5 harrowing tales about motherhood that you need to watch to prepare yourself for 'The Cry'"
Postpartum depression is the least spoken about mental health issue and these reel tales have brought it to the big screen.
BBC 1's mini-series, 'The Cry', starring Jenna Coleman ('Victoria', 'Doctor Who') and Ewen Leslie ('Top of the Lake'), is set to stream on Sundance Now on November 8, and the show has already created quite a buzz with its complicated and unusual subject. The drama launched on BBC 1 in the UK on September 30 to rave reviews and became the most watched program in its timeslot and the second biggest new drama launch of the year on all platforms.
As a first-time mother, Joanna (played by Coleman) who already struggles from postpartum depression finds herself in motherhood all alone, as her husband Alistair (played by Leslie) is more focused on getting the custody of his child from his previous marriage. As the couple set out on a vacation (a cover for Alistair's intentions to win the custody) to Australia, Joanna finds herself on the receiving end of a media circus when her baby boy, Noah, goes missing. However, that is not all that Joanna has to deal with. The hunt to find her son takes her down to the darkest pits of depression, and she soon discovers the betrayal which could have been the worst thing to happen to a mother.
While postpartum depression is a rare subject in discussions, several filmmakers have tried to showcase the issue through various movies, documentaries, and TV shows. From the 1968 Roman Polanski movie 'Rosemary's Baby' to Jason Reitman's 2018 comedy-drama 'Tully', these onscreen stories have told the plight of every mother who suffers from this state of depression. So, before watching the brilliantly heartbreaking story about Joanna in 'The Cry', here are the top five movies, documentaries, and TV shows that you should watch in order to understand postpartum depression:
1. Rosemary's Baby (1968, Movie)
Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Mia Farrow, Ruth Gordon, John Cassavetes, and Sidney Blackmer
Plot: When the young wife, Rosemary Woodhouse, moves into an odd and ominously reputed neighborhood with her husband, Guy, she finds herself in the company of a rather strange couple, Roman and Minnie Castavet. However, soon after her pregnancy is confirmed Rosemary becomes paranoid about her offspring's safety who she thinks is not of this world. Following the footsteps of Mary Shelley, who created 'Frankenstein' during her post-natal depression phase, Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated from the world around her as she struggles to welcome her baby into the world.
2. Susanna (2013, TV Show)
Director: Jon Avnet
Cast: Maggie Grace, Rebecca Mark, Sierra Mark, and Rob Benedict
Plot: When Katie develops a severe postpartum depression, she is no longer able to take care of her newly born child. As the responsibility shifts to her younger sister, Susanna- an investment banker with no interest in being a mother- motherhood takes a different definition. While her sister is hospitalized due to depression, Susanna understands the hefty duty of being a mother and how it can take a toll upon the entire family.
3. Prevenge (2016, Movie)
Director: Alice Lowe
Cast: Alice Lowe, Gemma Whelan, Tom Davis, Kate Dickie
Plot: Motherhood can be scary and this revenge movie takes it to an alarming level. When pregnant Ruth is widowed after she loses her partner in an accident, she is led on to a quest to seek revenge for his death. However, instead of the voice in her head being her own, it is her unborn child who leads her to commit one murder after the other. Ruth, though eventually scared of the apparent "monster" residing within her, soon embarks upon the homicidal rampage, murdering almost anyone coming in her way.
4. When the Bough Breaks (2017, Documentary)
Director: Jamielyn Lippman
Cast: Vanessa Benson, Lindsay Gerszt, Melissa Brockman, and Diana Lynn Barnes
Plot: This non-fictional take on postpartum depression revolves around Lindsay Gerszt, a mother who has struggled with the issue for almost six years, and has now set out on a journey to recovery and eventual discovery. The story chiefly spoken from Gerszt's perspective pulls in reference material from other women who have committed infanticide or suicide. This harrowing tale about the darker side of motherhood looks at the possibilities of overcoming this state of depression.
5. Tully (2018, Movie)
Director: Jason Reitman
Cast: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, and Ron Livingston
Plot: When already mother-of-two, Marlo, is pregnant with her third child, she finds herself chained down by the perks of being a mother as her hardworking husband, Ron remains clueless about his wife's degrading mental state. However, soon after the baby is born a night-time nanny, Tully is hired to help out Marlo with her daily chores. The story takes a turn as the two women come together in an uninterrupted bond shared by friendship and the mutual understanding of motherhood.