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Movie Paper on Mommie Dearest - Essay Example

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The disruption or the illness of a person's mentality is a disruption of his supposed living. The person is unable to function properly for himself, his family, nor in the society. Some types of the mental illnesses are curable and others, recurrent but manageable…
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Movie Paper on Mommie Dearest
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Download file to see previous pages This could greatly be accounted by the wrong and sometimes grotesque perceptions of the illness in the media and their depictions in films. Although some of these portrayals are realistic and accurate, some are more likely sensationalized.
Media and films are powerful mediums of information. They can either justify the truth or bend the truth to both positive and negative extremities. With this in hand, this paper then is perusal of a film's characterization of a person with mental disorder. The film studied is the biographic movie of Joan Crawford's life entitled "Mommie Dearest" which was based on the book written by her adopted daughter Christina after her death.
In the film, Yablans and Perry (1981) focused the story on the relationship between the movie legend Joan Crawford and her adoptive daughter Christina. The movie starts with then single and divorced Joan Crawford; determined to adopt children to fill the void that was missing in her life. Joan first adopted a baby girl and called her Christina. She later adopted another baby boy and called him Christopher.
The film depicts the children's lives under the renowned Hollywood star, who behind curtains was an abusive and violent parent. Her obsessive want of excellence as a famous actress and a parent topped with the pressure of being in show business and an abusive attitude towards alcohol was a repeating theme throughout the movie. Yablans and Perry(1981) concentrated the film on Joan Crawford's bouts of obsessive madness where the burden was inflicted on her children. Christina's struggle as a child and later on adulthood to be an actress to satisfy her mother was also conveyed. There were only several small indications of her marriages during the film. No doubt, Joan Crawford's supposed reputation as a renowned actress was ruined by the exposure of her other life.
Although Joan Crawford was not formally diagnosed, she was suspected to have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). According to resources of MentalHelp.net (n.d.), "OCD is an anxiety disorder where a person has recurrent and unwanted ideas or impulses (called obsessions)" and these obsessions are coupled with the constant "urge or compulsion" to satisfy the "discomfort caused by the obsession". These obsessions could vary, from simple things such as hygiene to more complex things such as religion. When the compulsions to satisfy his obsession are disgruntled, anxiety attacks follow. MentalHelp.net (n.d.) further adds that a person with OCD have thoughts and behaviors that are often "senseless, repetitive, distressing, and sometimes harmful, but they are also difficult to overcome".
The behavior of a person with OCD was more or less depicted by Joan Crawford's characterization in the film. First was her obsession to be seen as a good role model of a parent. She insisted on adopting children although she was advised by her friend who is an attorney to not adopt because it was not advisable for her to adopt children given her single and divorced status. When advised, she retaliates "Bend the law!" (Yablans and Perry, 1981). In another instance, the two children were made to recite which were obviously practiced answers to the radio staff that came to interview the Crawford family on how they spend their Christmas. Joan Crawford was watchful of their answers and it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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