Saturday, 7 October 2017
American Mary (2012)
Mary Mason is a gifted medical student, but one whose considerable financial difficulties are putting her future at risk. When she applies for work at a massage parlour that promises "no sex required", the interview unexpectedly spirals into an opportunity to do a little off the books medical treatment, and from there into the world of black market body modification.
Mary's not looking to make a career of such illicit work, just using it to pay the bills while she finishes her training for a legitimate career, but her plans change after she is sexually assaulted by the surgeons who are training her. The underworld contacts she's made help her "disappear" the primary culprit, who becomes her unwilling 'guinea pig' for practicing new procedures (can't say I feel any sympathy for him, really), and she launches a new career catering to those who can't get the surgery they want through legal medical channels.
Of course, a surgeon can't disappear without someone taking notice, and Mary's breaking all kinds of laws with her new occupation, so this isn't exactly a safe or stable career she's chosen. Can she stay ahead of anyone who might wish her ill, or will she end up, so to speak, on the cutting room floor?
I've seen other reviews describe American Mary as nausea-inducing, but I honestly didn't find it that confronting. Still, there are some surgical scenes, and several minor characters with real life body modifications such as tongue splitting, which I guess may make some folks uncomfortable.
More problematic for me was the plot, which was rather fractured and disjointed, with various sequences that kind of came and went independently of each other, and a romance subplot that just kind of existed, without much establishment or resolution to it. I feel like the script needed a good bit more work before it would really have been ready to shoot.