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Madness of Many (2013)

Madness of Many

A so-so independent effort. Mediocre. It has its moments of greatness, but is also shrouded in moments where it loses itself. Its biggest problem? Trying to be something it’s far from.

The film is broken up into 4 Chapters, which begins at ‘Birth’ and ends with ‘Rebirth’. We have an abused girl, who is a self-confessed prostitute and drug addict, because you know, that’s a great way to get connected and feel for a character… we don’t really know anything else about her, and she’s the most fleshed out character in the film. This is literally all we learn from her. She is heavily abused by her family during her early childhood, raped, starved and the like. She eventually escapes, only to be tricked by an unknown and unseen person into becoming a part of something that is never once explained, or grounded.

We awake with her in a room, where she (along with several other girls all in separate rooms) are bound and tortured… the reason being… well, there isn’t one. The film comes across as the character, Victoria, is undergoing some rite of passage, some understanding of her purpose in life; something that is never really explained. During the entire duration of the film we are subjected to a soliloquy-like dialogue of what she is thinking, said with little to no enthusiasm. These are really the only sense of speech present in the film that make an impact. They also tend to beat you over the head with information we already know, instead of expanding on the current situations, or even wondering why what’s happening is happening, we instead are just repeatedly told how awful her life is. Yawn.

The film isn’t without its merits though; the effects in the film are extremely well done, and really stand out. There’s a decent amount of them too, and some of it is fairly gruesome stuff. One of the more effective effects are the regurgitating of blood, although not explained as to how or why it happens, there are also multiple scenes in which characters are self-gagging themselves to the point of regurgitation, to the point where a lot of blood flows freely and makes a nice mess. It’s done in such a believable way that in some scenes it’s nauseating.

In addition to the nice effects there are also a few scattered yet impressive forms of imagery, not overly serving a significant purpose overall, yet they are still striking and memorable. The film’s issue is the fact these scenes don’t add much to the story being told, which is very vague to begin with. It requires more sustenance, more thought to become what it’s trying to be; which is one’s journey to find, and understand the reason for her being. The figures driving these acts of cruelty are nameless, speechless and faceless. They also appear to have zero motives, something which irked me. There’s no rape of the ‘subjects’ so there is nothing sexual in the acts.

Once all is said and done, Madness of Many falls short of itself, its brief moments of exceptional effects, and imagery are sadly not enough to compel the film which, in all other areas is rather bland and uninspiring, and devoid of any real emotion. It ends up looking like a poor attempt at a ‘Martyrs’ type of film, but it totally lacks the piston-like forceful impact of the punch which that film so expertly delivers with its execution and powerful, yet morbid message of religious extremism.

My closing thoughts on the film are that though it isn’t terrible, it’s neither really memorable, and not something I’ll likely watch again. However, with that said I do feel it is worth a watch if you’re a fan of the independent market, as the film does have some redeeming qualities, they are just too few and don’t propel the film’s overall message to a satisfactory level, which leaves us with a film that’s more mediocre than anything.

General Ox

5/10

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