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The Dead Girl - A Movie Review

'The Dead Girl' is a hauntingly intricate film.

By Marielle SabbagPublished about a month ago 3 min read

You never realize how one life affects others.

The Dead Girl is a 2006 film. The body of a dead girl is found in a field. As her identity is uncovered, the lives of unrelated women intersect.

The Dead Girl is a haunting exploration of tragedy and connection with countless interlayers wrapped in its nature. The story is split up into five different segments. I wondered how each segment connected and the more I pieced everything together, The Dead Girl is the story of how a woman unexpectedly resolved matters

It’s a rare thing nowadays when films distribute stories with different vignettes. Breaking away from the usual story format to incorporate new styles is okay. Each story in The Dead Girl is distinct but bears similar themes.

An ensemble of bold and talented women starred in The Dead Girl. It is a hauntingly intricate film that delves into the interconnected lives of these women. The characters never share the screen, though they impact each other in surprising ways.

The late Brittany Murphy was an aspiring and talented actress who left us too soon. Her character’s resolution is sadder following Murphy’s death a few years after this film. When asked to play the role of Krista, Murphy did not hesitate as she was fascinated by the script.

Murphy was a versatile actress who always implemented different characteristics to typecast roles. Her performance as Krista, a manic and messed-up prostitute was well done. Krista knows full well that she’s a bad person but makes an effort to change, preferably for her young daughter’s sake.

I have always been a huge Toni Collette fan! Collette plays Arden who begins the story as the one to find Krista’s body. She runs away from her verbally abusive mother (Piper Laurie). Arden’s story is left ambiguous, though she is compelled to stand her ground.

Then Leah (Rose Byrne) continues the story. As a mortician, she believes Krista’s body is her long-lost sister and alerts her mother (Mary Steenburgen). This is the best dramatic performance I have ever seen by Steenburgen.

Ruth (Mary Beth Hart) has the most interesting segment. Aside from her connection to an important character, her story could be clearer. Marcia Gay Harden (Melora) is wonderful in her scenes. In each segment, the women take control from people (or themselves) who have held them back.

The film is narrated out of chronological order. Karen Moncrieff decided to tell this story in a unique method nobody else has tried. Inspired by true crime stories, The Dead Girl came to be when Moncrief thought about the psychological impact left behind.

We can tell stories in whatever fashion we like. The Dead Girl requires time to analyze, but one message I walked away with is each woman discovering the strength to move forward. You get wrapped up in the character's lives.

The film is not your typical ‘who-done-it,’ instead weaving narratives about grief, trauma, and dark secrets. Krista’s story impacted everyone. Moncrief allows the audience to piece together the evidence. This film is an excellent example of the show and don’t tell rule

Decisions by the characters will vary among viewers, specifically Ruth’s motivations. Viewers empathize with the characters along with themes based around women's empowerment. These women are all lost in some way.

The Dead Girl is sad and disturbing. My breath stopped when I thought one character found the suspects in the murder. It is not a happy film, but its style, themes, and characters stay with you. Check out the movie because it deserves more recognition.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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    Marielle SabbagWritten by Marielle Sabbag

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