For me, the best part of The Invisible Man isn’t its superb depiction of domestic violence suffering, it’s the disturbing question it ended on.
The Invisible Man Synopsis
Cecilia Kass daringly escapes from abusive scientist boyfriend Adrian Griffin after drugging him. Weeks later, she receives news that Adrian has committed suicide and has bequeathed five million dollars to her. Just when things seem to brighten up for Cecilia, mysterious events begin to happen, all of which point towards the existence of an unseen presence around her. Cecilia soon realises that Adrian’s abusive control of her has far from ended, despite his inexplicable death. The man might have also created a way to render himself completely invisible.
I’ll veer off on a tangent and begin by saying, invisibility isn’t much of a superpower by today’s standards, yes?
Compared to time-travel, reality-bending, the ability to snuff out half the lifeforms in the universe with a finger snap, it could even be considered lame. Agree?
Yeah. Batman would smoke out Adrian Griffins within five seconds, had they been in the same room. Thor just needs to slam his hammer, to knock out any invisible villain.
But, DC and Marvel heroes do not exist in the same universe as Griffins, neither do we, and so the ability to be invisible at will is a frightening power. One with immense potential for crime as well in our real-world. The actual practicality of such a power might not be as wondrous as it sounds in fiction, but the phobia associated is surely immeasurable.
On that, allow me to reiterate what many other reviews have already applauded. To use this phobia as a cinematic metaphor for the trauma of domestic violence victims is a brilliant stroke. Elisabeth Moss’ depiction of Cecilia is also phenomenal. Watching her terror is almost as unbearable as being a victim.
[Mild spoilers ahead]
But, what I loved most about The Invisible Man isn’t the above. Instead, it was the final scene of the movie, and everything beforehand that led to it.
By this, I mean the many clues scattered throughout the movie that suggest Cecilia might not be as hapless as she seems. That she wasn’t clueless about “invisibility.”
Now, I don’t want to give away the twists. Neither am I suggesting she wasn’t abused by Adrian. But could it be the case of a woman so pushed to the brink, she considers the impossible? The ruthless?
Her initial escape, which began the movie on such a wonderfully gripping note, also suggests she is possibly more meticulous than anyone else in the show. More determined too.
I’ll leave it at that.