Gothika (2003) is a English movie. Mathieu Kassovitz has directed this movie. Halle Berry,Penélope Cruz,Robert Downey Jr.,Charles S. Dutton are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2003. Gothika (2003) is considered one of the best Horror,Mystery,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
Dr. Miranda Grey is a psychiatrist who works in a penitentiary, in the mental institution sector. She is married with Dr. Douglas Grey, the chief of department where Dr. Pete Graham also works. Chloe Sava, a patient of Dr. Miranda formerly abused by her stepfather, claims that she is frequently raped by the devil in her cell. After leaving the asylum in a stormy night, Dr. Miranda has a car accident, and when she wakes up, she is an inmate of the institution, being accused of an horrible crime and having no memory of the incident.
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Stars operating at the level of Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz are bound to disappoint critics along the way, especially when the critics are just waiting for some sign of weakness upon which to feed. While there is nothing wrong with any of the acting in this film - these are not the kinds of roles Oscar winners and nominees are expected to indulge in. What's more, Berry and Cruz signed onto a film made by a production team which has typecast itself with some fairly disappointing ghost stories / horror films involving big-names in the recent past. Finally, this is one of those cases where the trailer was so good that the film could not possibly follow it. So what? If you approach this film without expectations, and with an open mind, you will be entertained. It's a tight, disturbing psychological/supernatural thriller which, though a little predictable at times, nevertheless offers some frightening imagery and a few good solid scares. That said, this is not a film for people who have trouble paying attention or for people who need straightforward answers. If you don't really pay attention to what is going on in this film, you could easily dismiss it as a more adult version of Sixth Sense or just another dumb ghost story. This film deserves more credit than that. Personally, I don't think it's a ghost story at all- but that is a question best left open. I have seen a number of films by this team - House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts and Ghost Ship. Of these, I found 13 Ghosts and the House on Haunted Hill to be entertaining, but not very intelligent. Ghost Ship was tremendously disappointing - even Gabriel Byrne could not save that film. Gothika is easily the best of the lot, and also the darkest. The film is shot in dark blue, black and gray tones, and the use of lighting is nothing short of artistic. Despite the cliché title, the occasional plot clichés, and all the negative publicity generated by critics, I found this film to be surprisingly entertaining, intelligent, and disturbing. Most of the 'plot holes' cited by some reviewers here on IMDb are more likely gaps in the attention spans of the viewers themselves or intentional ambiguities designed by the production team. This, unlike any of this team's previous work, does not provide unambiguous explanations. Cruz and Berry are, respectively, patient and psychiatrist in a high security prison for the criminally insane. The Gothic environment of this facility is not meant to be realistic, but surreal, and the effect works. From the first time you see the place, you question its own reality. The film constantly manipulates mood through cinematographic techniques like this. Shortly after the film opens, Berry finds herself experiencing what some of her allegedly delusional patients talk to her about. Robert Downey's portrayal of her friend and, now, therapist, is uneven, but satisfactory. To describe the rest of the plot would require spoilers, so I won't bother. Suffice to say that even the occasional predictability of this film did not detract from my enjoyment of it. The film uses just enough ambiguity to permit the audience to wonder whether what they are seeing is really happening or whether it is a product of our protagonist's subconscious mind. And then, in the end, the film makes you question whether it matters.
'Gothika' may be looked at as an exercise in style. The plot is about a psychologist in a women's prison who wakes up one day to find herself on the other side of the bars, accused of having murdered her husband. She needs to prove her innocence, but the film is not what you expect. There will be not too much logic in what follows, and the borders between reality and halucination seem to be crossed by the director and script writer, not only by the characters. What saves the film is the excellent acting of Halle Berry, Penelope, Cruz, Robert Downey Jr., and all the rest of the cast, the haunting setting, and the way the atmosphere is being build. The institution looks like some gothic building from outside, with blue lighted corridors inside creating an appropriate setting for the mood of the characters. Rain seems to poor almost permanently, kind of reflecting the fluid state of mind of the characters. This film will not be easy to forget for me. Despite its ridiculous script and the conventional way the plot is being solved, the quality of the cinema is above average. Halle Berry is fantastic, and may have bought back her acting in a James Bond movie. Uneven but still memorable. 7/10 on my personal scale.
Halle Berry plays brilliant criminal psychologist, Dr. Miranda Grey; an expert in what is rational, logical and sane. After she encounters a mysterious young girl, she finds herself confined to the institute in which she once worked; along side the patients she once treated. She has to rationalise what is real in her own mind, before she loses it forever. The setting and atmosphere that is created in Gothika is excellent, and the movie is definitely creepy enough to jangle your nerves. Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz and Robert Downey Jnr all fit into their roles nicely; the problem is plain and simple. The storyline and script are too weak to achieve what this movie sets out to do, and because of some lame dialogue and a flawed plot the movie only manages to be decent; when it really should have been great. 6/10 It's still worth watching.
I'm not sure why so many critics hated this movie. I suspect that it has a great deal with how the movie was marketed. It is not a horror film, plain and simple. It isn't quite a ghost story, either. It is most definitely a psychological thriller. But, most important, I actually think the film delivers a series of important message about what truth means, what sanity means and what the costs are of seeing and understanding the world only with logic and not with your heart and intuition. When I first saw the film, I was confused--I did not fully comprehend the whole ghost component (perhaps b/c of the misleading marketing). Nevertheless, I was intrigued and have since seen it several times. It gets better. I am using it to teach film (specifically ghost films) in a college level class because it uses and sometimes breaks with cinematic conventions in a way that is rather intelligent. The cinematographic technique is handled well and I appreciated the artful use of tracking shots, match cutting, close-ups. I didn't feel that any one type of shot was overused or misused. Lighting is another example. Some may find the use of light heavy handed in this film. But I think it is used effectively to underscore the film's themes (academic-knowledge vs. intuitive knowledge; science vs. spirituality/ the supernatural; sanity vs. madness and where the truth fits into that). I also found the lighting downright pretty to look at. I have read some critiques that mention that the film is preposterous and unbelievable, hinting that these problems stem from the film completely ignoring the conventions of realism. OF COURSE, the film is not realistic. No correctional facility would ever be as dimly lit; no psychiatrist would ever be allowed to be incarcerated with her former patients. I didn't think the plot was preposterous. It's outrageousness--that someone so accomplished as Doug or as boring as the sheriff could actually be sadistic and violent is part of the message . . . all is not as it seems. The film relies heavily on convention. But I actually found that the intentional use of these conventions very satisfying. Water imagery, lightning storms, eerie music, light/dark, Devil/God, "vision,"--they were all used purposely and to good effect. A good example is the flickering lights--everyone knows that ghosts have electromagnetic effects in ghost movies, but it's how they are used and set up as part of the "science vs. supernatural" theme that makes it interesting. So I wouldn't call this film clichéd. I would say "stylized" and very self-conscious. The other think I liked upon further viewing is the juxtaposition of normalcy with the cinematic atmosphere of creepiness. There are "realistic" touches in several scenes--for example, Miranda and the guard's chit-chat about swimming and her comment "Say hi to your wife" and the sheriff's "Say hi to Doug for me" as Amanda pulls away from the roadblock for a truly life-changing detour. But these are clearly placed ON PURPOSE into the heavy-handed ominous setting for effect. The effect on me was very de-centering and I found in retrospect that technique itself foreshadowed Miranda's transition from the "sane" to the "insane." Other details struck me as well: the way you are right in Miranda's head in her relationship with the nurse. In the beginning, they are just typical colleagues, complaining about the lighting problems. But when that nurse came in to give Miranda her "breakfast" of meds, she was so freakin' annoying I could really feel how an asylum might actually enhance insanity. Then the nurse goes on to tell Miranda to take a shower and "Wash away her sins." Never caught that sadistic little exchange on the first viewing. Again--clichéd? I would argue intentionally stylized. I'll mention one more detail because I think it says a lot. When the guards are searching for Miranda and circling the pool, they are carrying on in Miranda's old, "sane" worldjoking, chatting. And one of them comments, "Do professors always nail their pretty students?" This provides a glimpse into Miranda's past life (the assumption being that Doug may have seduced her while she was his student), at the same time that it contrasts the "sane" world of the joking guards and the "insanity" that Miranda is beginning to understand. Finally, I think the movie is a strong statement to beware of what we think of when we think of mental illness. This is tied to a feminist messagethe film uses the stereotype of women as representative of intuition, the soul, heart and spirit and men as the representation of logic, law, God and academic knowledge. During the course of the film, the "male" world is exposed as potentially sadistic and violent; Miranda integrates her "female" heart and intuition to prevail. The movie stays away from making this purely stereotypical since Miranda is in the world of "logic" at the outset. Robert Downey is a liminal character that prevents the movie from saying that all men are sadistic butchers. Plus, Miranda makes a clear choice at the end of the film. She knows and accepts that she can see ghosts (i.e. use her "feminine" powers), but she clearly chooses to return to her "masculine" work rather than chase those ghosts. If she had fully integrated those two sides and ran off with Robert Downey (Mr. Liminality)? Now THAT would have been boring.
I have read many reviews that seemed to think Gothika was a waste of time. Let me just say, it is not a waste of time. in fact, the film was very enjoyable. it was shot well and the special effects were sophisticated and well handled. The cast was full of surprises such as Bernard Hill(great actor but a strange role). The story was interesting and there was genuine tension throughout. Berry's character is a doctor in a mental institute. she wakes up to find herself an inmate in the very place she works. Her colleague and friend played by robert downy jnr tells her that she has committed a horrific crime and nobody knows why. so the plot begins to wind its way towards a shadowy truth. However, without giving anything away, the key scenes where important truths are revealed to the audience are simply too clumsy. information is just handed over visually on a plate and leaves little to the imagination. some of the tension built up in the first half of the film is lost. and the truth isn't quite as gripping and terrifying as we would have hoped(although thats not to say it is pleasant). Robert Zemeckis was one of the producers and i think it shows..there is some great camera work and some really interesting ideas but gothika doesn't have some of the subtle touches that What Lies Beneath had, but its easy to see some of the parallels between the two films. Even though halle berry wears the same look of shocked disbelief throughout the film, she plays it with conviction. and a supporting role from penelope cruz certainly doesn't take anything away from berry. all in all, gothika provides a good story, an average screen play and enough innovative ideas to keep its audience. but i would have been disappointed if i had paid to watch it at the cinema.