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What Mental Illness Does Oliver Have in ‘Saltburn’? A Cinematic Exploration

‘Saltburn’ is not your typical film; it’s a journey that takes viewers deep into the psyche of its characters, especially Oliver Quick, portrayed by the remarkable Barry Keoghan. The movie, directed by Emerald Fennell, is a blend of comedy and thriller that has captivated audiences and sparked intense discussions worldwide. As viewers grapple with the disturbing actions of Oliver, many are left wondering: what mental illness does Oliver have in ‘Saltburn’?

Let’s dive into the intricacies of this complex character and the psychological techniques that make this film brilliantly hard to watch.

Oliver Quick: From Protagonist to Antagonist

Instgaram | saltburnfilm | ‘Saltburn’ tracks Oliver Quick’s journey from innocent protagonist to manipulative antagonist.

‘Saltburn’ follows Oliver Quick’s transformative journey from a seemingly innocent protagonist to a deeply manipulative antagonist. Oliver befriends Felix Catton, his aristocratic and charming classmate, leading him to the enigmatic Catton family estate.

As the plot unfolds, Oliver’s disturbing actions and lies come to light, resulting in tragic consequences for Felix and his sister. His ultimate admission of orchestrating these deaths for personal gain reveals the depth of his deceit and malevolence.

The Most Disturbing Scenes in ‘Saltburn’

The film is filled with scenes that are hard to forget, leaving viewers both shocked and unsettled. While there are several moments that have sparked debate, three scenes stand out as the most challenging to watch for many viewers:

  • The Infamous Bathwater Scene: Oliver drinks bathwater from a tub that Felix had previously used, resulting in a scene that many viewers found utterly shocking.
  • The Graveyard Scene: Oliver grieves Felix’s death in a disturbing manner, engaging in solo sexual acts using the soil from his gravesite, leaving many traumatized.
  • The Egg Scene: A seemingly mundane moment becomes hard-hitting as Oliver orders an over-easy egg and sheepishly asks for it to be remade due to the runny yolk.

These scenes have ignited intense discussions on social media, with viewers expressing their shock, disbelief, and discomfort.

What Mental Illness does Oliver have in ‘Saltburn’?

what mental illness does oliver have in saltburn.

Instagram | theavc | While the film doesn’t diagnose Oliver directly, his actions hint at a complex psychological condition.

Many viewers have been left pondering the question: what mental illness does Oliver have in ‘Saltburn’? While the film doesn’t explicitly diagnose Oliver, his actions and behavior suggest a complex psychological condition.

One theory is that Oliver may suffer from a personality disorder characterized by manipulative and deceitful behavior, lack of empathy, and a distorted self-image. His ability to switch between charming and calculating makes him a compelling yet unsettling character.

The Psychological Techniques Behind ‘Saltburn’

Emerald Fennell’s masterful direction employs psychological distancing to unsettle viewers and create an atmosphere of unease. This technique manipulates four dimensions of distance to influence the viewer’s perception of a character:

  • Temporal Distance: The timing of the scenes, especially the bathtub and graveyard scenes, plays a crucial role in how viewers perceive Oliver’s actions.
  • Social Distance: Oliver’s relatability to viewers changes throughout the film, affecting their emotional response to his actions.
  • Hypothetical Distance: The realism of the scenes, particularly the egg scene, makes them more impactful and hard-hitting.
  • Spatial Distance: The proximity of the viewer to the scenes intensifies the emotional impact, making them feel uncomfortably close and realistic.

By skillfully manipulating these dimensions, Fennell creates a film that leaves a lasting impression on its audience.

Final Note

what mental illness does oliver have in saltburn.

Instagram | duchessofdork | ‘Saltburn’ is a cinematic masterpiece that delves deep into the complexities of human psychology.

‘Saltburn’ is a cinematic masterpiece that delves deep into the complexities of human psychology, particularly through the character of Oliver Quick. While the film doesn’t provide a definitive answer to the question of Oliver’s mental illness, it offers a thought-provoking exploration of his behavior and actions.

Emerald Fennell’s use of psychological techniques and Barry Keoghan’s riveting performance make ‘Saltburn’ a film that will continue to disturb and fascinate audiences for years to come.

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