Movie Review: Look Away

The idea of being yourself is daunting enough some days, but finding out that there’s another person in the mirror looking back at you, that essentially IS you, is even worse since it indicates that your life is being observed by another version of yourself that might not approve. Maria starts as a rather neurotic individual that doesn’t have a lot of friends and is bullied at school, sometimes even by the one friend she has. Her life is, needless to say, kind of pathetic since even her parents are a mess given that her father, a plastic surgeon that cheats on his wife and is definitely a control freak, tells her and her mother how to live, and her mother is more or less a trophy wife that is in denial about her husband’s extramarital affairs. This family is one of those in which the audience can feel the lack of affection as well as the step they’ve already taken away from reality as the father’s ego has become something that everyone else has to deal with. It’s not much of a wonder why Maria would be out of sorts, but that’s only the beginning. 

Maria, as a character, is kind of a timid individual that’s a little hard to believe even though the character comes off as someone that a lot of people would want to help simply because she is pretty and does appear to have a nice disposition when she’s not being beaten down by life in one manner or another. But when she finds a sonogram depicting twins in her mother’s womb, she begins to question her life a bit. Of course, when her reflection moves on its own she questions things even more since in the real world that’s not supposed to happen. Trying to talk to her parents is kind of a waste of time since they don’t listen and try to help her in their own ways, which is to control and placate her as much as possible but rarely help. 

One might think that since their daughter is having serious issues Maria’s parents might take her seriously and try to listen, but when her father announces to her that his gift to Maria on her birthday will be plastic surgery to fix her ‘flaws’, it would appear that she’s ready to speak to the young woman in the mirror and take her seriously. The reflection, Airam, states that she’s always been there and that she sees and hears everything that’s ever happened in Maria’s life. This is beyond creepy, to tell the truth, and it’s something that one can’t help but think is the sign that something very bad is about to happen. But when Airam states that she can take Maria’s pain away, Maria is hesitant at first, but eventually presses her palms and lips to the mirror, switching places with Airam, who goes to work the next day as she reveals to her mother that she has an appetite and to her classmates that she’s not going to take the bullying any longer. To prove this she breaks the knee of her main bully in the showers, payback for the humiliation he heaped upon Maria at the prom. 

She then schedules her father’s lover and her own mother to walk into her father’s office at the same time, revealing to her mother that her father is a bit of a creep and has been cheating on her for a while. In short, Airam starts delivering payback to those she feels deserve it, and during a skating session in which she goads and eventually intimidates Maria’s ‘friend’, Airam ends up chasing the other girl on the ice until the other young woman strips and falls, sliding hard enough a concrete curb to crack her skull. The death of her classmate doesn’t bother Airam at all since she then has a clear line to the young woman’s boyfriend, who Maria has had a crush on for some time. When Airam and the boyfriend play hooky one day his cell phone rings, as he’s wanted in the principal’s office to talk about Maria and any involvement she might have in the death of their classmate. 

When Airam doesn’t want to go the boyfriend makes to leave, but Airam kills him by crushing the back of his skull with a bottle of alcohol. She then heads to her father’s office where, acting drunk, she gets him to lower his guard before undressing and asking if he would love her if she were deformed. When her father lies and says yes, Airam kills him before returning home. The gist of the story is that Maria’s mother did give birth to twins, but one twin was deformed, and as a result, the father had her euthanized, leaving only Maria. It’s a bit of a creepy story, but it might make people think a bit. 

 

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