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A Star Is Born Movie Review (2018) | Bradley Cooper’s Debut Is Arresting

A Star is Born movie is powerful and plaintive, packing in plenty of great songs that sum up to be a perfect entertainer. Since, it being this age’s reboot of the same story, which we already know from the past, justifies from what Bobby (Sam Elliott) has to say:

Jack talked about how music is essentially twelve notes between any octave. Twelve notes and the octave repeats. It’s the same story told over and over, forever. All any artist can offer the world is how they see those twelve notes.

Debut direction of Bradley Cooper and he chooses a project so gargantuan that it gives you the jitters. So the bar was already set high. Good news! He nails it. Cooper has his own style of direction too. It’s slow, subtle, poignant and elicits emotions aplenty. A Star Is Born movie needed to be exactly that and fortunately it is.

Lady Gaga is the voice that sparks alive the female lead character of Ally in the movie. You had your doubts if she could do an actress justice. But she has done it in the past with her cameos in some movies. That experience of standing behind the camera helped her in nailing her big role. Gaga is very realistic as she gradually slithers into the skin of Ally making it one of her own. Somewhere down the line, if someone were to look back, they would remember Ally to be the face of a singer who could actually sing too. A good call in casting there!

Story and Theme of A Star Is Born Movie

Goes without saying that the story demanded its lead characters to be the heart and soul of the movie which they pretty much are. A side plot plays too with Jack trying to come to terms with his estranged brother Bobby which plays an equally important part in giving the story a great direction to traverse in.

Lady Gaga wears her flamboyance like a true star, channeling it into her character. She is unafraid of shaking her head, looking clumsy whilst she does it, unfazed by her looks onscreen, with makeup or without one. Gaga is an epitome of confidence that inspires you to lead life unbothered by people’s thoughts. She isn’t conscious but bold that’s what makes her perfect for the role. To top that she has a voice of gold and does Ally impeccable justice.

What the screenplay writers, Bradley Cooper, Eric Roth and Will Fetters, do is leverage Ally’s insecurity towards her looks, her long nose in particular and let it come into play dictating the direction of the story. That’s like a home run. Inventive! Improvising things and using it to their maximum advantage. That’s just smart thinking.

Bradley Cooper – A Powerhouse of Talent

Words fail to express the powerhouse that drives A Star Is Born movie forward –  Bradley Cooper. The multi-talented star juggles his job well between playing the protagonist of the movie and directing himself into the scenes that evoke empathy.

bradley copper in a star is born movie

Who is Jackson Maine? (Spoilers)

A drunk and a drug addict alright! Wrapping up a song in his opening scene. Could have been an encore to an ongoing concert. Who sings it? None other than Mr. Cooper himself. How talented is this bloke?

He plays Black Eyes in the beginning before making his way to a waiting car. Brad directs himself to show the soothing of the numbness he feels after a performance by taking a gulp directly from a bottle. You can listen to the tangible concern of his driver as he channels into a small talk, nevertheless looking for something to drink in a bar.

Hitherto you are thinking, there is nothing really likable about his character, to begin with, just his songs that paint him in a picture rad. But you gradually begin to love him as he unfurls showing what goes inside his thick head, as he pinpoints talent in a destined bar. Falling in love with Ally the Lady who didn’t have to go gaga over him since he made it effortless – How, you ask? Well, he listened to what she has to say. Taking care of her, letting love happen slowly.

I think you might be a songwriter. And don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody. But I am not very good at keeping secrets.

Ally’s dreams were painted up quick as this lad invites her over to one of his gigs. And guess, what he sings? One of “her” songs that she had only once mentioned in passing. Can you imagine how painfully attentive he was? As if he remembered everything she said that night in a parking lot. Had he played that conversation over and over in his head? Not hard to fall in love with this guy then.

Ally – A Dreamer

There is something about watching someone experience a life full of grandeur from the eyes of someone who has never experienced it before. Ally is one such character as she embarks on a private jet that catapults her toward her dream. Even though she secretly knows it that being with Jack meant ushering into a perfect life, deep down she is reluctant and insecure about her looks and questioning – what does he see in me?

She isn’t really prepared for the bomb Jack drops on her by letting her do the encore. It’s a huge opportunity that basically justifies the cliched saying of:

“When an opportunity comes knocking at your door, you gotta grab it.”

So she does. In that split second of her decision, she decides to go for it, that it was a chance that she might not ever have, that Jackson happened to her for a reason. So she dives in eyes closed trusting her guts, making up her mind as we see her nodding to herself that she could do it.

Then some serious music happens. The “shallow” song is probably one of the best I have heard in a long time.

Shallow

Here’s a peek into it:

Performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Watch Lady Gaga go Wohoooo wohooo wo! How intense is that? It’s lodged in my head and I can’t get it out. I am probably gonna sing it for a really really long time. You know, just what a good song should do.

Talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you will never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we are supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they are listening, or how long they are going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.

Bobby – The Elder Brother

There is a side plot that runs in the form of Bobby in A Star Is Born movie. Bobby is played by Sam Elliott who is Jack’s older brother, and here the word “old” is literal. Jack has a lot of respect for his dead father, overlooking what he had turned him into. Drinking/drugs was a habit he took from him when he was just 12. He was a bad father but to Jack, he still remained venerated. Bobby’s thoughts about their father being bad, fumes Jack invariably as the youngling ends up having no chill.

Maybe its time to let the old ways die.

One fine day as Jack tries to visit their father’s grave with Ally, he realizes that the land has been sold off by Bobby. Feeling the pain of missing all the things he could have remembered him by, he punches Bobby who then goes on to quit being his manager. In his defense, Bobby tells him that he had told him before doing so, but Jack was too drunk to pay heed.

With that apparent tension, Bobby gets sidelined in the story of A Star Is Born movie as the focus goes on to Ally and Jack once again. With Bobby out of the equation and Jack seething in pain when Ally isn’t around or when things don’t work out, Jack realizes he doesn’t have anyone to take care of him. Bobby was his sole family whom he had punched in the face and pushed away.

The Apology

It is the realization of being wrong which is the most important thing in life. Accepting your fault, most important of all, saying it out loud in front of the concerned, hoping to be forgiven. Admitting things that, you know, would allay tensions. How do you live with your guilt if you knowingly don’t accept? It takes a lot of balls. In A Star Is Born movie, Jack grows them once he visits the rehab and decides to bring his life back on track.

still from A Star Is Born Movie

You see him in tears readily then, which feels pious as he breaks barriers that held him from speaking out in admittance of all things he had done wrong. With hopes to make amends with his brother we see him apologizing to Bobby in what feels like a ground shaking moment.

It is one of the most powerful subplots that the movie cashes in on. Something that shatters you beyond the limit. It binds you in a soul-stirring conversation between brothers one of whom is trying his level best to get vindicated saying things that he, otherwise, wouldn’t have ever said. The reaction to that has also been captured painstakingly well through tears Bobby is trying to hide as he puts his car in reverse. It tears you up as you feel the pang slowly making its way into your gut.

That’s just really hard. We want things to automatically take a course when we grow up. We don’t want to spell out things that embarrass us or show us that we are less. In doing so, we don’t say a lot of things and things don’t mollify on its own. Strains remain. What Jack does is beyond compare and he leaves you in awe forcing you to love him even more.

The Debacle

Let’s go back to the main event fiasco. The place where the story was already headed, shows up where Jack, the protagonist of A Star Is Born movie, ends up doing something despicable. In a state of inebriation, he walks with Ally to the stage. It is almost defiant and obnoxious of him and makes you feel as if he was covetous for not having a Grammy himself. To make matters worse, he ends up peeing on the stage too. It is an act that can’t be forgiven, and yet we see Ally forgiving him all along, understanding him the way nobody does.

Relationships nowadays are paper thin. They end within a blink. You are not even ready for it as the gavel falls and nature seals your fate. But Ally knows when a person is truly sorry. She knows the colossal import of Jack’s life in hers, how she was next to nothing earlier and how she was picked up from there and put up on a dreamy podium. Contradicting it, even though it is a life mingled in gratitude, a person could only take so much.

What Jack does is beyond forgiveness, and even so, as it is happening, you realize how keen Ally is to save him from the laughing eyes of people. Even when he is rushed to the washroom as Ally’s father Lorenzo (Andrew Dice Clay) curses Jack, destroying him with his words in his inebriated state, Ally is still there with him, crying, not leaving him alone and taking care of him despite what he had just done to her involuntarily.

Feeling Sorry

It was his doing, everything, right from the beginning. His choices, the whirlpool that took everything down with him. It’s Ally who is suffering for the most part of it. He takes full responsibility for his actions as an aftermath in the rehab where he has full time to reflect on his deeds.

As Jack breaks into tears for the first time explaining how sorry he really was for his actions, how he made Ally look like a fool, how her father was really disappointed in him, she forgives him instantly. Driving the nail further in, she explains it really didn’t matter what the world thought of him, or what her father thought of Jack, what mattered to her was his importance in her life which was beyond compare.

A Star is Born movie Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga

It’s love unconditionally, and you know it.

Rez Gavron

Throwing in an inevitable bad guy image is Rez Gavron (Rafi Gavron) who is not really a bad guy in the movie if you really look at it. He does not come under the radar as one and does not identify as a villain. He is just a guy who is trying to set things right by being real, straightforward and blunt. What other movies call an antagonist for theatrics is simply a regular guy in here who is trying to do what is best for his company.

But the moment he steps into the ring, from the perspective of Jack, you begin sensing trouble. It is evident when Ally is first stopped by him for a record label deal. Jealousy and concern are painted all over his face as he paints a cake on hers. But he approves of it nevertheless. But what the record does to Ally is something only Jack is secretly aware of.

He didn’t want her to drift towards pop for cheap thrills which Rez really wanted her to do. She was extraordinary as a country singer whilst Jack wanted her to stick to it. He didn’t want her getting lost into the lost sea.

Ups and Downs

The concern is evident when he ends up drinking too much every now and then, sometimes failing to attend even her concerts and her special occasions. Once he wakes up at his friend’s Noodles’ (Dave Chappelle‘s) house where he apologizes to Ally for his behavior then ends up marrying her the same day.

Something Noodles said is so deep that it makes you wonder:

You know, it’s like you float out at sea, and then one day you find a port, say, “I am going to stay here a few days.” A few days becomes a few years. And then you forgot where you were going in the first place. And then you realize you don’t really give a shit about where you were going because you like where you are at.

It is like a series of ups and downs then, which is yet another unavoidable thing once you are engaged with another life. The mess-up, the apologizing, the messing up again. You cannot really run from it. It is the way of the world. That’s how things function and the wheel keeps moving. Saying his heart out loud, he messes things up by spelling out what he didn’t want her doing. He even calls her ugly to win the conversation. But just like it is so hard to take away things that mean so much to someone he fails to make a point. Ends up apologizing once again.

The Ending of A Star Is Born

After the big mess up at the Grammys and the aftermath, Rez the inevitable Gavron, walks in his house and flings at Jack what is on everyone’s mouth. That how ridiculous Jack made Ally appear at the Grammys. He wanted him to back off. But you don’t know what Jack has been thinking all this time.

To tell a depressed person you are worthless is like adding fuel to fire. So, he reiterates an anecdote from the past wherein he had tried to hang himself to a ceiling fan, only then, the fan had fallen due to his weight. This time it doesn’t happen so as Jack hangs himself in defeat in his garage to a waiting dog outside who had no clue what was going on.

You are constantly feeling it, how gut-wrenching an experience it is going to be if Ally found out what Jack was up to. Watching him “do the deed” your insides have melted already. Bradley Cooper spares you the crushing feeling of defeat as he chooses not to show his face, or the aftermath of death, or even Ally’s feelings when she might have returned from her concert to see a hanging Jack. No! He spares you the tears because he knows that moment is so shattering that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to bear it.

I felt this urge suddenly to fall on the ground crying but fortunately or unfortunately the direction of A Star Is Born movie walks past the pain and the grief that should have been an immediate follow-up ends up being not shown. It goes directly to a point in time which is some days later.

Aftermath the Deed

Parents are cursed to take the blame of their children. They want the pain to go away. A grieving Ally tries to explain how it never was her father’s fault.

Bobby helps her bounce back by telling her the truth: It was Jack who brought it upon himself. It wasn’t Rez as some might have already been insinuating. It was Jack all along. Him, the situation and his addiction that he often took respite in, in order to mull over.

It almost feels like cheating. As if it was one huge deception that swallowed both their lives. Ally deserved to know what was going on inside the head of Jack and in that final moment of them being together you wondered what could have happened had he told her what was bothering him.

Jack: Hey!
Ally: What?
Jack: I just wanted to take another look at you!

A Star Is Born movie ends at a high note as the camera oscillates to and fro to a singing Ally who sings one of Jack’s own songs he had written in Ally’s notebook in the rehab. His old school song was about never falling in love again. It metamorphoses into something which is simply apt for the moment, as she claims, if she had time in her hand she would have at least said goodbye.

a star is born movie still

It is powerful and just about befitting for the moment onscreen. A Star Is Born movie ends on a great note where Ally seems lost in the past with a montage of their happy images.

Songs in A Star Is Born Movie

Songs they have used in the movie are outright outstanding too. Here’s a list of all the performed songs that are there in A Star Is Born movie:

  • Black Eyes
  • La Vie En Rose
  • Out of Time
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  • Maybe It’s Time
  • Alibi
  • Shallow
  • Music to My Eyes
  • Diggin’ My Grave
  • Always Remember Us This Way
  • Look What I Found
  • Heal Me
  • I Don’t Know What Love Is
  • Is That Alright?
  • Why Did You Do That?
  • SNL
  • Hair Body Face
  • Before I Cry
  • Too Far Gone
  • I’ll Never Love Again

Here’s from where you can buy your own copy of all the songs in A Star Is Born movie:


Yet another freebie for you. Here’s a video of one of the songs called “Look What I Found” performed by Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born movie. Vevo has done a great job with the video btw.

The Final Verdict

There is ample gravitas pulverized in the story of A Star Is Born movie. It is consuming and overwhelming at the same time. You cannot relate to the characters enough. You are constantly wishing things to stay alright for them, forever vouching for a happy ever after at all times. But alas, no matter how many remakes it goes through, the story eventually feels only fulfilled, if it ends on a high note like that.

Luckily A Star Is Born movie has all the elements in it right from epic songs and epic acting to epic drama ingrained. Makes for a perfect watch. Go have a teary blast!

Like the review of A Star Is Born movie? Check out more cool reviews and analysis on our site.

Christopher Robin Movie Review (2018) | Understanding the Real Meaning | Full Analysis with Spoilers

What an alluring analogy! Christopher Robin movie is a gorgeous satire pointing all its paws towards what we have become. It tries to remind us of our place in the world. At the same time, throws light on how jobs have turned us into something else altogether. Not only were we puppets to fate earlier, now we are dancing to the tune of extant “Heffalumps” in our lives too.

Christopher Robin movie makes use of numerous strong puns in its screenplay where it compares our life to the pointless chore it has become. It expounds the meaninglessness of the life we are leading, of how ugly job has made us. And it delivers the point in a way that’s easy to grasp.

Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.

At the same time, Christopher Robin does not suck out all the magic from a fictional character like Winnie the Pooh. It serves both kinds of audience – people who don’t think too much, and those who do. While the latter has a lot to gain from a beautiful movie like this, it does not fail to impress the former too. The integrity of all the fictional characters in Christopher Robin movie is saved as if they were all real even though they were nothing but a figment of Christopher’s imagination.

If you are confused and wish to understand the analogy sandwiched in the gorgeous frames of Christopher Robin, I have decided to do a proper analysis of Christopher Robin Movie. Check it out:

The Plot Analysis of Christopher Robin Movie (Spoilers)

Members of Hundred Acre Wood are throwing a goodbye party for young Christopher Robin (Orton O’ Brien) as he is headed to boarding school. Imagine characters like Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo and Owl as soft toys Christopher has. He plays with them regularly until one day he is forced to leave them behind just like one has to when one crosses a certain age. Remember Bing Bong from Inside Out?

Pooh: What should happen if you forget about me?

Young Christopher Robin: Silly old bear. I wouldn’t ever forget about you, Pooh, I promise. Not even when I am a hundred.

Christopher Robin and winnie the pooh

But what happens to all your favorite toys when you grow up? Life happens. Christopher Robin, too, forgets all about them – his playthings. Until one day the topic is brought up by his daughter who he is not paying much attention to because of work. She has come across his old collection. With the collection tingled, we see what Pooh is up to in Hundred Acre Wood. It’s like a spark that ignites in Christopher’s mind making him imagine his favourite soft toy once again.

I would have liked it to go on for a while longer. Perhaps it’s our turn to save Christopher.

The Marionette

The company he is working for is run by Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss) who has asked Christopher to lay down 20% of resources. Owing to that he is compelled to work even on weekends thus upending plans of enjoying with his family in the countryside. We all have those “Winslows” in our lives who call your shots, who have your rein in their hands. They have you under their control and there’s nothing you can do about it. You are forced to follow their command or it might cost you and your family everything.

Christopher Robin: You promised these people good jobs!

Giles Winslow: And I thought you’d do anything for this company.

In the back of his head, he is well aware of what he has been doing to his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter by not spending much time with them. It is there inside his skull well-lit, the fact that he needs to stop being a marionette to his boss’s demands and take a stand, live a little. Unfortunately, that part is dim and surmounted by his feeble mind that has been wired to run timidly. Ultimately, he gives in to Winslow’s demand and decides to stay back while his family goes to Sussex without him.

Evelyn Robin: You won’t be coming to the cottage?

Christopher Robin: It can’t be helped.

Evelyn Robin: Your life is happening now, right in front of you.

The Arrival of Winnie the Pooh

It’s always a sunny day, when Christopher Robin comes to play

When they are leaving we see a bottle of honey falling to the ground. It is subtly placed by the writers to announce the arrival of Pooh and here honestly kept for Christopher to notice in order to bring back those memories from the past. Think of honey as a reminder that takes him back to the time when he was a kid. He begins to imagine once again how Pooh would show up into his world out of nowhere.

Christopher Robin and winnie the pooh in London

Winnie The Pooh: Your ladder is broken.

Christopher Robin: That was a shelf.

Winnie The Pooh: Well, that explains why it was no good for climbing.

So what we thought of as a ladder, the position or the status you thought you would get in a company is basically a shelf. We are all stowed in the same place and we are given an illusion of growth. We are not climbing but running, just on a treadmill.

Christopher is basically remembering things as they were. What would Pooh say if he were around? How clumsy would he be! And yet so intelligent by saying things that he would otherwise scoff at. But in reality, he is the only person putting words into the mouth of a motionless teddy bear. This notion isn’t imaginative anymore for the viewers now, even though in a way it is.

Christopher Robin: I have cracked!

Winnie The Pooh: Oh, I don’t see any cracks. A few wrinkles, maybe.

Dealing with himself and spending a night and a wrecked morning, Christopher decides to take Pooh back to his home. He catches a train to Sussex.

Christopher Robin: No, no, no! This can’t be happening! It’s stress.

Winnie The Pooh: But it’s not stress. It’s Pooh.

Catching the Train

It’s a whole lot of trouble for Christopher as he struggles to take Pooh back to his home. Winnie wears a childlike innocence that will make you go – “Hey! I used to be like that when I was a kid. Whatever happened?”

Christopher Robin: Just try and be a less, a less exuberant you.

Winnie The Pooh: Ex-Pooh-berant.

The bear is in love with balloons, surprises people by failing to “stay dead” and struggles to understand the weird world of adults. Why everyone behaves in a certain way? Why are they so cold? He calls the journey an expedition, an adventure, aggrandizing mundane things like we used to, back when we were kids.

Christopher Robin: I wonder which way.

Winnie The Pooh: I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I’ve been.

Making the Most of Life

Pooh is a creative bear making games, making the most of any situation and having fun – the very definition Christopher’s life is void of today. As a grown-up, there is lesser time for Christopher to be creative. His job is chewing him and he can’t squeeze out enough time to dive into possibilities.

Pooh makes some valid points that will make you step into a whirlpool of thoughts.

Winnie The Pooh: What day is it?

Christopher Robin: It’s today.

Winnie The Pooh: My favorite day.

On being told about the rest of the Hundred Acre gang, Christopher Robin is being hit with their memories one by one.

Christopher Robin: I haven’t thought about them in years.

Winnie The Pooh: Well, we think about you every day.

It is so sad. All the things we held dear are captured in time, and it will only take a moment to remember them and revive them, make them afresh and brim them alive. And yet we are oblivious to their existence. Good times are only a thought away. Yet we have forgotten our good times, our childhood toys and the way they used to rejoice us.

A Battle with Himself

Christopher Robin movie’s most poignant moment arrives when Christopher tries to reason with Pooh. He tries to make him understand the importance of his work. To an innocent mind, it does not make any sense. He knows that! It is like a battle with himself.

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

It is when Pooh asks Christopher about his “working” world that things begin to get grim. Pooh thinks that all the people he works with are his friends, which Christopher at once refuses. It is so true – You are spending so much time with them, why are they not your friends? It is a work culture that we have bred that makes us strangers even though we see each other every day. We are distant with people that are in our vicinity. Why is it like that? Aren’t we playing (working) under the same roof? Why are there boundaries separating us from being with each other?

We just need a leap of faith!

A workplace is no fun, and the very definition has been gradually instilled as we have started becoming aloof to each other. We have cubicles defining our place and whispers stopping each other from celebrating with everyone. We are no longer friends. Humans, nay, adults are wired not to work well with each other. Our differences set us apart and it is hard to make that clear to a child. But what seems like a juvenile question is, in fact, a soul-shaker. It only makes us see our ugliness.

Importance of Work

On being asked what’s inside his suitcase, Christopher brands it as the most important thing in his life, that his whole life depends on it. Accidentally Pooh opens the suitcase and all his papers jostle out with the wind miffing Christopher in the process. A fight ensues and Pooh realizes that Christopher is better off without him. That he no longer is that fun person he used to be when he was a kid.

Think of it all as a conscious mind fighting with his sub-consciousness, reasoning with him and seething in the pain that emanates from his actions. “Why can’t I be the way I used to be?” is what Christopher is wondering. “Why are these papers so important? All I am is a moment away from dumping them and having a time of my life. But why can’t I?”

Heffalumps and Woozles Analogy in Christopher Robin Movie

Heffalumps and Woozles are compared to bosses and managers who have your leash in their hands. So you already know they are monsters who force you to believe that the work at hand is the most important thing in your life, but it, in fact, is theirs or someone else’s. But you wheeze anyway under the load of their self-made work so much that you forget to live.

still of pooh piglet and eeyore

It is a constant tussle as we see him falling into a pit, here a “Heffalump Trap” that slowly fills with water. It is akin to a pool of tears when you are overwhelmed and you end up letting go. The backdrop of fog is a perfect setup of confusion and chaos. The vagueness makes you lose your sight. The vision becomes hazy and you gradually succumb to it.

Waking up he has a little bit clarity although he realizes he hasn’t yet paid attention or given a proper thought to what Pooh, his subconsciousness has been ranting all this time. Remembering the rest of his friends back when he was a kid he bumps into Eeyore. You could think of him running into the soft toy and then playing a conversation with him.

Eeyore – A Powerhouse of Despair

Eeyore is like a powerful emotion. A splash of negativity that you can’t get rid of. An essential too. His vision is more inclined towards seeing the worst of things. But he is necessary. You can’t stay positive all the time, can you? It’s just inevitable.

In Christopher Robin movie, we see Eeyore in the river headed towards the waterfall, a surefire fall, and yet not doing anything about it. It is kind of like our working life. We knowingly throw ourselves into the pit and refuse to take action. He even says that out loud:

Just have to go with the flow.

He has left himself to the hands of fate when he could have chosen to swim across and save himself. We see Christopher trying to put some sense in him but he is a paragon of despair. How many times have you become so complacent in life that you stopped doing anything to change it? The torpor just renders you useless and then a point comes when you just stop caring.

Laughing at my misfortune, just like a Heffalump.

Eeyore drives the nail further by confirming the analogy of Heffalumps in Christopher Robin movie. It is the boss, the manager or the leader who has the reins of your life and laughs at your misfortune. Christopher is very keen on proving that he is not like those horrendous monsters but their same old buddy. He wishes to earn back his respect. For that, he literally pretends to fight a Heffalump, the bad guy and successfully earns their trust.

Finding the Rest of The Team in Christopher Robin Movie

It is a tad childish I know, but the young imaginative Christopher is back now. He is trying his best to, if you remove all the animals out of the equation, earn his own good trust. Making a silent promise to himself that he would be more happening and fun.

He then discovers Pooh to be in his favorite spot and then apologizes for shouting at him and getting upset thus making amends with himself by being at peace.

Christopher Robin: I am not the person I used to be.

Winnie The Pooh: You saved us. You are a hero.

Christopher Robin: I am not a hero, Pooh. The fact is, I am lost.

Winnie The Pooh: But I found you.

But what seemed to be a newly acquired virtue of being fun, doesn’t last long as he wakes up. There is a mental alarm clock in all of us that wakes us up early in the morning preparing us to go to work, to be someone’s slave. Christopher is no different and he blasts past everyone he ever loved to catch that morning train.

It is a bummer for his daughter Madeline who had thought his father was there for her. She bumps into all of his father’s friends (you can read here as toys which he might have left in a hurry) and realizes that he has left all his important papers to dry. In that shot of madness, Christopher might have also filled it with things that were dear to him. Here in the Christopher Robin movie, it has been theatricalized to be done by Tigger primarily because its character is funny and clumsy.

The End Run

Now Madeline takes that as a mission to deliver the important papers to her father with all the newly found friends. Also, she isn’t willing to go to boarding school and wishes to dissuade her father from sending her there. She leaves a note for her mother before leaving for London.

still of madeline robin in christopher robin movie

Even on the train, you see different perspectives when Pooh wishes to play the same game of naming things he sees.

Winnie The Pooh: It’s called “Say What You See”. You, first, Eeyore.

Eeyore: Disgrace. Shame. Humiliation.

It is interesting that Piglet points out fear and stress, while Eeyore goes for what you generally feel when you try to be different.

At the office, in the meeting, Christopher discovers that the papers were missing. Just then Evelyn arrives and informs him about their missing daughter. They both start looking for her while Madeline and gang end up in Winslow company crates.

The Most Important Thing

Eventually, all of them meet and Madeline breaks it to Christopher that she wanted to deliver the most important thing – “papers” to him. It melts Christopher’s heart finally. The feeling that made him feel her void, the tension that he carried in his heart while looking for her, helps him realize that there was nothing more important than his family. That he didn’t care about the papers anymore. He even agrees to not send Madeline to the boarding school instead spend some quality time with them. Things in his office automatically take the right course when he becomes bold and takes a stand against his “Heffalump” Giles Winslow. Then he barges out with his family and toys.

Work finally loses to the family. With that, the Christopher Robin movie ends on a happy note with a new and reformed Christopher for whom family always comes first.

You can order Christopher Robin movie with bonus content from here:

The Reality Serum | Ending of Christopher Robin Movie Explained

To the viewers of Christopher Robin movie, Pooh is made real, and that happens on so many occasions to a gawking world around. Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet end up waving or talking to many people they come across in London. While it could be a jest that Marc Forster, the director of Christopher Robin movie, could be playing at but somehow it all doesn’t fit in the equation. How can others see them?

Madeline Robin: You’re talking.

Winnie The Pooh: No, I’m not talking. Well, I am now, I suppose.

To that you can say, these are all people who have begun to see the spark Christopher carries. They have started observing things, those imaginative and creative efforts that Christopher brought to the world when he was a kid. It leaves its shine on all those he comes across. So when the driver sees Tigger talking or when the policeman witnesses it too, you can think of it as Madeline playing with all the soft toys now. When you see a child making you a make-believe cup of tea, you never say no to that. So the characters she comes across too play along.

I know it’s a bummer to figure out fantasies are not real. But it makes a lot of sense when you tack them against an imaginative board. But all those stories that carry a handful of fairy dust of fantasies and miracles, they all simply try to layer up the crux that they wish to deliver. It is up to you, to look past the figments and figure out the true meaning behind.

Christopher Robin: If I work really hard now, in the future our lives will be…

Evelyn Robin: Impressive? Worse? We don’t care. We want you.

The Final Verdict

If you take all the members of Hundred Acre Wood out of the equation and try to understand the mindset of a guy who is having one of his episodes of nostalgia you realize the true meaning behind the Christopher Robin movie. It doesn’t elude it, except maybe towards the end where it becomes too childish to be taken seriously. It begins to dwindle by the end.

Some of those things are acceptable, only if you understand, the writers and the director were keen on catering to both kinds of viewers, ergo the resultant work suffers.

There’s always time for a smackeral of wonder.

But if you focus on all the goods that I have pointed, you will realize Christopher Robin movie is one hell of a film that has been brilliantly imagined. Hats off to everybody who was associated with it in any way. They have done a great job!

American Animals Review (2018) | Perceptive Unlike your Regular Heist Movies | Spoilers and Analysis

American Animals is one of the most genuine movies I have seen in a while. It is a true story made around the most audacious heist in the history of US. If you are thinking it is just a heist movie, you are dead wrong because it is much more than that. It is not just a movie, it is an experience. An experience of a lifetime that gradually becomes detrimental by the time it reaches its climax. It changes lives in its wake.

Above all, American Animals doesn’t aggrandize robbery unlike other heist movies, rather gives you a proper ride into some rebel’s idea of living. Showcasing realistic repercussions of a heist when it goes wrong without overlooking the regret that constantly badgers one’s head. You are basically living it, each moment the way the real-life characters lived it. And it is very painful to go through their traumatic experience.  But to understand why they did what they did isn’t that difficult to comprehend either when you start relating to what went inside their heads before the heist actually began to take shape.

Even the music build up that often goes with heist movies when they are about to perform a heist is absent here. There’s limited contrivance staring at your face making American Animals movie appear as tense as it should be. You can feel the chills, the real thrill when the robbery is about to happen. It makes you reflect on the enormous magnitude of what is about to go down.

The Analogy with Birds in American Animals

It goes without saying that the characters in the flick, the perpetrators are all American Animals as suggested by the movie posters. To understand its profound analogy the director Bart Layton starts off with the characters painting themselves up as Old men, based on Spencer Reinhard’s (Barry Keoghan) ruse of deceiving the world with their disguises. The reason Spencer puts in as:

Being old is the closest thing to being invisible.

When you are old, people simply lose interest in you. All your mojo just vanishes. What a beady-eyed fella to notice something so minuscule. We see a montage of images showing an idea of an upside down world, the way an artist sees it. His ideologies are different from the rest because the rest of them are happy wallowing in their meaningless lives. His is the exact opposite.

american animals movie still

The paintings also depict the real American animals at times becoming predatory in their idea of freedom. They are preying on the weak and the less fortunate, in short complying with the cycle of life. An eagle prancing on a mouse or a duck preying on a butterfly is depictive of that. Something similar happens in American Animals too. We will come to that part soon.

We see owl eyes as a simile to Spencer Reinhard’s character who is this keenly observant kid who is an artist who loves to draw extraordinary sketches. He is also the most perceptive of all just like an owl in the dark.

The Definition of Success

A watching world that used to surround their lives begins to make their statements on the heist, an aftermath judgment that people often expel when a storm has passed. They are so distant to these characters that they have no clue whatsoever. They didn’t have an inkling about the ploy that was boiling in their child’s mind. Why are we like that? Why are we so lost in ourselves that people around us suffer?

It’s like we woke up in a nightmare.

One of the parent’s wished their child to be successful. American Animals intrudes a new meaning to this very concept through the mouth of Warren Lipka (Evan Peters) later on who drives this powerful nailing words through your head:

Which fucking future are you worried about? The one that’s fucking indistinguishable from everyone else’s? Where you fucking beaver away to get the shit you are told you need to have by some fucking asshole who’s gonna tell you what a great big success you are once you get it all?

You know he is right on almost immediately. Why do we waste away our lives to become someone’s idea of success? What is there at the end of it? What is it that we crave for in their diction?

The Amazing Screenplay

The real Spencer presents it in a much better way on being questioned this:

Who are you as an artist?

He replies:

Growing up, I had a desire for some kind of life-altering experience. I started to read about other artists. They were always affected by some kind of tragedy in their life, and had to suffer a great deal. Van Gogh ended up killing himself. Monet went blind. I felt like they understood something more about life that I wasn’t getting to experience. Art has to be about more than just “My life is great, and I am really good at drawing.”

Once we cut to Spencer’s fraternity where he is on the receiving end being bullied by the seniors, we get to explore him more. A more perfect reply wouldn’t exist, as we get introduced to the second character of the American Animals movie, Warren Lipka whose stealing ways were insinuated up early.

Seriously man, fuck fraternities. The reason to be a part of that is so one day you can walk in the door of an office you never wanna go in to see a guy you never wanna meet, all on the hopes that he might give you a job you never wanna fucking do.

Life’s Big Plans

One of the greatest lines of the American Animals movie gets delivered when Spencer and Warren are discussing how their lives didn’t turn out to be the way they wanted it to. They had an idea of college that they were looking forward to, but they were disappointed by it when they came across it.

Spencer: Do you ever wonder, you ended up being born you here, and not someone else? Do you ever feel like you are waiting for something to happen, but you don’t know what it is? But, it’s that thing that could, make your life special.

Warren: Yeah. Like what?

Spencer: Exactly.

Warren: “Like what?”

Birds of America

We see Spencer coming across this amazing art book by John James Audubon titled “Birds of America” that just sticks to his head. He estimates the cost of the book to be 12 million dollars and breaks it to Warren.

The genius of Bart Layton and the editor of American Animals can also be witnessed in the scene that follows. Both the real-life characters have a vague remembrance of them talking about the book. Warren remembers it to be in a party. Au contraire, Spencer remembers it to be in a car. The director merges both the perspectives so beautifully that it will blow your mind away. It’s just genius to savour both the ideas in one single frame.

The real-life plot begins to take shape when Warren becomes serious about the idea that was slipped to him. He googles a heist plan and tries to convince Spencer to take him on board.

Everyone in here thinks that they are gonna win the lottery, but no one buys a ticket.

Spencer is adamant about his conscience based on what he has seen.

It doesn’t work like that in real life. Bad guys, they don’t get to ride off into the sunset with the money.

The discussion ends with:

Aren’t you even curious in your little, little brain, to find out what would actually happen? To find out what would really happen in real life.

Then they watch all the heist movies to add up to their knowledge repository. Bart chooses to place Warren in one of the movies as if the instructions were directly directed towards him.

What would you do with the money? Aren’t artists supposed to starve?

The Plan on the Move

Things start to roll when Warren contacts someone dealing in stolen goods to book him a fence. Once again the contrasting stories are merged by the director to show both the angles. An email ID is given to him on which he sends a mail. In its reply, he is asked to visit the Netherlands in person. Spencer refuses but decides to pitch in half the money for the trip to happen.

Warren goes on to meet some black market dealers with a promise to produce the rare books with a hefty profit margin. Reluctant Spencer is one more time brought to the game plan by Warren.

A little subplot of American Animals manifests where we see Warren’s parents having a setback in their relationship. The director uses all these bits and pieces from Warren’s story to help others understand why it was the end of the world for Warren, why would he be so desperate to see, the only thing that made sense to him, through. The heist was suddenly supposed to give him the breakthrough he wished from life. We see him broken, shattered to pieces when he is sloshed in a pub picking fights deliberately.

american animals warren lipka played by Evan peters

Erik Borsuk

To see the plan through in American Animals, the inclusion of Erik Borsuk (Jared Abrahamson) becomes inevitable. With Warren, it is hard to reason with, as he places you in a position you can’t say no to. Especially when you are a loner like Erik who wishes to regain his friendship with Warren.

You are either in or out. This would be something dangerous, and very fucking exciting, that I need you to be a part of. This could change everything. This is your red pill or blue pill moment, my friend.

How can you say no to adventure? If your life is bleak that’s what you seek. Erik brings in reason to the team with his brain at the same time not saying no to any of it.

There’s one very interesting conversation between Warren and coach Bill Welton (Wayne Duvall) who has been noticing that Warren hasn’t been showing up to any of the games. Warren seems to have lost the reason why he used to be so jacked up for it.

Thing is I worked to get on that team since I was about five. And I have absolutely no idea why.

We should question why to everything. If we don’t get an answer to that question, it’s probably not worth the effort. Simple words to live by.

Welton talked about how Warren was a disappointment to his father. Whilst Warren says it out loud and clear for Bill to hear – what about his disappointment? He was disappointed by the college, the town and also him.

Chas Allen

They have a small enactment to see how easy the plan seemed from the outside. It’s like they were in a movie easing in and out without the nerves to shatter them. It is almost like a musical and they are playing it out like a boss.

But then the need arises for a lookout guy waiting for them in a getaway car.

I was torn between the desire to keep the adventure going, and waiting for the insurmountable obstacle that would stop everything in its tracks and return things to normal.

Thus comes Chas Allen (Blake Jenner) into the story who was a rich guy who could afford to buy a getaway car.

I think the qualities that we thought Chas could bring was money.

It was like living a movie for these characters. As things begin to trundle further down towards excitement, things naturally go up a notch. They name each other from the famous Quentin Tarantino movie – Reservoir Dogs. Everyone is allocated a task. The real quandary is who will take care of the librarian. That being a dirty job nobody wished to come forward. Warren accepts that task himself reluctantly.

The Day of the Robbery

The day comes when they are supposed to perform the heist. The team finishes up their tasks and begin dressing up as old men. They have their heart in their mouth as they draw themselves closer to the library. Bart shows everything beautifully. It is like a nerve-wracking moment unspooling inside their little brains as they bask in the enormity of the task at hand.

American Animals movie cast

There’s one moment where Spencer sees himself (here the real Spencer) picking up a newspaper outside a house. It is a frame that gets explained in the end. A future Spencer having a guilt trip, wishing he had stopped then and there. How he has played that scene over and over again in his head, him wanting to turn back from what was a surefire tumble. But the inevitability of the unknown, and the transformative experience of an artist that he aspired to have were already written.

Walking past the library door behaving as old men, being invisible, the four of them are counting their heartbeats when Warren freezes on seeing three more people with the librarian. The mission is aborted immediately as he freaks out. The rest of them abscond too. It is the best feeling as Spencer describes it, walking out without doing anything wrong. A relief that brings you back to the world of possibilities again.

It was like a new beginning.

Unfortunately for Spencer, the plan is still on as Warren makes a phone call to the library again under the pretext of a meeting.

Trying to Back Out

Spencer tries really hard and almost backs out from the heist. But it is hard to reason with a guy like Warren, who is very convincing by the way. He has all the right words and he knows how to use them.

You really wanna come all this way and not find out what happens next? I mean, tell me this hasn’t been the time of your fucking life. Man, I don’t want you waking up ten years from now wondering what could have happened, and who you could have been.

These are very impactful convincing words that are hard to fight. You know it is all true, but under a different pretext. How do you reason with it? How do you reason with the truth?

Spencer runs at night boiling with emotions and stops to find the same flamingo that he had seen in Audubon’s book. Wanting to be one of his favorite artists, that too without doing anything, and waiting for something extraordinary to happen seemed far-fetched. Spencer knew that it was a degrading plan. So he comes to a decision, makes up his mind.

You can go through life with this expectation that something fantastic is gonna happen, something life-altering that’s gonna make your life different and unique. I realized that I had to actually make something happen on my own.

To not do anything to change the course of life would be to die of boredom and normalcy. He wanted to be a part of the ripples, and his chance seemed to be only a day ahead.

Plan B

With everyone back on the same road they started on, they give it a shot again. This time without any disguises. Spencer chooses to stay outside as a lookout while Erik is the guy who was supposed to accompany Warren to make the actual heist.

Appearing as Walter Beckman, Warren enters the special collections room where he deals with the librarian, Betty Jean Gooch (Ann Dowd) however, fails to neutralize her. He calls Erik up despite his reluctance to go in and attack the librarian. They try to tase her but the taser fails to work properly. Then they tie her up.

The scene that takes place there is a perfect reflection of the painting where two eagles are preying on a bird. Warren and Erik are freaking out as they try to shut the old lady down but they fail at it. It is heart-numbing chaos as they try to retrieve the books. Glasses are broken, the librarian is hustled and dragged, books are stolen as they head towards the back exit. But there’s no back exit. The four of them had failed to check out their extraction point and had gone along with an assumption.

In the commotion that follows, they are forced to drop the two books that they were really after as they make a run for the exit. Everyone witnesses the robbery as the lads manage to escape. They still get away with two books that were worth something.

The Guilt Trip

It’s one of those major fuck-ups that could easily land them jail and Chas goes full rogue on Warren and Spencer pointing a gun at them. It is one of Blake’s greatest performance in a split second that shouldn’t go unnoticed or repressed by the already remarkable performances produced by Evan and Barry. Tears ease out as his uncontrollable emotions drop out his face making him look really vulnerable for the first time in the entire American Animals movie.

To have this need to know what is on the other side of that line and realizing the only way to actually do that is to cross it, there’s never a point in your life after that where you haven’t already crossed that line.

Erik puts his own thoughts in the equation too when he keeps on hearing the scream of the librarian in his head.

I felt so confident this was gonna be what I needed.

It’s easy to see that Warren has broken too as he zones out remembering the way he had mistreated the old lady. The real Warren Lipka breaks down on camera as he tries to put reason behind his horrible act.

We just tried to get past it, but there’s no looking past it.

In a series of screw-ups, there’s yet another addition as Spencer remembers using the same email address to make the library appointment that they used to use a lot.

The Falling Apart

In a theatrical end of American Animals, we see each of the characters being swallowed by guilt. It is, after all, you who you fear the most. If you keep it clean, tidy and with a conscience, you are basically the very best version of yourself. You are unbreakable. These guys had just ended up having cracks in them which they weren’t blind to.

This reminds me to quote Detective Rust Cohle from True Detective:

People incapable of guilt usually do have a good time.

Unfortunately, these teenagers were very much human and not criminals, to begin with. So they felt every blow, remembered every moment of the path of crime they walked on. It was painful for them to have walked on something so despicable that they hated themselves for it.

They all go down in their worst times as their misery ends with cops showing at their doors. They immediately know what’s in store for them. All of them get seven years prison time, costing them a life they hadn’t imagined they would miss out on.

You are taught your entire life that what you do matters and that you are special. And that, there are things you can point towards which will show that you are special, that shows that you are different when in all reality those things don’t matter and you are not special.

The Truth Behind Warren Lipka

Warren is one of the most interesting characters in the American Animals movie. He deliberately does crime so he could be punished. It is some sort of self-inflicting pain that he tries to make up for all the things that aren’t going well in his life. We see him asking for it in the very end too when he shoplifts intentionally and then throws the stolen item back at the security.

Is that all you fucking got?

It is his way of living, of choices he wishes to have to make his life interesting and exciting. The boredom is just killing and the stagnant sea of the crowd is sinking him.

Spencer reflects on a lot of things about Warren about how things were pulled over his eyes whenever he acted upon something. To an observer, Warren could have been this really insightful genius who used to think, unlike the mob. But to tack him to a wall based on the things he actually did, you can’t help but wonder who Warren really was.

Wasn’t he a prick, after all? A lying and cheating guy who duped his own friend and then pulled two more into the muck of his head. He was good with words so he made sure everybody was dipping their heads in his plan. The rest of the characters recall him as a bad person insinuating he was a liar too since they had no proof of him going to Amsterdam.

Would he then go to such limits taking high risks to inflict such level of pain? The question remains a blur.

The Final Word in American Animals

Every heist can be marked with one common reason – the thrill. The thrill that it gives, the adrenaline that it rushes in you, and the end result if all goes well basically stand as the driving factor of every heist. Why was it something more in here then? It was the sense of an adventure that the kids lacked. The living is so boring that we try to go after it even at a cost.

The final words are that of the librarian who was reduced to tears B J Gooch says:

I think they wanted things to come easy for them. They did not want to work for a transformative experience. They didn’t want to help other people to achieve a transformative experience. I find them all very selfish. And I see they all have trouble figuring out how a person crosses a line in their own mind, to be willing to hurt another person to get what they want. And I think that, once you’ve crossed that line, I think it’s a dangerous line to cross. It makes me wonder if they really know why they did it.

You can order American Animals from here:

The Symbolism of Audubon’s book Birds of America

There’s something about the drawings that Spencer draws in his pastime in American Animals. He has an obsession with birds, and it just goes on to show why he wishes to be free like them. In the ending placards, we see his interest growing with the birds just like Audubon’s.

Audubon had a transformative experience when he had gone into the wilderness after he was jailed for failing to pay his debt. As a way of salvaging his life, he had decided to paint all the birds in North America. Spencer wishes to have a similar experience thus having his recluse celebrated with something that he really loves doing. He is an artist today painting birds just like Audubon.

Birds are all about freedom. And only a man who has seen a cage understands what true freedom is. He truly knows how to appreciate it. His interest grew not only because of Audubon but through the cage from where he used to notice sparrows up closely. Chains of regularity that bound him up young, finally broke him free after seven years of imprisonment. A man couldn’t think of an apt pursuit.

It is good to know that that transformative experience they sought as teenagers finally happened for all of them in their real lives. The best thing is that every one of them are doing something meaningful with their lives now. They were all artists in their thoughts, and now they are all bringing their talent to good use. Erik pursues writing, Chas is a fitness instructor also writing a book, Warren is studying filmmaking and Spencer is a painter now.

The Final Verdict of American Animals

If you take a back seat and try to see things for how terrible they were, you realize they weren’t at all. Nobody got hurt, to be honest. We see people getting killed in the name of robbery. These were just some bunch of ambitious kids who thought they could get away with something they show in the movies.

Then that puts forth the question of what is being shown in the name of movies. What does it teach us? When you know there’s a generation of kids that draws their inspiration from things that are shown on the screen, why are we still making stuff to fling them in that direction. Why are things not more realistic as American Animals movie was?

Children make their own calls after a certain period of time. And there’s a point that comes in our lives when we think we are right despite what others think. Who is to come forward and break that bubble? Despite what is already taught (which by the way we don’t pay attention to), why don’t we teach them how to work on growing a conscience, morality and the benefits of doing good. Why not make living an adventure so they don’t go seeking it in cursed places?

Well, that’s just a thought. I would like to end the analysis of American Animals movie here and recommend everybody to watch this brilliantly carved film.

Check out our other movie analyses as well.

October Movie Review (2018) | Falling for the Fallen

October movie is a perfect paragon that reveals how every movie is a director’s easel and that its actors only constitute a part of his/her storytelling. While Varun Dhawan has been known to make brainless movies in the past, I don’t know if it simply implies the kind of image he wishes to be associated with, but doing a Shoojit Sircar flick turns out to be a fair makeover.

It’s a pleasant change even though the role Shoojit had in mind for him was apt for a guy like Varun. It requires him to be innocent and naive which he already is. The fact that he aces it all is a wonder given his past record.

Shoojit paints him crude as Varun ends up becoming quite natural at his expressions. They seem very involved and oblivious to what’s going on. It’s good to see him in a super-realistic avatar that quite frankly suits him the most.

The Theme of October Movie

October movie is poignant. That being said, I would say it is not for everyone. If you are expecting a budding romantic love story to entertain you, then this movie is not for you. Do not go if you consider yourself a part of that audience.

The flick cashes in on crushing selfless love that depicts a one-sided love story mocking somewhere at its pointlessness, the very futility of adhering yourself to a regime, to a lost cause. What is the very definition of love? It forces you to think hard as you try to place it inside a connotation. The perspective you have grown so fond of that you don’t realize that it has become something else altogether.

Above it all, October movie places itself precariously on the edge of doubt. It builds itself on a big maybe, but isn’t that what most love stories today have been reduced to? A one-sided affair that keeps doing something for someone selflessly whilst the other one fails to acknowledge.

The Plot and Cherishable Moments (Spoilers)

Serving as the nub of October movie, in a contemporary backdrop, is a story of a 21-year-old Hotel Management trainee Danish ‘Dan’ Walia (Varun Dhawan), who isn’t good at whatever he does. Placed in a contrasting image is Shiuli Iyer (Banita Sandhu), who is the ideal student of his batch.

Everybody knows Dan, for the rebel he is, trying to mess things up, screw things up, talkative, yet with dreams to make it big. While he is just one of those friends who might come to help you when you need something, but you still can never take him seriously for the reckless image he has built in your mind, he still remains very relatable. Like that guy who is quite absent at everything for whom you never care to care about.

Shoojit cares for that guy as we see him holding the perspective of a hero. Shiuli meets an accident falling from a slippery roof that puts her in a coma. As the world begins to forget her, that same guy whom we thought was not worth much, simply can’t. He is by far the most sentient of them all. In just about two visits Dan begins to realize how badly she was affected. It kind of grows on him quickly as he begins to feel for her.

Dan slips in hope for those who begin to despair. He chooses to give a dwindling life precedence over a pointless job. Dan is one of those rare breeds who we are missing in this world. A world has come shattering down for Shiuli’s mother and the rest of her family, yet the rest of the world keeps moving on. How is that fair? Why don’t they stop? Dan stops with them and literally becomes one of them.

The Optimism

The optimism in a 21-year-old Dan is brutal when you see him hurt when Shiuli fails to recognize him. But the fact that he coherently makes it a secretive reward is just commendable. He turns it around and makes it into something good.

It is something that’s so rare. We get hurt by little things. Even when we know what to expect, and when we get it, it still crushes us, so much that we often just leave. But Dan just chooses to stay. He is always there eyeing a stranger or maybe just an acquaintance with hope.

How much world is he yet to discover? How much of it is he yet to see? Yet he chooses to be, playing his age like it ain’t a number but something very important.

Dan tries to remember what Shiuli was psyched about – night jasmines that only grew in the month of October. He brings them to her and suddenly she is resuscitated. She begins to respond even in a coma. Although it fills you with hope, October movie isn’t akin to some old Bollywood flick where the actress would spring to life owing to something the hero would do.

Instead, it is forever bolstered on all the lines that the doctor produces. It simmers in pandiculation around reality, saying this is what happens. It’s no miracle. The way the flick looks into your eyes, it is simply bold.

Painting the Reality

I loved the reality of it all, that places us directly into the world of a young trainee.

Shoojit depicts a regular 1 RK flat and how things are sieved in it. How bachelors compromise with everything while they are trying to earn a living. Why the system is deliberately made hard and how no one has the power to change it. How people can only complain about things! The occasional smoke breaks to abate the pain of a punishing livelihood. The colossal import of a small tea stall which is commonly known as tapri. Despite the revolt and the hatred, that brotherly care which seeps into your heart for the people you see regularly. It is all in there. You just have to notice.

Unable to cope up with the life he had chosen to ignore, Dan gets fired for spending too much time at the hospital, for being absent too many times from the Hotel. You can feel how much he has invested himself in something which is not his. He is fighting all those who are not doing their parts in the life of Shiuli. He points that out in his frustration when he realizes that the friend who used to accompany Shiuli all the time doesn’t even bother to visit her. Even though that friend might have been right in choosing to lead her own life, it is killing for him to see people move on so easily and forget. To leave something important from their life on a bed – still and unmoving.

Dan’s Mother

Yet another important part in the story of October movie is located at the juncture where Dan finds his estranged mother in the same tapri he used to visit. She announces her arrival with the relieving letter saying Dan has been terminated, that she is forced to pay the remaining charges to the hotel because of his incompetence.

Once again with that, she unknowingly points that Dan wasn’t good enough. Even though her story isn’t revealed, it is implied, and you understand why Dan hasn’t been going home all this time. She rushes to judgment immediately, probably her usual wont, when he refuses to answer her mother on being asked if Shiuli was her girlfriend. He deliberately lets her believe what she wishes to believe.

There is a rare beauty in not answering, in not explaining something to someone who would fail to understand. He lets her come to a conclusion, the way a majority of people who don’t understand often do. Now, she will never know. He lets himself become that talk that women often have when they are surrounded by their friends. That demeaning and degrading litter that would never sum up to anything. He doesn’t mind being a butt of the criticism and is least bothered about his image in front of his mother’s eyes.

Even better is the part where a mother to mother talk happens. Dan’s mother has always felt distant to her child. Even though she has been one of the major reasons for that, she fails to understand it. When she sees how fond Shiuli’s mother is of Dan, and how well they interact, she chooses to leave. Primarily because it crushes her to know that she would never have that with her own son.

Camera Work

One of the intriguing moments of the flick’s camera work happens when Vidya Iyer (Gitanjali Rao) is shown talking to Dan’s silhouette. The director deliberately chooses to not capture Dan in the same frame. It is her moment, it is her shot, her realization of the fact that Dan has been around for too long. In her selfishness to get Shiuli as much help as she needed, she has completely overlooked Dan’s life. She decides to do the right thing and commands Dan to leave, and lead his own life and amount to something.

Never for a second do we see Dan in the same frame, but we can only imagine from the calmness of the silhouette of what emotions are playing on his face. Of how hard it is for him to let it go, and yet he chooses to do that because he was asked of, ordered too. He obeys like an obedient child listening to ‘Shiuli’s’ mother.

The Eventuality

October movie takes a shot at hope, plays along with it, but eventually slips into despair again. If it makes you sad, and you are thinking it’s not fair, let me just quickly dab the reality throttle once again. That’s life. Life is unfair. One moment you are thinking you have got it, the other moment it surprises you and shoots you down.

There is a scene right before the end that makes you ponder. When Shiuli is looking at Dan as he is putting her to bed, you are thinking all that hard work has finally paid off, since she has accepted Dan’s unrequited love. That she has begin to see him in the same light as Dan’s.

still of banita sandhu looking at varun dhawan in october movie

But then the unthinkable happens when he begins to leave and you realize that Shiuli is already feeling that void even though nothing shows on her face. The next moment is a precarious dream where Shiuli is in the front-yard staring at Dan as he wakes up. It feels like a final goodbye, and so it is.

The Fallen Flower

Dan crashes as he was supposed to, or maybe how things were destined to. In an epilogue of sorts in the conversation between Vidya and Dan, the import of flowers in the life of Shiuli gets discussed, and the real comparison between her life and the flower is made. Maybe Shiuli was like the same flower that comes and goes spreading momentary love.

This makes me want to take you to the name of the movie all over again. The night jasmine flower is also called Shiuli. It is a rare breed that blooms for just a month (October, you guessed right) before withering away. It is a flower that you see only when it has fallen. You barely stop to notice it, if it’s not in your path. They take away the barrenness of the earth and turns it into something beautiful. That’s what compels you to notice – the beauty and the smell.

Shiuli Iyer, the fallen girl, is just like that flower that Dan failed to notice when she was around. He only began to pay attention when she fell, to observe her when she played dead.

Basing a Justification on a Lie

Probably the most infuriating feeling in the flick is that of Dan’s concept of love. But if you think of it, that’s how and what love is to a kid that age. He bases his life and what comes after on a lie, that Shiuli was in love with Dan, which was so not true.

But was it just it? Even if Shiuli would have woken up and explained that she was just asking about him casually, Dan would have still found optimism in her statement, would have still done everything that he did, primarily because he was more people than people. More humane than everything that calls itself that.

Where is Dan?

The aforementioned line is just a trigger that gets him to look at her in a way he had never looked at her. He had overlooked Shiuli all along, and then with that one-liner and her fallen fate, just like a fallen jasmine flower in one’s way, he begins to look at her. When he watches her closely and imagines her life, more love ensues.

It was intentional and subtly crafted, and I revere Juhi Chaturvedi even more for thinking that through.

The Final Verdict

October movie oscillates with hope and despair. Even though it evokes a sense of pathos, you realize that you can’t feel anything for Shiuli since you don’t know her for that long. So, the tides somehow feel unjustified. It is one of those aspects that stops the movie from becoming heart-rending.

Yes, if you think about how intelligently and how poetically it has been fabricated, October movie hits a home run. Absolutely loved it, but then again it is not for everyone. Definitely not for mainstreamers.

Check out other movie reviews from the Indian Film Industry.

Loving Vincent Review (2017) | Perfect Homage | Full Analysis with Spoilers

Speechless! Loving Vincent movie is a work of a genius, of a combined effort of a team and a vision of directors who have immense knowledge about how to film a scene. What stands out almost immediately is the way it has been projected and portrayed on 65000 oil paintings by hundreds of artists from all across the globe, and such fine animation it retains that it would leave every innate motion to shame.

The amount of work that has been put in and the gargantuan size of that effort will leave you marveling over what humans can achieve if they put their heart into something. It is an ideal paragon of colossal things that we can achieve when braided together.

A Forgotten History

Loving Vincent not only boasts of its teamwork but it also carefully builds itself over that thin edge of reverence and criticism that we often carry for forgotten people.

For instance, so far I just knew that Vincent Van Gogh was one of the most brilliant painters of his time and that he was one ear short as portrayed in one of his self-paintings. I knew nothing of how, nothing about his life or the history that he became whilst trying to do one thing he loved to do – painting. Until of course, I saw Loving Vincent movie for myself, and everything changed. My very perception of this man I didn’t know. I felt a hole in my heart being filled as I  was able to relate to Vincent who had so much going on in his life.

It is hard not to love him not for just the work he did, of which it speaks volume, but for a man trying to find his place in a world that failed to understand him. The latter relates to me on so many levels that I fell in love with the artist almost instantly.

The Plot of Loving Vincent

The plot basically strands out from Vincent Van Gogh’s life, as was consumed after death from the eyes of Armand Roulin from The Roulin Family It is voiced and painted on Douglas Booth who by the way fits right into the presumable boots of the original, of a man who had grown to hate Vincent. But as Loving Vincent progresses he comes to understand Vincent’s mindset appreciating him all the way.

Armand empathizes for him, wearing his shoes as he becomes him, literally sleeping in his bed to realize that the world was just too cruel for Vincent and that people failed to do enough.

Full Spoilers and Analysis of Loving Vincent

There are questions that weigh on him of which he elicits answers from, but in doing so he becomes immensely affected. Trying to deliver Vincent’s last letter which was given to Armand’s father postmaster Joseph Roulin who was also one of Vincent’s friends (he has been painted as well), Armand stumbles across many people who help him understand why Vincent shot himself starting from:

  • Pere Tanguy (The Paint Supplier)
  • Louise Chevalier (The Housekeeper)
  • Adeline Ravoux
  • The Boatman
  • Marguerite Gache
  • Young Man with a Cornflower
  • Old Peasant
  • Gendarme Rigaumon
  • Doctor Mazery
  • Doctor Gachet

Babes are like animals son. They can know the heart of a man just by the sight of them.

As a side mission to delivering that letter, he takes upon himself to solve the mystery of the suicide as was asked of him by his father. Armand meets all kinds of people, the ones who hated Vincent to the core to the people who really adored him.

Live longer, you will see. Life can even bring down the strong.

The Past

He learns that Vincent was really close to his brother Theo (Cezary Lukaszewicz)to whom the letter was intended.

Two hearts. One mind.

Vincent’s death had left him shattered.

He had actually been with him a whole day at the end, but Vincent insisted they use the time to discuss life not death.

Theo died six months after his brother. As a flashback of sorts, we get to relive the story of Vincent.

He tried so hard to fit into his family. But, he never succeeded in this.

Vincent’s early life was a mess owing to how difficult he found it to find his place.

He struggled to be what they wanted him to be.

But when he picked up the brush when he was 28 (it’s never too late to follow your dreams people) with Theo’s support he was able to pursue it for real. Paris happened to him as Pere Tanguy (John Sessions), puts it:

Everything that happens in art happens here.

Vincent took it as a pitstop to learn before finally bidding farewell to Pere. The latter suggests Armand to see a certain Dr. Gachet (Jerome Flynn) whom he had seen crying the most at Vincent’s funeral.

Louise Chevalier

Next, he runs into Louise Chevalier (Helen McCrory) trying to find the Doctor. She hated Vincent to the core. Louise opines about Vincent as being a troublemaker.

He had these bewildered eyes in which there was something insane, something which you dare not look.

There is this particular scene where Vincent walks into the Doctor’s house as his eyes fall on Marguerite Gachet (Saoirse Ranon), the doctor’s daughter. You could tell Louise hating him for it, stopping and staring at Marguerite like that.

But when you get to hear the story later from Marguerite Gachet’s own mouth, that exact meeting feels entirely different. Vincent had these careful reading eyes, that he couldn’t help stopping to meticulously admire things of beauty whenever he bumped into one.

There is something in that fleeting moment of admiration that stops an artist and takes him away on a tour with his canvas, as an imminent painting in his head unfurls, fluttering to be drawn. (that moment uplifted by “Marguerite Gache at the piano” music by Clint Mansell)

And such veneration one might and one should feel to be identified as a beautiful object by the world’s greatest painters himself. It’s a shame that Louise didn’t know. It’s a shame that nobody knew back then.

It is interesting how perspectives are read. While to Louise, it was unruly but to Marguerite, it was just oodles of love. Just imagine that stark stare of having been identified, of being marked to be painted in the future. If an artist is sundered from his artistry, it would be downright criminal. Louise feels like one of those people who could have done such a thing was she her mother.

Adeline Ravoux

Failing to find the doctor, Armand decides to trace Vincent’s steps by sleeping in the same ‘hole’ where Vincent used to stay. There he meets Adeline Ravoux (Eleanor Tomlinson) and they bond quickly.

There’s a line nicely put about her always running errands for her father, which reflects what Armand was doing all this time.

Adeline fills him in her side of the story of how Vincent had shown up with a bullet wound saying,

I tried to kill myself.

How Dr. Gachet was the first one to show up, and how Gindarme Rigaumon (Martin Herdman) came to take Vincent’s statement, and to locate the whereabouts of the gun that was used.

Next was Theo who showed up and stayed with him until the very end.

If only I could’ve been one of them.

Adeline revisits the day she had met Vincent and admired how organized he was, loving how he was different from the rest.

I was wondering when he slept, painting all day, writing these long letters, always reading these fat books.

She suggests Armand to go talk to The Boatman (Aidan Turner) since Vincent loved spending time on the river.

The Boatman

The Boatman remembers Vincent for how carefully he would watch life around the river.

He didn’t talk so much mostly just sat around watching, sometimes painting.

One of the most beautiful moments (uplifted by “Marguerite Gache at the piano” music again) in Loving Vincent, is when he tries to recollect a crow trying to steal Vincent’s food.

He looked so happy that this dirty crow was coming close. Didn’t seem to care that it ran off with his lunch.

The Boatman tells Armand about the boating parties where Vincent would often be found hanging around with the rich boys. On a remark about Vincent being shy, The Boatman tells him about Marguerite Gachet who would often come to the river with Vincent.

They were chatting in that way, you know, like speaking to each other was the most exciting thing ever.

The Church Contrast

Armand once again meets Adeline and comes to know of the rumour spread by the housekeeper about Doctor Gachet being overprotective of his daughter. As the church bells ring in the backdrop, it gives him an idea to ensure the housekeeper is visiting so that he could go see Marguerite at her home.

The housekeeper spills venom for Vincent, smudging him with her theories, of her take on him yet again.

I could see the fever in his eyes at first glance. And the great artist himself, always skulking about, gobbling our food, just making messes in corners.

It’s brilliant how the directors chose to put its immediate line as a summon from the church. It’s the contrast depicting a typical human mind and the way it works.

The placement of spewing ugly things for someone, cursing him, and then remembering to pray, you have to marvel at the pointlessness of doing good when you have just done something bad. It just goes on to show how fickle human mind is. That Louise was simply practicing the exact opposite of what she preached. There was more contempt in her than love while the church never preaches to hate.

Armand finds his window of opportunity to speak to Marguerite when she capers off to church.

Marguerite Gachet

Retraced their first meeting, Marguerite paints over what had actually happened, trying to conceal the truth. We get to see the things that had happened through some black and white frames as Vincent had stopped to marvel Marguerite with his searing eyes.

She fills Armand about Doctor Gachet of how both Vincent and Doctor shared common interests. Vincent at one point had called Gachet as his third brother.

They were both artists. They liked the same painters. They understood each other.

Once again hiding the truth Marguerite says that they didn’t socialize even though Vincent painted her several times. On instigating her further and pointing fingers at the Doctor, Marguerite asks him to leave.

Dissecting Vincent

Back at the hole, Adeline is pissed off at Armand for leaving her in the middle of a conversation. When Armand tells her why he had left, she tries to recollect more about Doctor Gachet and Vincent.

Maybe they were similar on the outside. He had the same red hair, and that same sad look in his eyes. But, on the inside, they were chalk and cheese.

The immediate frame follows a scene describing how Vincent wasn’t snobbish like Gachet. That he was kind, polite and loving. A little girl shows up to draw with Vincent, as her mother snatches her away to bed.

She’s no trouble.

There is poignancy caked in that scene where you get to feel the emotional pang for Vincent. How the world failed to understand him! They took him for a madman when all he was trying to do was follow his heart.

It also depicts how ravaging it is to destroy the innocence of a child by forcing routines on budding brains. All the poor child wanted was to learn from the best, but the world was and it still is, too insolent to fathom. They are worried about their children becoming one. They want them living simple normal lives instead unknowingly.

Tea Towels

The story of Loving Vincent movie unspools more at this very juncture when Adeline tells Armand about how Vincent longed to meet his brother. He got to meet him just once but the meeting didn’t go well.

When he returned from the visit he started asking Adeline for tea towels instead of canvases, since the latter were costly. It was clear that he had had an argument with his brother about money-related issues. It was Theo who bought all his painting accessories after all.

Vincent had handed over a letter to Adeline to be delivered to Theo, asking for paints, that he had a lot of ideas brimming in him.

This is where he lived? And where he died.

Armand lies in Vincent’s bed reading his first letter to Theo.

I feel I see the North all the better from my trip to the South.

He talks about the beauty of the new place he had nestled in. He talks about Doctor Gachet as well.

Doctor Gachet is eccentric. I don’t know how he thinks he can cure me when he seems at least as sick as I am.

As there is nothing else to do but follow your heart, time literally stops for you. There is plenty of time at hand to think and come up with unique creations.

The days seem like weeks to me.

Old Peasant and the Young Man with a Cornflower

Sleeping in his bed, feeling the exact amount of pain Vincent felt, Armand encounters him in a dream, gasping for air and wandering off into the white light.

Waking up, out smoking he finds the Young Man with a Cornflower (from Vincent’s painting) hurling stones at him. He chases him down to end up in a barn.

The curiosity of Vincent’s death takes Armand to the fields as he tries to retrace the last day as was spent by Vincent. He once again bumps into the young man with the cornflower chasing him yet again. This time he encounters an Old Peasant who apologizes for the young man’s behavior, telling him the young man was his nephew and didn’t mean any harm.

It is from the peasant that Armand gathers that the barn Armand had visited the night before was actually where Vincent had been shot, and not as some had claimed, in the fields.

Rene Secretan

Talks about how he had found the pistol to shoot himself gave away that the pistol could have been very well that of Doctor Gachet or Ravoux. With the housekeeper writing it off as Ravoux’s and Adeline writing it off by saying they had sold it before Vincent was shot, a new development happens when The Boatman reveals that it was Rene Secretan (Marcin Sosinski) who was the buyer of that gun.

Rene was one of those young lads Vincent hung around with. Infuriated for something Rene had said to Vincent, Armand asks why the boatman didn’t smack the lad. To which he replies:

It wasn’t my business. It wasn’t my fight.

Armand is boiling with the fact that something could have been done, and it wasn’t done. You stand for your friends no matter what. That’s what he believed in. If the boatman would have stood for Vincent, he might not have been dead, so he thought.

What are Friends For?

But the Boatman is right when he says if Vincent didn’t want to stay in the company of the young, he could have simply left, but he chose to hang around maybe because Rene would always get the tab (insinuates financially instability once again).

Armand is disappointed in all the people who called themselves Vincent’s friends and he lays it on the poor boatman. The boatman counteracts by saying, what did Armand do for Vincent?

The Boatman: Were you such a great friend?
Armand: I never said I was.

Pissed off by those who bully others, because of how Rene bullied Vincent, Armand takes a stand for the Young man with a cornflower and gets into a fight with some hooligans who were bullying him. Waking up he realizes that he had socked even Gendarme Rigaumon who had come to restore peace.

Vincent generated more letters than a town.

Doctor Mazery

Rigaumon tells him about a certain Doctor Mazery (Bill Thomas) who had pestered Rigaumon to file his report. Meeting Mazery it becomes clear to Armand that it wasn’t suiciding after all. Mazery goes into the details of how suicides generally entail people shooting themselves either on the head or through the temple.

Most likely he was shot.

Doctor Mazery’s theory clearly suggested that Vincent was shot from a distance since it was impossible to shoot yourself up point blank range and not have the bullet go through you. He enacts a whole scenario to prove how he must have been shot.

It is quite clear with that Vincent wasn’t the one holding the gun.

Back at The Fields

Lost in contemplation, Armand’s thoughts are broken by Marguerite Gachet who emerges into the fields.

I was thinking how come you lied if you have got nothing to hide?

Marguerite breaks the bubble by filling Armand with the details.

The truth is I am not important. He wasn’t some lovelorn teenager.

She tells him about her father Doctor Gachet, a wannabe artist who tried to be one all his life. It bothered Gachet that a man like Vincent who had just started painting two years ago was painting so well whilst he still struggled with it. He would copy Vincent’s paintings in his room trying to reiterate what was painted.

Gachet believed that Vincent was not to be distracted and often asked Marguerite to leave so as to stop her from becoming an obstacle to the creation of masterpieces.

Vincent and Gachet had a terrible row once for which Marguerite believed she was the cause.

Maybe my withdrawal had soured things.

To which Armand replies:

You are not to blame. You have no part in it.

Overlooking Life

Armand so far truly believes that it was Rene who had shot Vincent, as all the evidence suggested. Marguerite replies:

So lonely Vincent resorts to hanging around with drunken teenagers and he gets shot. Or he shoots himself in despair at his lonely life. The result is the same.

And what she says is so true if you listen to her carefully. You can’t change what has happened. The resultant eventuality cannot be deterred. The death has happened, his life has been taken. You can’t do anything about it now.

To Armand’s obstinacy about finding the culprit at any cost, she says:

You want to know so much about his death, but what do you know of his life?

Armand just knew that Vincent tried really hard to fit in, to prove that he was good at something. That’s when Marguerite explains why she chooses to take flowers at his grave. Because she knew that Vincent appreciated it, even the beauty in triviality.

No detail of life was too small or too humble for him. He appreciated and loved it all.

Doctor Gachet

Finally, Armand gets to meet Doctor Gachet in person in Loving Vincent. As he is about to take the letter from Armand’s hand, questions begin to roll out from a well-researched Armand’s mouth. It is time to hear the truth.

Doctor Gachet explains that Vincent was a victim of melancholia.

Sufferers can change from feeling life is a wondrous joy to being stuck in a pit of despair within six hours.

There are counter statements to everything Armand lays on the table. He begins to understand that Vincent was lonely. That there was a mask Vincent would wear at times to stay joyous, but deep down things were different.

Underneath he was deeply afraid of the future of his own and Theo’s.

Vincent felt he was trouble for Theo since the latter was paying his bills, even as Theo supported his vision. He was becoming a liability owing to his dream. Theo could have had a great life had he not spent money on Vincent all those years.

He knew Theo had spent a small fortune on him. The knowledge of this tore into Vincent.

The fact that Vincent wasn’t able to provide anything in return broke his heart. He had how Gachet put it:

Rooms full of paintings that no one wanted to buy.

Gachet looked into the soul of Vincent to read him properly.

Vincent’s biggest fear was that the burden of him would bring down his brother.

Gachet shuts off Armand’s belief of Vincent being shot (the Mazery theory) by saying it was Vincent, the bloke who always did the improbable. That it was highly likely Vincent had shot himself. On furthering the queries, like this one:

Why would he say there’s no one to blame unless he thought someone might be blamed?

The Truth Behind the Suicide

Gachet reveals the real truth then. That Vincent was trying to save Gachet if fingers were to point at him for the suicide.

I think he took his life to try and save Theo because of something I had said.

They were in an argument where Vincent called Gachet an artistic fraud, since he wanted to be an artist, but he ended up studying medicine because he could never stand up to his father.

Vincent said I was living a lie whilst he lived and struggled for the truth.

Furious at what he had said, Gachet was forced to slip in a piece of harsh truth. That Theo was suffering from Syphilis, and that any sort of mental or financial stress would kill him.

What do you think the burden of worrying about you is doing to your brother? It’s quite likely killing him. That is the price of your truth, the price of your path as an artist. Is it worth it?

Those harsh lines were it. Vincent turned around and left, as Gachet realized his big mistake. He didn’t know then that Vincent would do something so huge like taking his life.

Maybe it is better for everyone.

We see a shattered Gachet on Vincent’s deathbed. There are so many thoughts that are going through his head. Had he not said something so bitter, Vincent would have been alive and painting.

Words can really kill people. If it is a real loss of talent, it hurts everyone. Crippled by the situation and marred by a financial crisis, Vincent slipped into the arms of death. He didn’t want to be any trouble, and taking his life felt to him the only way he could have seen to it.

A Letter for a Letter

As a parting note in Loving Vincent, Gachet offers Armand one of Vincent’s letters from the time he had started his journey to become an artist. This is what the letter contained:

Who am I in the eyes of most people? A nobody, a non-entity, an unpleasant person. Someone who has not, and never will have any position in society. In short, the lowest of the low. Well then, even if that were all absolutely true, then one day I will have to show by my work what this nobody, this non-entity has in his heart.

There’s a little discussion by the end of Loving Vincent movie between the Roulins. The father and the son have a chat about Armand failing to land a job. Armand says he was asked by Lieutenant Milliet (Robin Hodges) to enlist since he could throw punches.

Armand: I am good at fighting, aren’t I?
Joseph: Roulin’s have always been that. The trick is to know what you are fighting for.

Joseph looks at the star and makes this amazing statement then.

 There’s a whole other world up there. Something we get to gaze upon but don’t fully understand. It reminds me of him. It feels wrong all that life snuffed out because of a stupid accident.

Armand is more interested in the loving part instead.

What I am wondering is if people will appreciate what he did.

Will we revere Vincent for his work and not for taking his own life? Accident or not it doesn’t define Vincent. His work does. There should be immense veneration in us for that, and for the fact that how artists like him struggle to follow their dreams owing to hindrances like Vincent faced.

Loving Vincent movie Vincent Van Gogh painting in the rain

Vincent’s Final Letter

In the end, Jo writes to Armand touched by his acts after successfully receiving the letter from Gachet. She made a copy of the letter by Vincent that Armand had been carrying around all this time. It was only fair for him to read after he had done so much.

This is what the letter contained:

In the life of the painter, death may perhaps not be the most difficult thing. For myself, I declare I don’t know anything about it. But, the sight of the stars always makes me dream. Why I say to myself should those spots of light in the firmament bet inaccessible to us? Maybe we can take death to go to a star and to die peacefully of old age would be to go there on foot. For the moment, I am going to go to bed because it’s late, and I wish you goodnight and good luck with a handshake, your loving Vincent.

The Bitter Truth

Loving Vincent Movie’s final gavel drops with the following statement that reads itself on the ending placard.

In the 8 years between starting to paint and his death, Vincent painted over 800 paintings, only one of which was sold in his lifetime.

Isn’t that tragic?

It literally rips you apart when you think of it. How unfortunate was the poor artist! How unfortunate, many of us are! Trying to be heard all our lives, but no one is listening. All we find are deaf ears and blind eyes who can neither hear or see the work we do.

Vincent was posthumously proclaimed the father of modern art. The bloke was ahead of his time. It only makes you wonder if death’s the only thing that does you justice. That name and fame always end up staying behind. Nobody gets what they need, then what’s the point?

If you are an artist you are probably thinking, what of my time? All that I have invested will that be rewarded after I pass away? How is it fair?

You can order Loving Vincent movie from here:

The Illusion of a Real Camera in Loving Vincent

It is hard not to notice how the directors of Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman chose to showcase paintings as if they were shot on a real camera. Right from the effortless panning movement to zooming in from a distance, it all feels as if a camera found its way back to Vincent’s historical leaflet.

If that weren’t enough the sound department does an equally fine job, giving us an illusion that there indeed is a camera.

For instance, the very first scene that celebrates Vincent’s enormously famous painting The Starry Night. The frame seems to pan over the city literally bringing the painting alive. As it proceeds to meet the protagonist we could clearly hear the low whirring of insects and birds nestled in the tree from The Starry Night. As we proceed towards the sound of the city brimming with people’s talk, you could hear that whirring noise fade in the backdrop. I mean how careful is that! You can’t appreciate the sound editing and mixing enough.

Then the paintings have painstaking detail in them. Like they don’t even leave out the reflection of a man in a window pane. They have even captured the illusion of wind, smoke, clouds, shadows, reflections on water, of the tiniest of movements. How eyes look when they roll, how the shadows find their way into people’s faces when the light is falling from behind. How different people look when they are moving. The detailing is just magnificently meticulous.

All the memories in Loving Vincent have been done in black and white and they look absolutely stunning. They are simply pressed against reality.

The Extraordinary Music of Loving Vincent

Before I end this incessant ranting of admiration, I will take a moment to admire Clint Mansell’s extraordinary music. It gives you goosebumps. They have been beautifully composed and so well placed they are!

You are compelled to sway with the scene. That’s what true talent should make you do. To take you inside the movie to make you connect and relate. Loving Vincent movie does that owing to Mansell’s beautiful compositions.

You can listen to one of my favourites here:

The Final Verdict

Loving Vincent movie is literally the epitome of art itself. It is a brilliant tribute to one of the finest artists the world has ever seen. To those who don’t know him, it is a perfect way to get acquainted. I highly recommend watching Loving Vincent to understand, know and revere the guy who was way ahead of his time.

If you like the Loving Vincent analysis and review, please check out our other movie analyses

Phantom Thread Movie Review (2017) | Witness Powerhouse of Performance | Analysis and Spoilers

While there are movies out there unserious about filmmaking, there are some rare gems like the extraordinary Phantom Thread movie that is the exact opposite. There is so much going on in each frame of the flick that it leaves you extremely mesmerized.

While Phantom Thread is a movie that is bedecked by none other than the acting polymath Daniel Day-Lewis himself, he is guided none other than the colossal vision of Paul Thomas Anderson. Together these guys recreate the magic of There Will Be Blood again.

The Deadly Combo

The combination is deadly, you know it. They prove yet again why they are so revered not only in the industry but all across the globe. For a sleepless man who is a master at getting into the skin of his characters, who fills meaning into the profession of acting, sometimes it becomes hard to tell Daniel Day-Lewis apart from his characters.

Paul Thomas Anderson is a great director himself. He knows how well to leverage a dedicated actor like Daniel. It is filmmaking at its best whenever you see these two weave magic onscreen. Phantom Thread movie uses this golden opportunity properly.

Phantom Thread movie leaves you with a lot of questions. It is quite good frankly, because a good movie should make you think, and that’s what it does.

I am sure doubts still linger in your head, and you want a proper closure for all those hard to grasp bits. I hope to settle some of the daunting questions you might be left with after watching the flick. First, we will dive headfirst into the plot of Phantom Thread movie and try to figure it all out therefrom.

The Plot and Theme of Phantom Thread Movie (Spoilers)

The story of Phantom Thread movie dives into the head of a fastidious man who is peerless in his profession. A dressmaker he is who makes immaculate dresses that pass under his scanner in painstaking detail. He is a master at what he does as Daniel makes his character Reynolds Woodcock a reality.

For a great man to fall in love, as Gatsby had often reiterated (only if you keep re-reading) it has rarely ended well. With that Paul introduces a hint of love in the form of Alma played by Vicky Krieps who happens perchance to him when he least expected it. That’s how love happens when you overlook the reality that tacks along.

A house that doesn’t change is a dead house.

Alma

Alma walks into his life as an object of admiration. She wishes to be more but ends up becoming a plaything of an unfeeling monster of a man (monster is a relative term) who places his work well above everything else. And he has never been in love before. His unadulterated love for his work is evident by his success. He is well above it. But like all mortals on earth, he becomes smitten by one of his toys.

For the hungry boy, my name is Alma.

Unfortunately for him, it is a breathing toy who expects more of him. She is a person who walks in with her own dreams, clouding his vision with attention.

Alma can’t be overpowered because she has a voice of her own, a defiant brat when she’s mad. She tries to adjust to this newly found life of hers, but the poor thing could only take so much. You realize there’s nothing wrong with her. But that’s what marriage is – people trying to fit into one common tiny blanket together.

But for Reynolds, it is never about what others think of his dresses. It is about him, and only him. It makes him feel complete when he is able to produce a timeless piece.

Alma: Mrs. Vaughn is satisfied with the dress.
Reynolds: No one gives a tinker’s fucking curse about Mrs. Vaughn’s satisfaction.

Love is Poison

With the advent of Alma in the life of Reynolds, things change.

Her arrival has cast a very long shadow.

For the better part, we see Alma being submissive trying to fit in the life of Woodcock. But then she begins to realize how beastly Reynolds is and decides to tame him. Wanting to think like him for a second makes her realize why he does what he does. It is evident when together they force a dress out from a client. They are literally on the same page. But like every relationship, it is just a quality that matches and stands out contrasting to all the things that don’t.

Maybe he is the most demanding man.

Finding Love

It is hard for her to scooch herself in his air when he wishes things to be his way, unbothered and unfazed. That’s when the defiance happens as she finds some poisonous mushrooms and deliberately makes him ill. She wishes to take care of him, to pamper him wanting him to be completely his. Craving for possession – a misadventure of a relationship. Somehow her wanting that is just too, given the way Reynolds behaves even when she is around. It doesn’t change him a bit which is madding.

Is this an ambush? Are you sent here to ruin my evening? And possibly my entire life?

With that poison his work suffers as he falls to the ground, spoiling the dress he had worked so hard on. The absurdity lies in the part when you witness the callousness his sister or his coworkers depict for him when they are more worried about the dress than his well-being.

Reynolds life was devoid of love, and that’s why Alma was so keen on bringing warmth to him. His life was akin to a robot and you could see any minor interference dealing with Alma trying to make things better made him madder.

The Game of Power

Reynolds was used to having things a certain way, and anything that messed with it broke his trance.

The tea is going out. The interruption is staying right here with me.

With Alma around it was becoming difficult for him to cope with his profession. You know when you weaken a person, make him vulnerable you see their true colors. With him poisoned on the bed, he calls Alma his mother when she was taking care of him. The Phantom reflects for a split second making him feel at home.

Are you here? Are you always here? I miss you. I think about you all the time. I hear your voice say my name when I dream and when I wake up, there are tears streaming down my face.

Mother is the first thing you remember when you are in trouble when you are really down. Alma’s presence rekindles that love and care he felt when he was around his mother. With Alma to the rescue, he feels home, although what he does not approve of was the inconvenience when she bothered the demeanour he preferred.

I have given him what he desires most in return. Every piece of me.

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread movie

Marriage and What Comes After

That feeling of home, made Reynolds realize that he could not survive without Alma. They marry and suddenly Alma becomes the boss of his life. She does all those things that bother him, makes all those noises on the dining table, doing all the things the way she pleased. They fight and they get along. That’s what relationship is – A symphony that constantly resonates and dissonates.

There is an air of quiet death in this house. I don’t like the way it smells.

Reynolds suddenly loses his power. The transfer of control happens. Her presence pokes him all the time as he fails to carry on the way he wishes to. The vision blemishes. But now he is left with no choice but to deal with it. But since he is a child at heart, he doesn’t know how to.

One day he goes to complain about how he has become this demon he did not expect to turn into.

I do not like to be turned away from.

You could tell even Cyril (Leslie Manville) is tired of his puerile behavior, when she lets Alma eavesdrop on him complaining about her. It is about time that he grows up is what Cyril, his sister, has been thinking all along as well.

She’s getting fat sitting around waiting for you to fall in love with her again.

But that bitching felt like the last straw to Alma as she once again resorts to poison.

Phantom Thread Movie Ending Explained

The final poison scene might have baffled a lot of viewers because it fizzles so many thoughts in your head.

  • A. you can see what’s going on.
  • B. You can hear their thoughts as well.

Whilst Alma prepares a poisoned omelet for Reynolds to eat, you can clearly see Reynolds well aware of it. He has realized that the first time he had been sick, it was Alma’s doing.

You are not cursed. You are loved by me.

There is an obvious tension in the air as Woodcock knowingly gulps the omelet to a waiting Alma.

It is all poetic and symbolic too – “I know that falling in love will kill me, but I will do it anyway.”

Further Explanation

I will explain further. Reynold has experienced that low time before when he was in his bed resigned and powerless. But that was also the time when he was close to his truer self. When he had witnessed his mother – a feeling of being himself, and not under the skin of some distant virtuoso. Alma was the girl who made him visit that transcendence. Though how painful it was for him, it was also quite relieving and elevating.

Reynolds could not be what he aspired to be when he was on his sick bed, but he was at least surrounded by love. It was relaxing and soothing as there was someone he loved, to take care of him. It wiped out the furrows he had on his brows for a while and that was something he secretly admired.

As Alma looked on, she seemed to be offering him a choice in the form of a poisoned omelet. Take it or leave it as if bluntly pointing out – “You either take my love or be deprived.” Love being love always wins as we see Reynolds deliberately putting a mouthful in and then subduing in her lap.

Kiss me, my girl, before I am sick.

Why Alma Didn’t Walk Away

You must be wondering why Alma did not just walk out of his life. While there are tons of instances all around us of why people are unable to move on from something, you can only relate to Alma’s mindset by all the things she says:

Reynolds has made my dreams come true.

When Alma had first set his eyes on him, she fell in love with him. But she came to face this unbreakable guy that was different from the rest. How did he manage to live such a reputable renowned life?

Alma: Why are you not married?
Reynolds: I make dresses.
Alma: You cannot be married when you make dresses?
Reynolds: I am certain I was never meant to marry. I am a confirmed bachelor. I am incurable.

She took that up as a challenge, to cure him of his illness. Forcing him into marriage, to open his arms wider for people to walk right in. Something nobody could do, a thing next to impossible. Life is a challenge, for Alma Reynolds became her life.

Presence of the Challenge

To be in love with him makes life no great mystery.

The presence of Reynolds in her life makes her feel out of the world. To break him as to find a place in his heart ends up becoming her only goal.

Alma puts everything she wishes of him in her final words when she poisons him:

I want you flat on your back. Helpless, tender, open with only me to help. And then I want you strong again. You’re not going to die. You might wish you’re going to die, but you’re not going to. You need to settle down a little.

The final line is the crux of the whole Phantom Thread movie. She has been trying to make him relax to lose that uptight facade that he has been donning all his life. It is repulsive to her, and she wishes to make him human again.

You can order Phantom Thread Movie here:

The Secret Behind the Name Phantom Thread

Probably the one question that might be bothering you would also be the title. Why Phantom Thread? What’s the significance that hides inside this vague moniker?

For a man to be like Reynolds Woodcock, you have to dangerously close to insanity. Leading a life he had sewn into his threads, Woodcock had committed himself wholly to a profession that’s simply unworldly to him.

For Reynolds, it is important to hide messages in the dresses he makes that are supposedly made for phantoms to read. It is like an artist signing his work off with a sigil for people in the posterity to find. A old habit that ends up becoming his muse.

You can sew almost anything into the canvas of a coat.

In a way, Reynolds depicts that it is meant for the ‘ghosts’ of time to read. Who is the ghost here? You guessed right, his mother whose breathing image we see in a fleeting shot during the time he was sick.

It’s comforting to think the dead are watching over the living. I don’t find that spooky at all.

The Validation

Every person needs validation. So is the case with a genius like Woodcock. There is this profound veneration he holds for his immaculate creations but as a sign of validation, he wishes them to be seen by his mother. Like a child who seeks validation for things he paints from his mother, Reynolds acts on similar lines. He wishes his creation to be timeless, to be seen by her dead mother and as a reverence, he pays tribute to her.

After the final scene, you see it is by being closer to death that this artist becomes his better self – this humble love beseeching being who appreciates life. Every great man is vulnerable. One could only paint their true colors when they are down on their knees. Alma achieves that by poisoning him.

The Final Verdict of Phantom Thread Movie

Phantom Thread movie is hands down fantastic. The detailing in the flick would simply blow you away. This is how movies should be made. You pay attention to any aspect of Phantom Thread movie, be it be the dresses, the lighting that complements the cinematography, the outstanding screenplay or the acting of the cast, it is all extremely well done. Understand it well and you might enjoy it even more.

You can read our other movie analyses too.

Blade Runner 2049 Review (2017) | Denis Villeneuve Pays a Fitting Homage

Blade Runner 2049 is a powerful tribute, a fitting sequel to the 1982 blockbuster Blade Runner. The stakes were already high when there were talks of a sequel to a masterpiece, but when Denis Villeneuve‘s name was tacked to the project the world resounded with a sigh of relief. The good news is that he delivers. What a rad stunner!

To witness an eye-boggling dystopian world which has clearly uplifted Ridley Scott‘s version with everything technology could afford is beyond compare. Visuals are literally and figuratively out of the world as Denis uses his fastidious eye to aggrandize every frame.

The movie is paced really slow like a good and genuine thriller, a fact some might not have liked. I swear I heard a lot of people snoring in the theatres which makes me think, maybe the movie could have been edited or paced up a little bit. On a personal level, I think I liked its gait. The way it moves, letting us get in sync with its story, helping us chug wheels of imagination alongside the protagonist are some of the good virtues make it delectable.

Direction of Blade Runner 2049

Denis Villeneuve’s a true magician. The way he weaves his frames is a lesson for budding directors. Creating scenes that are inimitable from angles that aggrandize a situation. Everything is so tasteful that you realize that his frames are quite simple to helm which many fail terribly at. His brain’s simply peerless. There’s so much beauty lurking there; it’s an honour living in his era.

K played by Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is a product of his brain that goes through his gorgeous filters. There’s an arresting aura about all of the characters chosen to star in the flick, and Denis plays with them like a pro he is.

Prolonged shots of the protagonist hovering over the dystopian world, an action sequence played out by silhouettes, or resurrecting the same old hide and seek tension that we had seen in the prequel, using a distorted fragmented piece of music to play in the backdrop or a shot showing a cold-blooded murder by placing the camera outside a window pane for effect are some of the shots that fill you with awe.

The music he chooses to blare is simply powerful. It becomes deafening at times, however never fails to complement his imposing frames. In a way talking about the impending impact just like he used it gorgeously in Arrival.

Writing and Orgasmic Visuals

Hampton Fancher (the guy who wrote the first one) and Michael Green do a fabulous job of creating a winning story. Keeping the memorable character of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) as the nub of the story, they weave a tale that’s unlike others we have seen. With a revelation that will blow your mind away, not once but twice, the movie persuasively and successfully houses a seriously good thriller in its womb.

Pain reminds you the joy you felt was real.

The screenplay takes you back in time with Fancher bringing most of his lost mojo back on paper. The wisdom that escapes Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) trickles down like honey, and you realize, the guy makes so much sense.

All the courage in the world cannot alter fact.

The Visuals team do a fabulous job of creating something really unworldly. With countless prepossessing panoramic shots to bedazzle us, the movie literally picks us up and puts us in a dystopian future. Deserted lands look unlike anything we have seen so far.

The Theme and Plot of Blade Runner 2049 Movie

The theme of the movie is centered around these very lines spoken by Lt. Joshi (Robin Wright):

The world is built in a wall that separates kind. Tell either side there’s no wall, you have bought a war or a slaughter.

Can a replicant become pregnant? If so there would be no demarking lines to separate humans from replicants. When K (Ryan Gosling) bumps into a case like that he is asked to keep something so colossal under wraps, and to take care of it before it goes out in the open.

The case ends up unwinding into something we don’t expect, and it is a convoluted tale that keeps getting better with every reveal.

Ryan Gosling as K (Spoilers)

The story is run from K’s perspective. Ryan Gosling, who by the way is a “tin job” blade runner, is a guy who accidentally comes across a secret that gnaws at his soul. It is hidden deep down his memory lane.

I have memories, but I can’t tell if they’re real.

He gets on top of the case, the good Nexus-9 officer he is, and visits Wallace Corp. to identify the DNA he had discovered to be that of Rachael. Yes, the replicant from the first part. She was the girl pregnant with the child of Rick Deckard.

Who keeps a dead tree?

You can order Blade Runner 2049 from here:

The Memory Maker

While trying to solve the puzzle of his life, the memory K keeps on witnessing is that of a child trying to hide a sculpted horse in a warehouse as bullies beat him up for the toy. The horse has the same date he saw on Rachael’s grave.

Tagging it as his own memory, and to reconfirm the fact K how much of it is real, K decides to visit a memory maker named Dr. Ana Stelline.

Dr. Ana Stelline Memory Creator in Blade Runner 2049

Ana is the best in the memory business who makes really convincing memories. From her he gathers that the memory he had been witnessing is none other than his own.

Someone lived this, yeah. It happened.

With that, he identifies the child that he was looking for to be none other than him. Whilst it’s a disclosure that feels like something you see coming, it gets answered soon with a final revelation that’s even bigger than the one you were being smug about.

Rick Deckard

With Blade Runner 2049 hitting the theatres, it was crystal clear upfront that Rick was the hero we all wished to see resurrected. Though not the protagonist of this story, the movie manages to preserve the integrity of the cherishable protagonist from the prequel. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard. And it does so really smartly something that doesn’t involve killing his character, unlike what we had to see in Star Wars Force Awakens.

Dick and K fighting in Blade Runner 2049

The force is strong in him as we see him throw the first punch followed by a couple others eyeing K as a threat. Despite the weird dissecting noise there, the scene amplifies automatically owing to the naturalistic vibes that it tags along.

K establishes Rick as his father, as Rick tells him that he had to leave the child for his own good.

Sometimes to love someone, you got to be a stranger.

He was hanging around when a replicant sent by Wallace named as Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) rams in unannounced taking away Rick with him and leaving  K kaput.

You really are the best angel. Aren’t you, Luv?

The Replicant Freedom Movement

When K wakes up Freysa (Hiam Abbass), the leader of the Replicant Freedom Movement asks K to kill Deckard so as to stop Wallace from knowing their whereabouts and saving Deckard’s “daughter”. Mind = Blown!

It’s a huge revelation for K who had been considering himself to be Deckard’s child all this time. But he figures out that it was Selline who was, in fact, Deckard and Rachael’s child that it was her memories that were implanted in him. Ana Selline was really good at her job and hence her memories in his head seemed very real to him.

Dying for the right cause. It’s the most human thing we can do.

With hopes to save Rick from the hands of Wallace who had plans to extract information so that he could progress with his colonization plans, K intercepts his transfer to the off-world. He bumps into Luv again as a fight ensues. Finally, he manages to drown her saving Rick in the process. Staging him as dead, K goes on to do the right thing. He takes Rick Deckard to Stelline for a father-daughter reunion.

It’s very clever to keep yourself empty of information, and all it cost to you was everything.

We see K badly wounded, resting on the stairs slowly succumbing to a probable death. He is feeling the snowflakes on his hand wondering, how for a second he had thought he was real, and what joy it had brought him.

Joi – the Holographic AI

K is in love with his AI holographic girlfriend Joi (Ana De Armas) who is realistic enough to show him a good time. She’s a pleasant companion to have. The technology we see in the movie is simply alluring.

It goes on to capture a transition, an upgrade too, with Joi moving from being trapped in a single room to experiencing the very first thing she wishes to experience – rain. It is then followed by her second most desirable thing – K.

A child. Of woman born. Pushed into the world. Wanted. Loved.

Some of the scenes where we see her network being affected in a crash site with all the lags and glitches are just amazingly done.

Laced in one of the high points of the movie is Joi’s fate. We see her lights being shut down as K burns in disgruntled air helplessly. She had named him Joe when K was busy figuring out his true identity to be akin to humans.

All the best memories are hers.

At a later point, we see K coming to terms with what Joi was all about. At the end of the day, she was nothing but a Wallace advertised product made insanely real.

Blade Runner 2049 movie still of Joi and Joe

Her advertisement calls him Joe venting a series of thoughts inside K’s head. His trance shatters as he accepts her true love to be a sham, another lie Wallace had created to mess with his head.

Luv: I see you are one of our clients. I hope you are satisfied with our product.

K: It’s very….realistic.

Niander Wallace

We see Jared Leto in another convincing performance as Niander Wallace in Blade Runner 2049. The bloke’s blind as a bat but he could see everything using the technology that he has built for himself, and such genius he is.

Every leap of civilization was built on the back of a disposable workforce, but I can only make so many.

He poses as an immensely intellectual villain (I guess we are going to remember him for the rest of our lives). The way he talks and the way he presents the character is simply astounding.

I can see it. As clear as dreaming. He loves her.

There are many other amazing things about the movie as well. About AI we see something very similar to what we had seen in the outstanding 2013 drama Her. One of the most memorable bits in that area is the syncing bit. There’s an apparent lag that we see while AI syncs with human which is a scene that’s beautifully fabricated. It makes you marvel at technology.

Then there was that astonishing scene of the one that literally resurrects Rachael back from the dead. Such beautiful VFX!

Her eyes were green.

The Final Verdict

Blade Runner 2049 movie’s true thrill lies in its proper nerve-racking narration. Even though its pace might not be something today’s fast-moving world is up for, it is a fantastic gem that shouldn’t be missed for the world.

It is a movie that tells you what geniuses are made of. You realize that artistry lies in every aspect of cinema right from the visuals team to the direction, to the cinematography and the writing. It is a combined extraordinary effort of the whole team who make this movie a worthy hoot.

Check out the trailer of Blade Runner 2049 here:

Newton Movie Review (2017) | A Man Doing his Job the Right Way in India

What a beauty! Newton movie brings us up to speed with the cryptic reach of corruption in India. You thought you knew where subversion lies, wait till you watch this flick. It thrives in a place that is neglected. No one has a clue how elections get conducted in a populace that prefers hiding to coming out in the open in order to understand things. They are not to blame. It is the miscommunication, the misconduct, the neglect and the disregard that has left them where the primitives used to be.

It is all so shattering to watch that you can’t help but feel pity for your untended brothers and sisters, who never saw the light because they weren’t hit with it in the first place. They are cut off from the world, they are reeking of ignorance and content in their own land just because they don’t understand the ways of the world. There is no one to make them aware of the wonderful things that we are constantly brimming with. They are deprived of them, and the worst thing is that they don’t even know it.

The movie is directed by Amit Masurkar who marked his debut with Sulemani Keeda some three years ago. He has written the screenplay alongside Mayank Tewari for the flick just like he had back then. It’s a beautiful script about a guy Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao) trying to do his job the right way based on his education. Little does he know, nobody follows the things they are taught. It is about his struggle to do the things the right way, as he faces some of the country’s biggest enemies – lethargy, hacks, idiocy, and ignorance.

Rajkummar Rao as Newton Kumar

Newton garners some of the best theatre actors we have ever had the good hap of coming across. Sentinels of parallel cinema, people who are really serious about making films, giving their best in every frame. You put them together and you know you are going to get something really extraordinary.

Newton movie still of Rajkummar Rao

To begin with we have the insanely talented Rajkummar Rao playing the protagonist Newton Kumar with a flair that leaves you mesmerized. He wears the skin of an honest man who plays everything by the rules. Newton is the voice of the youth, the voice that speaks of derived wisdom. He has learned from the best – books written by the wise who have shown us a way that gets things done. He abides by a discipline that he has taught himself and has learned to live by it. Newton is a perfect paragon of what you might call as a student keen on applying his knowledge to a pragmatic field.

It is quite obvious during the conversation he has with a girl he is arranged to marry, how serious he is about the rules and regulations that define a person. Then there is that evident generation gap when his father shouts at him for being obstinate about his beliefs. Remember, you are going to get a lot of people in your life who will be uncomfortable with the new things you will learn, and your very idea of and for a society that is merely run by conventions. It is at that time you must not give in or you will end up becoming one of them.

Pankaj Tripathy as Aatma Singh

Then there is the extraordinary actor Pankaj Tripathy who plays Aatma Singh, a CRPF officer in charge at an unsafe Naxal prone area of Chattisgarh, India. The contrast he brings to the table is next to that of a villain in a movie. He is everything that is wrong with India today, and an exemplary procrastinator and sloth who will never move unless ordered.

Pankaj Tripathy as Aatma Singh in Newton moviePankaj plays a smartass who tries to bend the law to suit his needs, uses his power to show the meek who is the boss around. If you are an Indian, you have already come across such characters at one point in your life. With Pankaj doing us the honours of getting under the skin of one such man, it is hard to tell them apart. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Pankaj Tripathy’s acting prowess is hands down one of the best we have in the Indian Film Industry today.

Aatma’s negation and pessimism fail to break the spirits of Newton. We get countless ravishing conversations therefrom where the clash of opinions become the driving forces of the flick. They drive the movie forward until Aatma does something really despicable that gets a fitting rebound from Newton.

Other Brilliant Characters in Newton Movie

Sanjay Mishra, another great actor plays mentor to Newton. He is intrigued by this guy who asks the right questions irrespective of the slapstick and whacky replies he gets. Even though he makes fun of him, deep down he knows the system. How things work and have always been working in the country. However, it piques his interest too when he comes across Newton, a guy rock solid on his beliefs.

Then we have literally the paragon of persistence – Raghuvir Yadav who plays Loknath, the guy who adds a little bit of humour to the gravitas. The actor is one of the most underrated gems of the industry, whom people always fail to celebrate. His delivery is quite alluring.

Anjali Patil plays Malko a mistreated tribal girl who speaks the local dialect, making things less difficult for Newton. She reflects a ballsy girl who knows the place and the people. Her act’s equally brilliant too.

Anjali Patil newton movie

Important Messages (Spoilers)

Newton movie hides a thousand messages in its countless frames. Whilst it forces introspection on us, it does so without going preachy. It brings us up to speed with a situation that requires our immediate attention – voting in a technology deprived place.

The worst thing is the acceptance. When you are trying to change something and you come to believe it is the accepted way, and you accept it as is yourself, just so you don’t have to face all the inconvenience of a ground zero change, that’s the root cause of downfall. Aatma Singh is one such element. He fails to understand that change cannot be brought in if you yourself won’t allow the change to happen. To make things happen you have to get your hands dirty which is everything Newton aspires to do.

Aatma Singh is one such element. He fails to understand that change cannot be brought in if you yourself won’t allow the change to happen. To make things happen you have to get your hands dirty which is everything Newton aspires to do. Characters like Loknath and Malko know well the conventionally accepted way, and they are okay with things being wrong and unjust. It is killing to watch Newton the only person trying really hard to understand the ways this country is currently dealing with.

The Politics

How can one possibly vote for someone when they are looking at their faces for the first time? Newton movie is a slap to those politicians who never even visit the place they wish to obtain votes from. There is contempt in the hearts of all those people who have turned into Naxals and we see that via writings on the wall of a razed school. War is easy to learn. How do you make them understand that war isn’t the only solution? That the other solution requires them to vote, again something that they don’t comprehend.

Newton movie is a slap to those politicians who never even visit the place they wish to obtain votes from. There is contempt in the hearts of all those people who have turned into Naxals. We perceive that via writings on the wall of a razed school. War is easy to learn. How do you make them understand that war isn’t the only solution? That the other solution requires them to vote? Again something that they don’t comprehend.

All we can see a piece of neglected patch of land where the voting is supposed to happen. The problems Newton’s team faces in order to set up booth is beyond compare. Yet they somehow manage, all in a room without a door, with open see-through windows.

Then comes the wait. The punishing wait where the team sits doing nothing. Your mind begins to wonder why doesn’t anyone come? And if the conditions are really that bad owing to safety issues, will they ever show up in the entire movie?

Ill-Treatment

In a single display of power we see a bigger authority show up with a foreign reporter, who, by the way, has no clue as to what is going on just because we are good at painting pretty pictures to hide all the ugliness. We see all the clouds of lethargy parting then. However, to the poor innocent villagers who only understand the language of either peace or intimidation, CRPF soldiers roughhouse them, bully them to show up in order to put on a show. They are mistreated beyond limit. One of the instances clearly shows one of the old women being ordered to cook chicken to ease up their stay.

How much money will we get?

All the ill-treatment makes the villagers believe that there is something going on and the government (hitherto which they believe to be a scary thing) has commanded their presence. They might get paid too if they do something.

The Curse of Ignorance

The part in Newton movie where Newton realizes the ignorance of people, where they don’t understand what needs to be done in a voting booth simply shatters you. Amidst all the corruption stands an unheard voice trying to do the right thing, to make them understand why it is important to vote, and how it could help them to bring change in their place. While not even trying is a guy like Aatma Singh who coaxingly calls the voting machine a toy, and asks the villagers to press any button they like.

It is so heart-rending to watch when that insanity actually begins to happen. Ah! the ignorance, the sheer ignorance of the people, as they show their voting fingers not knowing whether they have voted, or what voting even means for that to matter. There is no way for a single man to educate them in a day, but Newton tries nevertheless in hopes to make them fathom what’s really happening.

It kind of reminds me how we used to be back in school. Not knowing the ‘why’ behind anything, not knowing why we studied what we studied, simply mugged things up only because it was asked. And that quotient’s still extant today in a lot of places. Ignorance is a curse. We need to educate people so they start asking the million dollar question – why.

The False Alarm

Just when you think the movie is focused on showing the plight of the ignorant alone, Newton movie proves us wrong as we actually hit some action in the backdrop. It is believed that an attack has happened and the team is instantly put on a rescue mission for extraction. But soon Newton figures out the real ugly truth behind the alarm. It was Aatma Singh who had asked his men to fire empty shots to curtail the waiting period so that he could force Newton’s team back home. Newton’s obstinacy bothered him, and the fact they would be forced to wait till evening for the voters seemed like a tiresome idea to him.

Rajkummar Rao as Newton in Newton movie

How do you reason with a man holding a gun? So, Newton does the unthinkable. He snatches the gun from one of the men and points it at the men in arms. To get a job done, he takes matters into his own hands.

The Last Scene of Newton Movie – Ending Explained

Ultimately he comes out a victor which is probably one of the most satisfying things to watch in the movie. It is shown subtly when we see Aatma Singh shopping with his family, as his wife suggests to remove a product from the shopping bag, implying that they are indeed going through a tough time. That Newton might have written a thorough report about the misconduct, and ill-treatment, and probably got him fired.

Eventually, we see Newton busy behind a desk as Malko pays him a visit. It is great to see that he hasn’t changed a bit. He casually shows her his punctuality certificate.

Clearly they think it’s a big deal when I show up at the office at 9 AM sharp.

It is a dig at all those Indian officials, nay, everything that’s Indian, who never show up anywhere on time. Being punctual is so much crucial and yet we take life for granted.

The curtain closes at an apt moment where we see Malko waiting for him to complete his work before leaving for coffee. We are left to wonder about a happy ending that might await him in moments to come.

The Final Verdict

Newton movie justifies its apt tagline that says “Seedha Aadmi Ulti Duniya” (Right Man Wrong World). It eats you from inside when you witness the plight of the villagers living in terrible conditions. The fact they are okay with it shatters you even more. They don’t even know how much we have progressed. How would they? They don’t even have a TV in their ramshackle houses for crying out loud!

Newton movie should not be missed for the world. It is packed in with powerful performances by some really good actors. It addresses numerous issues and tells us a little bit more about the country we live in. Newton movie squeezes out sympathy for a character that resonates with a lot of us. I think of a lot of you will like this flick for the powerful message it sends out loud.

Read my other movie reviews and analyses too.

Check out the trailer of Newton Movie:

It Movie Review (2017) | A Perfect Paragon of Dark Poetry | Full Analysis with Spoilers

If you think It Movie is limited to horror, you are dead wrong. In fact, to me, it even didn’t feel like one. So what is it that makes Stephen King‘s It one of a kind? The metaphor, yes! If you are watching the flick reading between its frames, you are definitely going to enjoy the flick more. I will acquaint you with how beautiful Stephen King’s fancy is by doing a proper analysis of the movie. Even though this years’ The Dark Tower failed to do him justice, It Movie succeeds in a lot of ways.

It Movie is really beautiful if you see what it wishes to show you, the allegory in it and how wonderfully it builds itself on children’s fear and fantasies. Andy Muschietti, who was also the director of Mama, understands what Stephen King had in mind when he put a fantastical clown to paper. His direction provides perspective to the concept of a monster that emanates from a whimsical head.

Without wasting any more time let’s skip to the plot; there’s so much to share.

Plot of It Movie Full Analysis (Spoilers)

The movie picks pace caving in on a tragedy in Derry, a fictitious town that Stephen King often uses. Like any other place in the world the town has a history with accidents, where children have gone missing, people have ended up being dead, and stuff like that. But just like any other grown up who terms it as nature’s wish, or calls it something inevitable, something one doesn’t have control over, people of Derry too, don’t bother to investigate such matters.

Unless the thing happens to you, of course, and boils down to a personal level, no one really cares to bat an eye. So it happens with Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher). His little brother Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott) goes missing one day. The primal reason why things become more personal to him.

Prologue of IT Movie Explained

As part of the prologue of It movie, we see Bill making his little brother Georgie a boat to help him go play in the rain. In one of the scenes where he asks him to fetch him wax from the cellar, we can see Georgie being really afraid of the dark and fidgeting before venturing there.

As he makes his way down, he finds his mother playing the piano busy in her own world. The lack of conversation there as little Georgie makes his way down is suggestive of how the grown ups are always lost in their own work. It is a child’s perspective about a grown-up’s world. They don’t wish any part of a child’s life. A child’s fancy, his insecurities, his fear have no effect on them. Once we grow up we all grow out of the things we once held close to our heart.

Georgie somehow manages to grab the wax despite being absolutely terrified. Remember this bit because it will be important in figuring out why Pennywise attacked Georgie in the first place.

Pennywise the Clown

it movie clown pennywise

We understand how close Bill and Georgie really were in all those moments of Bill helping Georgie out with the boat. Georgie thanks him as he makes his way out in the downpour to test the sailboat. That’s where we see his boat ending up stranded and then him being attacked by a psychotic clown named Pennywise living in the sewers.

A storm blew me away. Blew the whole circus away.

We see Pennywise sweet talking Georgie before chopping his hand off and then taking him into the sewers with him.

Eight Months Later

Eight months later, we see a homeschooled boy Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs) unable to pull the trigger on a sheep. His innocence is being stripped away by the business he is in. His parents had died when he was young, and he is given a hard time by his guardian who is trying to make a man out of him so young.

There are two places you can be in this world. You can be out here like us, or you can be in there like them.

The world is full of two kinds of people. The weak ones who take orders submissively and the ones who sit in the driving seat giving orders to the forbearing. You have to take charge, overcome your fears, and insecurities or you will end up being pushed around. This dialogue, in fact, is the entire crux of It Movie.

Just then we see a sheep being pushed in for slaughtering as the camera switches to another flock of sheep – Bill and his friends Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard), Eddie Kaspbrak (Jack Dylan Grazer), Stanley Uris (Wyatt Olef)  making their way out of their classes. The similarity is just perfect. They are meek and driven by a shepherd called School, just as the sheep in the real world have no choice but to get herded, they too are powerless insignificant entities who move around as demanded. They choose to call themselves the Losers club, because of how badly they fare against bullies.

Other Characters in It Movie

They dump their books since it’s the last day of their term at Derry High School. Meek as they are, they are constantly bullied by Henry Bowers’ (Nicholas Hamilton) gang. We see a minor face-off, the flow of which gets obstructed by Henry’s father, who by the way is a cop, overlooking them. The cops are there to help Mrs. Ripsom who has recently lost her daughter Betty Ripsom. You see Derry is notorious for such cases. But the police has been helpless all this time, unable to figure out the cause.

In answer to a remark made by Richie where he wishes the Bowers gang to go missing, Eddie replies:

They are the ones doing it.

We are introduced to the character of Beverly Marsh (Sophia Lillis) another unfortunate kid who is constantly bullied by a girl gang.

sophia lillis as beverly marsh in it movie

There are rumours about her being a slut which she can’t control and has learned to live with. She runs into Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor) a sweet kid, who secretly has a crush on her.

Your hair is winter fire,
January Embers,
My heart burns there too.

As Bill returns to his house he finds his dad working in their workshop, and that he has discovered that Bill has stolen the sewer plans of Derry and that he was secretly working on a project. It is hard for Bill to accept that Georgie is dead, and according to his theory, Derry dumps everything into The Barrens underneath so it’s possible that Georgie must be in The Barrens. Furious at Bill, his father storms off taking away the sewage map.

Next time you wanna take something from my office, just ask.

The above dialogue is quite ironical because we know that his father will never give in to his wants.

The Fear Quotient

As we chug forward we notice that each character is afraid of something. Call it their vivid imagination as we often tend to have as a child. All their fears have unique characteristics. It amplifies whatever they are afraid of, and even though we as an audience might feel uncomfortable with it going nowhere, like how can a child stay normal after experiencing a terrifying event like that, right?

But if you pay attention, we have never really paid heed to a child when he talks about a monster under his bed, or in the closet. We have never really understood their perspective, and that’s why it is hard for us to get them when they see what they see. We are watching the flick from the perspective of a child, and that’s why it bothers us when we see them in pain. But as a parent, we fail to be on their very own pedestal to fathom them truly. How badly could they be needing us when they claim to have seen something formidable!

That’s what happens in IT Movie as well. Even though frightening things keep happening, one after the other to all the children, there is no closure. Because, it is a subconscious fear factor that stays with us when we are alone. And it’s not like we are all alone by ourselves the entire day as a child. So that fear factor keeps coming and going all the time.

This is probably one of those difficult bits to understand, only when you are not thinking about it from a child’s perspective. It confuses you because you think the movie is going nowhere, but in a way it is. Soon we find out about that.

Individual Qualms

Mike is afraid of people in a burning house since it had to do with his parents who were burnt alive. Stanley is afraid of a surreal portrait in the library a painting he wishes he hadn’t seen. Eddie is afraid of his mom who worries too much about him and his allergies, of not taking his pills on time, and sick lepers. Ben is afraid of bullies, being a part of history of Derry, of Easter Eggs, of being left alone, of grown up people from Derry who never stand up for the underdog. Beverly is afraid of her leering father. Bill is afraid to let go of Georgie. He still hopes he is alive even though he knows deep down the truth. He hates the fact that everybody moves on as if nothing has happened.

Why Nothing Happens to the Kids

Interestingly, all the weird happenings end up not hurting the kids. The reason being they are all an abstract amplified versions of their fear. They vanish when that modicum of fear goes away. In case of Mike, that fear of watching hands coming out of a slaughter house, gets interrupted when Bowers and his gang intercept him with their car. His attention then goes to the mundane where a butcher was coming out of the open door. In case of Stanley, the portrait lady chases him out of the library he was in. Going to another room he wasn’t as afraid eliminated his fear. His fear was limited to that library.

For Eddie, he is more afraid of not taking his pills on time, afraid of catching allergies and an image of a leper that chases him into the haunted house.

If you lived here you’d be home by now.

Pennywise appears then but since Eddie was already close to making an escape, paving a ‘way out’, the chance of him running away had made him a little bold from inside, thus somewhat curtailing his fear. It should be noted that the fear takes form when he sees the haunted house, and hears his pill alarm.

it movie pennywise with the balloon

For Ben, it was the librarian who accidentally barges in as Ben bumps into her. With the presence of someone else, fear becomes nil almost instantly, and thus we see Pennywise giving up the chase.

Everyone has experienced their bit of qualms except Richie whose blunt brazen remarks help him to stay confident most of the time. He isn’t as afraid as his friends, yet at some point, we discover that he is afraid of clowns too.

Meeting with Ben

In one of the scenes where Ben is harassed by the Bowers gang, a car passes by as Ben shouts at them for help. But the people in the car, show sheer indifference and disregard to his plight. It’s like Derry deliberately chooses not to see the misdemeanors around the town. They see something bad happening, they look the other way. We see a balloon showing up there, placing Derry’s disregard once again to the real clown story. It is a perfect set up.

Ben manages to escape somehow as Bowers tries to carve his name on Ben’s tummy.

Betty Ripsom shoe in IT movie

The Losers club meanwhile stands in a sewage tunnel where they discover Betty Ripsom’s shoe connecting more dots leading to the sewers.

If I was Betty Ripsom I would want us to find me. Georgie too.

Just then Ben runs into the losers club as they take him to a local pharmacy to treat him. That’s where the Losers club run into Beverly and their friendship thrives thereon. Meanwhile one of the members of the Bowers gang Patrick Hockstetter (Owen Teague) ends up getting lured into the sewers. He is then attacked by Pennywise and goes missing too.

History of Derry

As the kids hang out together, Ben acquaints them with the history of the town.

Derry is not like any town I’ve been in before. People die or disappear, six times the national average. And that’s just grown ups. Kids are worse. Way, way worse.

Ben shows them more of his researched work where he tells how Derry used to be a beaver trapping town first and how the entire camp disappeared with rumors of plague or Indians.

It’s like one day everybody just woke up and left.

From there they gather that the trails of people missing ran dry at the Well House. In hopes to find the Well house someday, children retire.

The World of the Fearful Kids

Beverly hears voices coming from her wash basin. It’s all the children who went missing calling her out to “float” with them. Probably one of them is Betty Ripsom’s voice.

When she tries to investigate, her hair that she had cut some days ago ends up strangling her, and the whole basin bursts open with blood. It paints the entire washroom in red. On listening to the noise her father shows up, but he couldn’t see the blood.

This is another one of those moments wherein you can say grown ups are blind to the world of children. They fail to understand the fancy a child deals with. For children everything is real, but from a perspective of a grown up man, who has outgrown childish imagination, things don’t make sense.

The fact is once again proven when she invites The Loser Club to clean the bathroom.

Beverly: My dad couldn’t see it, I thought I might be crazy.

Eddie: Well if you are crazy, then we are all crazy.

Bumping into Mike

You see Richie is deliberately kept as a lookout by Stephen King. The lad is bold, and he might not have seen the blood in there. With children cleaning the bathroom it might have seemed stupid to Richie. Later Richie brands them as imagining things. He easily demarcs the boundary of fear and courage. Fear – the only thing that helps feed the clown which they all fail to get.

It is good that the kids begin to talk about their fears, which so far they had kept repressed and to themselves. It was Beverly’s incident that led the talk to happen. They all talk about how they have been witnessing a clown when they find out about Mike being in trouble. The Bowers gang is trying to beat the crap out of Mike, as Mike is dead scared, the fear making him see the clown. That’s a spooky scene, by the way, Pennywise eating a hand, and then using it to wave at him.

The Losers Club intervenes and a rock war ensues. Saving Mike the Losers club storm out victorious against the gang of Bowers. It’s clear that when they are together they can overcome fear. Only a glint, the fire they are yet to see.

The Research in It Movie

Bill is staring at a poster of a new missing child. Underneath is the poster of Betty.

It’s like she has been forgotten now that someone else is missing.

Ben figures out that all the historical happenings and destruction have a pattern to it.

This stuff seems to happen every 27 years.

That after 27 years it returns, and then goes into hibernation for another 27.

They also figure out that it might be affecting those who are afraid. Each one of them is afraid of different things, and all these things are frightening them to the core.

Maybe none of this is real.

They rule out the possibility that it could all be a bad dream which, as a matter fact, everyone was secretly thinking about till this point.

Going After the Clown

They all step in to do more research in Bill’s workshop where they discover that every incident ends up connecting to the Well House. They figure out the location of the Well house to be 29 Neibolt Street, but the frames begin to play all by themselves and there’s this old picture of Bill’s mom where her photo is not visible. Pennywise replaces her in the picture and then spooks the children out by stepping into the workshop in a gigantic form.

Now the only way to overcome fear is to create an escape route or maybe open the blinds for the daylight to come in. So that’s how they narrowly escape Pennywise by opening the shutters.

Bill wishes to go after It. When his friends begin to chicken out, he goes by himself. They follow him to the creepy house as Bill tells them how he feels without stuttering for the first time:

What happens if another Georgie goes missing or another Betty or Ed Corcoran or one of us? Are you just going to pretend it didn’t happen like everyone else in this town? Because I can’t. I go home and all I see is that Georgie isn’t there. His clothes, his toys, his stupid stuffed animals but he isn’t. So walking into this house for me is easier than walking into my own.

In the Well House

Richie finds his own missing poster in the house that freaks him out. Something that Pennywise wanted to happen – to make every character afraid. Fear makes them vulnerable and that’s how Pennywise becomes stronger. In the Well House, Eddie falls from the first floor owing to his own fear of leper.

it movie scary the well house

Richie and Bill are individually isolated in different rooms, however, they are together and that’s why they are a bit stronger.

With Eddie left alone, Pennywise appears from a fridge and tries to attack him.

Bill and Richie find three doors and on taking one of them they are scared shitless. But then Bill tries to embolden Richie by reminding him about how nothing is real.

This isn’t real. Remember the missing kid poster. That wasn’t real. So this isn’t real.

That is like a stake in the heart for Pennywise because it beats fear. He was about to harm Eddie, when he realizes that Bill and Richie, despite being really afraid of what was behind the door, have managed to reenter it. It vanquishes fear, the very purpose of It. Walking through the same door they end up to assist Eddie where Pennywise says:

This isn’t real enough for you, Billy? I am not real enough for you? It was real enough for Georgie.

Overcoming Fear in It Movie

As he tries to attack them Beverly barges in lancing Pennywise with an arrow. Fear is unkillable. It can only exist or feel itself withering. It can intensify itself or can be belittled by lack of it. So, Pennywise doesn’t die with that arrow in his head. He turns around using the arrow as a prop to scare the kids even more. Yes, he looks scary and he becomes successful in making the kids more afraid. But who is more afraid? We can see Beverly being terrified so he draws his attention towards her.

As he turns around with the arrow he injures Ben.

Fear takes a different form then. It becomes contemptible and less pure. Kids were all together, they were worried about each other, besides Pennywise was hurt and looked vulnerable, so he decides to take a back seat there. Bill isn’t afraid of Pennywise and wishes to end his reign once and for all.

Don’t let it get away.

He follows him to find his true lair which was inside a well into the sewers. But has to come back owing to Eddie’s condition.

The Breakup in It Movie

Eddie’s mom takes away her child cursing the kids to be akin to monsters. (Irony?)

Bill is keen on getting back at Pennywise but the madness is too much for the rest of the kids to take. Bill and Richie get into a fight.

This is what it wants. It wants to divide us. We were all together when we hurt it. That’s why we are still alive.

The Losers club split with that, getting consumed into their boring lives once again, the one without each other. We see each one of them taking up chores as asked by their parents or guardians. So why is their world without the influence of It?

You see the mundane is jaded. A world full of adventures is when you begin to imagine things. That happens when you are happy, excited, psyched or afraid. None of them happens for the kids when they are not with each other.

The Bowers Quandary

Meanwhile, we see Bowers being given a hard time by his father.

Look at him now boys! Ain’t nothing like a little fear to make a paper boy crumble.

Bowers is really afraid for the first time in his life. And he finds a balloon too with a gift in his mail box – a knife. It should be well noted how manipulative Pennywise is. Throughout the movie, we see the TV always talking about the clown. It is a beautiful hint at our subconscious trying to play us to the tune of our fears.

Bowers is enraged with embarrassment and wishes to get back at his father. So he drives a knife through his neck while he is sleeping. One might say it was Pennywise who did it by manipulating him. But if you really look at it, the clown is a figment that simply amplifies what you wish to do, or whatever you are afraid of. Since Derry is a forgiving forgetting town where crime walks loose, it gives wings to people who wish to get involved in criminal activities.

In the end, he sees the clown on the TV asking him to kill them all. With that, he meant the Losers club who had hurt It.

Beverly’s Stand in It Movie

If you notice every child from the Losers club had a fairly normal life except for Beverly who was forced to live under the ogling eyes of her father.

Are you still my girl?

In an unseen set of events, Beverly takes a stand against her father and hits him with a toilet lid in self-defense. Pennywise shows up because with his father gone she was all alone, and quite petrified, consumed by the fear of what she had done, and what she would do.

it movie pennywise attacking beverly

When Beverly doesn’t show up to meet Bill, he gets worried about her and decides to pay her a visit at her house. There he finds her father in a pool of blood, and the wall is painted with:

You die if you try.

Bill goes to Richie for help and they reconcile because Pennywise had attacked one of them.

It got Beverly.

Eddie stands up against her mother too, overcoming his fear for the first time. She tries to stop him from going out with his friends.

You know what these are? They are gazebos! They are bullshit!

Children get together and prepare for war.

The Ending of It Movie Explained

As they enter their doom, Stanley is reluctant for a while to which Bill says:

If we stick together, all of us, we will win.

They all go to the well, (Pennywise’s entry exit point) and go down one by one. When Mike’s the only one left, Bowers shows up attacking him from behind. Mike spears him into the well as Bowers dies.

it movie scene of kids in the well

Meanwhile, Beverly wakes up in It’s lair and sees all the floating children that had gone missing. Pennywise shows up to hurt her but she says:

I am not afraid of you.

Which bothers Pennywise.

You will be.

It uses his power to make her float like the others, showing her a different world.

Stan ends up getting isolated. His nightmare – the painting lady shows up and attacks him. It hurts him however the rest of the kids show up in just the nick of time to help him. Bill starts seeing Georgie and follows him. Ends up in the lair of Pennywise where he sees Beverly floating mid way in the air. His first priority, however, is Georgie.

I will come back for you Beverly.

Meanwhile the rest of the kids find Beverly floating moonstruck.

beverly marsh floating in the air

They bring her down and Ben kisses her bringing her back to life. You see love overcomes fear. Fear is faltering, hesitation and lack of confidence. Love is bold, confident and strong. Right after the kiss, Beverly realizes that it was Ben who had written that poem for her.

January Embers.
My heart burns there too.

Bill’s Acceptance

Probably the most emotional scene in the entire movie is when Bill finds Georgie.

What took you so long?

All the emotions gush out when you feel the empathy kick in.

I was looking for you all this time.

All this time Bill secretly knew that his brother was dead. But he hadn’t given up on hope. He hadn’t grieved for him the way he should have. He was yet to acquaint himself with the bitter truth.

I wanna go home.

He wanted that moment of reconciliation with his loving brother. Because it was hard for him to accept that Georgie was dead.

I want more than anything for you to be home.

But he finally comes to term with reality and shoots Georgie believing what the world had been telling him all this time. Finally accepting the truth with a heavy heart.

It Means War

Georgie becomes Pennywise and attacks everybody, as the concluding war begins.

In those final moments, Pennywise grabs hold of Bill and says:

I’ll take him! I’ll take all of you! I’ll feast on your flesh as I feed on your fear, or you’ll just leave us be, I will take him. Only him, and I will have my long rest and you will all grow to live and thrive and lead happy lives until old age takes you back to the weeds.

It is a choice Pennywise offers the kids in IT movie. If they were to think like adults, they wouldn’t mind leaving one of them behind. Like the people in Derry who were alright with people missing and disappearing, as long as it didn’t bother them.

The Final Assault in IT Movie

But these kids stood for each other and so they attack the clown until it takes different forms to scare the bajesus out of them. Together they get rid of the menace by destroying him (overcoming their own fear).

You couldn’t kill Beverly coz she wasn’t afraid, and we are neither, not anymore. Now you are the one who’s afraid because you are gonna starve.

In the end, we see the clown fragmenting before disappearing into a pit.

For the first time, Bill truly accepts the death of Georgie as he sees his clothes in the sewer. He cries like he has never before, coming to terms with the fact that his brother has really died.

Guys kids are floating down.

The Losers Club in It Movie

The Epilogue of It Movie

We see The Losers Club together once again. Beverly is telling them about how it felt when she was floating.

We were our parent’s ages. I just remember how we felt.

With that, it is hard not to tack “floating” against something that shows a kid the dreams about growing up. Kids always fantasize about growing up, what will they do, what will they become. It is a life they imagine to be living. While for the kids in the movie growing up is like being killed, killing your fantasies, imagination and the beautiful world that no one sees.

They swear in blood – a symbolism for them not being afraid, to have finally overcome their fears.

Swear! If it isn’t dead if it ever comes back, we will come back too.

Eventually Bill the lad who had been afraid of things who had finally learned how to overcome his fears runs up to Beverly to plant a kiss on her.

You can order It movie 2017 from here:

Thinking Out Loud (Theories Behind IT Movie)

I understand It movie is intended to be seen the way it is presented without any hidden meanings. But the work of Stephen King is a result of careful thought. To the people who fail to read between the lines the story could be just about a clown from a different world who has come to live on earth, who wakes up every 27 years to feed on children and their fear. But for me, I think Pennywise is more of an abstract form.

I will try to explain:

First Theory

Derry is a notorious underdeveloped and lawless town where people have to deal with crimes on a daily basis. The disappearance of children I like to think is as a result of bullies, perverts and child molesters (an exemplary form we saw in Beverly’s father). Children disappearing is a thing that bothers only the children who wish to do something about it. Those are the kids imagining a villain trying to stop them from uncovering the truth. Fear is their enemy and all the elements that try to stop them from uncovering the real truth, right from Eddie’s mother to Beverly’s father to Bill’s and to Bowers, are all companions of that enemy. They are trying to stop their crucial summertime research about the disappearance of kids.

Second Theory

Another theory I can work up with is what if Pennywise had been some kind of a real neglected person who had wished to make Derry laugh once? He could have been a regular person, who must have been admired for his circus. When he said, “A storm blew me away”, I think it is a crisp metaphor for Derry’s disregard for the circus that once might have existed in the town. Something might have happened to him and his business that would have forced Pennywise down the gutters, taken his life in the process. Derry is a repulsive town with its dark secrets and one could only imagine as to what might have happened to the real clown whose abstract is now such a terrifying reflection as Pennywise.

Another Weird Theory for IT movie

Another theory that I can think of deals with the term floating. Floating is something that insinuates that people are moving away towards better prospects. Derry isn’t the town that it once used to be. They have been leaving Derry in search of better jobs, as Beverly’s vision stated. It was a pleasant vision for her that showed them how they could come out of that hell hole called Derry and become something substantial in life. She didn’t remember what they were doing but she remembered how they felt like. So they could be just leaving the town and the term ‘missing’ could be just implying that. Kids think a lot of things. So everything could be just their rare form of imagination.

The Final Verdict of IT movie

Whatever must have been the original thought that forced Stephen King to present such a beautiful novel, the movie adaptation nails it. It movie is beautifully done by Andy Muschietti who forces us to live the flick as if it were our very own story. It takes you back in time, when you used to dream, imagine and fantasize.

It movie should not be missed, should not be just watched for its horror but for its insane story that forces you to think.

Highly recommended for everybody.

You can check out the trailer of It Movie 2017 here:

20th Century Women Review (2016) | Analysis of a Stunning Coming of Age Story

Mike Mills is a charmer of dramedy. He deals with pathos so beautifully it’s hard not to make it your very own. 20th Century Women tries to tell a coming of age story of a boy, his upbringing overseen by his mother and two girls who help him understand things about life with their very own experiences. The flick is set in a backdrop of 1979 where a technological revolution was still in the process of shaping up. Its time dictates the very beauty of it. Quite inspiring, in fact, since today a child’s world has ended up being lost in mobiles, games and internet with limited social interaction.

20th Century Women thrives on real interaction helping each character in the movie to understand each other really well. A setup like that evokes a sense of yearning in your mind, to be in that time, caring for people around you and to be cared for, and being involved in each other’s life so as to carve better humans out of each other. The movie also delves into the life of Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening) who is apparently not from her time but from “The Depression” as her son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) calls it.

The movie is abounding with some great writing. The screenplay is peerless and very pensive. Every interaction forces you off the cliff into your very own world of contemplation. It is brilliantly presented too with Mike’s magnificent direction. His direction BTW is just impeccable and intelligent.

There are so many great conversations and one-liners in 20th Century Women that I think should be properly curdled to identify and appreciate their true magnificence. I have decided to do a proper analysis for that. Hope you like it.

Plot Analysis of 20th Century Women (Spoilers Ahead)

20th Century Women starts off with a scene of the moving sea signifying constant motion. Life is constant motion. It is written on the threads of time and it will forever take you forward. A movie that slaps a timeliness feel on its moniker understands that very well. We are told it is Santa Barbara 1979. The protagonists Dorothea and Jamie find their car in flames in the parking lot.

20th century women movie still

The old and the rusty always dies. It is a paragon of movement, that constantly moving wheel of change. With that, we realize the recognition of something always happens when it’s too late. When something dies you begin to wonder about it, and every story that once entailed it. Although there are memories galore as Dorothea says:

Dorothea: It was a beautiful car.
Jamie: Mom, it smelled like gas and overheated all the time and it was just old.
Dorothea: Well it wasn’t always old. It just got that way all of a sudden.

Now you know that Mike Mills isn’t only talking about the car with that conversation. It is about her too, or about everything that’s old in the world. They were all something once when they were young, bright and shiny. She wasn’t always old. It is her way of justifying herself, and then feeling sorry for it. You don’t see age coming. Time is elusive.

Unfulfilled Promises

Even prior to that in conjunction with the car’s really import, we find out about the lives of our protagonists and how they fit in. How they come to be. We see a montage of frames showing us the vastness of life, the experiences it houses in its bosom, the diversity, variegation, everything.

Dorothea: I’d tell him life was very big and unknown.
Jamie: And she told me there were animals and sky and cities, music, movies.
Dorothea: He’d fall in love have his own children, have passions, have meaning, have his mom and dad.

The last line is a kick in the groin because we immediately find out what Dorothea had promised couldn’t be fulfilled. She got divorced and the car was the only memory that stayed. Jamie’s recollection about his dad is sad as well. He tries to remember if he was close to his dad ever.

Last time I felt close to him was on my birthday in 1974.

And the real reason behind that was something material. He bought him mirrored sunglasses. So you can feel there was no real connection or even a trace of love, for that to matter. He would only call him on his birthday or Christmas.

Mills chooses to show us a movie scene where the talk goes on about promises. The actor in the movie failed to keep them.

Last night we said a great many things.

It is a subtle wink at Dorothea’s husband or Jamie’s father who didn’t stand true to himself.

The Power of Gratitude

We find Dorothea to be a kind woman, who is good with everybody when we find out her offering to feed the Firemen who came to help her with her car situation. She wishes to thank them for their help, and that’s her way of offering gratitude.

Jamie finds that odd, as will anybody else and goes on to explain.

You know when the firemen come people don’t usually invite them over for dinner.

To that she says,

Yeah? Why not?

It is a very powerful remark by Dorothea, which compels you to think. Why wouldn’t you or why shouldn’t you be grateful when someone helps you? Are they obliged to help you? The reason why you shouldn’t be kind to them? Even so, look at the colossal significance of the help they did. No one in their sanest mind will take the trouble of doing all that for you. You realize Dorothea’s kindness is just. But clearly, the times have changed. Yet she is unaware of it or simply chooses to be herself.

Other Crucial Characters in 20th Century Women

Credits roll and the movie begins with the introduction of Julie (Elle Fanning) a girl who is forced to attend her mother’s therapy sessions. We see her dropping by to meet Jamie and Dorothea but they are not home. William (Billy Crudup) is introduced as well meanwhile, who is a tenant at Dorothea’s ramshackle building. He helps her with all the broken things in her house.

Then there is Abigail ‘Abbie’ Porter (Greta Gerwig) the second girl who we see in a hospital. She is also a tenant and on chemo, and struggling with her cancerous body. We see her dancing to music which we later find out reflects her mood.

She learned to dance when she got sad.

Abbie is a photographer and she is taking pictures of Julie when she objects. She says:

I am taking a picture of everything that happens to me in a day.

Julie responds:

I don’t like having my pictures taken. I didn’t happen to you.

Dorothea and Jamie come back and we find out people in the building are quite friendly with each other. Dorothea cares about what is going on in Abbie’s life. There we find out about her illness as well.

Jamie and Julie in 20th Century Women

When Jamie and Julie are alone we find them on Jamie’s bed. She is worried about Jamie when she hears about that car fire. Julie is lovingly touching his face when Jamie considers it as an invitation. She retracts with:

It was so much easier before you got all horny.

Friendship can’t be the same always. Jamie and Julie have been friends all their life. There is an apparent age gap between the two, and Julie likes to spend her time on Jamie’s bed. They just talk about stuff. But Jamie is going through a phase, an age where he has no control over his feelings.

elle fanning in 20th century women

Friends can’t have sex and still be friends.

Julie tries to establish that, and wishes to keep it that way. She might be right of her to want something like that. But she is unknowingly forcing something unnatural on a poor coming of age lad, by sharing the same bed every night, destroying his privacy.

On a remark Jamie makes about her mom, Julie aces it with a line:

She’s compensating for her loneliness.

That’s a remarkable line, right there! You see Dorothea has been constantly bugging Jamie with things from her life. From groceries to her stock analysis, talking, asking him to do some chores, in a way making sure Jamie’s life is always full of her. When you are alone, you want your life to suck less, and you try to be busy with things that make you happy. But you do that at someone else’s cost. Jamie is a child who wants respite. But she fails to see that.

The Birthday Party Dinner

As promised, the firemen show up to Dorothea’s birthday party. By that invitation, it clearly seems that she is rooting for validation. That her birthday should have people, lots of people in it, even though there are strangers galore, it should ‘feel’ like a real party. She doesn’t wish to reflect back in the long run with regret – that her birthday didn’t feel like a birthday, and she is willing to accept strangers home as well.

We find her telling him about the building origins. Williams is trying to share his profound thoughts about the work he loves. He loves pottery but sadly nobody understands him or his love for it.

We are connected to the dirt ’cause we came from the dirt. The dirt is made of stars and stardust, in the same way that we are so when you put your hands into that dirt and feel the Earth Mother…

Abbie finds it ridiculous and guffaws. You get to see two different perspectives of how people are obsessed with different things in life. Abbie fails to see what Williams is so mad about, and the same holds true for Williams.

The Old Times

A montage of images in 20th Century Women, then takes us to the year 1924 when Dorothea was born.

When she was my age people drove in sad cars to sad houses with old phones, no money, or food, or televisions but the people were real.

We find out about her, how the war forced her to leave school, to give up on her dreams to become a pilot. The war took a lot of things away, and it is sad how it is a single most disruptive element that swallows everything in its wake. Jamie recounts the events of her life by telling us that she was the first woman to work in a Continental Can Company drafting room. Right after she met her husband, and then Jamie was born and then the divorce happned. Jamie puts it this way:

People from her time never admit anything went wrong.

This is another of those great lines in 20th Century Women that will make you brood for long. While it could be just pointing out Dorothea’s nature about being laconic, but at the same time, it talks about that period of time, and all the people in it. They were the reason behind the war after all, and yet they never admit that they were in the wrong. You talk with them and they will only have good things to say about their time, as if living amidst chaos was something they had learned to live with.

The Upbringing

Dorothea is really supportive of her son fighting with the world to turn him into a man, preparing him for everything upfront.

He’s not half a person, and he’s not some cute little guy. He has volition and autonomy and privacy.

She appreciates his brain even though he is in the wrong. (That signature forging bit!) We also learn that Dorothea never dates a man for long. One way or the other she pushes them away.

The Happiness Quotient

A scene in 20th Century Women then shows Jamie being concerned about the guy Julie dates. Dorothea senses that concern his words and goes on to remark another great line:

I just think that, you know, having your heart broken is a tremendous way to learn about the world.

In one of the conversations that follow that night, Jamie drops the bomb by asking her the question:

Do you think you are happy? Like as happy as you thought you’d be when you were my age?

It is an inappropriate question to ask but if you think about it, it is really deep. Nobody is really happy, and our visions and fancies, our idea of the world that we dreamt of growing up, never turns out the way we want them to.  A casual remark by Dorothea puts him away, but you know what the child has been thinking.

Wondering if you are happy is a great shortcut to just being depressed.

Another one of those ripped lines. We often wonder about it and hurt ourselves. Dorothea is the exact opposite. She doesn’t focus on thinking about how her life turned out to be, or where exactly her place was supposed to be. She doesn’t want to spend time thinking about that. It is written on her face as she moves on concentrating on the now, the present.

The Punk Music

About one of The Raincoats music that was played in 20th Century Women she opines:

Can’t things just be pretty?

We know what and who Dorothea is – an optimistic person, wanting the world to be a better place, focusing on all the good things wishing everything unpleasant to just go away. To her remark about the music Jamie says:

Pretty music is used to hide how unfair and corrupt society is.

And he’s so right! There is so much sadness in the world, the wrong, the corrupt, and with all the problems, if you are just focusing or choosing to see the good things, it wouldn’t make the ugliness disappear.

Dorothea comments about them not being very good. Abbie understands them even better when she says:

It’s like they got all this, this feeling, and they don’t have any skill, and they don’t want skill, because it’s really interesting what happens when your passion is bigger than the tools you have to deal with it. It creates this energy that’s raw.

It is something that holds true for everything. My passion for drawing, even though how bad I draw supersedes my inabilities. That’s really like a start for everything in this world. Then you have to keep at it, and you end up realizing that you are getting better with time.

The Near Death Experience

Another set of images in 20th Century Women then show us Jamie’s time. The year 1964 when he was born. Dorothea describes the time as the onset of a meaningless war, (for her the World War was meaningful?) with computers, drugs, and boredom. The last reason would force kids to play stupid games. We see Jamie playing a self-destructive game with his friends to which he succumbs and nearly dies for about half an hour.

When he is finally fine, Dorothea asks him:

Why would you do something so dangerous?

To which Jamie replies:

I don’t know. I mean, everyone was doing it.

We tend to do things for the heck of it, but primarily because we have this habit of following others. We copy each other, and even though something might sound really dumb we still do it. Jamie’s reason in 20th Century Women reeks of that very human stupidity that we are forever born with. War was a stupid idea and yet we keep following the same course over and over again.

That Deliberate Attempt

Another example is slapped by Jamie himself when he retorts to the question:

Why did you hurt yourself like that?

with an answer that’s just quite apt:

Why do you smoke yourself to death?

Another one of those examples where people tend to copy others, despite knowing what damage it could bring them. Smoking is a dumb idea, just like Jamie’s stupid game, but he still went along with it. Just as Dorothea or billion others like her who smoke, follow other’s suit.

Why are you fine being sad and alone?

We know that Dorothea has given up the idea of living, and that’s why she has resorted to smoking. She is not even trying to live which makes Jamie really mad. And whenever he asks her something personal she never replies. She thinks of it as inappropriate.

Owing to the time he was born in, Dorothea finds it really hard to understand the world of her child.

I know him less every day.

Things weren’t the way they used to be back in her time. She finds it really hard to communicate when she can’t open up herself and tell him about herself. That’s why she decides to bring in the cavalry – Abbie and Julie.

History and Men

20th Century Women then shows us a beach scene where all the women are talking.

I think history has been tough on men. I mean, they can’t be what they were, and they can’t figure out what’s next.

History has indeed been really hard on men. Even though they are trying to learn from it, secretly they wish to be a part of it. I have seen men who want to be in on some action, and now that they can’t get any of it, they think of the past as a great time to live. The inability to see what’s next and whether or not they will become a part of history is killing too. It is the boredom around that makes our life less exciting. The cardinal reason why they wish to teleport back.

Beseeching Help from Abbie and Julie

20th century women asking for help still

I think he needs help in figuring out how to be himself in all this mess. And I can’t be there. I can’t be there with him. I have to let go.

Dorothea asks for help from Abbie and Julie to raise him even though pointed out by Julie that you need a man to raise a man.

How do you be a good man? What does that even mean nowadays?

The very definition of a good man is lost, and the idea of two young girls teaching Jamie to become one seems about right to Dorothea.

This is what Jamie thinks of it:

You just feel guilty ’cause it’s just me and you.

The fact that it is true bothers Dorothea, but she fails to open up once again. The fight goes on and we see Jaime running off to LA for a show.

Dorothea thinks it is right of him to be mad. But Abbie counters it by:

If it makes him this mad then maybe it wasn’t a good idea.

Dorothea realizes her mistake with that and tries to get William’s perspective.

Jamie returns at night to a waiting Julie who has had a terrible news to break. As he gets in, Dorothea who has been really worried all this time. She finally lets out a sigh of relief, but she doesn’t show. She remarks to the cat instead:

It’s okay, Jeeves, he’s back. You can relax now.

You can order 20th Century Women from here:

Abbie Seeking Validity in 20th Century Women

Meanwhile, Abbie is rooting for someone’s approval, validity or even a little bit of love as she tries to talk to Williams.

I had this new idea for my photography that I was gonna take a picture of everything that I owned so it would be a self-portrait of myself through the stuff that I have.

Her photographs are incredibly sad and yet impactful as they help you to get a read on her. Looking at photographs of things someone owns, creates an image of that person in your mind. You feel that person materializing into something concrete when you really don’t know him/her. That’s the very beauty of it, and the sheer power of a camera.

Abbie chooses to fool around with Williams and she asks him to do role play. Williams finds that odd, of course, since her fetish is that of someone other than Williams.

I can’t just be myself?

But that scene in 20th Century Women is so brilliant and well acted that you can’t applaud the actors enough. She wishes Williams to be a photographer shooting her, and then making the move on her, eventually apologizing. When he acts it out, in the end, he can’t stop feeling sorry for the poor girl in reality, and the apology there, does both the jobs. You can’t help sorry for Abbie yourself. She is going through a difficult time, and she has these crazy ideas at the same time wanting her life to be unknotted.

Julie’s Pregnancy Test in 20th Century Women

It has been a regular wont of Julie in 20th Century Women to tell Jamie all about her life. It is really killing for Jamie to hear and yet he does so, because they have been friends forever. Despite the advice Jamie slips to her, she never acts in accordance. This time things really go out of hand as we can see Julie in tears afraid she might have got pregnant.

20th century women still of therapy

We see a montage of Julie origins this time, how she calls herself self-destructive. Her mother being a therapist keeps asking her to be a part of her therapy-sessions. She fools around a lot, and on being asked why, calls herself crazy.

You wish you were crazy.

One of the lines by Scott Peck from The Road Less Traveled in 20th Century Women puts whatever she is going through in life in perspective.

Of all the misconceptions about love, the most powerful and persuasive is the belief that falling in love is love, or at least one of the manifestations of love. Love is supposed to be a feeling that you feel.

Jamie the friend he is, helps her with her pregnancy test. She discovers she isn’t pregnant after all. Meanwhile we see her teaching all the wrong things, like how to smoke a cigarette. Whether to take it or not is Jamie’s choice. He makes the smart move by throwing it away. At the same time, Julie is also teaching her some of the good things she has garnered with experience, like her idea of strength.

I think being strong is the most important quality. It’s not being vulnerable, it’s not being sensitive. It’s not even, honestly, it’s not even being happy. It’s about strength and your durability against the other emotions.

Abbie’s Reports

Dorothea asks Jamie to be there when Abbie returns from her Chemotherapy appointment. Dorothea drops another life lesson for Jamie:

Men always feel like they have to fix things for women or they are not doing anything, but some things just can’t be fixed. Just be there. Somehow that’s hard for all of you.

Jamie makes the smart move, working on the “being there” part for women, and goes along with Abbie to show his support.

Abbie finds out that her cancer is benign but she can’t be a mother. It is hard for her to take, and Dorothea soothes her with her humour.

As a thank you gesture, Abbie gives Jamie a mix tape, also to help him out upfront as she truly believed in the following:

These were a bunch of songs that I think my life would have been better if they had been around when I was a teenager. So I’m hoping that if you listen to them now, you will be a happier and more realized person than I could ever hope to be.

Abbie’s montage flashes as we discover about her origins this time.

She grew up in Santa Barbara where everyone is happy, but that just made her feel crazy.

That feeling of being out of place, where everyone is one way and you don’t quite fit in.

New York City made her feel sane. It was so fucked up.

Her cancer upended her life, and the reason for that turned out to be her mother’s act of taking a drug when she was pregnant with Abbie. Feeling constantly guilty meeting her daughter, it was too much for Abbie to stay with her mom, and so she rented the house at Dorothea’s.

Dorothea’s Acceptance

One of the scenes in 20th Century Women shows Dorothea being approached by a coworker. He points out that everyone in the office thought that she was a lesbian. Dorothea has shut herself off so bad that people are making remarks about her behind her back.

Dorothea catches Julie once secretly getting off from Jamie’s room, and asks Julie what it was all about. She tells her that she just talks and sleeps. The chit chat backfires on Dorothea when she puts forth the question about her impact on Jamie’s life, that she hasn’t moved on.

You never seem into it.

Dorothea admits that it is hard for her to find someone she likes.

I had my chance twice, but that part of life just didn’t work out for me.

She contemplates on how she has been all this time, and asks about Williams’ opinion once again:

Do I seem stuck to you?

The Going Out Disaster

Abbie, Dorothea and Williams go out to a club where Williams ends up kissing Dorothea.

I mean you don’t kiss a woman unless you know what you mean by it.

It was all of a sudden and Dorothea doesn’t understand why Williams kissed her. For Dorothea, there has to be a reason for that.

On being asked if Williams was with Abbie, he says:

That’s not something serious.

To that Dorothea replies:

Then why do it?

This makes you think indeed. Why do something, when you don’t have your heart in it? It applies to everything in our life even to something as mundane as your job. It strikes a chord in Williams too, and he realizes that Abbie wasn’t someone he was after.

Dorothea sees an exemplary punk, a stereotype that makes her cynically look at what her child’s world is all about. What are the things that he likes, the music he approves, the clothes he wears? There is a whole generation waiting to be unraveled and he has yet to find his place, and the way things are headed she isn’t really happy with it. All of it makes her think, and she admits going into that pub was a life-changing experience for her.

The Feminist Book in 20th Century Women

Clearly, things didn’t turn out well for Abbie as she ended up in a bar fight. She gets dumped by Williams who she didn’t even like in the first place. She finds out Julie sleeping in the same bed as that of Jamie, and slips in a remarkable word of advice.

You cannot let her sleep here if she’s not having sex with you. It’s disempowering.

Julie had been doing that unknowingly to Jamie. The poor lad hadn’t figured it out and was suffering in silence all this time.

The next morning Abbie gives Jamie some feminist books that he begins to fancy and read a lot.

I wanna be a good guy, okay? I just want to be able to satisfy a woman.

That’s the fun part where he starts giving advice to people who don’t like to be talked down upon. He ends up getting beaten for it.

The next time a dude tells you a sex story, you just have to agree with everything he says and act like it’s right, even if it’s not, because they don’t wanna be contradicted. They just wanna live in their fantasy lands.

Advice keeps flowing in.

Whatever you think your life is going to be like, just know it’s not gonna be anything like that.

It is a disappointing thing to say to a child, but it is so true. Abbie doesn’t want Jamie to keep up his hopes high, and be prepared for the worst at all times. They sneak to a club together as she teaches him the basics of talking to a woman by being mysterious.

The Love Life of Williams in 20th Century Women

Dorothea and Williams meanwhile talk about their love lives.

I don’t really make choices about women. They just come to me.

On being inquired about Jamie’s dad, Dorothea remembers love pointing it to just one great habit of his – he used to scratch her back while doing stock reports being left-handed. It is strange how the very definition of love boils down to something so trivial. It is both good and bad in a way, and this topic remains open for discussion.

We see Williams trying to teach Dorothea meditation. Once again we see the conflict of interests, however, we see Williams playing along to please her.

We see a montage of Williams frames this time, as his love life unfurls with the introduction of Theresa, the only girl he was really serious about. He even moved with her to Oakland then to Sebastopol.

It wasn’t really me. I was doing it for….so that I wouldn’t lose Theresa.

There is always someone serious that takes away your interest when it leaves you. That’s what happened with Williams.

After Theresa, women didn’t have to look one way or the other, or be a certain way. I think that I just, I want to win them over so that I won’t be lonely.

But it was the aftermath that confused Williams the most:

But once I have them, I don’t really know what to do with them.

Dorothea and Williams start spending more time with each other, as she teaches him how to woo a woman.

Just be there. She just wants a little company.

Jamie in the World

Meanwhile, Jamie asks Abbie to run away to the coasts, just like he had once to Julie. Abbie tells him the truth:

Jamie, you are in love with Julie. You can’t let her push you around. You have to tell her what you want.

She shares all that night’s experience with Dorothea the other day, who doesn’t seem mad. Dorothea calmly replies:

You get to see him out in the world as a person.

With that Abbie pulls out a photograph of a drunk Jamie, showing exactly who he looks like in the real world as a person. She realizes that he looks nothing like she had hoped for. There is nothing out of the ordinary about him. He is nothing but a drunk guy just trying to have a good time.

In a tete-a-tete with Jamie, Julie tells him she doesn’t have orgasms. On being asked why she does what she does, she replies:

There’s other reasons. You know, like the way that he looks at you or the way they get a little bit desperate at some point. And the little sounds that they make. And their bodies ’cause you don’t exactly know what they’re gonna look like or smell or feel like until you do it.

It is the mystery behind the veil that draws most people towards each other. The sense of wonder of what if, or what might one find when witnessing him/her up close.

It is that sense of intrigue that pulls Julie, as she puts it perfectly:

Julie: Half the time I regret it.
Jamie: Then why do you do it?
Julie: ‘Cause half the time, I don’t regret it.

In Unison with Feminism in 20th Century Women

Jamie reads one of the lines from the book “Sisterhood is Powerful” by Zoe Moss, which by the way, you can order from here:

It is an essay titled “It Hurts to be Alive and Obsolete: The Ageing Woman”. He reads it to her mother considering it relates to her the most:

“I am gregarious. Interested in others. And I think, intelligent. All I ask is to get to know people and to have them interested in knowing me. I doubt whether I would marry again and live that close to another individual, but I remain invisible. Don’t pretend for a minute as you look at me, that I am not as alive as you are, and I do not suffer from the category to which you are forcing me.

I think, stripped down, I look more attractive than my ex-husband but I am sexually and socially obsolete and he is not. I have a capacity now for taking people as they are, which I lacked at 20. I reach orgasm in half the time and I know how to please, yet I do not even dare show a man that I find him attractive. If I do, he may react as if I have insulted him. I’m supposed to fulfill my small functions and vanish.”

That he has tacked Dorothea and how she is into the lines of a book. She refuses to accept by saying:

I don’t need a book to know about myself.

The Regret

Dorothea regrets having asked Abbie to help Jamie at all. She believes Jamie is turning out to become too much of a hardcore feminist.

Dorothea: Learning about a female orgasm is helping him be a man?
Abbie: Well, what man do you know that cares anything about that?

And Abbie is right. No one really cares about it, as much as she had prepared Jamie for it upfront. Her idea of making Jamie something better isn’t, however, playing by her rules. She didn’t know what a modern woman thinks and expects of men. She is as Jamie often puts it from “The Depression” where men had a different definition.

The Menstruation Talk in 20th Century Women

On the dining table happens one of the most awkward discussions for Dorothea where Abbie flings around the word “menstruation” openly. Dorothea and all the men there, in fact, the whole world isn’t really comfortable with the word. It is a topic they wish to speak about in hushed voices. But Abbie hates that and wishes Jamie to learn to be bold and brave.

If you ever want to have an adult relationship with a woman like if you want to have sex with a woman’s vagina, you need to be comfortable with the fact that the vagina menstruates.

There’s nothing wrong with it. It is totally natural and the human perception just makes the topic awkward to be discussed in public.

20th century women menstruation talk

With that window of ballsy opportunity, Julie tries to come clean too and talks about her sexual encounters. The topic deviates and Dorothea calls it a night.

While trying to confront Jamie, the plan ends up getting backfired for Dorothea as he says:

Mom, I am dealing with everything right now. You are dealing with nothing.

It is true. There is so much going on with Jamie, and literally, nothing going on with Dorothea. She isn’t moving on the way she is supposed to but she is worried sick about Jamie’s upbringing. It is just too much for Jamie to take.

The Runaway

Jamie takes that advice of not letting Julie in, and stops her from sleeping this time. But she plays that emotional card asking him to do what he had always wanted to do – to drive to the coast all by themselves.

They leave as Dorothea ends up getting pulled over and then later jailed for her sense of humour (even though it was good!)

At the coast in a room, Julie is reluctant to have sex with Jamie.

I think that I am too close to you to have sex with you.

Jamie tries to make him understand that he could help her with that. But it’s impossible to budge her because she doesn’t want Jamie to become like others.

Jamie: I don’t wanna just have sex with you. I want you.
Julie: But it’s your version of me. It’s not me.

We have a certain idea of a person and we love them for our version of them. When you get to know the real person you begin to see the flaws and the intrinsic problems. That’s when love begins to fade. Julie wishes Jamie to see her point, and not be that person whom she can’t be with.

She compares him to all the other guys, which hurts Jamie as he leaves.

The Homecoming in 20th Century Women

Dorothea is meanwhile brought back home, as she discusses with Abbie:

Abbie: Having a kid seems like the hardest thing.
Dorothea: How much you love the kid…you are just pretty much screwed.

Julie calls Dorothea as she, Abbie and Williams go to the coast to find Jamie. Dorothea isn’t mad at Julie. She forgives her and talks to Jamie and he makes her understand the real import of a mother.

It just seemed like you couldn’t deal with me anymore.

Jamie is mad at Dorothea for asking the girls to help. To that Dorothea replies:

I don’t want you to end up in the same place as me. I wanted you to be happier. I just didn’t think I could do it by myself.

Jamie corrects her by saying:

I thought we were fine, though, just me and you.

The Opening Up

In a restaurant Dorothea and Jamie begin to talk as we see Dorothea finally opening up to personal questions:

Were you and Dad ever in love?

To that she replies:

Sure or, maybe I was just…I felt I was supposed to be in love. Or I was scared I’d never be in love, so I just picked the best solution at the time.

More personal questions follow and Dorothea unspools properly with her child opening up every time:

Are you lonely?

She runs her fancy to create an ideal man for her. Her idea of a real man is the one who is true to his promises:

You know that he’s gonna do what he says he’s gonna do,

The Sad Reality

As we cut in to an adventurous frame, we get a sense of deep satisfaction that finally things begin to look up for Dorothea and Jamie. But the real truth hits you hard in the face. Life is never like that.

I thought that was just the beginning of a new relationship with her where she’d really tell me stuff but maybe it was never really like that again. Maybe that was it.

It is just one of those phases we were shown and that part sounds like a really great story. But life happens to everybody. So the diegesis tells us what happened with everybody in the story. How things pan out for them.

Eventually, Jamie speaks, and he tells us about himself:

Years after she’s gone, I will finally get married and have a son. I will try to explain to him what his grandmother was like but it will be impossible.

It leaves you with a really profound sense of poignancy. Not getting to know the extraordinary woman around whom his life revolved, that’s as gloomy as it gets. Curtain falls.

The Final Verdict of 20th Century Women

20th Century Women is a great movie where all of the actors performed extraordinarily. I loved how Mike Mills did those great introductions, and how he chose to spread them all across the movie. Jamie was always shown cruising on his skateboard on an empty road as if implying that he was cruising through life. Such subtle elements simply help elevate the movie.

20th Century Women is outright alluring and should not be missed for the world.

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