Girl Interrupted”: Movie Review. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from
““Girl Interrupted”: Movie Review.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
“Girl Interrupted”: Movie Review. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2024].
“Girl Interrupted”: Movie Review [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from:
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