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Berlin Syndrome Review (2017) | About Relationships | Full Analysis with Spoilers

Even before we begin, I would like to give a standing ovation to Teresa Palmer. Her performance in Berlin Syndrome is hands down one of the best of hers I have ever seen. She has grown as an actor and it shows on her face. Her act is so natural and realistic that you get an impression you are actually witnessing a stranded girl. Totally uncontrived feel!

What appears to be a mere psycho-captive tale is, in fact, something that beats the eye. There is something deep going on in Berlin Syndrome and for that, I have decided to write you a thorough analysis. With some cool metaphorical comparisons thrown astray the writer of the eponymous novel Melanie Joosten was definitely on to something. Maybe you failed to notice that allegorical crux, of which I speak of. Don’t worry I have got you covered.

Meanwhile you can check out my other movie analyses too.

Berlin Syndrome Explained (Spoilers Ahead)

Okay, to begin with, we see our protagonist Clare (Teresa Palmer), a tourist photographer bumping into Andi (Max Riemelt), a local Berlin guy who is also an English teacher. This part is the “falling in love”. When you are complete strangers but you get smitten by the way the other looks. Despite not knowing anything about him/her you begin to fall, fall hard. You become unreasonable then and you focus more on falling and become desperate for it.

Clare: What makes you think I have problems?

Andi: People who travel alone are usually in search of something.

Andi presses that vein, the one that always hits the jackpot in a relationship. You might know it as “he/she understands me so well”. The ‘connection’ is established in those few seconds of exchange, and we can see Clare falling for the guy instantly. Her expressions by the way – perfect!

While the following line might seem as a petty gaffe, there is something deep in it if you really look at it.

I always come here to complicate life.

How often do you do that? Venture into an unruly place like love? When you are not in a relationship your life is simple, untangled. But when you choose to be in a relationship, you ‘complicate’ life. You layer your partner up with your expectations and you want him/her to become your idea of perfect love. Then there is that tinge of insecurity, of possessiveness, of guilt and then things begin to crumble. A relationship is a perfect paragon of how one, despite knowing what it could do to you, chooses to intentionally ‘complicate’ life.

But the line was, of course, intended as a deliberate pickup line to sound funny to tourists, we later discover.

Life Experiences

Our world carves out reflections. Whatever someone does and finds it life changing, inspires others to follow their lead. It might not necessarily bring the same effect on the pursuer. We all want different things in life, but we do want to get the taste of someone else’s elation. On being asked why was Clare traveling, she confesses:

You know, those life experiences…
That people talk about all the time?
I wanted to do that.

No matter what place you are in, everyone feels that way sometimes. Waiting for a chance to storm yourself out, to get out from your life.

Clare thinks of herself as one of those cliched stereotypes calling herself predictable, but Andi considers that to be really brave. For a local person who has his life sieved in his own surroundings, it seems like a bizarre idea to leave everything behind. Andi might have been wheedling her up then, but he was genuine in considering it a brave move.

We end up in an awkward situation wherein the relationship doesn’t feel like going anywhere when Clare speaks about going to Dresden. It upsets the easily upset Andi. She goes to her room but that taste of longing in the mind of Clare stays, as she finds a photograph of Andi on the streets. She then bumps into him in a library and finds Andi staring into a book of art.

That one’s my favorite. She’s holding her hands like that to hide her deformed finger.

The irony in the above statement is that Clare ends up being exactly that girl in the book. We are coming to that part.

Believing in You

This is one part of the relationship when you think of yourself as no big deal, but your partner begins to point out all those things that you secretly want to hear. He/she loves you for who you are, and it feels great when all your good stuff is brought out in the open for you to see.

You photograph disappointment. I mean, all this ddr shit, all these dreams…it is all invalid.

But then there are disagreements that you choose to overlook and often change the topic to avoid getting into fights. So she does.

The next line that Andi delivers forms the basis of the entire movie Berlin Syndrome.

You can suffocate anywhere. You don’t need a wall.

We have these tangible physical characters that we can see and touch, and some of you might as well be thinking that the movie is all about the room that we can see. The walls that have surrounded Clare are the only thing that she needs to escape from. But that’s the whole point of Berlin Syndrome. Walls in the movie are abstract. Andi kidnapping Clare is nothing but a degrading relationship she can’t escape from.

still from Berlin Syndrome movie

As they are having a discussion, we find Andi asking Clare about a locket she is wearing. The first question that escapes his mouth is that of a jealous concern.

Did a boy give you that?

We are yet to find out the psychological state of Andi’s head. For starters, we know that he is an extremely conservative guy with that question. Or maybe that piece of jewelry bothered Andi’s idea of his perfect mate. The necklace was somehow belittling the natural beauty of Clare in his mind.

The First Phase of Love

Andi takes Clare at a secluded and empty place. He remarks that Berlin is full of such quiet places. They have sex that night, as Clare remarks in bed:

I don’t want this to end.

Andi’s lament gives away a sad sense of yearning he has for his first relationship.

All firsts end. First airplane ride. First time you get your ears pierced. First drags of cigarettes. First fuck.

You realize it is true. There is nothing like it. The firsts of everything. There is a sense of thrill, of excitement that goes missing the moment you repeat it. It doesn’t feel the same then. Andi misses her first love, and it is clear on his face. Her arrival brought back memories of his past of which she knows nothing about. She goes on in the background:

I wish we could stay like this, where we don’t know each other.

The Knowledge

The “getting to know” part is the best stage in the prospect of love. That’s the part where you are complete strangers, and everything the other does makes you fall more in love. It grows exponentially. You like petty mistakes, you love your partner for his/her petty sweet nothings. That’s what Clare, or any person really, is smitten with, and she wishes something abominable that is about to change her life forever:

I wish I could stay.

The next line states the one ugly truth of relationships.

What happens when you know someone?

It dictates the way of life. You begin to see the problems, the loopholes, the flaws, the mindlessness and that’s when you realize you made a big mistake. When you know someone, you see them with their problems. You begin having second thoughts. That’s a downward tumble for you right there.

The House Arrest

Leaving Clare without a key the other day, locking her in, Andi begins to show his true colors. In his class he is trying to teach his children a line from a James Baldwin novel called “Giovanni’s Room”.

Perhaps home is not a place, but simply an irrevocable condition.

That’s quite a poignant line right there, saying a million words in a one liner. A further hint at why the Berlin Syndrome movie is not at all what it apparently appears to be. When you get used to something you frame it as home.

Franka’s (Emma Bading‘s) take on the line puts things in perspective:

The character is constantly moving. He feels a little bit shame about himself but he says he is finding himself, but he’s just escaping.

When Andi returns Clare ignores his first mistake and once again has sex with him. The other day she realizes Andi has been deliberately locking her up. He has even removed her sim card, and is trying to stop her from leaving him. She can’t even find her necklace that was given to her by her mother. It is suggestive that Andi has taken everything that she loved or whatever felt like home away from her.

Possessiveness

Andi’s act is a blunt form of possessiveness where your partner is suffocating you by keeping you just for him/her. Andi has trust issues, and that conservative thinking once again flares up for you to see.

I didn’t think I would be able to get back in and then I realized that I couldn’t even leave.

You observe that he has taken Clare’s words too seriously.

You said you wanted to stay.

And then tortures her into taking photographs of her. It is an obsession he has no control over.

There is no reasoning with Andi. He’s a psychopath who can’t be reasoned with:

Clare: You could do so many things.

Andi: But I just want to do this.

Andi is like that quiet beast you know nothing of, and when you try to tame it, it unleashes its fury on you. Clare becomes a victim of house arrest as Andi keeps going to his school to teach. He is also visiting his father, the only good thing in his life that keeps him adrift towards sanity.

The First Fight

Next series of events deal with Clare trying to escape the house by driving a screwdriver through the hand of Andi. He ends up hurting her fingers, making an art of her too like that painting she was watching in a library few days ago. If we tack it up against the relationship theory, it is one of those moments of extreme bewilderment where Clare’s trying to shake Andi off, but the plan backfires and her act of revolt ends up hurting both of them in the process.

What would be the worst thing I could ever do to you? Don’t worry, I would never do it.

With that, it gets established that she can’t fight Andi. He is too strong for her. The question of her leaving is answered with something that forces pain to linger. So that goes out the window.

She once tries to tell him that she misses her mom to which Andi replies:

There’s no point in missing something you can’t have back.

The Acceptance

Now comes the time when you realize when you can’t escape from a relationship, it is time to embrace it. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade, right? So Clare accepts her fate letting Andi has his way with her. He is queer is all, she thinks and comes to terms with.

Teresa Palmer in Berlin Syndrome

But she isn’t happy. She shows her discomfiture and displeasure in the only way she thinks possible by doing the opposite of whatever he wants of her.

Can’t you just be normal?

Sounds familiar?

We see a broken Andi, who has lost his father, being accepted by Clare completely.

I thought you weren’t gonna come back.

Andi was gone so long that Clare ran out of resources. She needed him for survival but watching his vulnerability kick in, she pities him. Clare then decides to open up, to tell him about her day, just like one does in a relationship.

Clare: How did you choose me?

Andi: You paused on the street.

The Annoyance

Just when they were talking about the day he had met her, she asks him about his first love to which Andi replies:

There was no other girl.

Like a nagging person in a relationship who wishes to know about your past indulgence, she is asking him questions about his first girl.

Do you still think about her?

Andi never speaks of it though he begins to see the pattern in relationships. Clare is full of it, and we can see the annoyance kick in as she talks and rants about things. For Clare, she wishes to have someone to talk to and after accepting her life as is, Andi is the only person she could talk to. But when you spend too much of time with someone that’s when you begin to see the flaws, and so Andi begins to falter.

We see Andi getting smitten by another tourist but he soon wipes away the thought. That goes on to show how you get bored of a thing when you have it for too long. That’s exactly how relationships work.

Andi’s narrow-mindedness is shown aplenty when we see him getting offended by a mere touch of his coworker. He derides her considering her throwing herself at men all the time. He is a one woman guy and the extent to which he is willing to go is really disappointing to watch.

Andi is at the same time concerned about their relationship too. He thinks that he is making Clare happy, but clearly, she isn’t.

How do you think this is going, from one to ten?

She replies:

Seven.

For Andi, her happiness is of paramount importance too. He can’t let her go, but he is willing to loosen up a little.

He offers her his dead father’s dog Lotte like your lover making you happy occasionally with gifts and stuff. You know, to keep the romance alive.

The Escape

Clare’s acceptance, however, doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t escape if she found a window of opportunity. We see another man venturing into the place while trying to get some cleaning done. Andi kills him. It is metaphorical for your partner closing all your doors for any chance with others.

It’s your fucking fault, okay. Now we have to clean this mess together.

However, there does arise a real window of opportunity in Berlin Syndrome after all, when Clare hides a captive image of herself in Franka’s file. In a theatrical series of events, we see Franka running to Andi’s abode and then hiding there as Andi immediately follows.

Eventually, Clare locks Andi in his own house in a breathtaking climax as she forces Andi’s very own medicine down his throat. She lets him choke on his own theory leaving him for good as we see a tired Andi sitting in his comfort chair wondering about his choices. (or the breakup)

Finally, the curtain falls to freedom.

You can order the Berlin Syndrome movie from here:

The Final Verdict of Berlin Syndrome

Berlin Syndrome is a movie that might appear as a simple tale of house arrest and abduction but it is something more. It is on human relationships and the way it swallows a person whole. Its characters are exemplary paragons of humans who find themselves either in the driving seat or the receiving end.

Andi is like a driving force in a relationship while Clare is the one who is constantly abused. Even though there is a psychotic angle flung here, you can’t rule out its palpability. There are still conservative extremists extant in today’s society that would literally do anything to keep you close.

Berlin Syndrome is a wonderful poetic flick with an amazing screenplay to be understood by its real allegorical import.

Check out the trailer of Berlin Syndrome movie here:

Nocturnal Animals Review (2016) | Full Analysis and Ending Explained

Speechless! Nocturnal Animals would render you dumbstruck. It is an outstanding avant-garde flick that is more art than cinema. Yes, there is art laid out in the form of poetry and if you pay attention you would appreciate the stories they tell. The movie ends in a way so as to leave you speculating. It’s beautifully done and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Seems like a very straightforward tale but really, there is something deep going on there.

So what is it? Without wasting any more time let’s begin, shall we?

Nocturnal Animals Plot Analysis (Spoilers Ahead)

The movie starts with a quite unusual scene which you don’t normally find many directors attempting these days. There are fat naked ladies celebrating. Their flab’s dancing all around their body along with them. They seemed to have shed our very idea of shame in things we consider shameful, and they are simply enjoying it. They are happy with their body even though it’s a contrasting image of what our society has imagined for us. Their idea of happy is breaking all the rules that we have learned to live with. Some of them are leering at you. Again something we consider impolite.

Explaining The Opening Scene

Then we see an image of a bustling highway in Nocturnal Animals, implying the urban life, trying to connect the dots about how we choose to embrace that idea as time flies. Life goes on, nay, it trundles down different lanes choosing one path or the other. One of the roads shows a suburban lane where the traffic movement is really slow. It insinuates that at one point our life too will become stodgy like that slow moving traffic, and then (cars have now stopped) eventually stop.

Immediately after we see those naked overweight ladies playing dead. It symbolizes that’s how we go. Naked to the core. One of the lady’s wand is no longer in her hands, and she’s turned away from it. It symbolizes that the thing that gave her joy in her life has left her now that she is dead. It’s no longer with her. That’s how life is. You don’t get to take the good things with you when you die. And when you die all the good things that surround you leave you to depart alone.

The second lady is seen lying face down on one of the pedestals. It means she can’t even see into our world, or does she even want to? Or is it the shame that has her looking downwards. It’s the variety of life we are. Some go proudly into the soil, some choose to bury their secrets along with them. But none of those people get to take what they love. Their reason for happiness stays above the soil. Even the clothes stay. You go down naked leaving every material thing in this world behind.

still from Nocturnal Animals of Amy Adams junk culture

Susan Morrow

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) is a crucial character in Nocturnal Animals. She is the exact opposite of the art she has launched and overseeing. She is the paragon of beauty, wears modish clothes and poses a contrasting image to those fat ladies. We hear an off-screen noise of her taking deep breaths as she connects with the reality of “you die naked, you should live naked”. She is living a lavish life, our idea of gaudy livelihood and yet there is a certain sadness in her eyes. She is slowly coming back to her senses, to her world, as she begins to breathe normally, and just then we are shown a moving traffic once again.

Her life hasn’t become a slow moving traffic yet. She is still young.

Susan drives to her home. Her gates are so garish and shiny that her car lights reflect off it causing her discomfort. We are so madly running after lurid things in our life that we choose to live with all the discomfiture it tags along. That one scene speaks a thousand words if you really think about it. Just as she drives in, the door automatically closes. Immediately, after someone arrives to a closed door in a different car. Whoever it was we could learn about the distance Susan has grown with him, as if her life had closed a door on him.

We are then depicted an ostentatious living, a neighborhood that is just buildings and trees that are lined up against the roads in a symmetrical fashion. A tacky display – they have lost their meaning in life.

Life of Susan

Susan and her hubby have recently moved in and she has received a package from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) who has finished a novel and wishes Susan to read it first. He has also given his number and email id for her to contact him. Her hubby Hutton Morrow (Armie Hammer) pretends to not remember Edward as she fills him on about his novel. When Hutton says if she has even talked to Edward in like 20 years, she corrects him saying 19. You could sense that Edward was one of the most important parts of her life, and that she missed him profusely.

Then we feel the strained relationship of the Morrows as they talk about how Hutton misses out on everything and that he has to once again head out to New York.

One of the most interesting conversations happen when Susan sadly reflects:

Susan: You know the strange thing is is, I don’t really care about all this art.
Hutton: I care. It pisses me off.

Susan realizes how Hutton simply wishes to show off and that’s why he cares about it, and not that he tries to even understand it. He is too shallow to fathom.

Strained Relationship

In a tete-a-tete with a friend, she confides that the relationship is indeed strained.

I think we just want different things, or I want different things.

On being asked if she still loves him, the topic gets changed. Carlos (Michael Sheen) delivers one of the most insightful thoughts on Susan when they are having dinner. Carlos lets her know that her work about junk culture was incredible. She truly believes our culture to be complete junk.

Carlos: Nobody really likes what they do.
Susan: Then why do we do it.
Carlos: Because we are driven. Maybe a bit insecure. We get into things when we are young and because we think they mean something.
Susan: And then we find out that they don’t.

Carlos advises her to accept the absurdity of the world, and that they are in a much better state than the real world, and that they should be grateful for that.

Reading the Book Nocturnal Animals

We are shown her being on her meds, as she has been having trouble sleeping lately. Her hand lingers, her thoughts pucker up when she finds “For Susan” written on the second page of Nocturnal Animals. She feels happy that Edward has written something for her, and dedicated an entire book to her.

That’s when the book’s story begins. It’s a wonderful way of depicting a parallel tale whenever Susan digs her head to read.

The story places the author in the shoes of Tony Hastings. Isla Fisher plays his wife Laura Hastings. Ellie Bamber is their daughter and all three of them are making a trip to Marfa. The way to Marfa is deserted. It goes dark quickly.

No phones. No people.

As they are driving through the night, a bunch of hooligans intersect them and ask them to pull over. It is a shocking run of events and even if you were there driving that car instead of Tony, you would have no other option but to stop.

Meanwhile, we see Susan in a trauma trying to go in complete sync with the happenings of the book. She is empathizing with the characters and feeling every bit of trepidation that the family felt.

The Unfortunate Event

Tony is trying to make the most of the situation. Trying his level best to get out of it. He is a decent guy and you could tell by the way he talks with hooligan no. 1 Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) that he is simply trying to protect his family. But things go south soon with Ray and his other two friends forcing themselves into his car and driving away with Laura and India. It is so heartbreaking to see, having no control over the situation, and being completely incapacitated to help his family.

You could feel your heart shattering into pieces with that look Tony gives as all the noise numbs out, as if that’s the last of their voices he is going to hear of them again.

Susan can’t read further because it has drained her out, as it manages to drain any viewer out. You can’t feel sorry enough. It is one of those moments of a good book that forces you to take a pit stop and think about what the author has written. There is just too much pain. It makes her think about her husband’s safety. She calls Hutton to confirm if he has reached safely. That’s also where she gets a strong inkling of him cheating on her.

She continues to read Nocturnal Animals book to find out what happens next.

You can order Nocturnal Animals movie from here:

Lou (Karl Glusman) the third offender sits with Tony as he drives to follow them. But Lou fools him into believing that they are at the end of the road. Then he dumps him there taking the car back. After a while, Lou returns with a pissed off Ray trying to find Tony. Tony hides behind some rocks unwilling to come out, out of fear. They drive away.

The Mental Trauma

The dawn breaks and Tony is seen walking his way to the road where he had last seen a house. He makes a call from there to the police and they suggest him to retire to a motel nearby.

There is a beautiful contrast that goes on as Tony gets into the bathtub. Susan outside the book too goes into one, feeling the exact pain Tony underwent unable to put a pin on his wife and kid, constantly wondering about their safety. And preparing himself for what might have happened to them. Insane unthinkable thoughts visit him and you know you are feeling the same as a mute viewer. He cries incessantly as the director chooses to subtly display it through water droplets trickling down on a mirror with him in its reflection.

still of Jake Gyllenhaal as Tony from Nocturnal Animals movie

Bobby Andes

In comes Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon) in the Nocturnal Animals book. He comes to pick up Tony from the motel to help find his family at the location of the crime. They trace back his steps to a cattle station where he finds two naked bodies intertwined on a red burnt-out sofa. It is like a work of art only the most poignant ever because it reeks of death. As Andes helps him identify the bodies, Tony can only manage:

Is she alright?

There’s a locket on India’s face which we will see Tony carrying around for the later part of the book as a mark to remember them by.

Susan is taken aback when she finds his family’s plight like that. She is worried sick immediately about her own daughter Samantha (India Menuez). Her real name a coincidence? I don’t think so. Tom Ford chooses to put the same naked image of her intertwined with a shade of red aginst her boyfriend to get us thinking of how Susan is imaging her in that moment.

The Flashback with Edward

She begins to think of her time with Edward, about how they had met after a long time and decided to go on a date. They get to talking about her parents who were really old-fashioned in their ways and it pissed her off.

They have an antiquated idea of how I should live my life.

Edward, the sweet guy he is, tries to remember her mother for her. He recollects her being nice to him when his father had died even though Susan debunks that very idea. She doesn’t want to be compared with her mother.

You both have the same kind of sadness in your eyes.

He says all the right things, inspires her to follow her dream making falling in love with him really easy.

After a while we see a conversation being followed up between Susan and her mother. Susan is wanting to get married to Edward and move to Texas with him, but her mother is strongly against that idea.

The things you love about him now are the things you will hate in a few years.

She calls Edward fragile and weak pointing one low moment in his life when his father had died. The contrast there, of how Edward looked highly of her mother because she was there when he needed someone the most, and the way Susan’s mother writing him off for being a crybaby is just too much for Susan to handle.

Even though she doesn’t want to be compared to her mother this is one powerful line she drops on Susan:

We all eventually turn into our mothers.

Identifying Lou

Going to the book again, Tony is having a hard time remembering the culprit’s face, but in one of his nightmares he makes him out. As time passes by, Andes manages to rope one in during an attempted hold-up at a supermarket. One of the felon is shot so we are left with two now.

Lou, the guy who had driven along with Tony to a secluded spot is identified at once, as Andes promises to bag the main culprit Ray.

Susan is empathizing immensely thinking about Edward all the time, of what he might have been contemplating, about all the pain he was forced to silently experience.

Susan: Why are you so driven to write.
Edward: I guess it’s a way of keeping things alive. You know, saving things that will eventually die. And if I write it down then it will last forever.

She confides to a co-worker about Edward saying how brutally she had ended her relationship with him. She tells her about his book as well that’s outright painful and violent. It is getting its toll on her.

You know me, I never sleep.

She questions her life’s decisions. Wondering about the thrill she sought leaving behind a crucial morsel that could have reshaped her life.

Do you ever feel like your life has turned into something you never intended?

The Office Art Work

Nocturnal Animals can’t be commended enough for its art. There is an art of a naked woman’s ass hung up at Susan’s office. Another smirk at shunning off the junk culture. She wishes to be that bold, fearless idea, wearing what others consider impolite like a framed art on the wall.

There’s an art of a deer lanced profusely with arrows too. It is a poignant sight because clearl, only one or two arrows might have done the job. But people kicking a dead dog is simply pathetic. It resonates beautifully with Edward. She considers Edward to be the guy she had kicked when he was down. I will come to that part of how.

still of Revenge art in nocturnal animals movie

Then she walks across an Art piece that says “REVENGE” in a symmetrical manner. All Es are placed in the center, as if saying every revenge has one thing in common – that modicum of satisfaction. It is portrayed in the form of E’s symmetry and the painting seems to bleed its colors. That’s the form in which every revenge ends. She stares at it blankly looking at the Es as if E meant Edward. How he badly wishes to avenge his family. And since she has been reading about that in the book, she could feel how badly Edward’s character Tony needs it.

A co-worker walks in with her phone telling her how she could babysit her own child using an app. On checking out the baby in the phone Susan accidentally drops it when she sees an image of Ray’s character she has unknowingly imagined from the book. It is clearly an accident depicting how the events of the book have taken a toll on her. But it also symbolizes how she was reckless with her own baby too, putting perspective in the word REVENGE.

About Change

She imagines Edward in pain still wearing their wedding ring. It is hard for her to brush that image off. She is thinking of what she did to him.

Susan is against letting a worker go, which she had earlier made up her mind to.

Sometimes maybe it’s not such a good idea to change things quite so much.

Even though it was a curt remark at one of the board members who she was trying to get at, it also means she accepts that it wasn’t right of her to leave Edward bringing in such a vast change in her life. Because it didn’t turn out as great as she had imagined.

There is another art of a man shooting another who seems happy to be shot at. There’s fire behind him that seems to be taking him anyway. And yet he is willingly letting the impending murder happen. It reflects so much with Edward who is willing to die because he feels dead all the time. He is a sad soul like every sad person out there who believes everything is lost. He is allowing life to take a shot at him and to pull that trigger. Also, he is burning from inside wishing a quick death.

Pinning Ray Marcus

Back in the story again, Andes locates Ray Marcus accompanying Tony who identifies him as the main culprit. They take him down to the trailer where he had raped and killed Tony’s wife and daughter. Tony loses it trying to get something out of him and hits him in the head.

I wanna know the exact story, what you did to them. I wanna know what they said. I wanna know what my wife said and I wanna know what my daughter said. I wanna know how you killed them. And I wanna know if they knew it was happening to them. I wanna know what they felt. I wanna know if they hurt. Answer me.

The Flashback of Downfall

Susan thinks of her time with Edward when things began to coil up in the corner. It was the moment they started having disagreements, and things kind of escalated. On being shown one of his works, Susan gives it a critical eye to which Edward says:

Nobody writes about anything but themselves.

And the dissent becomes huge. She fails to understand Edward’s creativity, at the same time wondering where is it going to lead him.

Do you know what it feels like to put yourself out on the line creatively and then have someone you love tell you that they don’t understand it?

That’s when Hutton swoops in. It was her desperate time and she ended up falling for him.

Edward and Susan’s final fight is when things begin to crumble. She walks away from him turning him down as Edward tries to put back some sense in her.

When you love someone you work it out. You don’t just throw it away. You have to be careful with it. You might never get it again.

Ray Walks Free

We get to see how good Andes is in the movie Nocturnal Animals, when he breaks it to Tony that he has cancer. He has been so much invested in bringing justice to Tony and his poor family that he has completely forgotten all about himself.

Do you have anyone in your life?

Andes takes a good time to think about the aforementioned question as he tries to remember that he doesn’t have anyone except an estranged daughter.

When they come to figure out about Ray’s clean walk, they are both desperate to provide some lynching justice of their own. Andes has got nothing to lose and they agree on pinning Ray for good.

They tag him to a pub from where they take both Ray and Lou to a secluded place at Andes’ camp. Things escalate as Ray manages to escape free as a bird while Lou gets shot.

The Abortion

At the exact moment, a bird crashes into the windowpane of Susan’s house. It is poetry for how a person thinks that there is a way ahead right through but ends up overseeing the adversity that knocks him out. Then it could also be a remark about the thing that happens next in her recollections where she had chosen to abort Edward’s child. The bird, here a probable daughter, thought she was going to see the world but Susan smacks her down. She is aborted even before she could fly.

still of Jake Gyllenhaal as Edward in Nocturnal Animals

She says those words out loud that forms the entire basis of the story of Nocturnal Animals.

I am gonna live to regret this. I regret it now.

Immediately after we see Edward staring at her drenched with knowledge about the abortion. That’s her regret that she has to live with, because it has pushed Edward into darkness. She is unable to find him for 19 long years, because he wouldn’t pick the phone or talk to her. Because she did something so despicable that ended up upending his life.

The Final Showstopper of Nocturnal Animals

Back in the book story, again after shooting Lou Tony breaks down remembering how helpless he had been. How helpless he had felt.

I should have stopped it. I should have protected them. I should have seen it coming. I should have stopped it.

As suggested by Edward once “Nobody writes about anything but themselves” you can understand that the helplessness was exactly how he felt when he let that abortion take place. He could have stopped it by abating disagreements, or walking in just in the nick of time, changing her mind to stop Susan from doing what she did. And all that frustration goes into the writing where he ended up being weak where it mattered the most. And he laments it profusely giving one of his best performances. Jake’s an amazing actor really!

Trying to find Ray they both split as Tony ends up barging into the exact place where Ray was. It was where he had murdered his family. A perfect setup to draw that vengeance sword in him.

still of Aaron Taylor Johnson as Ray Marcus in Nocturnal Animals

Ray tries to get through him pressing the nerve where it hurt him the most.

You are too weak. You are too weak to do anything about it.

That’s when he shoots Ray twice before being hit by a crowbar Ray was hiding.

That Weak Epithet

If you think about it that’s the exact thing that had ended their relationship. Susan had blamed Edward for being too weak. It was the high point of the Nocturnal Animals book since that’s how Edward used to feel about when someone called him weak. Because he was strong, and that’s why he decided to bring down the justice sword on him showing him what he was really made of.

The dawn breaks and Tony walks out one-eyed stumbling across the dead body of Ray. There is no one around and he shoots once in the sky to get attention, but the recoil is too hard on him and he falls down. Trying to crawl he ends up shooting himself. It is an accident as he slowly fades away holding on to his locket pointing out that justice to his family was finally delivered. While dying there is a slight content smile on his face as he accepts death without any regrets.

Back to the real world, now since the book story is now over, Susan is feeling her locket too. That locket looks the same as Tony was seen wearing. I guess it must have been Edward’s gift at some point to Susan to signify family or love.

The Ending of Nocturnal Animals Explained

She gets a message from Edward asking her to let him know the exact time and place and that he would be there. She then tries to remember all the warm moments she had spent with him. Susan wants that again. She is still not over him and she is hopeful for their meeting. Things are going pretty bad for her in the relationship department, and Edward was always that spark missing from her life.

Susan slithers into her best dress, removing her lipstick remembering Edward to be the one who adored her for who she was and not for the girl she pretended to be. Just like the art we saw about the obese dancing ladies, she wishes to be real and unbothered by that junk culture telling its stories on her lips.

She chooses to put away that ring, and spends hours looking in the mirror primping and preening herself so that Edward would like her even more and fall in love with her again. There’s that idea of a happily ever after in her mind that she is really looking forward to.

At the Restaurant

She reaches the promised spot in a fancy restaurant sits at her table, and keeps looking at the door waiting for Edward. She feels the absence of that ring on her finger and wonders about it. There are loud footsteps as if someone is approaching but it isn’t Edward.

That’s another turning point of Nocturnal Animals. Edward doesn’t show up.

She realizes in the end that she has been stood up. That it was Edward’s intention all along. Taking away that last straw of hope from her to see her suffer. He was never coming back. He just bound her in hopes with the book and everything layering up lies to get his REVENGE! She had aborted their child, an unforgivable crime in the eyes of Edward and he wanted to get back at her. It is a sweet revenge of building up immense hope for a future together and then crashing it with a snap of the finger. It is a fitting vengeance if you look at it. Edward shows that he is not weak by taking such a bold step. And the curtain falls.

The Final Verdict

The director of Nocturnal Animals, Tony Ford does a fabulous job, turning a violent tale of vengeance into something more. It isn’t just the book that is the intended story, but the actual life of Susan that ends up becoming one. The way it ends leaves you with thousands of questions. You can’t stop thinking about the end of both the stories. Both the stories end up showing that Edward and Tony are not weak. They get their revenge one way or the other.

I can’t stop thinking about Nocturnal Animals either. Watching it made me profoundly sad. Rewatching it just tells me how intelligently it has been crafted. Yes, it makes me sad again. There are tons of moments in it that tears you apart from the inside. It is beautifully helmed.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams take Nocturnal Animals to a whole new level. It is hard not to feel or cry when they do. You can’t oversee Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s extraordinary performance as Ray Marcus as well. He is such an amazing actor. He becomes a wicked character so bad that it’s hard to recognize him through that mask of accent he puts on.

Tom Ford gets into your head like a director who is really serious about movies. His way of looking at art and choosing to bind the flick through it is absolutely ravishing. By far one of the greatest directors I have had the good hap of encountering.

Nocturnal Animals is a worth watch. It is timeless so if you haven’t watched it already please do. Nocturnal Animals deserves all the love.

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The Sense of an Ending Movie Review (2017) | Analysis with Spoilers

The Sense of an Ending Movie is based on the popular eponymous novel that tells a story of a man with a forgotten past. It is a case of repressed memory with the protagonist trying to sift through old leaflets that gradually tell us more about his darkest secrets. Everything plays through the perspective of the protagonist and it becomes a sojourn of discovering things the way he discovers them himself.

The Julian Barnes novel of the same name is a work of genius. You can tell that once you are finished with the movie, and when you connect all the dots. To play things through the perspective of Tony Webster, the protagonist played by Jim Broadbent, and to unfurl locked memories one by one until the final climax spills the beans gives you a rare sense of satisfaction. Barnes has brilliantly built the setup to reveal things just when they are supposed to be revealed, and left an ending for you to speculate. It forces you to think and that’s why it is so impactful.

Direction of The Sense of an Ending Movie

To complement his work we have Ritesh Batra, the director of the beautiful flick The Lunchbox, who chooses to juxtapose images from the past into the present. He places frames intertwined with each other to help things emerge in the form of what Tony remembers. He does it sometimes via a conversation with the protagonist’s ex-wife Margaret Webster (Harriet Walter) or sometimes just trying to remember things from the past. Then he chooses to relive the memories by actually revisiting it in the form of old Tony by manually letting his old version visit the exact scenes. It is so beautifully and subtly done that you cannot praise him enough.

I think the ending takes away the realization part a little bit, owing to his direction. He might have wished to leave an open thread for his viewers to find out, but in an attempt to close the circle, he goes for an amicable ending instead. Even though it is strangely satisfying to watch owing to the upbeat music he chooses, the cardinal issue at hand steers away. It was supposed to bring us towards an epiphany but instead, it ends up becoming oblivious to the elephant in the room.

I intend to discuss that in detail in the following analysis part.

Analysis of The Sense of an Ending Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

I am assuming you have already watched the movie and then proceeding because it’s going to burst the bubble for you. If not then stop right here, and watch The Sense of an Ending Movie first.

When The Sense of an Ending movie begins, the primal theme is set up with the words of Tony as he says:

In those days we imagined ourselves as being in a holding pen, waiting to be released into our lives. And when that moment would come, we would be at university. How were we to know that our lives had already begun, and our release would only be into a larger holding pen? And in time, a larger holding pen.

It tells us how little he remembers of his school. He wasn’t fond of it and just thought about it as a ladder to release him into his life. Also, the fact that he felt as if life was right around the corner, and that whatever he did during school or university, or whatever mistakes he committed wouldn’t matter as much in the long run. That’s one of the reasons why he remembers so little.

The Letter in The Sense of an Ending Movie

We see a grown up Tony receiving a letter from a certain Sarah Ford (Emily Mortimer) who had recently passed away and wished Tony to have an attachment (which we later discover to be Adrian’s diary) and some money. The letter read something like this:

Dear Tony,

I think it right that you should have the attached. Adrian always spoke warmly of you, and perhaps you’ll find it an interesting, if painful, memento of long ago. I am also leaving you some money. You may find this a bit strange, and, to tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure what my own motives are, but I wish you well, even from beyond the grave.

Yours,
Sarah Ford

P.S., it may sound a little odd, but I think the last months of his life were happy.

I think a lot of things get instantly clear through this letter. But we fail to pay attention because we weren’t introduced properly to all the characters in the movie.

Emily Mortimer as Sarah in The Sense of an Ending movie

He remembers Sarah to be his love interest Veronica’s mother, whom he had visited once during an awkward weekend spent at their house. We aren’t even shown what went on during his short stay. Hints were dropped although it is hard to make out anything with it.

Wading through the Past

He sets up a meeting with his ex-wife to discuss his past deeds, and to figure what the letter could mean. On being asked who was it he slept with – Veronica or Sarah, Tony asserts that he didn’t sleep with any of them. At least that’s what he remembers.

As part of a flashback, in their first meeting, Veronica points out why Tony wears his watch inside of his wrist, and he replies he didn’t know it was that way. At a later stage, we find even his friends wearing the watch in the same manner. We come to discover it was their way of revolting against notions of time. That is one of those allusions for Tony’s silent revolt against time. He is oblivious, candid, and nothing is too important for him.

During his stay at Veronica’s, we find Tony to be instantly obsessed with Sarah. There is so much sexual frustration in him, for Veronica not letting him have sex, and this voluptuous Goddess in the form of Sarah materializing like that, you have to understand Tony’s state of mind.

I hope you sleep the sleep of the wicked.

When he wakes up Sarah is all by herself, and you can tell something is going to happen between them, and that something did happen by the way Sarah bids him goodbye with a horizontal hidden gesture when he left their house.

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Adrian Finn in The Sense of an Ending Movie

In comes story’s second most crucial man, Adrian Finn played by Joe Alwyn. The guy is an insightful philosophist, you can tell with his answers.

All one can ever truly say of any particular period of history is that something happened.

He becomes quite a good friend of Tony within no time. He quotes Patrick Lagrange at one point forming the basis of the entire movie.

History is the certainty produced at the point when the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.

He follows it up with:

It’s the lies of Victors, as long as you understand that it is also the delusions of the defeated.

As they move on in their lives, Adrian is the only good thing Tony wishes to stay close with. Unfortunately, Adrian swoops in to steal his girl, Veronica. Adrian writes to Tony about how close they had become, and if possible forgive them for their misdemeanor. Tony was amused beyond limit with that very idea of him dating Veronica, the girl with whom he saw nowhere. So he prepares a letter for him mentioning it was perfectly fine with him.

Soon after, Adrian kills himself. Somewhere in the back of the mind Tony is convinced that Victoria must have been pregnant with Adrian’s child, as there was one case similar. Unable to live with that blotch on his mind, he chose to take his life instead.

Veronica Revisited

In the present world, somehow managing to contact Veronica’s brother Jack so as to arrange a meeting with Veronica, Tony finally gets to meet her. Veronica tells him that she has burnt the diary, and offers him a letter that Tony had written to Adrian and Veronica when they were seeing each other.

That’s when Tony realizes that he hadn’t posted an ‘approval’ letter wishing them well, rather written a hurtful horrible letter cursing them both.

Dear Adrian and Veronica.

Hello, bitch, and welcome to this letter. A letter to you both to wish you much joy. You certainly deserve one another. Indeed, I hope you get so involved that the mutual damage will be permanent. Part of me hope you’ll have a child because I’m a great believer in time’s revenge. Yay unto the next generation, and all that. But in fairness, it would perhaps be somewhat unjust to inflict such ill will on the fruit of your poisonous loins.

Adrian, if she hasn’t let you go all the way yet, I suggest you break up with her. And no doubt she’ll be round your place as quick as a flash with sodden knickers and a three-pack, eager to give it away. Certainly, it worked for yours truly. Veronica is undoubtedly someone who will manipulate you.  Even her own mother warned me against her. In fact, if I were you, I’d check things out with mum.

Feeling Sorry

On re-reading that horrible letter years after, Tony feels really sorry for them. Somewhere inside his head he is convinced that it could have been his letter, and the embarrassment that might have ensued after, that could have caused Adrian to take such desperate steps.

He stalks Veronica till he finds her whereabouts. He discovers the name of the man she was seen holding hands with to be Adrian. Jumping to the conclusion that Adrian must be the son of Veronica and the deceased Adrian, he arranges a meeting with her once again to pay his regards.

The Huge Revelation

The meeting doesn’t go well as Veronica storms out to a truly apologetic Tony. He hasn’t still got the gist of it and considers young Adrian to be Veronica’s son. Veronica doesn’t want to talk about since it is an abhorrent case worth extinguishing.

However, it is later revealed by the caretaker of Adrian, when he revisits the pub that young Adrian was, in fact, Sarah’s son, that Victoria is actually young Adrian’s sister. It is a setback for Tony, yes. He had been living a lie all this time.

Tony heads back to meet his daughter at the hospital where he confides in her about everything that had happened.

She formed a relationship with my best friend. And I wrote them both a very nasty letter. And recently I’ve been working under the assumption that they’d had a child together shortly before my best friend committed suicide. But now it appears that the mother of that child wasn’t my ex-girlfriend, but it was her mother. And I can only assume that it was my horrible letter that in some way pushed the friend…

We can see Tony still being oblivious to the fact that something had happened between him and Sarah as well.

As his last statement insinuates, he assumes his letter to be the reason for the whole “Adrian – Sarah” setup. He thinks of it as a spark that might have evicted Veronica out of the equation, led Adrian to come closer to Sarah. It is very likely that they developed feelings for each other, and ended up having sex.

The Final Unanswered Question

However, all of it doesn’t answer one question:

Who is the father of young Adrian?

From the perspective of Tony, it is obvious that it is none other than Adrian who had fathered the child. But if you stop judging things from Tony’s perspective, (which you should by now because of his flaky memory), it is quite obvious even Tony could have been the father of the child.

Why, you ask?

With Sarah’s letter to Tony when she chooses to include him in his will, wishing to share Adrian’s diary with him, it is quite apparent that she has been fond of Tony as well. There could have been something in Adrian’s diary which Adrian wanted Tony to see, and understand. But Veronica intervenes having read it, destroying it completely since she didn’t want any piece of Tony lingering to dig out this farrago all over again. What was she hiding?

The child could very well belong to Tony since that horizontal secretive gesture from his memory is still left untended. Even Tony had sex with Sarah, and we know that for sure because of that gesture. That memory being a sordid one for Tony, was repressed unknowingly in his brain like all of those memories he had forgotten about. To stop Tony, an unreliable fellow from being a part of a semi-truth, and from further smudging her dead mother’s name all over again, Veronica does what is right.

Unfortunately, Tony remains as convinced as he was about everything in his life even after he feels that he has discovered the ultimate truth. But that’s once again his perspective of looking at things. Veronica chooses to let him think he found his closure and that’s what we the audience get at too.

Final Words from The Sense of an Ending Movie

I’ve been turning over in my mind the question of nostalgia, and whether I suffer from it. I suppose I am nostalgic. I think of my time with Margaret and Susie’s birth and her first years. A bunch of kids in school. A girl dancing for once in her life. A secret horizontal gesture beneath a sunlit Wisteria. I think of Adrian’s definition of history.

I think of everything that has happened in my life, and how little I have allowed to happen. I, who neither won nor lost. Who avoided being hurt and called it a capacity for survival. I think of how our lives got entwined and went along together for a time. And when I look back, now, on that time, however brief, I am moved more than I thought possible. Indeed, I’m sorry that I have known nothing of your life in the years since. No doubt you could have taught this old fool a thing or two. Perhaps, in a way, you have.

Even so Tony has learnt something from all this. He begins to focus in the present more, starts to live with a clear perspective, paying more attention to things around him so that he doesn’t miss out on life once again. It is a nice way to end the story, as we see Tony getting back on the saddle yet again, asking for forgiveness for not being there, and then carrying on living without regrets.

Changed Tony

Tony chooses to remember what he chooses to remember. It has always been like that. Even after the truth is revealed to him, the memories of Sarah have been constrained in his head. He has literally no remembrance of spending time with her, and he clearly spits it out during his last apologetic words of consolation – “how little I have allowed to happen.” or “avoided being hurt”. It is pretty self-explanatory of Tony, of how he chooses to live.

the sense of an ending Jim Broadbent and Harriet Walter

Tony is really sorry for how in his madding sense of wrath he chose to overlook what Veronica had to go through after Adrian’s demise. Swallowed by his smug egotistic mien, he never even bothered to turn around to look at lives of the people he really loved and cared about. This realization is somehow enough and overwhelming for Tony to carry on his life unapologetically. That’s what we see him do when he tries to make amends with his ex-wife, and pay more heed to his daughter and grandkid.

The Final Verdict

The Sense of an Ending Movie ends without letting us in on the conclusion of Adrian’s diary that Sarah intended Tony to find. It is clearly left to viewer’s imagination as to what might have been in the diary. It is unfortunate that the director doesn’t even try to help us look in that direction. For some, The Sense of an Ending movie might not have been so huge owing to that very fact.

But if you are in a habit of reading through the lines, you might find it very interesting that the movie ended leaving things for speculation. The way it has been wrapped alongside two different eras is simply gorgeous. It is the sense of an ending that you might think is an ending after all, but when you try to witness the genius in the threads left open you see more, and the ending doesn’t seem like an ending at all.

The Sense of an Ending movie is embellished by some powerful acting by Jim Broadbent who literally stays the heart and soul of the movie throughout. It is fun to watch even if you choose to pick Tony’s vantage of understanding the tale. For those who think that’s that to it, and there’s nothing more, even you peeps will be satisfied.

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Paterson Movie Review (2016) | A Shout-out for all the Poets | Full Analysis with Spoilers

It is hard to put a movie in words when there is much to say and you know no matter what you say, it would never be enough. Paterson movie is for every poet out there, who is constantly humming to the hidden metres of life. It is for all the dreamers who caper on words, who like to keep their thoughts close to their hearts, and who are forever eluded by life’s countless mysteries. It is for those who look for walking metaphors, of allusions in the mundane, who seek ‘meaning’ in the void. If you love to read between the lines, you are going to absolutely love this movie.

While there could be many interpretations of Paterson, for some it could be vacuous, for some it could mean the world, or it could all mean nothing, I am just going to go ahead and say watching it is a beautiful experience per se. For a poet like me, it meant the world.  It is probably one of the finest movies I have seen in a while. It is so good, I couldn’t stop myself from finding metaphors in the images.

Here’s a full movie analysis of Paterson movie. The flick is a poem and poems are supposed to be read between the lines. Hope you will enjoy it.

Paterson Movie Full Analysis with Spoilers

Paterson movie is spread out gorgeously throughout a week. It starts with a Monday, with Paterson’s ‘silent magic watch’ waking him right on time for work. As he is in the process of leaving the bed, his partner Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) talks about a dream she had about having twins. We later realize that the Paterson movie is full of instances where twins show up. It is this ability of him as a poet to linger on things and thoughts that transfigure into real life objects. It is an intellectual remark on how everything in our life is interrelated. Laura’s reference about twins and then twins showing everywhere might seem normal to others, but to a man like Paterson who notices things with his beady eyes, it is no less than a miracle.

You are a great poet. All your poems are still in that notebook.

It could also be a subtle wink at metres and rhymes that always somehow sound alike in a poem. And Paterson movie is no less than a poem. There are circles and patterns everywhere, in cheerios on curtains, on bus wheels, in the poem about molecules, and in our lives. The way things begin and then end in the same pattern. The way Monday begins with the movie and then the movie ends with a Monday. Every element in the movie like Paterson and Laura or even better Paterson and Marvin, like black and white stay juxtaposed to mean something, and yet we are all so attuned to it, that we overlook everything.

Bus Driver in Paterson

The bloke has a menial job. Compare it with yours. It’s the same one you go to day after day. You have been doing it for so long that no matter how awesome it might have been at one point, it has one day ceased to be. But you do it anyway to earn your daily bread. So Adam Driver is a bus driver in Paterson. Paterson in Paterson. That’s another congruity right there.

Paterson movie still Adam Driver

The bloke has a menial job. Compare it with yours. It’s the same one you go to day after day. You have been doing it for so long that no matter how awesome it might have been at one point, it has one day ceased to be. But you do it anyway to earn your daily bread. Paterson is a bus driver in Paterson. That’s one congruity right there. A poem already taking form.

There’s a photo frame of him on the table where we see him in Uniform. He has probably served in the Army once, an allusion that he has tried different things in life, and he chose the one that suited him the best. Being a bus driver isn’t bad for him since it gives him ample time to think. He aspires to be a poet after all. Since we find him observing a matchbox, and then carving a poem as he walks his way to the bus station.

Love Poem

We have plenty of matches in our house.
We keep them on hand, always.
Currently our favorite brand is Ohio Blue Tip,
though we used to prefer Diamond brand
That was before we discovered Ohio Blue Tip matches.
They are excellently packaged, sturdy
little boxes with dark and light blue and white labels
with words lettered in the shape of a megaphone,
as if to say even louder to the world,
“Here is the most beautiful match in the world,
its one-and-a-half-inch soft pine stem capped
by a grainy dark purple head, so sober and furious
and stubbornly ready to burst into flame,
lighting, perhaps, the cigarette of the woman you love,
for the first time, and it was never really the same
after that.
All this we will give you.”
That is what you gave me, I
become the cigarette and you the match, or I
the match and you the cigarette, blazing
with kisses that smoulder toward heaven.

He has a hidden knack for writing extraordinary poems that he steals time to pen. He sits down to write not just so he could finish things in a day, but he chooses to write whenever he feels like or whenever he gets time.

That’s how a work should be like, spread out and not meant to be finished in a day.

The Character of Donny

He has a supervisor named Donny (Rizwan Manji) who fails to get small talk. If you try to understand him a bit more, you will realize he is a guy who can only see his problems. We have cynics and pessimists in real life too, the people who will always see their glasses as half empty no matter how good their life must be.

Paterson is more of a realist. Since we have been witnessing his life on the big screen, we are aware of his insecurities and his dreams. But he remains neutral to everything in life. He is calm and composed, maintains a rare form of equanimity throughout the flick. His perspective of life isn’t all drums and glory, but a silent understanding of it, and coming to terms with every emotion. Besides he has his poems to burn bright.

In his daily routine of driving the bus around Paterson, he listens to stories, not being completely absentminded or blocked out by life’s countless delicacies around. Some are funny anecdotes, some are historic facts, some are conversations about life. It is these things that make Paterson’s work less punishing. It’s all the musings of the world in his backseat that channel in the form of conversations.

Marvin the Dog

He walks back home every day to find the mailbox tilted. It’s like that little inconvenience in your life that bothers you when you see it and you fix it every time, but it always manages to come back. At a later point in time, we are shown that it is none other than Marvin who tilts the mailbox to cause Paterson inconvenience.

The monstrous dog is a paragon of our extreme abhorrence. It’s like our fate that we are stuck with. We can’t do anything to shake it off, it constantly tags along. You could personify that ugliness into a person or a thing whom we forever overlooked in our hunt for contentment.

Paterson hates Marvin. It is that itchy part of her adorable partner Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) that he has to put up with. I am sure there are a lot of instances in your life that would fit the bill. But the hatred is mutual. It’s that jealousy to be the favourite that boils Marvin up. It is evident when we see literally every moment in the Paterson movie when Laura kisses Paterson, Marvin grumbles. Laura is obsessed with Marvin. She has him even painted on the wall.

To take the dog out every night is part of that blotch that Paterson has to lug. It is obvious that it appears Marvin has Paterson on the leash, as he tries to tug him towards places he wishes to go.

I am guessing this is your human ball and chain,

But Paterson is hard to beat when the Bar shows up. He orders Marvin to stay out every night while he disappears in for hours to have his beer and chat with Doc (Barry Shabaka Henley).

Doc the Bar Guy

Doc is one of those rare good friends Paterson has who maintains a wall of fame to tack the best the city has offered so far. It is like that elusive dream you are after that will put you right up with the elite.

There is this beautiful dialogue where the Doc is playing chess.

Doc: I am getting my ass kicked today.

Paterson: Who are you playing?

Doc: Myself.

If you really think about it, aren’t we all in a constant battle with ourselves? Chess is merely a personification of it, a nod to the mind games we are always dealing with every second of our life.

Giving Up on Life

We once again close in on a conversation in the backseat. Two men are having an amatory discussion about their love life. They talk about lost opportunities but are content with the way things have panned out for them. They are just tired people who have let go of things, left things to fate, and aren’t actually doing anything to get back on the saddle.

It is their perspective that they have learnt to be cool with, even though unknowingly they have become hideous for judging women; So we see through the contemptuous scorn of a girl who alights from the bus. The constant war to please the other sex, and then to please the same gender, will forever be on. It has been this way since ages. We have to act cool amongst our buddies, and then end up becoming a slave to lust.

Paterson watches his watch as time passes by. Images of his shadow, the city in movement, are all suggestive of it. That’s when he helms another poem.

Another One

When you’re a child
you learn
there are three dimensions:
height, width and depth.
Like a shoebox.
Then later you hear
there’s a fourth dimension:
time.
Hmm.
Then some say
there can be five, six, seven…
I knock off work,
have a beer
at the bar.
I look down at the glass
and feel glad.

Exploring Laura in Paterson Movie

Laura is like one of those motivators you see on TV, a success story listening to which makes you feel good, but you often end up ignoring out of lethargy or unsurety. She constantly urges him to do the right thing by making a copy of his poems, but Paterson simply nods to her.

Golshifteh Farahani as Laura in Paterson movie

She is that quintessential motivator who gives you plenty of strength, believes in you and makes you immensely happy. Laura is that epitome of life, brimming with buoyancy and the feeling of hope in your life.

I really think you should do something about those beautiful poems. They should belong to the world you know.

But she is also that success story whom you are watching grow. She is the one pursuing her dream, getting good at it, succeeding with everything she picks up, turning things into gold. It is evident with her paintings, with her dream to make it big with her delicious cupcakes. It is also apparent with her newly found interest of playing guitar, which by the way didn’t even take her a week to act upon and execute.

I love how you smell when you come home at night.

On the other hand, there is Paterson with his dream to become a renowned poet, but he is not even inching in that direction to prove his mettle. It does feel kind of black and white and forces you to marvel at the juxtaposition again.

Poem

I’m in the house.
It’s nice out: warm
sun on cold snow.
First day of spring
or last of winter.
My legs run up
the stairs and out
the door, my top
half here writing

Everett and Marie in Paterson movie

We find a dwindling breakup story in the form of Everett and Marie. The former is a hopeless lover who doesn’t understand the concept of letting go, while Marie is trying hard to break up with him, but it is beginning to get ugly. Paterson and Doc are nothing but silent observers to their unfortunate affair.

Paterson: Is there anything we can do?
Doc: Nah. I always say I’ll try to change things with ya, make ’em even worse.

The height of the torture rips open the roof when Everett comes with a gun in the bar threatening to shoot himself. Paterson tackles him to find that his smooth move goes to waste, since the gun he was holding was a toy gun.

Without love, what reason is there for anything.

It might seem like a hopeless side-story, but if you pay heed enough and try to think from both Marie’s and Everett’s perspective you can’t help feel sorry for both of them. You feel trapped in a web, and choose to be like Paterson, unfazed by what goes on around.

Paterson: Working on a poem for you.

Laura: A love poem?

Paterson: Yeah I guess, if it’s for you it’s a love poem.”

Method Man

On his way to the bar one day, Paterson eavesdrops on Method Man, an aspiring rapper, and artist. He pays his regards to him, appreciates the work he is doing. He is like all those people that we get, and appreciate because they are all dreamers like us. On asking if the Laundry Place was his lab, Method Man says:

Wherever it hits me is where it’s going to be.

There goes another conversation in the bus between students about Gaetano Bresci, the anarchist from Paterson. They end the historic ranting with a:

Male Student: Do you think there are any other anarchists still around in Paterson?
Female Student: You mean besides us? Not likely.

Glow

When I wake up earlier than you and you
are turned to face me, face
on the pillow and hair spread around,
I take a chance and stare at you,
amazed in love and afraid
that you might open your eyes and have
the daylights scared out of you.
But maybe with the daylights gone
you’d see how much my chest and head
implode for you, their voices trapped
inside like unborn children fearing
they will never see the light of day.
The opening in the wall now dimly glows
its rainy blue and gray. I tie my shoes
and go downstairs to put the coffee on.

Young Poet in Paterson movie

On his way from work one day he finds a little girl (Sterling Jerins) sitting all by herself. Paterson finds her to be a poet herself, and she too like him used to carry a secret notebook to house all her poems. She isn’t a fan of rhyming just like Paterson.

Young Poet: It doesn’t really rhyme though.
Paterson: That’s okay. I kinda like ’em better when they don’t.
Young Poet: Yeah, me too.

She recites one of her poems to him which is titled Water Falls, strangely suggestive of Paterson’s favorite place “Great Falls of the Passaic River“. It goes something like this:

Water Falls

Water falls from the bright air.
It falls like hair.
Falling across a young girl’s shoulders.
Water falls.
Making pools in the asphalt.
Dirty mirrors with clouds and buildings inside.
It falls on the roof of my house,
It falls on my mother, and on my hair.
Most people call it rain.

Later at home he tells Laura about the poem, and she reflects how the poem sounds just like him. Paterson once again reflects a twin of himself. People are similar to each other in many ways. It’s just that it takes poetic eyes to see them. Every tiny thing in this universe is interlinked like the Water Falls, the twins, the Secret Book (which was also the name of Petrarch’s early books), Laura (Petrarch’s love interest was also named Laura) and the circles.

People are torn between their interests so much that they supersede one’s desire atop their other half’s. Doc is scolded by his wife on stealing the cookie jar money for his Chess tournament, when clearly she was saving it to get her hair fixed.

To counter that ugliness is Paterson’s relationship with Laura. You can almost sense that contrast kicking in once again.

Paterson: She understands me very well.
Doc: You are a lucky man.

You can order Paterson movie here:

The Bad Day

Everyone has a bad day. That bad day comes as Friday for Paterson when he fails to wake up on time.

Some days something inside just doesn’t wanna get up.

It is soon followed by his bus breaking down. There is a moment of distress and it makes him agitated for a while. He doesn’t have a cell phone and he is forced to borrow one from a little child. A little child has it, there’s that collocation all over again. While Paterson is averse to keeping a cell phone around, and is tingled on numerous occasions during the week about not having one,

Doc: You still don’t got a cell phone?
Paterson: I don’t want one. It would be a leash.

and he could be probably right in thinking one way, but what he fails to realize is that technology makes life easier.

Not everyone is right. The fact gets proven.

Paterson: The world worked fine before they even existed.
Laura: I know darling but sometimes they make things easier.

Everyone he tells about the bus keeps wondering if the bus could have exploded into a fireball. Because that’s the first thing that comes to their minds. It goes on to show how we are wired to think in a similar way. Blame it on all the movies we have grown up watching.

The Run

I go through
trillions of molecules
that move aside
to make way for me
while on both sides
trillions more
stay where they are.
The windshield wiper blade
starts to squeak.
The rain has stopped.
I stop.
On the corner
a boy
in a yellow raincoat
holding his mother’s hand.

Marvin’s Revenge in Paterson Movie

In the madness of Laura’s cupcake’s viral business, Paterson accidentally leaves his Secret Book on the sofa while he was writing the following poem for Laura.

Marvin dog in Paterson movie

Pumpkin

My little pumpkin,
I like to think about other girls sometimes,
but the truth is
if you ever left me
I’d tear my heart out
and never put it back.
There’ll never be anyone like you.
How embarrassing.

Marvin takes his revenge by completely destroying, nay, shredding the book to pieces. It’s karma that gets you, your hatred for something ending up taking something dear from you. Here the dog ripping the poetry book apart is one instance.

On returning Paterson and Laura find the destruction gawking at them. Paterson’s heart explodes and yet we see him not expressing much. Laura tries to say all the right words trying to set things right, but the damage has already been done.

They were just words. Written on water.

Paterson chooses to walk out and visit his favorite place. He is angry at himself for not making a copy of the book before when he looks at his desk at all the legendary books.

On his way, he meets Everett who seems in a much better shape. He has finally learnt to let go of things in a way inspiring him to do the same.

Everett: Sun still rises every morning and sets every evening. Always another day. Right?
Paterson: So far.

The aforementioned is one of those cliches we always find in life, but we choose not to pay attention when it matters the most.

The Japanese Poet

Paterson is lost in his thoughts and weighing things heavy when he realizes that it is alright after all. He has gone blank with the pain though, that’s when he meets a stranger (Masatoshi Nagase) at his favorite place. He is a Japanese Poet himself who inspires him to never lose hope engaging him in a terse yet powerful conversation.

A bus driver in Paterson. This is very poetic. This could be a poem by William Carlos Williams.

He gives examples of all the great poets out there of how they too were stuck doing odd jobs in their lives, and yet they turned out alright. On being asked if he liked poetry too, he replies:

I breathe poetry.

The Japanese poet, however wrote poetry in Japanese, and was averse to translation.

Poetry in translation is like taking a shower with raincoat on.

As he is about to leave, he gifts an empty notebook to Paterson adding:

Sometimes empty page presents more possiblities.

It is almost as if he made out a fellow poet the moment he engaged him in a conversation. More like a twin from another land. Understanding the situation and gifting him just the thing he needed – hope.

Hope is in the form of the Japanese guy who puts a notebook back in our hand, inspiring us, asking us to never stop even after failing at something terribly.

We find Paterson starting up his chores all over again, jotting a fresh poem altogether to serve as the last poem in the Paterson movie. It went something like this:

The Line

There’s an old song
my grandfather used to sing
that has the question,
“Or would you rather be a fish?”
In the same song
is the same question
but with a mule and a pig,
but the one I hear sometimes
in my head is the fish one.
Just that one line.
Would you rather be a fish?
As if the rest of the song
didn’t have to be there.

Curtain closes when we meet Monday once again. It is the circle of life reiterating. Paterson movie ends.

Poems in Paterson Movie

In the end we get to know that all the poems in the Paterson movie were written by Ron Padgett. You cannot thank Ron enough of thinking such beautiful stuff. His poems have been provided apt backdrop of things Paterson is imagining whilst writing. They are metaphors for water flowing insinuating the flow of poetry, of objects in his poem and characters Paterson is thinking about. It is beautifully done by the director Jim Jarmusch.

Paterson Movie is of course not for everybody. It is a tad esoteric and for poetry lovers. If you liked my analysis please do comment and please share something that I missed. I would love to find out that all the time I invested in writing this mammoth article didn’t go to waste.

For more movie analysis and explanations you can check our Analysis leaflet.

You can check out the trailer of Paterson Movie here:

Understanding Arrival Movie | Full Arrival Movie Explained with Spoilers

Finally got some time to write the explanation of one mind bender of a movie Arrival! Such a beautiful concept the movie has that it explodes you, when you figure it all out. It is a movie that teases you with its inklings until it drops the bomb at you. But the true nature of its beauty lies in its profound direction, of how the rest of the world interprets the word ‘alien’, and their incapability to understand the unexplained.

Without wasting any more time let’s dig into it. Also, if you haven’t seen Arrival movie yet, there was no point coming to this page. You should go first watch it, read our review maybe first,  and then proceed, coz it’s full of spoilers!

Arrival Movie Explained (Major Spoilers Ahead)

The best way to understand Arrival movie is via the fact that there is no definite order to things. There are no tenses. So if you are being shown a scene that looks like a memory it could very well not be.

  • We see what appears to be a flashback of memories, frames that show our protagonist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) playing with her daughter, raising her up all by herself. Then we see her grow up to be a beautiful teen, but unfortunately one day she passes away from a disease that looks like cancer.
  • We move on to gather the profession of Louise Banks. She is a linguist who teaches in a college. That’s when 12 Alien Spaceships appear all across the globe at different locations. Everybody freaks and leave as she too gets the day off and decides to hit home. She is least interested in what’s going on, as she speaks to her mother.
  • Forgetting about the huge repercussions of Alien ships, she goes to the university yet again to find it deserted. That’s when enters the U.S. Army Colonel Weber asking for her help. She is briefed on to help them understand why the Aliens are here, as she joins the team that comprises of Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner).

You can understand communication and still end up single.

Visiting a Spaceship

  • In Montana, they are brought in to check out one of the spacecrafts. On entering they find the spacecraft had its own strong gravity that explains how throwing something upwards rivets it to one side.

still of suited up scientists from Arrival movie

  • They follow the path to meet two huge aliens behind what appears like a protective glass. Ian names those heptapods Abbott and Costello in an effort to make them understand the concept of introduction.
  • It is there where they discover their language was, well, alien. Huge confusing circular symbols are drawn on the glass with a disappearing ink. With that begins ceaseless session of questions and answers in an attempt to understand what the hell the aliens were really trying to say.
  • Meanwhile, Louise Banks keeps getting visions of her daughter. Let’s not forget that! Till this point she thinks those were mere dreams. Also, Ian makes an allusion that Louise could be dreaming in a foreign language, the language of Heptapods.

The Huge Twist of Arrival

  • Then comes the huge twist. When Louise and Ian finally fixate and relate their letters to our letters, Louise asks a question about the nature of their visit. They answer with the word ‘Use Weapon’. Even though Louise is convinced that the word weapon is open to more than one interpretation, the rest of the world goes loco and opts to attack the pods instead.
  • Further communications are barred as Louise and Ian make one final attempt to understand what Abbott and Costello were trying to say. In the backdrop an explosive was put in the spaceship to knock it out of space. A series of complex messages are left by the Heptapods, to decipher in a hurry. But the bomb goes off, as Abbott saves their lives in process.
  • Ian and Louise wind up in military beds, and the spacecrafts go further up in the atmosphere for their safety. Ian deciphers the symbols that were left by the aliens to be pointing towards the concept of time. That it was nothing but one-twelfth of a gift they intended to give. Thus they figure out that the heptapods want all the nations where the 12 spaceships were present to cooperate with each other so that the intended gift can be utilized.
  • But it is too late. Chaos has ensued. Entropy of life has seeped in. All communications have failed, and the world is ready to attack the innocent ships that have come seeking our help and are hanging mid-air gawking at their certain sealed fate. That’s when a pod is sent for Louise by the heptapods.

Epic Revelation

  • It is here that we get to understand what is really happening. When she reaches the spaceship Costello communicates with her telling her that Abbott was on its deathbed.
  • When she asks the heptapod who was the girl she has been seeing, you realize that her daughter “Hannah” wasn’t actually born, and that it wasn’t a memory we were being constantly shown.
  • The heptapod explains to her that what she has been seeing (her dreams) the future all this time. That time is non-linear from their perspective.
  • 3000 years from now they would be needing humanity’s help, and that it is crucial for them to teach us how to use the gift which was nothing else but their language, something that gave us the ability to fathom time, its surreal non-linearity. If we understood that, using its help we could be helping them out in the near future somehow.

still of Louis and Ian in Arrival

Dodging off War | Arrival Ending Explained

  • When Louise returns with this epiphany, she envisions her distant future where she has managed to unite everybody, and written books on Heptapods and stuff. She is felicitated by General Shang in a United Nations meet saying that it was Louise who had changed Shang’s decision to suspend Chinese attack. To her surprise he even goes as far as to show her his personal no. that she had dialed in order to waive off the Chinese attack.
  • In the real world, China was about to attack the pods. This gives her the inkling to act quickly and so she runs for a SAT phone and calls the General on the no. from the vision. Now she doesn’t know what to say, so she scours for it in the future vision yet again, only to realize Shang telling her the exact words she said on the phone that did the trick. It was Shang’s dying wife’s last words,

“In war, there are no winners, only widows.”

  • It was the only thing that could have possibly changed Shang’s mind. With that intimate knowledge Shang calls of the strike, and the other nation’s follow suit, eventually cooperating to understand their language, the cardinal gift.
  • When the heptapods realize their job was done, they disappear.

Epilogue

We realize through plethora of allusions that the physicist she used to talk with her daughter about was none other than Ian. The following line then eventually gets delivered:

“If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?”

It gets responded immediately by Ian:

“Maybe I would say what I felt more often. I don’t know.”

Soon he adds,

“You know I’ve had my head tilted up to the stars for as long as I can remember. You know what surprised me the most? It wasn’t meeting them. It was meeting you.”

This confirms that it is Ian that she ends up marrying. That she conceives Hannah with Ian in the near future, and that her knowledge of Hannah dying, forces Ian to leave her. That’s why we see Louise alone raising her.

But the line about the future leaves it to viewer’s imagination as to whether or not Louise would do something different to change her doomed future. Because it is after all, what she gives the aliens to learn from.

Bottomline of Arrival Movie

The bottomline in Arrival is that aliens don’t know how to save themselves from their looming downfall, their imminent death in the future. So, they have come to learn to handle this from us. So when they tap in our understanding of freewill, they have a shot at it. That they are to benefit only when we unite to understand their language. As to what is that imminent threat, we don’t know. And I think it is not important either.

The moment we work on World Peace, they leave us, because time being non-linear their impending doom gets called off, by something some human did in the non-linear version of time.

Well, to put it bluntly as I have put it, might sound stupid to some, but the thing is the movie’s true strength lies in its concealed timeline. It tries to cloud your judgment by showing glimpses from a different juncture in time. But it also patiently waits with its titanic climax to reveal everything in the end. It leaves you intensely satisfied, and that’s what a good movie should do.

Arrival is simply a work of genius. The more you think about it, the more awesome it becomes. Let your thoughts shower in.

What Does The Tree of Life Movie Mean? | Epic Tree Life Quotes | Analysis and Meaning Explained

Terrence Malick’s project The Tree of Life movie has eluded many. There are epic tree life quotes strewn across the movie that are deeply satisfying. To say that The Tree of Life was one hell of a baffling movie would be an understatement. It doesn’t skim mainstream and that’s why it is hard for some to fathom. But in a whirlpool of avant-garde films, if you take a look at its ballsy attempt at trying something out of the ordinary, The Tree of Life movie beats everything else to pulp.

The Tree of Life movie is a beast that tops avant-garde elite cinemas. Why, you ask? Read on to find out:

The Tree of Life Movie Explained

There is a heart melting metaphorical poem residing in Emmanuel Lubezki’s spectacular frames, a bold defying question that Terrence Malick poses via human pang, and tries to answer through our creator’s perspective. Also, The Tree of Life movie retains a touching screenplay that amazes you invariably with every stellar Lubezki image.

The Tree of Life movie must have perturbed many. But if you don’t attempt to give it a fair shot at explaining itself, then you have no right calling yourself a true movie buff.

To those who didn’t get what was going on in the movie, I have tried to explain it as unequivocally as possible, rhyming things through its thoughtfulness. I hope it helps in putting things in perspective.

Theme of The Tree of Life Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Even before you try to understand the movie, get this beforehand – There is no proper timeline followed. So, if you are expecting a series of certain frames to go in order, it simply won’t. You have to remember images on the go, and what they are trying to tell you with every change. Alright? Okay, let’s go!

still of cosmos life in tree of life movie

The titular name of the movie has been aptly named so since it is trying to present us a map to the universe. It goes spiritual, cosmic and skims human psyche at the same time. That being said, it tries to cover all the 10 prominent spheres that acquaint us with mystical extant powers. They are also known as Sephirot.

As the movie commences, we are shown a formless representation of the divine. It could reflect our creator’s formless state, since the real form of what has created us is still unknown.

“Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.”

You can hear in the background a surging roar of the sea and squawking Seagulls as we look at that artless form flicker. That is enough to make you understand it is the protagonist (here Jack) who has come at His door, trying to justify his seeking Him with the aforementioned line of how and why.

Narration

Moving on let’s focus on the theme of the movie. Just like every movie has a theme by which it is supposed to bide by, The Tree of Life movie too has one, and an exceptional one per se. It gets expounded via the following diegesis.

“The nuns taught us there are two ways through life – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow. Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it, when love is smiling through all things. They taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.”

As thoughtful words of Mrs. O’Brien go in the background, we see her younger self embellish the screen. She is an epitome of grace. A personification of joy and mirth, and all the good, pleasant and buoyant things in the world. She plays with other elements of grace, meek harmless animals – like a baby goat, or cows. Then we see Nature – her father (here the men) who appears just when she talks about the existence of nature in their lives.

“I will be true to you. Whatever comes.”

Then the aforesaid is dropped all of a sudden. I believe it could be reflective of a time when Mrs. O’Brien had accepted Nature as a part of her life. Either through her marrying vows, or her offering herself to the universe in the form of prayers.

Demise of the Son

Then we time travel to a time in the future in The Tree of Life movie, where Mrs. O’Brien receives a letter that reads to her the demise of her son. Both Mrs. O’Brien and Mr. O’Brien take it heavily.

“I just wanna die to be with him.”

Death is nature. It is part of Universe’s way of creating and destroying things that has forever eluded us. But to her, it appears like an unfair, unjust act that has ripped off her son and taken him away from her.

People try to justify the ways of nature with condolences:

“I know the pain will, it will pass in time, you know? It might seem hard, my saying that, but it’s true.”

To that she replies:

“I don’t want it to.”

The way of the creator, the unseen is justified with a beautiful line then:

“He sends flies to wounds that He should heal.”

Grief is havocking. At the same time, it is pure. The purest of human notion that lets you brood profusely on things you could have done differently to change the outcome. So Mr. O’Brien laments for the first time succumbing to the ways of grace:

“I never got a chance to tell him how sorry I was. I made him feel shame, my shame. That poor boy. That poor boy.”

Jack’s Memories

That’s where the second flicker of the same artless light consumes us. Jack’s talking again. This time with himself, trying to remember his brother.

“How did you come to me? In what shape? In what disguise?”

That’s also the place in The Tree of Life movie where we get to see an even further future memory glimpse of Jack standing right next to a doorway. It could be a place in his memory, where he is trying to reconcile with himself. We see seagulls for real this time too.

still of Sean Penn as Jack in the tree of life movie

We then find Jack in gloom waking up to the news of his brother’s death. His distant wife who doesn’t have the right words for him is just staring at him. She is a victim to human nature, and Terence makes sure of it that they don’t speak in those fleeting frames. At another point in his office, Jack even though miffed with dusky thoughts, can’t help but stare at a woman who passes him by. That’s again human nature coming at play.

“The world has gone to the dogs. People are greedy. Keep getting worse.”

Within split seconds come images of trees, an entity that has stayed with us at all times, even as we have evolved, and Jack begins to wonder:

“How did I lose you? Wandered? Forgot you?”

Searching his Brother

That’s when we see Jack in a desert. This could be analogous to barren corners of his brain, and he is seeking memories of his lost brother therefrom.

A glimpse shows us a lady who has found his little brother and is kissing him. She is yet another paragon of grace. She could be an angelic memory or a messenger that has him, that also symbolizes the dead boy is now in good hands, with grace. That’s when Jack also finds an image of his little brother at a sea asking him to find him. It could very well hint that Jack wishes to come to terms by seeking faintest memories of him so as to succumb to reconciliation.

Right after that we see Jack imagining himself home, checking on her mother and wondering how she took it. Her screams echo, and he feels it in his bones that it didn’t go well for her.

Mrs. O’Brien is still talking to the almighty meanwhile.

“Was I false to you? Lord? Why? Where were you?”

Incessant Frames of Cosmos

That’s one of the high points of The Tree of Life movie when the real Lubezki magic begins to flow. And it flows straight for 16 wondrous minutes. That gets complemented gorgeously by Alexandre Desplat’s awe-inspiring music. In the form of Nebulas, gases, flickers, shimmers, cosmic energy and big bang, we find our creator answering her.

image of cosmos universe in the tree of life movie

“Did you know? Who are we to you? Answer me.”

When a mother demands God to answer, asking if He even cares, Malick shows us our creator answering her through stunning frames of creation. A poetic gesture manifesting universe, big bang, volcanic eruptions, hot springs, and evolution ensue, as if He is trying to answer that he was busy creating, balancing, maintaining and nurturing the universe, all this time.

“We cry to you. My soul. My son. Hear us.”

We find nature creating grace too. The advent of life with an uplifting music, cells splitting, forming new lives in the process and thus giving rise to multi-celled organisms.

The Dino Era

Life began with water. So we are introduced to a lot of water animals. We see an injured amphibian dinosaur near a water body trying to figure out the gravity of its wound. It has been caught in an ugly side of nature. Something it doesn’t have control over. We see blood in water, and then a hoard of sharks. They are nothing but aquatic behemoths that are simply balancing life even in its blunt ugliness by killing ways of grace.

the tree of life movie water dinosaur injured

There is a beautiful frame wherein we find a predator sparing the life of an easy prey, an injured dinosaur, showing it mercy. It simply goes on to show how grace was present at all times, defying nature silently.

We see that destined meteor heading towards the earth that had disrupted the experimental life of dinosaurs back then, paving way for human life.

We once again reach Jack’s perspective who is scampering along barren lands, still trying to find the spot of placation in his brain.

“You spoke to me through her. You spoke to me through the sky. The trees. Before I knew I loved you. Believed in you. When did you first touch my heart?”

Waco Origins

He is now trying to remember how grace had him from the very start. This is the part that takes us back in time wherein he was conceived by Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien played powerfully by Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain.

Pregnancy has never been such poetically depicted before. We find Mrs. O’Brien calling out children, whispering into their ears, showing them gates to life, steps to the world, summoning them at all times. You see different types of children there, which could be suggestive of the process of fertilization and then how despite all odds only one makes it in the end. Here Jack! A child swimming in water leaving his room (womb) behind could be intimating us of how a womb is a world per se  for foetus.

still of Jack being taken by Mrs. O'Brien in Tree of life

We find Jack growing up as Mrs. O’Brien helps him at all times. Then comes another child, and we see Jack becoming wary of all the attention that is given to him instead. There is repressed jealousy that once again directs us towards nature, something we have no control over. Then we see bubbles. A sign of grace! Then a man dying, a violent act of nature yet again.

Amongst other things of nature that follow are: a dog barking at Jack, him being afraid, his father scolding him, yet another baby etc. Then at the same time grace stays close by in the form of her mother caring for them all, their celebrating Halloween, lighting up sparklers, mother reading a story book, playing with water, Jack holding his brother’s hand, good night kisses and also them playing with each other.

Nature and Grace Speaking through Things

Whilst tucking children in bed Mrs O’Brien is asked to share a past good memory. She tells them about the time she went for a ride in a plane. Then we actually see her fly in the air which is in fact her telling them that it felt as if she was flying for real.

“Mother. Make me good. Brave.”

There are glimpses of miscreants showed, the bad elements in life (nature), and then a frame that shows Mrs. O’Brien helping a miscreant drink water. (grace)

“Where do you live? Are you watching me? I want to know what you are. I want to see what you see.”

We find contrasting images, in the Tree of Life movie, of their mother trying to wake them up with their father’s. The latter always compelled them to comply with a glum face. Whilst the former would mischievously yet gracefully wake them up with ice, bringing smiles to their faces.

Lessons by Nature

Then comes remarkable lessons from the father:

“Don’t do like I did. Promise me that. If you are looking for something to happen, that was it. That was life. You lived it.”

Then at one point we see Mr. O’Brien using this beauty of a line:

“Wrong people go hungry, die. Wrong people get loved. The world lives by trickery. If you want to succeed you can’t be too good.”

Without Nature

We find a boy ending up getting drowned and a boy razed by fire, which compels Jack to question God’s existence.

“Where were you? You let a boy die. You’ll let anything happen. Why should I be good, if you aren’t?”

Jack succumbs to vandalism, animal abuse and trespassing when his father goes to a long business trip. The absence of Nature, goes on to create a subset of nature. His heart fills up with guilt when he finds himself getting weirdly attracted to a neighbor, and ends up stealing her nightgown. This again is an aftermath of a wild uncontrollable act of nature. All of it gets aptly justified by:

“Things you got to learn. How can we know stuff until we look?”

His mother on the other hand keeps teaching them good:

“Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.”

There’s malice, hatred that flows as part of nature in Jack, and there’s nothing he could do to feel otherwise. In a deep reminiscing voice Jack says:

“How do I get back…where they are?”

There is this moment where he accidentally takes a joke too far, and ends up shooting his brother’s finger. He goes abounding with guilt as the backdrop says:

“What I want to do I can’t do. I do what I hate.”

He is truly sorry and is instantly forgiven by his brother too. It is like an unnamed feeling for him, but it shatters him beyond limit nevertheless. He learns compassion, sympathy – the ways of grace.

What was it you showed me? I didn’t know how to name you then. But I would see it was you. Always you were calling me.

Hatred for his Father

There are conspicuous moments of abomination in The Tree of Life movie wherein we see Jack hating the guts out of his father. He hates to see his mother being fine with it all. That grace can’t live without nature, and vice versa. Jack wishing his father dead is like a person hating nature. The inevitable segment that is blunt and yet quintessential in order to ensure that life goes on.

Finally we see Mr. O’Brien realizing his big mistake:

“I wanted to be loved because I was great. A big man. I’m nothing. Look at the glory around us. Trees and birds. I lived in shame. I dishonored it all and didn’t notice the glory. I’m a foolish man.”

Jack has never seen his father so fallen or lost.

“Father. Mother. Always you wrestle inside me. Always you will.”

Mr. O’Brien realizes he hasn’t done anything substantial when they are forced to move out of their house, and asks for forgiveness.

“You boys are about all I’ve done in life. Otherwise I’ve drawn zilch. You are all I have. You are all I want to have.”

In the last moments of Jack’s memories we see how they move on ending one of the crucial chapters in their lives. It aces with a beautiful quote too:

“The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by. Do good to them. Wonder. Hope.”

You can order The Tree of Life Movie from here:


The End of Time Explained

We slowly fade away from Jack’s memory and head towards reality, where we find the mother, Mrs. O’Brien coming out of her grief. She has come to terms with all her questions with the Lord.

We also see the grown up Jack coming out of his trance, for a while too:

Keep us, guide us, till the end of time.

We finally see what looks like the end of time. A point where souls come to rekindle. Images of dead calling out people from the grave, to reconcile is evident there. Jack finally reaches the spot, a beach, where he finds every dead sauntering along trying to find each other. So, even though the place looks like a figment, it is a glimpse shown to him about how everything pans out in the end. Yes, there are seagulls squawking over them.

image of sean penn as jack in the tree of life movie beach

Finding Each Other

Jack finds his mother, and his dead brother. They are happy to see him. His whole family is there. His old man is proud of him. Love is everywhere. Mrs. O’Brien’s joy as she finds her dead child would bring tears to your eyes.

She then kisses a shriveled hand which could be a random one or could be her mother’s too, it’s hard to say.  She then leads her child through a door and is able to reconcile with the sad truth finally, and yet understands the way of the nature.

“I give him to you. I give you my son.”

It looks like there are angels around him, or elements of grace that help her overcome grief. They are talking to her with hand gestures and nimble movements, and she comprehends the way of living with their elemental energy.

We see a smiling Jack in the end as if he has realized the ultimate truth, and has come to terms with it too. He feels lighter and better.

The Final Verdict

Of course there are other explanations possible, but what would be spot on would be Terrence’s own thinking. I would love to hear it though and see how close I was to getting him.

Movies like The Tree of Life are rare gems that need to be celebrated.  If you have a knack for watching the unusual I would highly recommend you to watch The Tree of Life movie at once. It is an esoteric flick that will definitely blow your mind away. However, you need to stay on the same page in order to truly understand the movie for what it is. If it isn’t your forte, I would say don’t bother.  Because it could be really vexing for some.

You can check out the trailer of The Tree of Life movie here:

Understanding the Timeline in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie

I am assuming a lot of you were left scratching your heads after watching Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie. Must be trying to figure out how loops really worked in the movie? Direction is to be blamed a little for that. Since the colossal significance of showing loop entries and exits was next to absent. Also, the surprise quotient that the flick should have tacked all along, never really came to fruition.

Time theory is huge. To be stuck in a loop, to be able to relive a day all over again is a concept that demands ample amount of focus and time to process. I believe a 2 hr 7 minutes movie can’t really do a prodigious concept like that justice. Now since we can’t really wait for a TV show to watch things fall in place, let us make do in whatever little we have to work with. I have explained how timelines in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie worked. So without wasting more time let’s get to it.

Timeline of Miss Peregrine Movie Explained (Major Spoilers)

Here is the timeline that explains how everything  fits in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie:

  • Before dying his grandfather Abe tells Jake to go to Cairnholm island to “find a bird in the loop of September 3, 1943”. The bird yes you guessed right, was none other than Miss Peregrine. Abe tells him to tell her about what happened.
  • Jacob follows the children in his Grampa’s stories into some caves. That’s when he enters the same time loop his Grampa had talked about before dying. The day of September 3, 1943. The same wretched day when Miss Peregrine’s house was destroyed by a German bomber too. But since Peregrine was a Ymbryne she could control time. They lived their everyday without growing old. (So, that insinuates if you come out of the loop you begin to grow normally, I surmise)
  • In an unfortunate turn of events an ornithologist Rupert Everett follows Jake to the cave where the loop entrance stood. He is able to enter it since he is a peculiar. It is also revealed that he was none other than Mr. Barron, the main antagonist himself.

Close to 2016

  • He walks in Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children in her time loop of Sep 3, 1943 demanding her to come to his loop, which as a matter of fact Miss Avocet (Judi Dench) had created in Blackpool. It is also the time loop where his immortality experiments were being performed in the year 2016. The loop is 6 months old from the present day with the date: January 11, 2016.
  • Miss Peregrine is abducted in her Ymbryne form and taken away by Baron. Children encounter a Hollow that tagged along with Baron. Owing to the absence of the Ymbryne Miss Peregrine, the German bomb falls closing their 1943 time loop forever. It cannot be reset.
  • The clueless children then decide to help Miss Peregrine by going to Blackpool. The same location had a loop entry point for January 11, 2016 the time loop where Barron had taken Miss Peregrine. They make a theatrical entry into the year by taking a titanic ship to the Blackpool port.
  • Remember while making that journey to Blackpool, Emma breaks it to Jake that since Miss Avocet is dead that Blackpool loop can’t be reset. That would mean the loop would close and then time would become real time. Meaning Emma and the children would have to go to their time, (if not then they might die with as “time catches up”) even though Jake could continue to thrive as a normal person in 2016.

The Final Showdown

  • The final show down, the big event where skeletons of Enoch O’ Conner, fight the Hollows, then takes place on January 11, 2016,  in the same Miss Avocet’s loop at a seaside carnival. Children had to get out of that loop before 4:30 which was the time of the Avocet’s loop closing. (If not they would get stuck in 2016 only to die quickly)
  • When everything calms down, and Baron is vanquished, Jake says goodbye to everyone, and returns home to find his Grandfather still alive. This is primarily because that event of Hollows killing Abe hadn’t occurred yet. It is also very unlikely to happen since Hollows and Barron have been killed before time. Meaning Barron would never go to Florida with the Hollow to meet Abe.

The Ending Part

  • Miss Peregrine on the other hand is hurt, so she can’t come back to her normal form to create time loops. She makes it along with other children to the year 1943. The same year when the time loop was completely annihilated with that bomb drop.
  • In the end, Abe insinuates: Even though Miss Peregrine’s 1943 loop has closed, Jake at least knew were they were. Abe offers him some international currency and a map showing the exact location of all the loops to track them down.
  • In order to reach the same time however he has to travel many time loops (that explains his hair growth) taking shortcuts that would take him to the the precise moment where they were about to leave with the ship i.e. in the year 1943 still.
  • When he finally reaches there, he finds Emma still on the ship, brooding, lost in her thoughts. For her the time hasn’t really changed.

Explanation on How Jake Managed to Meet Emma in the End

If you are vexed at how he traveled back to her, here’s an excerpt from his explanation of Jake’s journey from the movie.

The closest loop Jake entered was in California desert. He went into the loop and in the year “19XX” (it wasn’t told). He looked for the next loop which could have been on a different date in the same year, and was located in Tokyo. So he traveled to Tokyo, entered the loop that could have taken him further close to 1943, which was the year 1942. It’s there where he joined Navy to wait for the day of the loop from where he was supposed to enter the London loop. Two months of another wait there would have then taken him to the exact day of Sep 3, 1943 where the peculiar children were about to board the ship. So in hopes to meet Emma he didn’t actually rest at all, it was a constant struggle till he reached her year.

So that kiss in the end was justified. 😉

still from miss peregrine's home for peculiar children movie final scene ship

Another Important Fact from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie

Do you remember how smug and unsurprised Grampa Abe was when Jake found him in the end? Well, partly because he knew beforehand that Jake was a peculiar too. Also he probably knew that Jake was already helping the birds.

Now, one of the major reasons why Grandfather knew that his grandson was a peculiar too was because he had listened to that phone call that Jacob tended to in the year 1943, telling him how much he loved him, and missed him.

Mind = Blown!

Anything you find more intriguing about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie ? Drop it in the comments section.

For a better glimpse into the movie I would suggest you read our complete thorough review here: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Review 2016

The Little Prince Review (2015) | Abounding with Stunning Metaphors

The Little Prince happened to me in the form of this movie. I didn’t have a clue, a story so colossal hid all this time from me. Le Petit Prince, the original product of the extraordinary brain of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was published in the year 1943. It has found numerous collaborations over the years, all countless beautiful contributions hands down.

The Little Prince Overview

One of the best-selling books ever published, Le Petit Prince’s story is more of a parable that criticizes human nature with elements existing in real life. It chooses the character of a little lad with a huge brain whose words will literally open the insensible vaults of your brain. It does all of it using its clever flair by making allusions to mundane pointless characters that surround us in every area.

The Little Prince movie is a different take on the Le Petit Prince story. Even though it makes a few changes, introduces a fresher perspective, does some minor additions and subtractions here and there, it still doesn’t stop being less awesome.

Music of the Little Prince

You listen to the Preparation play and you will know how beautiful the composition is. None other than Hans Zimmer frontlines its beautiful score. He stays well complemented at all times by Richard Harvey. They create magic!

You can listen to the Preparation here:

The Plot of The Little Prince Movie: Spoilers Ahead

Words fail to describe how much relatable I found The Little Prince movie to be. To begin with, it eases in with a drawing of a boa constrictor trying to digest an elephant in its stomach. Showing how adults crush images in a child’s head, steering them away from their dreams, goes on to show how crass people’s imaginations are. They give precedence to things that are not worth paying attention to, and in their blunt obstinacy create robots just like them.

image of the little girl and her mother in the little prince movie

Then we are introduced to a little girl voiced by Mackenzie Foy (of the Interstellar fame) who is on her way to become a carbon copy of her mother. Discipline, perfection and non-stop studies are ways of her life, until one day she finds the first page of The Little Prince story. Her neighbor The Aviator voiced by Jeff Bridges strikes up a friendship chord with her and she discovers for the first time the brilliance in fancy. The story of the Little Prince penned by The Aviator piques her interest and she keeps visiting him to know more about it.

“When a mystery is too overpowering, one may not disobey.”

I loved the way how contrasting frames are picked up. It’s a perfect blend that draws awe right away. Like when the old man blows pain away from the girl’s hands, the air goes on to tremble the grass with its stop motion animation in the Little Prince’s story. Also, I loved how when she picks up a shell against her ears to find the voice of sea in it.

image of the first chapter in the aeroplane page sent by the aviator

Constant Run of Gorgeous Screenplay

Words of wisdom ooze out at every corner. Some straight from the Le Petit Prince book, whilst some by Irena Brignull and Bob Persichetti.

About hoarding, the aviator says:

“As you live, some things kind of just stick to you.

Mark Osborne uses a magnificent set of stop motion animation to weave the Little Prince’s original tale. The prince goes on to narrate his story to the aviator of how he met his rose, and about his sojourn therefrom.

There are metaphors galore, even in its subtle personification. Falling in love with a rose is actually insinuating falling in love with a girl.

The Little Prince: “You are perfect.”

Rose: “Am I not? I was born the same moment as the sun.”

The rad depiction of how the little prince just sits there, trying to reason with a vain Rose, how circumstances change the course of the planet and they end up sitting against each other have been beautifully animated.

“The shame of it was that they loved each other. But they were both too young to know how to love.”

The Rose realizes its mistake, and tries to apologize:

“Of course I love you. If you are not aware of that, it’s my fault.”

image of the little prince with rose still

Gloom lurks nevertheless in those button like eyes of the prince. You can make it all out with Osborne’s thoughtful depiction of dusk as he covers the Prince up in a glum demeanour.

“I would very much like to see a sunset. It would remind me of my rose.”

You can grab the DVD of The Little Prince movie here:

Characters: Reflections of Societal Elements

Biding somewhat by the original, wherein the Little Prince met six, here he meets three of the characters inhabiting asteroids. All of the three are uncanny lives that have been critiqued beautifully. One is a king without subjects who has a feigned sense of power and has nobody to rule over, very much suggestive of impersonators.

still of the conceited man in the little prince movie

Then there is that narcissistic element, the conceited man who just can’t wait to garner more praises. Reflective of how people run for vanity, even though it doesn’t earn them any strata. The third one is the Businessman who simply spends day counting stars which reflects people in real lives who are after money and materialism.

“What good does it do you to be rich?”

After knowing about all such characters in the little prince, the little girl realizes how grownups do not know what they are really after. They stay under the schism of immaterial things. She considers them really odd.

There is one brilliantly shot scene where the little girl is drinking from her glass, and from the bottom of it she realizes that her mother too is caught and lost in one asteroid, one planet of her own, just like those characters from The Little Prince tale.

“I am not so sure I wanna grow up any more.”

still of the little girl and the aviator in the little prince movie

To that the old Aviator explains:

“Growing up is not the problem. Forgetting is.”

The Prince Resumes his Tale

The Little Prince story continues with the prince finding a snake in the desert on Earth. He doesn’t find anybody else, and inquires:

“Where are the men? It is a little lonely in the desert.”

To which the snake replies:

“It is also lonely among men.”

Taming a Fox

It is then when he finds not a cunning, rather a clever fox and strikes up a chord.

“To me you will be unique in all the world. And to you I shall be unique in all the world.”

On coming across a rosebush, the prince becomes sad for he thought his rose was the only one in the whole universe.

“My rose is just a common rose? But she told me she was the only one of her kind in the whole universe.”

still of the fox and the little prince in a rosebush

Trying to reason with the prince, the fox expounds:

“But she is not a common rose. She is your rose. It is the time that you have devoted to her that makes your rose so important.”

With that the fox asks him to find her, dropping this beauty of a line:

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

When the little girl outside the tale tries to understand why did the prince leave the fox, the aviator explains her the importance of moving on.

“The fox, he sees the little Prince when he looks with his heart. If you can do that you will never be lonely again.”

Along with that he also tries to insinuate that he would one day leave too. The girl manages with a heavy heart:

“But I need you here.”

still of the old aviator with his plane in the little prince movie

It is so sad that it brings tears to your eyes.

The Inevitable Showdown with her Mother

The showdown was always on the cards, since the little girl was always sneaking up, and lying to her mother. When it does finally happen, the girl stands up with:

“That’s your version of my life. Not mine. If you were ever around, you’d see that.”

Too blind to see the apparent, her mother tears her prince’s story pages and throws it in the dust bin. I loved the bit how she tapes it back, and the animation shows us then the desert in tapes. Beautifully thought of!

Words of wisdom keep spewing amidst the laughter of the prince, as the girl reads about him through her taped pages.

“The stars are beautiful because of a flower that cannot be seen. What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”

still of the aviator and the little prince

In comes big advices that will leave you brooding:

“The men where you live grow thousands of roses, and they do not find what they are looking for. What they are looking for can be found in a single rose or a little water.”

The conversation of the aviator and the little girl is meanwhile the most nerve-racking kind. He says:

“When the moment does come for me to leave, I have to go alone.”

She tries to tell him she wishes to come too, not knowing he talks of death.

“Don’t go without me.”

Coming Out of The Little Prince’s Tale

The Little Prince meanwhile is bidding final adieu to the Aviator after telling him about his tale, and the fact that the snake has promised to end his misery rattles in the backdrop. He is trying to reason with:

“What is most important is invisible.”

As a parting gift he tells the aviator:

“In one of those stars, I shall be living. In one of them, I shall be laughing. And so when you look up at the sky at night, it will be as if all the stars are laughing.”

With that the snake bites the little prince, beautifully animated again making it disappear with a shimmer.

still of the little prince in desert

When the aforementioned is shared with the little girl, it bums her out. She doesn’t like how the story ends, incomplete with the little prince swaying in the stars without requiting to his lost waiting rose.

“I will grow up but I will never be a grown up like you.”

In that conversation with the aviator, she is angry at him for forgetting and disregarding the little prince. She remarks how he lost all hope, and forgot about fancy.

“You have forgotten everything, you have just become one of the grownups.”

She is mad at him beyond limit, and decides to return to her home for good. She doesn’t want to see him again, and days pass by. Her life continues with the same tinge of the stagnancy.

Once while returning, she finds the old aviator being taken to the hospital. It’s then when she feels truly sorry and runs for him like crazy. It is one of the most emotional segments of the movie, when she doesn’t stop at nothing to go see him.

The Second Story: Movie Addition

With an aim to rekindle the prince with its rose, she decides to embark the plane. Meaning she wishes to change the ending to the original. That’s when we are introduced to the second part of the story.

It is more like a different world, where characters have lost their purposes. It is a bizarre setup and for a second you start thinking that maybe the girl did start the plane, maybe she did go to a different planet, but then with the oddity, things fall in place. In reality, the girl simply tries to finish the tale with a happy ending, but from a different vantage.

There she meets all of those characters in different shoes, and ultimately the little prince who is all grown up. Her quest to take him to the rose meets fruition when they alight at the prince’s planet.

Grab your copy of The Little Prince Book here:

The final moments are the moments of epiphany for her, when despite everything she does the rose ends up dying, and withering away.

“You are supposed to be with her. I am gonna lose him too. And grow up. And forget all about him. Forget it all, forever. I don’t wanna lose him.”

It decimates you listening to her in despair. But when she realizes, with the hopeful eyes of the little prince, that all it takes is a glint of remembrance, she realizes what she wasn’t seeing.

“She was not a common rose. She was the only one of her kind in the whole universe. I remember her. I remember all of it. She is not gone. She is still here. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.”

She concurs having a vision too.

“He will always be with me. I understand now.”

Meeting the Aviator in the Hospital

Coming back to the real world, she goes with her “changed” mother to the hospital to see the old aviator again. She offers him the book that had his pages and hers, then shattering into pieces in front of him.

“You run the risk of weeping a little, if you let yourself get tamed.”

The movie ends with her mother spending time with her, trying to see the world with a child like gusto. That one star that the little prince had promised would laugh from, then concludes this epic tale.

I recommend every one to watch this movie, if you haven’t ever come across The Little Prince before. Highly recommended stuff.

You can check out the trailer of The Little Prince here:

Why Hachi A Dog’s Tale is one of the best dog movies ever | Hachiko Lives

The dog who waited. Hachiko can never be forgotten. Hachi A Dog’s Tale movie makes sure of that too. It is hands down one of the best dog movies ever. If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it at once!

Hachiko: The Dog Who Waited

Words fail to describe it, but tears don’t. It is that pious routine of waiting religiously every single day for his master to return, hoping one day he will show up, that makes Hachiko’s story a powerful one. Hachiko wrote that story himself, with his unwavering conviction and undying love for his master. He lived it every single day and we can’t even begin to imagine the pang underneath those hopeful waiting eyes.

still of Hachiko dog Hachi: A Dog's Tale train missed

It was as if Hachiko was born for loyalty. Like every other dog, he housed unconditional love in his soul for his master, and it spoke volume through his wait. Ten years! Almost ten years he waited unvarying, without giving up until one day life gave up on him. Can you imagine the yen in his eyes, the wait in his heart, and the constant struggle with disquiet in his soul, that too on an everyday basis? He literally lived through pain, an incessant mourning that never seemed to stop. He had him believe that his master would return. All of it, so heartbreaking that the sheer thought of it fills you up with tears.

Hachiko’s eyeful of hope had never heard of despair. His loyalty is no match to anything the world has to offer. Keeping that quotient in mind, the movie on Hachiko the dog was made.

The Movie Hachi A Dog’s Tale

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale did every bit justice to the poor Akita dog. It sways in with goodies galore and then snatches it away almost at once, kind of like life. Choice of Richard Gere as the professor was perfect. He brings warmth to his Parker Wilson character, sustaining himself on screen and then playing with his void.

still of Hachi the puppy in Hachi: A Dog's Tale movie

Being a tad taciturn the movie, (depicting silence in a dog’s life) Hachi A Dog’s Tale tries to cash in on its extraordinary music. The constant stunning piano in the backdrop brings out a contemplative mien. The score of Hachi is composed by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, and he does a fair job listing the gloom inside you alongside his notes.

Screenplay of Hachi: A Dog’s Tale at times go deep in its own laconic way.

Parker Wilson’s brief contemplation on music and life before he passes away oddly puts him amidst his thoughts.

“There’s an element of music that cannot be captured. Life cannot be captured. The human heart cannot be captured. The moment of creation itself is fleeting.”

At so many junctures people try to explain to the grief-stricken Hachiko, that the dead can’t return, but Hachi never gives up. All he had was his master, and the life he chooses is the one of wait.

“You don’t have to wait anymore. He is not coming back.”

still of hachiko from hachi: a dog's tale movie

What tops that all is that Hachi wasn’t eloquent like us. He could only speak with his actions. With every loyal act of his, it appears as if a dagger is nailed into your heart. Such shattering pain, and this movie depicts everything beautifully.

Giving Hachi A Dog’s Tale a Calm Direction

Lasse Hallstrom’s direction is magnificent as well. His frames carry tranquility. Hachi A Dog’sTale is slow paced to give you ample time to reflect. Whilst his frames depict the poor dog in pang, you can’t help but listen to your own thoughts of dejection.

For the better part of the movie, you realize how nobody really cares about Hachiko the dog. It is sad to watch the world pass by the poor thing without batting an eye for his story. It is a shame that the most humane world overlooks the most sentient dog sitting on the station all by himself waiting. But then comes that attention from the right area.

The time when Cate Wilson played by Joan Allen finds Hachi still waiting for at the station will rip you apart.

“You old thing, you are still waiting.”

The mute Akita’s eyes say a lot without actually saying anything. Hachiko was well casted, and well furbished. He has deep lamenting eyes that steer you towards the right direction of anguish.

You can order Hachi: A Dog’s Tale movie here:

Remembering the Dead

It goes without saying that Hachi A Dog’s Tale is one of the saddest movies ever made. Even sheer love that your dog oozes out when you return from some far-off place brings tears to your eyes. And this is Hachi you are talking about. His love is rare. Stories like that of Hachi’s need to be celebrated, and forever remembered.

Tears are indispensable. Sometimes you need them to wash down your pain. If you wish to see something that breaks you down almost instantly, Hachi A Dog’s Tale is the movie for you. Place it amongst your rare favourites.

You can check out the trailer of Hachi A Dog’s Tale here: