Application of Psychology Concepts in Film Secret Window

Secret Window was directed by David Koepp in 2004. It stars Johny Depp as Mort Rainey and John Turturro as John Shooter. It is based on Stephen King’s novel Secret window, Secret Garden. The film is a psychological thriller and is popular among people interested in such kinds of films.

Mort Rainey being a successful writer suffers after the divorce with his wife, Amy. He thinks that he is not able to write any more. He spends days in an isolated cabin in the woods feeling worse and worse every day. Suddenly appears John Shooter and says that Mort has plagiarized his Secret Window from Shooter’s novel Sowing Garden.

Mort rejects this fact but still reads this book and realizes that two books are almost identical. Shooter chases Mort all the time. At first he kills Mort’s dog, then he kills the local sheriff and a private investigator, which Mort has hired. After having pushed the car with two corpses into the river Mort understands that his watch is in this car.

Later Shooter burns Mort’s ex-wife’s house. She accuses Mort of this.

Mort is in despair. He does not see the way out. At last he decides to buy a magazine that can prove that his novel was not plagiarized. When, all in all, he gets this magazine he realizes that this story has not been published. Taking all the facts together Mort understands that Shooter is not real, he is the dark part of Mort’s personality. It is Shooter who lives in Mort committed all these crimes. Mort suffers from dissociative identity disorder and can not control all his actions.

As his ex-wife arrives to Mort’s cabin to help him, she does not find Mort but on all walls she sees the word “shooter”.

When she at least finds Mort she understands that this word means “shoot her”. Amy tries to escape but Mort catches and kills her together with her new boyfriend Ted. After it he feels that his thirst for life and writing returns.

In the last scene we see a sheriff who states that knows everything about Mort’s crimes and will take him to prison, as soon as the corpses are found. Mort does his best to destroy all the evidence.

Mort Rainey, the main character of the movie experiences a number of psychological problems at the beginning of the movie. He experiences a work crisis, which is complicated by the hard depression, caused by the divorce with his wife Amy. He expenses depression. This can be traced by several peculiar characteristics. Unfortunately nowadays depression is quite common among people of different ages. Irritation, insomnia or any other sleeping distinctions, loosing interest to life and constant bad mood can be typical signs of depression. Nevertheless, latest research has proved that depression is not a usual thing for different people.   If insomnia, bad mood and irritation last more than two weeks, then they can be the symptoms of depression, which should be treated by specialists. All these sings of depression can be attributed to Mort. He can not work, since he thinks he has lost inspiration. He can not concentrate on anything and feels lost and devastated. Depression is easier to treat in the initial stages of this disorder.

The longer person has depression the more difficult it will be to treat it. That is why right depression disposing   is so important. Medical workers and family should now pay special attention to the symptoms of depression in order to recognize it in time. People   should be aware about the symptoms of depression and address to medical institutions, as soon as the first sings of depression are noticed. Insomnia, sings of excessive worry, irritability, dizziness, hypochondria, inability to perform routine actions, chronic pains and detachment from the society can signify depression. There are many possible reasons, which can cause depression. It can be one shocking event which is not perceived in a right way by an individual or a number of small events, which finally result in a serious and long-lasting depression. Knowing the story of the main character of the movie, we may suggest that the deception of his wife, who betrayed him with another man, could have become a reason of depression. There is also possible that he experiences separation anxiety, which is rooted in the childhood. This type of anxiety can be developed in early childhood, when children are separated from their parents by some reasons. There can be different reasons of separation, including the death of one or both parents, but the results can cause this type of anxiety. These problems influence all further life of the child, who has experienced separation. This anxiety makes people extremely attached to the ones they love and parting, voluntary or involuntary, becomes a reason of great shock for the anxious person.

Despite the fact that most children may experience this type of anxiety from time to time, in some cases these problems do not disappear with the flow of time. Open communication and high level of self-awareness can help to overcome these problems in childhood, but if it does not happen, they may have serious consequences in the further life of the individual. As we see from the development of the plot, the main character most probably had serious problems in his childhood and anxiety of separation is probably one of them. Anxiety of separation appears because separation process can be difficult for everybody involved in it. During this separation children may feel lost and parted from the dearest people. If the situation like this is repeated in the future, grown up people experience the same fear and anxiety of separation like in their childhood. Mort, the main character of the movie is a vivid example of this anxiety if we trace his reaction to his wife’s parting.

Their divorce becomes for him not only a reason of great depression, but also leads to such serious consequences, as Dissociative Identity Disorder. We can not be one hundred percent sure that the separation anxiety became the only reason of such serious consequences, but we can state that it has had a great contribution to the development of this serious disorder. Dissociative identity disorder is a mental disorder, when inside one individual lives two or more personalities and they perceive the word around them in different ways and acts accordingly. These two personalities control the individual’s behavior. The disorder is characterized by the loss of memory, so the person does not remember how his second personality acts. Mort has all the symptoms of this disorder. The most terrible thing is that person himself is not able to recover from it, in this case only professional help is required (cited in Putnam, 1984).

In the movie we have another reference to behavioral problems, which are rooted in Mort’s childhood. The personage of John Shooter, who accuses him of plagiarism, remembers Mort one event from his early childhood. He remembers how he plagiarized his friend’s story. This episode discovers at once two behavioral problems from Mort’s childhood. They are lying and stealing, since plagiarism is based on these two components. Lying is a rather widespread children’s behavioral disorder.  Children may lie when they feel intimidated or feel too much pressure from their parents. In this case lying becomes a defensive mechanism which helps to avoid punishment. Lie can also become a means for children with low self-confidence to increase their popularity among peers. They use lies in order to gain approval and respect from their friends. In any case, lie is a signal that child experiences some kind of problems and there is a necessity of professional help in this case.

Other type of behavioral disorder involved in plagiarism is stealing. Copying somebody’s’ paper involves steals and that was the thing Mort did in his childhood. There are several possible reasons for this behavioral disorder. The child may not be able to control himself and has no power to resist a wish to take something that does not belong to him. Children may also steal when their basic needs are not met by the parents or care givers. In some cases children do it in order to attract parents’ attention. Despite the reasons can vary, they all mean that the child needs more care and attention and parents should pay more attention to this problem. We can not judge about the reasons from Mort’s childhood which turned him to plagiarism, but we can trace terrible consequences this childhood problems had for his future life

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