Dan is portrayed in the film as a victim. Do you agree or disagree with this perception of him?
Dan is shown as a victim of an emotionally unwell woman bent on destroying his family. However, this portrayal is extremely misogynistic and fails to recognize that in committing the initial adultery with Alex he was actually more wrong than she was; Dan, a married man, was knowingly putting his marriage in jeopardy whereas Alex, an unmarried woman with no commitments, did not have the same responsibilities.
It could also be said that Alex was a victim of a man who entered willingly into an illicit affair, cruelly discarded her without consideration for her feelings, and then becoming angry when she refused to be cast aside. Dan is not a victim but appears to be one because of Alex's dangerous and threatening behavior but it was his infidelity that provoked this in the first place. Dan also put the safety of his wife and daughter in jeopardy and this is not addressed in the film, which consistently blames Alex for everything that happens.
Do you believe Alex to be a psychopath?
It is difficult to view Alex as a psychopath when we are given to believe this is the first time she has behaved in this way and definitely the first time she has tried to murder somebody. It is more likely that she is a sociopath as she exhibits many signs of this condition. She has no regard for the happiness or welfare of others and sees other people merely as moveable pieces to be adjusted in the pursuit of getting what she wants. Although boiling Ellen's pet rabbit is clearly an evil, psychopathic action, true psychopathy exhibits the abuse and killing of animals from childhood. Alex is probably an amalgam of many psychological conditions that are triggered by Dan's abandonment and it is likely she would not have these reactions to anybody else.
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