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October Movie Review (2018) | Falling for the Fallen

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

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

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

The Theme of October Movie

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

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

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

The Plot and Cherishable Moments (Spoilers)

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

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

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

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

The Optimism

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

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

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

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

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

Painting the Reality

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

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

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

Dan’s Mother

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

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

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

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

Camera Work

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

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

The Eventuality

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

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

still of banita sandhu looking at varun dhawan in october movie

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

The Fallen Flower

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

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

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

Basing a Justification on a Lie

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

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

Where is Dan?

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

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

The Final Verdict

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

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

Check out other movie reviews from the Indian Film Industry.

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

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

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

A Forgotten History

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

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

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

The Plot of Loving Vincent

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

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

Full Spoilers and Analysis of Loving Vincent

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

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

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

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

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

The Past

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

Two hearts. One mind.

Vincent’s death had left him shattered.

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

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

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

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

He struggled to be what they wanted him to be.

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

Everything that happens in art happens here.

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

Louise Chevalier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adeline Ravoux

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

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

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

I tried to kill myself.

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

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

If only I could’ve been one of them.

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

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

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

The Boatman

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Church Contrast

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marguerite Gachet

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

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

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

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

Dissecting Vincent

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

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

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

She’s no trouble.

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

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

Tea Towels

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

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

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

This is where he lived? And where he died.

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

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

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

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

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

The days seem like weeks to me.

Old Peasant and the Young Man with a Cornflower

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

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

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

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

Rene Secretan

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

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

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

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

What are Friends For?

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

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

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

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

Vincent generated more letters than a town.

Doctor Mazery

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

Most likely he was shot.

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

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

Back at The Fields

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

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

Marguerite breaks the bubble by filling Armand with the details.

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

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

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

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

Maybe my withdrawal had soured things.

To which Armand replies:

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

Overlooking Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doctor Gachet

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

Doctor Gachet explains that Vincent was a victim of melancholia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rooms full of paintings that no one wanted to buy.

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

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

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

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

The Truth Behind the Suicide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe it is better for everyone.

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

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

A Letter for a Letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armand is more interested in the loving part instead.

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

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

Loving Vincent movie Vincent Van Gogh painting in the rain

Vincent’s Final Letter

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

This is what the letter contained:

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

The Bitter Truth

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

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

Isn’t that tragic?

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

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

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

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The Illusion of a Real Camera in Loving Vincent

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

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

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

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

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

The Extraordinary Music of Loving Vincent

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

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

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The Final Verdict

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

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

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

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

The Deadly Combo

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

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

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

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

The Plot and Theme of Phantom Thread Movie (Spoilers)

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

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

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

Alma

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

For the hungry boy, my name is Alma.

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

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

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

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

Love is Poison

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

Her arrival has cast a very long shadow.

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

Maybe he is the most demanding man.

Finding Love

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

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

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

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

The Game of Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread movie

Marriage and What Comes After

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

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

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

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

I do not like to be turned away from.

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

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

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

Phantom Thread Movie Ending Explained

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

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

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

You are not cursed. You are loved by me.

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

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

Further Explanation

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

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

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

Kiss me, my girl, before I am sick.

Why Alma Didn’t Walk Away

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

Reynolds has made my dreams come true.

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

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

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

Presence of the Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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The Secret Behind the Name Phantom Thread

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Validation

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

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

The Final Verdict of Phantom Thread Movie

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

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

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

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

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

Direction of Blade Runner 2049

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

K played by Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

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

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

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

Writing and Orgasmic Visuals

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

Pain reminds you the joy you felt was real.

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

All the courage in the world cannot alter fact.

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

The Theme and Plot of Blade Runner 2049 Movie

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

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

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

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

Ryan Gosling as K (Spoilers)

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

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

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

Who keeps a dead tree?

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The Memory Maker

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

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

Dr. Ana Stelline Memory Creator in Blade Runner 2049

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

Someone lived this, yeah. It happened.

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

Rick Deckard

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

Dick and K fighting in Blade Runner 2049

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

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

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

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

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

The Replicant Freedom Movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joi – the Holographic AI

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

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

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

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

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

All the best memories are hers.

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

Blade Runner 2049 movie still of Joi and Joe

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

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

K: It’s very….realistic.

Niander Wallace

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her eyes were green.

The Final Verdict

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

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

Check out the trailer of Blade Runner 2049 here:

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

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

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

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

Rajkummar Rao as Newton Kumar

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

Newton movie still of Rajkummar Rao

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

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

Pankaj Tripathy as Aatma Singh

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

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

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

Other Brilliant Characters in Newton Movie

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

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

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

Anjali Patil newton movie

Important Messages (Spoilers)

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

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

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

The Politics

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

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

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

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

Ill-Treatment

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

How much money will we get?

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

The Curse of Ignorance

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

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

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

The False Alarm

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

Rajkummar Rao as Newton in Newton movie

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

The Last Scene of Newton Movie – Ending Explained

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Verdict

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

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

Read my other movie reviews and analyses too.

Check out the trailer of Newton Movie:

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

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

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

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

Plot of It Movie Full Analysis (Spoilers)

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

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

Prologue of IT Movie Explained

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

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

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

Pennywise the Clown

it movie clown pennywise

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

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

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

Eight Months Later

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

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

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

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

Other Characters in It Movie

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

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

They are the ones doing it.

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

sophia lillis as beverly marsh in it movie

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

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

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

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

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

The Fear Quotient

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

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

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

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

Individual Qualms

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

Why Nothing Happens to the Kids

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

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

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

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

it movie pennywise with the balloon

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

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

Meeting with Ben

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

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

Betty Ripsom shoe in IT movie

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

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

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

History of Derry

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

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

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

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

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

The World of the Fearful Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bumping into Mike

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

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

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

The Research in It Movie

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

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

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

This stuff seems to happen every 27 years.

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

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

Maybe none of this is real.

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

Going After the Clown

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

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

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

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

In the Well House

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

it movie scary the well house

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overcoming Fear in It Movie

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

As he turns around with the arrow he injures Ben.

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

Don’t let it get away.

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

The Breakup in It Movie

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

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

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

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

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

The Bowers Quandary

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

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

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

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

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

Beverly’s Stand in It Movie

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

Are you still my girl?

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

it movie pennywise attacking beverly

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

You die if you try.

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

It got Beverly.

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

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

Children get together and prepare for war.

The Ending of It Movie Explained

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

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

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

it movie scene of kids in the well

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

I am not afraid of you.

Which bothers Pennywise.

You will be.

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

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

I will come back for you Beverly.

Meanwhile the rest of the kids find Beverly floating moonstruck.

beverly marsh floating in the air

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

January Embers.
My heart burns there too.

Bill’s Acceptance

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

What took you so long?

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

I was looking for you all this time.

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

I wanna go home.

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

I want more than anything for you to be home.

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

It Means War

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

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

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

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

The Final Assault in IT Movie

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

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

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

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

Guys kids are floating down.

The Losers Club in It Movie

The Epilogue of It Movie

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can order It movie 2017 from here:

Thinking Out Loud (Theories Behind IT Movie)

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

I will try to explain:

First Theory

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

Second Theory

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

Another Weird Theory for IT movie

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

The Final Verdict of IT movie

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

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

Highly recommended for everybody.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plot Analysis of 20th Century Women (Spoilers Ahead)

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

20th century women movie still

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

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

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

Unfulfilled Promises

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last night we said a great many things.

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

The Power of Gratitude

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

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

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

To that she says,

Yeah? Why not?

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

Other Crucial Characters in 20th Century Women

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

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

She learned to dance when she got sad.

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

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

Julie responds:

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

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

Jamie and Julie in 20th Century Women

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

It was so much easier before you got all horny.

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

elle fanning in 20th century women

Friends can’t have sex and still be friends.

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

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

She’s compensating for her loneliness.

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

The Birthday Party Dinner

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

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

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

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

The Old Times

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

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

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

People from her time never admit anything went wrong.

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

The Upbringing

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

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

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

The Happiness Quotient

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Punk Music

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

Can’t things just be pretty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Near Death Experience

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

When he is finally fine, Dorothea asks him:

Why would you do something so dangerous?

To which Jamie replies:

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

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

That Deliberate Attempt

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

Why did you hurt yourself like that?

with an answer that’s just quite apt:

Why do you smoke yourself to death?

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

Why are you fine being sad and alone?

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

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

I know him less every day.

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

History and Men

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

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

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

Beseeching Help from Abbie and Julie

20th century women asking for help still

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

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

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

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

This is what Jamie thinks of it:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can order 20th Century Women from here:

Abbie Seeking Validity in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

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

I can’t just be myself?

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

Julie’s Pregnancy Test in 20th Century Women

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

20th century women still of therapy

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

You wish you were crazy.

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

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

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

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

Abbie’s Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dorothea’s Acceptance

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

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

You never seem into it.

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

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

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

Do I seem stuck to you?

The Going Out Disaster

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

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

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

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

That’s not something serious.

To that Dorothea replies:

Then why do it?

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

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

The Feminist Book in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advice keeps flowing in.

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

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

The Love Life of Williams in 20th Century Women

Dorothea and Williams meanwhile talk about their love lives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it was the aftermath that confused Williams the most:

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

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

Just be there. She just wants a little company.

Jamie in the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Unison with Feminism in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Regret

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

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

And Abbie is right. No one really cares about it, as much as she had prepared Jamie for it upfront. Her idea of making Jamie something better isn’t, however, playing by her rules. She didn’t know what a modern woman thinks and expects of men. She is as Jamie often puts it from “The Depression” where men had a different definition.

The Menstruation Talk in 20th Century Women

On the dining table happens one of the most awkward discussions for Dorothea where Abbie flings around the word “menstruation” openly. Dorothea and all the men there, in fact, the whole world isn’t really comfortable with the word. It is a topic they wish to speak about in hushed voices. But Abbie hates that and wishes Jamie to learn to be bold and brave.

If you ever want to have an adult relationship with a woman like if you want to have sex with a woman’s vagina, you need to be comfortable with the fact that the vagina menstruates.

There’s nothing wrong with it. It is totally natural and the human perception just makes the topic awkward to be discussed in public.

20th century women menstruation talk

With that window of ballsy opportunity, Julie tries to come clean too and talks about her sexual encounters. The topic deviates and Dorothea calls it a night.

While trying to confront Jamie, the plan ends up getting backfired for Dorothea as he says:

Mom, I am dealing with everything right now. You are dealing with nothing.

It is true. There is so much going on with Jamie, and literally, nothing going on with Dorothea. She isn’t moving on the way she is supposed to but she is worried sick about Jamie’s upbringing. It is just too much for Jamie to take.

The Runaway

Jamie takes that advice of not letting Julie in, and stops her from sleeping this time. But she plays that emotional card asking him to do what he had always wanted to do – to drive to the coast all by themselves.

They leave as Dorothea ends up getting pulled over and then later jailed for her sense of humour (even though it was good!)

At the coast in a room, Julie is reluctant to have sex with Jamie.

I think that I am too close to you to have sex with you.

Jamie tries to make him understand that he could help her with that. But it’s impossible to budge her because she doesn’t want Jamie to become like others.

Jamie: I don’t wanna just have sex with you. I want you.
Julie: But it’s your version of me. It’s not me.

We have a certain idea of a person and we love them for our version of them. When you get to know the real person you begin to see the flaws and the intrinsic problems. That’s when love begins to fade. Julie wishes Jamie to see her point, and not be that person whom she can’t be with.

She compares him to all the other guys, which hurts Jamie as he leaves.

The Homecoming in 20th Century Women

Dorothea is meanwhile brought back home, as she discusses with Abbie:

Abbie: Having a kid seems like the hardest thing.
Dorothea: How much you love the kid…you are just pretty much screwed.

Julie calls Dorothea as she, Abbie and Williams go to the coast to find Jamie. Dorothea isn’t mad at Julie. She forgives her and talks to Jamie and he makes her understand the real import of a mother.

It just seemed like you couldn’t deal with me anymore.

Jamie is mad at Dorothea for asking the girls to help. To that Dorothea replies:

I don’t want you to end up in the same place as me. I wanted you to be happier. I just didn’t think I could do it by myself.

Jamie corrects her by saying:

I thought we were fine, though, just me and you.

The Opening Up

In a restaurant Dorothea and Jamie begin to talk as we see Dorothea finally opening up to personal questions:

Were you and Dad ever in love?

To that she replies:

Sure or, maybe I was just…I felt I was supposed to be in love. Or I was scared I’d never be in love, so I just picked the best solution at the time.

More personal questions follow and Dorothea unspools properly with her child opening up every time:

Are you lonely?

She runs her fancy to create an ideal man for her. Her idea of a real man is the one who is true to his promises:

You know that he’s gonna do what he says he’s gonna do,

The Sad Reality

As we cut in to an adventurous frame, we get a sense of deep satisfaction that finally things begin to look up for Dorothea and Jamie. But the real truth hits you hard in the face. Life is never like that.

I thought that was just the beginning of a new relationship with her where she’d really tell me stuff but maybe it was never really like that again. Maybe that was it.

It is just one of those phases we were shown and that part sounds like a really great story. But life happens to everybody. So the diegesis tells us what happened with everybody in the story. How things pan out for them.

Eventually, Jamie speaks, and he tells us about himself:

Years after she’s gone, I will finally get married and have a son. I will try to explain to him what his grandmother was like but it will be impossible.

It leaves you with a really profound sense of poignancy. Not getting to know the extraordinary woman around whom his life revolved, that’s as gloomy as it gets. Curtain falls.

The Final Verdict of 20th Century Women

20th Century Women is a great movie where all of the actors performed extraordinarily. I loved how Mike Mills did those great introductions, and how he chose to spread them all across the movie. Jamie was always shown cruising on his skateboard on an empty road as if implying that he was cruising through life. Such subtle elements simply help elevate the movie.

20th Century Women is outright alluring and should not be missed for the world.

Liked the analysis of 20th Century Women? Check out my other movie analyses too.

Check out the trailer of 20th Century Women here:

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 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!

It’s Complicated

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 cross 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?

Sound familiar?

The Pity

We see a broken Andi in Berlin Syndrome, 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.

The Distraction

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 in Berlin Syndrome 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.

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, Tom 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 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 is 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 learned something from all this. He begins to focus on 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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