The Invisible Man
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC's The InBetween), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO's Euphoria). But when Cecilia's abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House) commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, Cecilia suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves.
The Invisible Man highlights the critical message about men’s abusive, controlling and violent relationships.
The Invisible Man follows Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss), a normal girl, and Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a pioneer in optics and is pursued by many girls. Owning a perfect appearance, but in fact, Adrian is extremely authoritarian. He obsesses to control Cecilia Kass completely, even in the manner of dressing, her mind or her every breath. Aware that she is worn down and bent to fit the need of her man, she reaches a breaking point.
Cecilia fled from Adrian and took refuge in a friend’s house. Everything seemed to end but Adrian’s death was declared a suicide and he left a huge inheritance for Cecilia. Later, Cecilia sensed Adrian’s presence around her current life, but the strange thing was that she couldn’t see him. As the threads came together, Cecilia sold the riddle but no one was believing her.
New wine in old bottles
The topic of toxic relationships has been featured in many Hollywood movies. Not everyone knows that there is not always only white and black in domestic abuse, but it also has many other color schemes, and there seem to be no boundaries to the feelings of those involved. Some people choose to stay and endure in the hope that their significant other would change. Not until things hit their limits, they choose to let go, like Celeste (Nicole Kidman) in “Big Little Lies”.
On the flip side, Laura in “Sleeping with the enemy” can see things from the beginning so she accepts to barter for her life to escape the marriage of hell. The common point in abusive relationships is the picture-perfect family, which most people see that the victims are always being loved and indulged by their spouses. No one would doubt that behind that beautiful portrait is an actual hell on earth. A cover is so perfect that when the victim signals for help, not many people even bother to care.
The Invisible Man does not feature much of Cecilia and Andrian’s past, without even a flashback of the previous married life or how Andrian treated his wife, but in the first 20 minutes of the film, audiences could sense Cecilia’s extreme panic and determination. When her escape plan was so thorough, if it wasn’t for one moment of her soft heart, or because of her husband’s unhealthy obsession, she could completely escape and start a new life. Going deeper into the plot of the film, even though Andrian forced Cecilia to stand on the edge of the abyss, instead of choosing to take her husband’s hand and continue with her previous life, she was determined to perish with him.
No mercy, no compromising
The whole movie is a seemingly unequal battle between Andrian and Cellia when the male lead is always holding all the cards, a millionaire and a top-ranking optical genius who has a history of control and manipulation of others, and a small-town girl with nothing in her hand.
It seemed that Cecilia’s life would turn to a new page when Andrian had an eternal sleep underground and was kind enough to leave behind a sum of money for her. But the real hell is waiting for her in the way that Andrian used to do which is making her the culprit in the eyes of others and isolating her from the loved ones. In two-thirds of the movie, viewers realize that Celilia is overwhelmed and in desperate straits. She was misunderstood and arrested while being shunned by her closest ones. Her plea for help drifted into vain when even the people closest to her didn’t trust her. She was stuck in Andrian’s perfect trap, as if he was always one step ahead of her, blocking all of her retreats.
But then in the last 1/3 of the film, the audience saw the calculation of Cecilia. From the smallest details to escape from imprisonment, until she was not even scared a bit and showed no mercy with the ruthless husband, who eventually refused to admit his mistake to start a new life with her. Cecilia gave Andrian many chances but in the end, he still chose to pass up. Only then, she burst into tears because she knew Adrian too well. He was still a selfish, Unscrupulous man as he has always been, compelling her to make the decision that she would end the nightmare herself.
The character of Cecilia is a symbolic image for poor women who reluctantly become victims of domestic violence, are restrained and controlled in all aspects. Living in such “prison”, Cecilia gradually lost her joy and was no longer herself. She changed from a passive girl to a woman who yearns for intense freedom, actively seeking to flee to escape the oppressive and stressful life.
Brilliant acting of Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth Moss is a plus point of The Invisible Man. Highly praised for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale, this time Moss continues to demonstrate her ability to take on traumatic roles. Appearing with a shabby, ragged appearance right in the middle of a beautiful villa overlooking the sea, viewers feel Cecilia’s anxiety and fatigue in her dark circle’s eyes. The actress kept the psychological circuit of the character as if it were her life in real life. Some viewers think that Moss’s appearance is somewhat older and unprepossessing compared to the male lead, but that clearly portrays her exclamation, “Why me? Why did you notice a normal girl like me?”
The transformation from a mentally unstable housewife to a devious woman is not difficult for Elisabeth Moss. She did so well that it was easy to deceive the audience in many situations, making viewers curious and wanting to follow the character’s development.
The only minus point of the movie is probably the ending. Although there has been a huge flip in the plot, with all the “mazes” the film has drawn throughout the film, it seems that the ending is not really satisfying. Andrian, who is said to be the master at reading others, having been brought down quite easily, has disappointed the expectations of the audience.
The film was rated 7.3 points on the prestigious IMDB site with a box office of $122.7M compared to the budget of $9M, a figure that can be considered as a big win for producers amid the coronavirus epidemic leading to a series of capital-loss films.
Even though the movie is not available on Netflix yet, you can still rent and watch ‘The Invisible Man’ on Vudu and FandangoNow. Both the SD and HD versions are available.