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Date Posted: 11:15:39 03/03/09 Tue
Author: Icaredor
Subject: What's the point of everything?
In reply to: Stef 's message, "Re: Very elaborated thoughts about the movie, congratulations, Icaredor" on 09:34:04 02/22/09 Sun

Hey, Stef,
Paulie dying is the only explanation that makes sense to me, but there is so much going on at the end of the movie that I have trouble interpreting.
The scene at night in the woods, for example, is as mystifying as it is horrible and beautiful. Like Lady Macbeth, Paulie is summoning up evil spirits (the hawk) to give her the guts to do something so terrible (murder) that it will make day turn to night (dark noon). Why does she need Mary for this? The moment when Paulie has Mary feed herself (mouse) to “the beast” makes for truly terrible imagery.
And why does Mary go along with it? Either she doesn’t understand what Paulie is drawing her into, or the incantations in the wood put her under a spell that she breaks free from when Paulie stabs Jake. Paulie seems to come out of a trance as well when Mary grabs her. (I believe Paulie would have killed Jake otherwise). Paulie’s suicide might then be, in part, due to her realization that she has become a homicidal monster.
I wonder about the denouement too. Mary’s final voice over provides a ‘positive’ conclusion: Paulie’s spirit it free from the pain it was suffering, and Mary is realigned with the good represented by her mother. But both the script and the cinematography suggest that Mary maybe fooling herself. The script has Mary say that when she looks up she sees her mother’s face “like a flame across the sky.” This, though, as Judy Thompson knows, is a famous expression used to describe Lady Macbeth [“her spirit shot like a flame across the sky, and then fell headlong down the dark abyss of night”]. And Lea Pool doesn’t leave us with a positive visual image. As Mary finishes her speech, the audience isn’t looking at her mother’s face, it’s looking into the eyes of “the raptor...the killer…the beast,” still prowling the skies looking for a little mouse to eat.

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