Be aware that this edition of the “Weekly Wail” is a discussion of a very big spoiler regarding the recently released film The Invisible Man (2020). If you’ve not seen the film do so before diving any further. If you are unsure if you’ll like the movie, well, I expect you will. Why not read my review to learn why?

Okay, so if you are reading this, still, it means that you have seen the film or have no issue being spoiled.

Good.

I’ve been wracking my brain since I saw the film to place the time of something specific and the horrific implications of that specific something.

Based on the nature of what I am going to bring up, I am going to add a trigger warning here for a discussion on rape.

Elisabeth Moss on the poster. Not pictured is the Invisible Man

When did Cecilia become pregnant?

The big twist in the movie is that Adrian, despite Cecilia’s precautions, managed to rape and impregnate her. It is incredibly disturbing but also raises a question of the timing of the assault. I am relieved to know that I am not the only one who had the question of exactly when Cecilia was impregnated. Adrian wishes to control Cecila and believes that her being pregnant and having a child with him will keep her trapped. That much is clear. But when he commits the result, and how, also carries a lot of horrific implications.

This is, of course, horrific. It is the work of a sociopathic manipulator. It gets even worse when the film reveals that drugs have been included in the mix. Adrian not only raped Cecilia but used drugs to do it. The timeline the film gives for the time period of the pregnancy is about a month. Therein lies the problem, that whole month can accommodate a lot of time, particularly the two to three weeks Cecilia was living with James and his daughter. Cecilia could have been raped at any point during that month, and Adrian clearly had any number of ways and moments to commit the assault.

Adrian Griffin is a bastard and his desire to control Cecila leads up to forcibly create life as a tool to achieve his own wants. This is terrifying on its own and is enough to chill the blood of most women. But let’s talk about the invisible elephant in the room, here.

Did Adrian sexually assault Cecilia using the invisibility suit?

The doctor on the phone establishes the time frame of a month. Half of Cecilia’s time spent during that month was in hiding from Adrian, before his apparent suicide. However, Cecilia was not hard to track down, either. So, as we can see, Adrian had the drugs, he had the suit, and he had the news of his suicide floating out there.

So the question is this: was Cecilia sexually assaulted by an invisible man while in hiding or did the assault occur before the events of the film? The movie is ambiguous on this to a degree. The most obvious interpretation presented by what we hear directly from Tom, Adrian’s brother. Tom indicates that Adrian was aware of Cecilia’s use of birth control and replaced them with placebos. Chances are, in this scenario, there would be no need for the suit to be used in the assault. Though it is not inconceivable that Adrian would still wear it as a form of power-play. This manipulation through removing Cecilia’s birth control is still rape and is still anxiety-inducing but there are other potential scenarios that are potentially even more horrifying.

The second scenario is this: Adrian used the suit to assault Cecilia while she was in hiding in James’s home. Much of the first scenario can still work here. For example, the drugging could have been done in the house. Furthermore, under the guise of trauma, Cecilia’s exhaustion and long periods of potential dormancy from the drug would not be seen as entirely unusual. That would give Adrian plenty of opportunities, wearing in his invisibility suit, to assault Cecilia.

What do you think?

The fact that Adrian is potentially lurking around every corner of James’ house is disturbing and elevates what is already an incredibly horrible situation to something beyond the pale. I am still not sure if I buy Tom’s explanation of events. Then again, why should we? He is just as much of a monster as Adrian. Given how absolutely awful a human being Adrian appeared to be, however, I feel like the assault occurred during Cecilia’s period of hiding within the relative safety of James’ home.

Assault is assault and I am not going to say that one scenario is worse than the other. Both are absolutely terrible, nightmarish scenarios. However, something about the latter scenario is incredibly upsetting to me.

But, for those of you who have seen the movie, what are your thoughts? Do you buy the explanation Tom Griffin provides? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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