In a jealous rage, one pushed her husband into the Seine. Another refuses to say anything, others have been depressed for a long time. However, the others have gone insane. These are the patients of Pitié-Salpêtrière, a Parisian neurological clinic, and the women at the center of Mélanie Laurent’s The Mad Women’s Ball, a slightly inconsistent but nevertheless compelling film.
Review Of The Mad Woman’s Ball
Therefore, the story’s brilliance stems from the fact that Geneviève’s claim to be able to communicate with the dead. Moreover, something that a 21st-century spectator would consider crazy – is actually real. Consequently, geneviève begins to plan her escape from the hospital on the evening of its annual ball. Furthermore, the patients are permitted to attend in fancy dress as a special treat, by utilizing her superpower to divine the private agonies of the jailer-nurses.
However, this ball, and the numerous displays of logical control and madness-suppression that Laurent concocts in her film, have a Sadeian, or possibly Foucauldian, feel to them. This is especially evident in a particularly gruesome sequence in which the hospital’s director, Dr. Charcot (Grégoire Bonnet), hypnotizes Louise as part of a lecture attended by all of these other gentlemen and then coaxes her through a series of increasingly sexual gestures.