Analysis Of Psychopathology In Film: Safety Not Guaranteed

3268 words - 14 pages

Analysis of Psychopathology in Film: Safety Not Guaranteed
Genesis Romero
Florida International University
Safety Not Guaranteed, a romantic drama, follows three journalists – Jeff, Darius and Arnau – and their adventures and investigation of a classified ad reading: "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed." The film is replete with troubled and conflicted characters, however protagonist Kenneth Calloway, the later found author of the ad in question, easily holds the most complex of psychological problems present ...view middle of the document...

His perception on the matter is highly pronounced in his stern and peculiar affect and even more so in his patterns of cryptic speech comparable to that of a spy or private investigator. Additionally, he maintains very little contact with society and is extremely paranoid about being discovered. As a result, he develops ideas of reference, keeps to himself, experiences difficulties with interpersonal relationships and is extremely suspicious of those who attempt to befriend him, questioning their every motive. Calloway’s schizotypal personality disorder is evident in multiple scenes throughout the film in which he displays one or a combination of symptoms required for proper diagnosis.

Scenes that Portray Schizotypal Personality Disorder
After waiting by the mailbox specified in the ad, Darius is able to identify Kenneth and follows him to his job at a supermarket. The film then focuses on a brief discussion between Kenneth and his coworker, or rather Kenneth imposing his complaints and ideologies. He rambles on about quantum mechanics and alternate histories, the cat in the box theory and how others are, what he believes, so wrongly convinced on their perception of time. Despite his dramatic body language and long-winded speech, the coworker’s silence and confused affect makes it evident that he fails to understand what Kenneth is so passionately trying to communicate and ultimately leaves the one sided conversation to go clean the bathrooms. It can be assumed that due to his schizotypy, Kenneth frequently goes off on these odd and eccentric rants about his ideas and beliefs. Later in the scene, Darius approaches another employee claiming she would like to fill out a comment card on Kenneth. The employee, who appears to be a manager or supervisor, apologizes to Darius, “Sorry ma’am, he’s a little…” (Connolly, 2012), finishing her statement with a hand motion that suggests she is apologizing for his abnormal nature.
Kenneth’s constricted affect is incessant throughout the film, however it is most noted or apparent during the scene in which he is approached by Jeff asking to be the partner sought in the ad. His response to Jeff, or lack thereof, consists of an affect that is cold, uninterested, and simply lacking of facial expression. The scene also serves as an effective portrayal of other symptoms, such as ideas of reference, odd speech, suspiciousness and paranoid ideation. After being asked if he needed a partner, Kenneth immediately responds interrogatively about Jeff’s mission and motives, to which he responds with a variety of reasons and an emphasis on the idea that any individual would like to go back in time. Despite the idea that time-travel could potentially be a topic of interest for many people, Kenneth remains distrustful, supporting the idea that he may be interpreting Jeff’s interest as something that is related specifically to him as an individual and not the actual mission of time-travel....

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