2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
"The Experiment" - a 2010 film, a thriller. Film directed by Paul Scheuring based on the real events of the Stanford Prison Experiment by US social psychologist Philip Zimbardo.
About the Stanford Prison Experiment
The study was sponsored by the US Navy, which tried to explain the conflicts in their system and in the US Marine Corps. Zimbardo and his team tried to test the hypothesis that prison guards and inmates were dependent on each other and often committed misconduct in prisons.
A group of 24 young people were randomly divided into two halves: "prisoners" and "guards". A mock prison was placed in the basement of Stanford University.
The day before the experiment, the guards attended a brief introductory meeting, but were not given any explicit rules other than no physical abuse. They were told that they were responsible for running the prison, what could they dothe way they think is best.
The experiment went beyond the rules already on the second day. The prisoners endured sadistic and humiliating treatment from the guards. After that, many showed serious psychological abnormalities.
In psychology, it is often said that the result of an experiment confirms theories of situational attribution of behavior to the detriment of dispositional attribution. In other words, it is assumed that it was the situation that caused the behavior of the participants, and not their individual personalities.
The plot of the 2010 movie "The Experiment" begins with the arrival of volunteers for a psychological study conducted by Dr. Archaleta, in which the participants will be divided into groups acting as prison guards and prisoners. Among them are Travis, a proud pacifist, and Michael Barris, a 42-year-old man who still lives with his overbearing mother. After interviews were conducted to measure reactions to various scenes of violence, the 26 chosen were taken to an isolated building set up as a prison and divided into 6 guards and 20 prisoners. Travis is assigned as a prisoner, Barris as a guard. The ground rules are laid out:
- Prisoners must eat the entire food provided 3 times a day. They will be given 30 minutes to rest daily.
- Prisoners must remain in designated areas.
- They can only speak when spoken to.
- Guards, in turn, must ensure thatprisoners respected the rules, and proportionately take action within 30 minutes.
- Prisoners may not touch the guards under any circumstances.
Archaleta emphasizes that the experiment will end immediately at the first sign of violence. If they manage to comply with the rules for two weeks, each test subject will be paid $14,000.
Development of action
Travis shares his cell with Benji, a graphic novelist, and Nix, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Barris, concerned that some of the guards, Chase in particular, might be capable of violence, tries to dissuade them from violent behavior. Instead, the guards become more aggressive in order to force the prisoners to follow the rules. Barris takes on increasingly sadistic traits. Despite increasing violence from the guards, Travis remains defiant. Realizing that Travis influences the inmates' dissent, Barris decides to humiliate him, as physical abuse is forbidden. Under the leadership of Barris, Travis was kidnapped, shaved and "lowered". The red light, indicating that the rules have been broken, does not come on, and Barris takes this as a sign that his actions were legal. He assures the guards that they are behaving according to the behavior of the prisoners.
When security guard Bosch expresses his disagreement, Barris puts pressure on him, reminding him that premature withdrawal from the experiment deprives a person of money. Travis discovers that Benji, who has fallen ill, has hidden hisdiabetes, thinking he can handle the disease on his own. Then Travis begs Bosch to intervene, Bosch tries to help by finding insulin for Benji, but he is caught by other guards. Barris, to Travis' surprise, gives Benji his insulin, but later retaliates by goading all the other guards into brutally beating Bosch, who then remains among the prisoners. Barris also orders Travis to clean the prison toilets as punishment for his inappropriate behavior and his attempt to help Benji.
Travis teases Barris by saying that he should use his $14,000 for psychological treatment. The guards respond by shoving Travis' head into the toilet, nearly drowning him. One morning, after being humiliated during roll call, Travis takes off his prison shirt as a sign that the experiment must end, and the other prisoners follow. Travis jumps up to one of the cells and demands that the group be released, but the guards knock him to the floor and beat him with their batons. As Benji tries to defend Travis, Barris hits Benji in the head with a club, leaving him twitching on the floor. Guards throw Travis into an old boiler room chimney overnight, attack the remaining prisoners.
Trapped in a dark cauldron, Travis realizes that a hidden infrared camera is watching him even here, and as his gloom turns to anger, he manages to get out. He interrupts Chase's rape of a prisoner, knocks him out and frees the other prisoners. Finding Benji chained and abandoneddying, Travis attacks the guards, chasing them. Even as the rest of the guards try to open the doors to escape, Barris tries to hold them back. Money is no longer his main concern, instead he is unwilling to give up his power. This is followed by a brutal fight with the prisoners, who for the most part suppress the guards.
Barris, blaming Travis for causing the riot, tries to stab him, but the latter catches the blade in his hand. Barris pulls away abruptly, shocked by his actions. Travis continues to brutally beat Barris when the red light finally comes on. The doors open, signaling the end of the experiment. The group appears in the bright sun and sits in silence on the grass, waiting for the bus to arrive. We are shown how they were taken home by bus: washed, dressed and paid for participation in the experiment. Travis and Barris silently look at their $14,000 checks. Nyx asks Travis if he believes that humans are higher in the chain of evolution than apes. Travis answers positively because people have the ability to change. Audio snippets of the news show that Archalet is on trial for manslaughter.
Travis meets his friend in India. She notices that his knuckles are shattered, unlike when they were intact at the beginning of the film, indicating that he was incapable of violence at the time.
Reviews of the movie "Experiment"
Reviewers evaluatethe American remake is worse than the German original, which was more detailed. Critics believe that the director did not understand the experiment in Stanford prison. Reviews of the film "Experiment" read as follows:
- A very disturbing film because it is meant to show the true nature of people. A scientist gathers a bunch of people, all strangers, recruited for a $1,000 a day experiment. All these people had to spend two weeks in jail or they wouldn't get paid.
- The main characters were well-represented by leading Oscar-winning actors. In The Experiment, the cast of which will be introduced later, Adrien Brody plays the most outspoken prisoner, Travis, truly truthfully. Forrest Whitaker plays the shy and lonely Barris, who discovers a repressed Idi Amin inside of him. The rest of the actors also played well, but mostly they played cartoons.
- Forest Whitaker in The Experiment is a genius. The movie is an intense thriller that shows you the two sides of human nature: how people respect and react to authority, and people with authority tend to abuse it.
- Most viewers did not find it possible to give a good review of the film "Experiment". As much as you like the concept and as interesting as it is, you might just not like the movie. The picture shows things that many will find completely unnecessary and abstract.
- This film is a depiction of the human instinct to dominate and control. But he is toosuperficial, there is a lot of action, but little room for character development. Even the presence of two Oscar winners, Brody and Whitaker, cannot save this film from mediocrity.
- The way Forest Whitaker and Adrien Brody play in The Experiment brings drama to the action and conflict that lasts until the very end.
- "The Experiment" is a remake of the 2001 German film Das Experiment.
- On Rotten Tomatoes, only half of the reviews for The Experiment are positive.
- The film was filmed in the US state of Iowa and in India. Scenes that appear in India were filmed in Mumbai, New Delhi, Varanasi and Vindhyachal.
- Paul Scheuring, director of The Experiment, is none other than the creator of Prison Break, a series also about prison life.
- Actor Elijah Wood could take part in the shooting of the film, but after a few days of filming, he refused further cooperation.
Actors and roles of the film "Experiment"
- Adrien Brody - Travis.
- Forest Whitaker - Barris.
- Cam Gigandet - Chase.
- Fisher Stevens - Dr. Archaleta.
- Travis Fimmel - Jailer Helwig.
- Clifton Collins - Knicks.
- Maggie Grace - Bay.
"Experiment" proves that barriers are destroyed and reality begins to overshadow the illusion. The "experiment" aims to prove that his adaptation and acceptance of a certain level of expected behavior is based on isolation and circumstance. Days pass, and in this simulated reality that becomes real to all test subjects, opinions about authority and what is right and wrong become blurred. The 2010 film The Experiment is a smart, emotional drama that lights up the screen.
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