31 January 2016Last Updated on 31 January 2016Written by David Cantu0 Comments
Yale University, 1961. Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) designs a psychology experiment that remains relevant to this day, in which people think they’re delivering painful electric shocks to an affable stranger (Jim Gaffigan) strapped into a chair in another room. Disregarding his pleas for mercy, the majority of subjects do not stop the experiment, administering what they think are near-fatal electric shocks, simply because they’ve been told to. Milgram’s exploration of authority and conformity strikes a nerve in popular culture and the scientific community. Celebrated in some circles, he is also accused of being a deceptive, manipulative monster. His wife Sasha (Winona Ryder) anchors him through it all.
Social experiments have been around for a very long time but this film takes a look at one of the most famous one. It’s funny because I’ve seen many examples of this exact experiment but never knew where it originated from so as soon as I realized what it was I was pulled in. The film doesn’t show how it all came about but does show the experiment in full effect and it’s fascinating. You see people just going along with it while they hear another person yelling in pain. It’s honestly kind of scary to see something like that go down where people do exactly like they’re told without thinking twice. Another film that uses a similar aspect is the film Compliance except in a more sinister fashion. I definitely recommend checking that out too. The film shows us Milgram’s private life and even though it’s fairly uneventful it’s amazing to see how a man like him basically changed the way that people see social experiments. There is a moment where Milgram allows a TV show to dramatize his experiment with William Shatner and Ozzie Davis playing the main roles. Shatner is played by Kellan Lutz and Davis is played by Dennis Haysbert. Haysbert does fairly well at playing Davis but Lutz was just kind of strange as Shatner and kind of douchey. It’s only a bit part but it left me staring at the screen trying to figure out if he really was playing Shatner. Other than that little bit I thought the film was fantastic and very thought provoking and it’s movies like this that give me hope that great movies can still be made without special effects or huge budgets. Definitely watch this movie! 9/10
The Making of Experimenter – A brief look at the historical aspect of the film and interviews with the cast and crew.
Understanding Stanley Milgram: An Interview with Joel Milgram – Milgram’s brother talks about the films faithful interpretation and compares him to the film version.
Designing Experimenter – A look at recreating the visual style from that time period.
This entry was posted on Sunday, January 31st, 2016 at 11:51 pm and is filed under Reviews.
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