Come what may

May is directed by Lucky McKee. Initially, the movie May was released in Sundance Film Festival 2002. The story of May protrudes the inner feelings of pity of the audience. Basically, May is not the cream of the crop in being a human being. She is, however, very good at her job. All her life, she was made to believe that she is different because of her lazy eye. Being different means that she cannot have friends. She was raised as someone who is weirdly guarded because her mother thinks that she will be not be accepted by other people. She grew up with a patch and a doll. Her optometrist, however, gave her glasses to straighten her lazy eye, meaning she does not have to wear the eyepatch again. At her job, May interacts with her boss who is a veterinarian. However, her persistent co-worker, Polly, makes sure that they talk. Polly is a flirty lesbian that always seems to get her way. She gets bored at work so May sometimes does her job. Adam is the boy that May likes. He shows interest in May’s weirdness but gets appalled by the masochistic May. Overall, I feel bad for May. She likes pleasing people. There is a certain charm to her that makes you want to approach her. However, when you get to meet her, you most certainly would burn bridges. This is most probably why she built her own friends.

May is similar to the scientist in the story of Frankenstein. The scientist is obsessed with bringing creatures to life– basically making his own human. May also created her very own friend, Amy. Amy had every quality that May wanted– Adam’s hands, Ambrosia’s  legs, etc. The difference with the scientist and May is that the former is not attached while the latter has an attachment and “love” for the creation. “The monster is no longer separate, he is quite simply ourselves; it is a magnified image of ourselves.” This means that May created a “monster” friend as an extension of herself. This can be taken literally when May actually gauges her eyes out to give it to Amy.

The process of other-ing in the movie is presented in the movie through interesting characters. Although Suzie is not really a character, I think she is an extension of May. I think that Suzie is a representation of May’s old self. Whenever she “breaks” away from how she was raised, Suzie’s glass also breaks. Suzie is the perfect friend for May because May relates to how Suzie is boxed. May’s idea of the world is so fragile like the glass box that she feels that she needs to take control if it breaks. This control involves hurting other people in the process. For example, May stalks Adam because she really likes him. This is intrusive for most people, but Adam is kind enough to answer his phone and door. Another other-ing in the movie is Polly’s sexuality. She is homosexual. According to Benshoff, homosexuality is seen as “a threat to the individual, to others, to the community, and to culture.” This was written in the sense that homosexuality disrupts order and the known.

Homosexuality is discussed in a way that it is hard to understand. It is regarded as ” a force that attempts to block the classical Hollywood heterosexual romance narrative.” The movie is brave to show the opposition to the patriarchal heterosexism. According to Simon Watney, ” Straight society needs us [homosexuals]. We are its necessary ‘Other.’ Without gays, straights are not straight.”Homo-horror genre is identified: (1) “when a horror film includes identifiably gay or lesbian  characters”; (2) “written, produced, and/or directed by a gay man or lesbian, even if it does not contain visible homosexual characters”; (3) “subtextual or connotative avenues”; (4) “Alexander Doty: There is the fourth sense that any film viewed by a gay or lesbian spectator might be considered queer.”

From this, May can be regarded as a monster. But May is a “nice” monster. She is the type of monster that you would want to win. To be fair, the people around her were not actually the good kind. In fact, May is the only “good” person, relatively. I also like the fact that she persistently perseveres in order to achieve her goal. Aside from May, I also liked other aspects of the film such as the cinematography. The movie was able to emphasize the important parts of the scene through shallow focus, the combination of medium close-up, close-up, extreme close-up, and level of framing. I also liked how the movie used indie music to set the mood/tone of the film.

Sources:
Harry M. Benshoff, “The Monster and the Homosexual.”
Paul O’Flinn, “Production and Reproduction: The Case of Frankenstein.”

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