STONEHEARST ASYLUM movie. Ben Kingsley, Kate Beckinsale. A Metaphor for Life, LOOK BEYOND the Titles and Roles.

After watching this movie for just a few mins into it I thought it was easy to pick up on the obvious metaphors. This place, Stonehearst Asylum, however fictitious the place may have been, I felt, represented what is clearly, many true-to-life situations. The place was a micro-cosm of the macro-cosm. The entire place represented an entire country, an entire world all under one roof, like the “family”. 
 The idea that the “Lunatics” are running the Asylum” when in fact they are but, they are really not lunatics and are actually doing a better job than the, so-called, doctors and superintendent played by Michael Caine.
 The facility was an obvious “Random sample” of what’s going on Nationally and world wide with the poor, the imprisoned, the “terrorists”, Muslims, the discarded, the “shamed”, the “mentally ill”, the throwaways and the starving.
 Those running the place used barbaric methods to control and subdue the “patients” who were there mostly because they were embarrassments to their well-to-do families, rebels, dissidents, people who’s families could not control them. People who had justly defended themselves under unjust conditions, much like in our country today.
 The “patients” played by Ben Kingsley as “Doctor” Lamb, Eliza Graves played by Kate Beckinsale and others had the “real” superintendent doctor of the facility and other staff held up in the dungeons. The film had all the qualities of the Abusive, Dysfunctional “family”. Michael Caine played the Abusive, controlling “father”, doctor using barbaric methods, drugging “patients” to control them, a “treatment”, in today’s terms would be considered, waterboarding, and spinning Ben Kingsleys character in a chair til completely dizzy. So, the “patients” managed to gather the “officials” down in the dungeons, while they take over their roles. They’re found by a visiting “doctor” Edward Newgate, played by James Sturgess who, ends up “really” being a “patient” himself from another asylum who sees Eliza Graves in a “clinical” instructoral classroom led by the authoritative, cocky, demeaning Alienist played by Brendan Gleeson, and falls instantly in love with her beauty and makes it his mission to find and free her. He takes the role of the Alienist instructor who insinuates to sexually assault Eliza Graves in front of an entire class of students while calling her reaction to his touch “mad”. Eliza Graves’ husband is a very wealthy, repugnant, man who she physically maimed in self defense so he had her committed but, plans on coming back to reclaim her.
 I like the clear metaphors in the movie and how it shows the utter “theater” that is life and how those in the position of “doctor” are anything but, while calling the others “mad” and insane. A pure battle of wills.
 Edward Newgate, due to having been abused himself, and growing up in an orphanage, ends up making a great “doctor”, having the sensitivity and the patience to reach a man held in a dungeon they called Ogre by, while nearly being strangled by the man, he sees his name written on the wall and calls the Ogre by his real name, Arthur, barely able to get air.  When the “Ogre” hears himself being called by his name he “snaps out of it” and allows the “doctor” to change the dressing on his hand. “Dr. Newgate” manages to find a way to get an older, blind woman to eat who hasn’t since her son left for a war some years earlier by speaking to her as her son and telling her that he if she eats he gets strength because they’re “attached by a cord”. He even manages to “heal” “Dr” Lamb from his PTSD he suffered as a result of tending to soldiers during a war. At one point he simply gets overwhelmed by all the pain the blood, the maimed bodies and the moaning that he takes a gun a executes about 6 or the wounded soldiers. Lastly, a young soldier wearing a red coat missing both arms just above the elbow. When he’s done executing the soldiers he attempts to shoot himself but, the gun is without bullets. 
 “Dr Lamb” is about to practice his electro shock “treatment” on “Dr Newgate” who he’s losing trust for because he’s finding out too much but, is rescued by his own ingenious idea of placing the pic he found in Lambs patient file, of the young soldier Dr Lamb executed in his front breast pocket and asking Lamb for one last request. He tells Lamb the pic is of Eliza and he wants her to have it. Lamb pulls out what ends up being the pic of the young soldier he executed which sets Lamb back in time reliving his trauma and walking off in a daze of PTSD. Lambs right-hand man Mickey Finn decides he’ll finish the job for Lamb and attempts to shock “Dr Newgate” but, is knocked over with the gurney Newgate is lying on by Eliza Graves who comes to his aid. Finn gets up and grabs Graves while she’s attempting to undo Newgates footstraps holding her from behind in a bear hug causing her to have a manic episode and go into contractures but, is pulled out of it by “Newgate” when he yells to her to look at him where he is able to give her strength through his stare. This helps Graves bite Finn’s hand to release her where she is able to then, slug him in the face. She then, lunges at him with the electro shock prongs and Newgate tells Arthur to hit the switch which ends up frying poor Mr. Mickey Finn to a nice shade of charcoal.              
 The ending scene is the repugnant Alienist and husband of Graves coming back to reclaim her only to find out the other “Dr Newgate” ordered her release 3 weeks earlier. The “real” Dr Newgate began to inform the staff that, that “Dr Newgate” was mad, deranged, incapable of real feeling while he and Eliza moved to an asylum in Tuscany, Italy where they lived together happily ever after.
 The movie shows the viewer to look beyond the titles, the roles that most people blindly submit to and look closer to see the person underneath for who they really are, and, to also BE other than what YOU are labeled.  


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