Carrie

Carrie

There's a moment in Carrie when Carrie becomes remote from us, not owing to the carnage she wrecks, but to her being possessed of a self-assuredness there's no way we'd be able to match. Her mother, attempting to prevent her from seeking a life for herself which might allow some pleasure, bangs her own head repeatedly against a wall, with sufficient force it might lead to breaking herself open. Carrie watches it, but insists on her own life anyway, letting her mom break herself into brain pulp, if such is her wont. This was what she was going to need to do to individuate, push on despite being guaranteed that if her mom could no longer physically desist her by scaring her to holy hell with knives or carting her off into isolation closets, she'd probably slit her own wrists before her, to show her the wreckage her "selfish" pursuits were inflicting physically, emotionally, psychically on her. She's basically Rose in Titanic, who ultimately told her own mother to shove the hell off, even though this was going to bottom her mother--high in lineage, but nada in riches--out, but somehow with a much, much, much more daunting mother, and without someone--apologies to the good gym teacher--near Angel-sent to temper her the strength to do it. Intent on going to the prom, she telekinesises her mother into a closet, fuses any possible exit, and embraces a new world. The world is set-up to turn on her, as it turns out, and when she turns on it, it's less out of shock and rattled umbrage and more as if out of now familiar, superb, quite controlled and even-pleasurable rebuttal (great! I get to use these powers again--and in an even larger venue!). The confidence in which she directs and motions her carnage, the presumption, without hesitation configuring how aptly to direct the environment to butcher the particular wretched kid she's caught sight on, is more or less the same we saw in her disabling her maniac mom when she'd become immune to her. We take stock of her at the end, and with her poise, apt calculation, and tremendous power, with her not seeming to have done in anyone who didn't deserve it--it's mostly the real nasties, like the corrosive black-haired twinish girls, who are squashed down into trampled-down floor rugs like the deflated evil witches in Wizard of Oz, who are done in, but everyone in the crowd was laughing at her covered in pig's blood while video played of her terrible shower humiliation... so what loss, really, any of them?--I basically ignored the finish and imagined her carted off by Professor Xavier. She'd beat down her mom and home, beat down her school and small-minded, hipster-absent town (hipsters would have admired her aesthetic and askew beauty), and now was really just ready for bigger game. Not, that is, to be herself quit by death, and folded into a lesson for smaller people.


I'll admit, though, that I actually did identify with her some. When I was about to leave my mother and embrace the wider world, I would find her lying as if dead, in midst of some house pathway I would have to cross. Since she knew I knew she was performing, and that this would be amongst a number of innumerouses I would have to ignore just to go about my own day, she knew I would have to step over her--as if she, a bum on the street, and I, the callous--and that by doing so, no matter my awareness of what she was doing, there was still a gamble-worthy chance I would still feel doomed by some rightful, me-overlording judge as having done the unpardonable: "Your mother was lying on the ground, possibly sprawled in death, and you just walked over her ... you did this, to your mother!!! I don't care what kind of hinderances she presented you with, you crossed the line, and are the saddest, most selfish, most demonic cad ever born to earth! Your fate is to be cursed with guilt after every fun thing you do, never-ending--and this only to start!"

There's another way I know I could have identified with her, harnessed her power of self-righteousness, but chose not to. When Carrie explains why her mother is wrong to hem her in, she doesn't just do this by explaining the innocuousness of such normal life events like the prom, the rightness every human being has to participate in and try and enjoy them, but effectively by chastising her mother as being self-centered and selfish. Referring, that is, to her own powers of telekinesis, she explains that this power is actually fully normal to their shared mother-daughter lineage, only that it skips every other generation. She makes her mother's preference that her daughter understand it only as Satan's "gift," a betrayal of the whole story of their heritage, a wilful ignorance of bloodline and history, that selfishly makes her own self more normal--or rather, better, less sin-ridden--than her daughter. She makes her seem a selfish rebellion against her own telekinesis-empowered mother! The way we can do the same with our own parents, is by finding a way to make our generation seem more akin to our parents' parents, with their own selves the historical aberration. This is okay-easy for gen xers to do, but easy-peasy for millennials, for, like them, baby boomers' parents were defined by their living the great span of their youth in hope and dream-inhibiting Depression times. The baby boomer parent points a finger at their millennial kid, calling them spoiled and selfish, and the crafty millennial, perhaps looking at their own lifestyle of "Kinfolk"--read overtly ancestral, paradingly masochistic, grandfatherly and sparse--ways, sees the absurdity of someone built out of decades of prosperous post-war years chastising someone who like the 1930s sufferers, doesn't even feel guaranteed any kind of job. To them, a house and a car, isn't bottom-level middle class--what everyone who doesn't live on the street could possess--but a sign that you've gotten lucky and hit upon a career path vixen, unaccountable Future gloriously spared by shining some favor on. To be called spoiled, increasingly invites a collective glare back ... a judgment, against the abominable absurdity of the revealed exploiter still insisting morality has anything at all to do with them. Depression Nazi Youth, against their own Weimer-spoiled, dessert-fattened, bourgeois parents, that is.

If we adopt this strategy in categorizing away our own parents, it would amount to the same sin the same afflicted upon this movie. Carrie makes the link between Carrie and her grandmother in order to isolate her mother, and this comes at the cost of appreciating that this grandmother--surely having come at her own daughter as menacingly as Carrie's mother did with Carrie--is equally as dismissal-worthy. Further, it comes at the cost of understanding why exactly her mom was as crazy as she was (do we really buy, considering what the film shows of maternal power, that it owed to religion?), why she was confined for life to appreciate pleasures as the worst possible thing in the world, the great villain in the world, that everyone attempting to be selfless and holy will crusade against. Very likely, it comes at the cost of appreciating that her mother, in actually desisting against the voice in her telling her to kill her new-born child, and choosing instead to keep and hold and temporarily tend to her, may have been doing something heroic, in relation to her lineage's history. Some part of her daughter, she was able to believe, deserved to be loved--something she herself may have had even less experience of.

I'll end this review by mentioning how much I appreciated the popular high school couple in this movie. It was moving for me to see the girl, especially, trying to figure out how to make amends to Carrie, not just to expunge guilt, but because she wanted her mended and happy. It was a miracle to see her boyfriend manage his prom date with Carrie, without either making her feel she was being set-up or not truly of interest to him. He wanted to convey how he felt, that she was interesting, and that he was pleased to be her date, could very readily have a good time with her, and did very well with this. He moved her to allow herself a little bit more time with him, an hour more at the after-party, perhaps--the baby-steps forward toward larger happiness she was still going to need. When the bucket crashes down and kills him, I almost wanted to stop the movie there. He and his girlfriend have a lot going for them to make them feel they could manage whatever hit they might take through so publicly befriending the most despised person in school, but they weren't guaranteed to float though. It was lovely courage, and terrific love, and they deserved much better.

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