Beauty Rooney Mara II Ireland "Secret Manuscript": Time is the most boring medicine

Jerad 2022-09-19 20:17:33

Author: Fang Hanjun


Rooney Mara has been on fire in recent years. After "Carol", she has appeared in "Singing", "The Lion", "Oona", and the "Secret Manuscript" by the Irish director Jim Sheridan (2017) and so on. Jim Sheridan, who was born in 1949, lived in the United States and Ireland. He did not make many movies, but he was well-known. "In the Name of Father", "In the Name of Love" and "Bloody Sunday" are all rare good films.

This "Secret Manuscript" is adapted from the novel of the same name by Irish writer Sebastian Barry. It tells the story of an old man, Roshan McKenna, who has been imprisoned in a mental hospital for nearly fifty years. When the hospital is facing demolition, she is fortunate to meet a new one. Dr. Gurney came, assisted by female nurse Caitlin, to re-evaluate her. The past that was buried in the dust for too long was overturned, and her many unknown secrets were slowly revealed.

What is sharply different from the previous films such as "In the Name of the Father" is that the narrative technique of "Secret Manuscript" adopts old-fashioned voiceovers, realistic listening and flashbacks, presenting Roshan's unbearable and affecting her life. love affair. What she experienced and was unintentionally involved in was the history of Northern Ireland's independence, mixed with the background of major events such as "World War II", the Northern Ireland Independence Movement, and the radical Irish Republican Army.

The performance of the film is so traditional that it is rigid and sculpted, and it lacks a little bit of agility and tension, but the film as a whole is meticulous, grand and delicate, and still has a great impact. Rooney Mara herself is of Irish descent, and it would be perfect for her to play the main character in the film. Her casualness and naturalness brought such a huge gap between the front and rear of the film. Her stupefied appearance was heart-wrenching.

What I think about is why human nature is always so hideous and ugly under the guidance of self-righteous banners and beliefs in special circumstances. We see Belfast being safe now, and all of Northern Ireland being safe, but that wasn't the case before the 90s, and every once in a while, we would hear about terrorist attacks there, even in London. They engage in kidnappings, assassinations, and bombings, to name a few.


All of this was done by the Irish Republican Army, an independent organization founded in 1919 to free Northern Ireland from British rule. It can be said that they have been engaged in violent and terrorist activities against the British, and the British government has never stopped encircling and suppressing them, especially when the "Iron Lady" Thatcher was in power. It was not until July 2002 that Sinn Fein, which belongs to the independent organization, declared a ceasefire, and on July 28, 2005, did not really join the peace process. This peaceful situation did not come easily.

The deepest sentence in the film left me with the threat of people engaged in independent activities to Rose's repeated words, "You are on the wrong team, be careful when choosing sides." In history, in any state of intense struggle, a similar high profile has always been heard. But Rose, who is Irish, has nothing to do with politics, just because her boyfriend, Michael McKenna, is a British pilot. In the context of a specific region, identity can easily become life-and-death.

The years described in the film are mainly 1941 and 1942, which coincides with "World War II". Even in wartime, these people who are engaged in independent activities dare to kill a meritorious pilot who fought against fascism, which is outrageous. In their opinion, Michael is an Englishman living in Northern Ireland, so be damned. Rose, who is bright by nature, first returned from London to her hometown of Barritifan in Northern Ireland, and worked as a waiter in Aunt Eleanor's cafe. Because of his bright appearance, he attracts men from the small town.

Among them, there is Michael who admires her. Of course, there is also Father Stephen Gaunt in the name of protection, and young Jack. The priest always told her that you should not look at a man unless it was your husband. The priest is a handsome young man, but due to the shackles of religion, he cannot establish a real relationship with her. He can only accompany her in the name of advice and protection.

In general, Northern Ireland was a conservative area at that time, and the church controlled the lives of the people. Coupled with the independence movement, the atmosphere in the whole town was very tense. So much so that her aunt was afraid that she would cause something to happen, so she did not dare to take in Rose, so she sent her to live in the countryside by the sea. At this time, she, who was always paying attention to the sky, happened to witness Michael's fighter jet being shot down by the Germans. After he parachuted, he was hung on a branch. Fortunately, Rose was able to save him and landed safely.

During the healing period, their love was fiery. But after Michael recovered, he wanted to fly into the sky again to fight the Germans. When he said goodbye, he left behind an Order of Merit awarded to him by the British government. Just after he left, he was brutally shot and killed by the Republican Army. The notorious evil deeds of the Republican Army in "World War II", of course, attracted hatred and accusations not only from the British but also from the Irish.


Rose was then forcibly imprisoned in the church. When Father Stephen told her that Michael had been shot, she was devastated. At this time, she became pregnant. People were gossiping, thinking it was Father Stephen. One night in her labor, she sneaked out to swim across the sea to England. Even if she is good at water, she can't match the wind and waves in the end.

She was swept to the edge of a reef by the big waves, but at this time the baby was in labor. The priests who were searching all the way saw her hammering with stones from a distance, thinking that she was killing their children. Then he took her to the mental hospital, and she stayed like this for nearly fifty years. Others say that she has been living in her sins. But she did not sink, she recorded her little past in the "Bible". There is a certain irony in itself that God didn't really save her, but the disgraceful church acted as an "accomplice".

She kept saying I wasn't killing my baby, I was hammering the stone, I was just cutting the umbilical cord, and when I woke up, the baby was gone. They say he's dead, I don't believe it, I believe he's still alive. His date of birth was May 1, 1942. The diary recorded in the "Bible", to her, was my life and all my secrets, but it was almost thrown away by the demolition team as waste.

Like the novel, the film has a happy ending. It turned out that Dr. Gurney was the child of Mrs. Rose who was "dead". At the time, he was secretly taken by Father Stephen and given to another reliable person for adoption. Before the death of the adoptive father, he told Gurney about his life experience and gave him the heroic medal of his biological father as a permanent memorial.

For this reason, Father Stephen has been in a state of utter guilt, and it was he who initially presented Rose's false report to the Supreme Church, lying that she seduced men and made the air of this town a mess, so that "to all Men have strong temptations and tend to be madmen." The Republican Army took away his husband and happiness, and the church took away the ultimate miserable life, leaving her in a mental hospital for most of her life. What she experienced was the real situation and microcosm of the entire Northern Ireland at that time.

Insignificant individuals were caught up in an unbearable rapids of history and became victims of the whirlpool. The old house was going to be demolished. Dr. Gurney picked her up. The old lady asked where to go, and he said to pick you up. This is the warmest sentence in the film, and it is also the most comfortable sentence the old lady heard. When the mother and son came to fifty years ago, the beach where Rose and Michael walked, the setting sun was like blood, time was really the most boring medicine, and healing was always like a dream.

2017, 9, 20

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Extended Reading

The Secret Scripture quotes

  • Dr. William Grene: How do you feel?

    Lady Rose: Like someone took my soul.

  • Lady Rose: I committed my memories to the Book of Rose, my secret scripture.