May

The 2002 American drama/horror picture May, a seemingly modern take on the mythological test Pygmalion and Galatea , depicts a macabre and grotesque imagery of the pitfalls of obsessive perfectionism and the impact of cruel marginalization on the psyche of a developmentally isolated individual. The film finds itself within the boundaries of realistic horror wherein the possibility of the events portrayed in the film happening in real life would be incredibly high. The psychological dilemma of the protagonist May falls within the precepts of abnormal psychology wherein the value of perfection being grounded since childhood by an authority figure transcends to adulthood and, as the film depicts it, a violent execution of finding perfection in an imperfect world. The persistent marginalization of May exacerbates her already damaged psyche pushing her further into isolation and violent psychosis. The movie in itself falls within the boundary between thriller and horror genres but the dramatic atmosphere juxtaposed against dim landscape of the setting purports the sense of a psychosis developing within the protagonist. This becomes a prominent focus of the film due to it serving as an auxiliary to the premise of the film. For the most part of the film, the audience would surmise that the frequency of the setbacks in May’s life would lead to some decline in her psychological ability to function as a normal individual, which in this case becomes the truth. It is only within the latter portion of the film that we truly see what May intends to do as caused by the frequent failed relationships that littered her life. The slicing and splicing of the multitude of her “friends” and “suitors” followed by the Frankenstein-esque monstrosity created at the end of the film would be the eidolon of her dysfunctional perfectionism. The movie ends with her own grotesque sacrifice of her one eye to her creation thus leading to her downfall but not before seeing her creation come to life in a Galatea-esque manner. It remains a question whether the “breath of life” in her creation could be considered a conception of her avid wishes or was it a de facto human being. Whatever the answer may be, the fact remains that the true horror in her film was no merely the breaking of her sanity and the slaughtering of her relations, but in the dedication and sacrifice she had given to the fruition of her idealistic inception of a “friend.”

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