Resurrection movie review and movie summary (2022)

Margaret has a high-powered job in the biotech industry, presenting Power Point papers on replacement therapy and “cell membrane reorganization,” a metaphorical career if ever there was one. Everything Margaret does, she does with intensity. Saying that Margaret is an overprotective mother to her 17-year-old daughter Abbie (Grace Kaufman) is completely understating the situation: Margaret is hovering, worrying, clinging, and Abbie, about to head off to college, feels suffocated. Margaret has a friends-with-benefits situation (without the “friends” part) with a married colleague (Michael Esper), and takes a daily run that looks more like a military maneuver than necessary exercise. She runs like she’s chasing someone, she runs like she’s trying to beat the clock. Jim Williams’ urgent score, all plucking alarming strings, makes every moment an incipient life-or-death disaster, and for Margaret, it is.

At a conference, Margaret catches a glimpse of a man present. This, we find out, is David (Tim Roth), whom she hasn’t seen in two decades. The film gives no backstory until David arrives (though the clues are there in Margaret’s hyper-vigilant personality), and then all we see is Margaret suddenly fleeing the conference in a total fight-or-flight panic. She runs all the way home and hides in the bathroom, cradling her elbow over her mouth to stifle her sobs. Finally, Margaret gives the details in a seven-minute monologue to the hapless young employee seen in the cold opening. The details are unclear to say the least. The relationship between David and the teenage Margaret was bad, of course, but it was bad in a sinister way, something far out there on the edge of human experience. The word “sadist” might not apply to the young colleague’s boyfriend, but it does apply to David. (The monologue and Hall’s performance of it recalled Bibi Andersson’s similar monologue about the boys on the beach in “Persona,” not in the details, but in its personality-destabilizing revelations. Margaret has never told the story out loud before.)

Margaret ran away from David shortly after they got together, but the damage was more than done. She has been on the run ever since. Everywhere she goes now, she sees him. She confronts him. It seems he doesn’t know who she is at first. But then he gives her a huge smile, the smile of a true madman, and you can see the evil underneath, the evil that binds them together. She is trying to file a police report. But there is nothing to report. He was at a conference, he was sitting in a park. There is no crime. Margaret redoubles her vigilance over Abbie and begins a stalking campaign. She follows David around and keeps an eye on him. She loses sleep. At one point, after a frighteningly close call, she comes home, only to find that her breasts have leaked milk through her shirt. Something is happening to her. It’s all out of her control.

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