Locked Up (originally “run”) is a mystical drama and thriller from Anish Chaganti, best known for his chilling film The Search (2018). The script for “Run” was written by the director in collaboration with Seva Oganyan. The release of the tape took place in November 2020 on the Hulu streaming platform and received generally positive reviews from critics and viewers. Initially, the release of the film was planned for May 20, or rather on the weekend of Mother’s Day, which would be extremely ironic in relation to the bright holiday.
What is the movie Locked Up (2020) about?
A characteristic feature of the film is minimalism. The plot is built around two main characters: mother Diana Sherman and her daughter Chloe. All other characters are episodic and faceless. The film begins with a tragedy: after giving birth, Diana is brought in a wheelchair to a child who has survived many operations. To the question: “Will the girl get out?” The doctors don’t answer.
However, a lot of time passes and it turns out that the girl not only survived, but also adapted to the difficult conditions of her illness: she has asthma, paralysis of both legs, arrhythmia and diabetes. The mother is full of hope for the future of her daughter: for college and a brilliant career. Chloe takes medication every day and follows the rhythm and diet of her mother.
But the family idyll is interrupted by an unexpected event: Chloe, in search of her favorite sweets, finds a vial with strange green-gray pills that are written not on the girl, but on her mother. But Diana forces Chloe to take these pills, which causes concern in her daughter. The girl finds out that these pills are intended for dogs, and in humans they cause serious leg numbness and even paralysis. In the process of searching for the truth, Chloe finds out that all her illnesses are artificially caused by her mother and are needed in order for her to realize her overprotectiveness.
The girl finds out another terrible secret: the real Chloe, in fact, died two hours after birth, and the mother stole another baby from the hospital and passed her off as her own seriously ill daughter.
The meaning of the film
In the film “Locked Up” the main motive is “running”. For example, in the first half of the tape in the hospital, the inscription “no running” appears in the background for a few seconds, which can be translated not only as “do not run”, but also “does not work”. The image of the breakdown is also important to the understanding of the film: Chloe feels the brokenness she is trying to fix, like a broken lamp. The Internet is artificially switched off in the house, at the climax, because of the mother, electrical appliances fail, as if hinting that all the breakdowns in the house were made intentionally and with bad intent.
To understand the meaning of the film, it is also important to analyze the structure of the house: tomatoes grow in the garden in greenhouse conditions. The image of the greenhouse hints at the mother’s relationship with her daughter: Diana creates greenhouse conditions for the girl to stay with her forever. The mother not only surrounds her daughter with hyper-custody, she revels in her power and does not want to lose it, so she hides the truth and hides letters from colleges from Chloe, where the girl entered with a high entrance score.
Of particular importance in the film are the names that exude the atmosphere of ancient Greece. Diana is a hunting goddess, and the translation of the name Chloe is “fresh as green”. The name of the girl once again hints at the image of a greenhouse in which she, like tomatoes, grows in a closed artificial system.
The desire to patronize so obscures the eyes of the mother that she is ready even to kill. An innocent victim is a postman trying to protect a girl who has run away from home. His mother injects him with a lethal dose of chemicals, with which she later planned to inject Chloe into a coma so that she would stay with her forever.
The meaning of the ending “Locked up”
At the end of the film, Chloe rebuffs her mother – she detains her until the police arrive, and they shoot Diana. The last scene of the film takes place seven years later: Chloe has built a career designing prostheses for disabled children and enjoys helping them get back on their feet. Diana, in turn, was sent to a psychiatric hospital, where she is bedridden. Oddly enough, every week Chloe visits her and talks about her progress. There is an atmosphere of reconciliation and family idyll. But, in fact, Chloe comes to her mother to force her to take the same green and gray dog pills.
Thus, the mother’s overprotectiveness returns to her in the form of the daughter’s cruel revenge. The film’s last scene is a metaphor the director created to show what “hothouse conditions” lead to for a child.