Mary Reilly (1996): Short Film Review

Essay by nonokA, March 2003

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Mary Reilly: Short Film Review

"Mary Reilly" (1996), takes us into a journey through the hardest bits of our mind.

It speaks to our souls about what we think we are and what we could be if we could make our other self to come out.

It's the well-known romance of Robert Louis Stevenson, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" seen through the eyes of an housemaid, Mary (Julia Roberts), that was Dr. Jekyll's (John Malkovich) only love and trustable person. She also saw her master as a good man, somehow strange in some aspects, but always a good being.

She came to his service in a time that we could consider being the doctor's fall, as he becomes hill. She was his shoulder to cry on, the friend he never seemed to have, the one to carry all his secrets. Not the darkest one, though.

On his experiences he found out a drug that could set him free.

This drug could separate his good personality from his evil tendencies. To the new-born-man he calls "Mr. Hyde". Fascinated with the results, he decides to live as both people. As Mr. Edward Hyde, he frequents various dens of vice. Eventually, Dr. Jekyll's tenuous control over Mr. Hyde weakens, unleashing a murderous maniac into the streets...

Mary had experienced his rude character and she did not like him, although deep inside she admitted to be, somehow, in love with him. Dr. Jekyll, who was obviously in love with Mary, uses his other self to be with her as he is not afraid of words or acts. Mary feels insecure near him, but loving his master as if she was his daughter and lover, she almost does not hesitate in accomplish his requests.

Without knowing, Mary somehow showed Dr. Jekyll...