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“Primal Fear”: A Psychological Analysis

624 words - 3 pages

“Primal Fear” (1996) is a masterfully crafted film based on the novel written by William Diehl. Aaron Stampler (the main character) was on trial for the murder of an archbishop. He cunningly convinces his psychiatrist as well as his defense attorney (Martin Vail) that he suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder. Stampler then plead for insanity successfully and was transferred to a mental institution for “help”. In the end, the audience shockingly discovers that Stampler had been lying the entire time about his alter ego; he manipulated everyone and clawed his way to freedom. “Primal Fear” provides excellent insight into psychopathy and contains subconscious themes the writer projects ...view middle of the document...

Stampler was merely a maniacal serial killer who manipulated people in order to get away with murder.
Ph.D. and mental health expert Joanne Vogel analyzed the feelings of betrayal and victimization the writer attempted to portray in Martin Vail:
“For anyone struggling to find truth and seek justice, Richard Gere, as Martin Vail, depicts brilliantly the complexities and horrors of such a journey. The viewer watches as Martin ultimately experiences confusion, humiliation, anger, disappointment, embarrassment, and betrayal. An experience such as this can leave someone disillusioned, depressed, or discouraged. Nonetheless, as Martin’s veil lifts, the hopeful viewer sees the benefits of clarity and retrospection. While such an experience leaves a person irrevocably changed, it is unlikely that subsequent experiences would yield the same results. Edward Norton’s character attempts to provide a positive reframe in boasting that Marty will thank him later for making him tough. Beyond toughness, these...

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