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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.

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

The Mental Trauma

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

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

still of Jake Gyllenhaal as Tony from Nocturnal Animals movie

Bobby Andes

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

Is she alright?

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

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

The Flashback with Edward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We all eventually turn into our mothers.

Identifying Lou

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

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

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

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

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

You know me, I never sleep.

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

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

The Office Art Work

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

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

still of Revenge art in nocturnal animals movie

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

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

About Change

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

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

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

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

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

Pinning Ray Marcus

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

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

The Flashback of Downfall

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

Nobody writes about anything but themselves.

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

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

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

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

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

Ray Walks Free

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

Do you have anyone in your life?

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

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

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

The Abortion

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

still of Jake Gyllenhaal as Edward in Nocturnal Animals

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

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

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

The Final Showstopper of Nocturnal Animals

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

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

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

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

still of Aaron Taylor Johnson as Ray Marcus in Nocturnal Animals

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

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

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

That Weak Epithet

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

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

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

The Ending of Nocturnal Animals Explained

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

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

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

At the Restaurant

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

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

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

The Final Verdict

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

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

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

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

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

Check out my other Analyses of movies.

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Colossal Movie Review (2016) | Analysis and Explanation | Major Spoilers

Colossal movie isn’t really a monster flick. So if you are rushing into the theatres just to see a Kaiju and Robot stand off, I would say don’t. Also, if you don’t like movies with hidden meanings, or if you are too shallow to understand poetic vibes, metaphors, and profound reflections, this isn’t a movie for you. Okay now that we have separated the facile crowd, remaining intense peeps, come with me. I will introduce you to this genius of a flick.

Colossal Movie Theme (Spoilers Ahead)

There’s one dialogue in the Colossal Movie that is basically the nub of the entire flick. When Oscar played by Jason Sudeikis asserts things to be boring, that life is boring, that we don’t pay attention unless and until something huge, something colossal happens to us, that’s when you realize the grandeur is simply showy.

That being said, if it were a simple flick about an alcoholic girl who has trouble holding on to things in her life, we wouldn’t have been surprised much. That is life for you ladies and gentlemen! You mess it up when things go boring. Then you jump from one leaflet to another in search of something interesting only to mess it up all over again. It’s that platitude of life that laughs at us, and we are no strangers to it.

Now you put a Kaiju in there to make things intriguing, and suddenly you are listening. The Kaiju in Colossal is nothing but a pictorial representation of Gloria’s (Anne Hathaway‘s) problems with her life. She has a drinking problem that seems to be uprooting her foundation. You can see that from the way she reacts to Tim (Dan Stevens) leaving her in the beginning.

Gloria’s Drinking Problem

Gloria is broken and she knows the solution to her problem is to just stop drinking and gain the reins of her life back. She is blacking out every now and then, sleeping at odd hours. At one point, she sleeps before inflating a mattress, and even while she was inflating it. She always ends up waking up in cramps and spasms. Days and conversations are lost with her shuteye. The world passes her by when she’s sleeping and she hears about everything for the first time, even though a news would be out for hours. It’s a muck she has brought upon herself, and things around her have paced up whilst she has slowed down.

Anne Hathaway as Gloria in Colossal Movie

Drinking has cost her job, her boyfriend, in short, her life. Until one day she wakes up to realize the monstrosity of her problem. She faces it in the form of a Kaiju, a gargantuan personification of her colossal problems. When she moves around with her problems she is bringing people down, here “killing them” even though she doesn’t mean to.

Why Seoul?

The people here are from Seoul where the Kaiju seems to appear whenever she is drunk as a fish. Nacho Vigalondo, the director, chose to press it against the time 8:05 AM just so we have a pictorial representation of something so deep. The reason he chose Seoul is because he had to pick a place that was aloof. Primarily, because when you have issues, you hurt strangers too.

For example, fighting with someone in a restaurant full of people. You have charred them too but you don’t care because it seems to you that ‘your’ life is more important and that ‘you’ are the center of it. That they are obligated to witness your monstrosity. The Seoul people are nothing but metaphors of lives you destroy in the process of you trying to figure out your life.

Another reason that Seoul was chosen is because it wishes to satirically remark West’s unperturbed feelings for the East. They believe it to be another world altogether and look at it as a wreck that is doomed for destruction. They are glad that they are away from the real problems and choose to brazenly witness it from a TV screen. It’s an apt and subtle wink at their unwavering thoughts as they do nothing but quilt up further just to gaze at misfortune of alien people.

Another one I could think of is how Seoul rhymes with Soul and has a spiritual level of gravitas to it. It takes you to delve into your soul to see what wrong you have done, what damage you have done in the wake of your complication.

Oscar with his problems

Gloria’s sorrow when she accidentally kills a helicopter is her lashing out at her minor fun act that causes a massive rampage. She feels really sorry for what she has done, and gets Oscar to arrange some Korean words to say sorry to the world. She is happy when the world forgives, as people say,

I knew it was a good monster.

That’s when the twist in the tale happens when a Robot like monster appears alongside the Kaiju telling us that Oscar is another one of those guys with “huge problems”. He dons a veil of the good guy for the better half of the movie, that makes us believe that he is one of the good people. But everyone carries a baggage that stays hidden from the world. His issues unroll when he finds out about Gloria sleeping with Joel (Austin Stowell). That baggage is nothing but sheer hatred and jealousy.

Jason Sudeikis as Oscar in Colossal movie

Oscar is a nice guy in actuality but he has this wont of shovelling his issues under the bed. So, that’s what he has been doing all this time until that glitch makes him lose it. He lashes out not only on Gloria, but also on Garth, one of his good old friends played by Tim Blake Nelson, whose issues he used to ignore all along. He breaks with,

I am tired of playing the good guy.

Oscar is a reflection of all those people who keep it together, only to explode when something horrible happens to them. So the Robot monster breaks loose.

Monster Face Off

There they are – a Kaiju and a Robot, Gloria and Oscar with their problems in the real world, fighting against each other. One stepping very carefully so as to not hurt the people around, the other reckless in his ways, because he doesn’t care about who thinks what of him, and is willing to hurt people in his frenzy.

Gloria’s avoidance of beer is her trying to straighten up her act so there are no repercussions. Oscar forcing one down her throat is him trying to twist her up so she stays the way she is.

Re-enters Tim. A glint of past that shines bright. Yes, he is nothing but a hue from the good old days she had once ignited with. He is an ex that sounds a good enough escape, but is in fact a horrible thought per se.

Oscar scares him away, with the firecracker and everything, putting on a show of wrath. He is really a messed up guy, a bully, yes that’s the word I am looking for, who has shackled Gloria, filled her house with furniture, TV and a job, roping her under favours so as to stop her from leaving him. The real life reflection of it is her not trying to escape because he blackmails her by hurting other people in Seoul, so she couldn’t leave.

I know what you have been thinking, why couldn’t Gloria just go and tell the cops and get him instead. Trust me I thought that too. But that’s what a shallow thought is. Things aren’t going to get better with the police involvement. It’s about her trying to stand her ground by fighting the biggest monster off her. It is going to get reinstated if she doesn’t face her problem herself.

The Ending of Colossal Movie Explained

Until one fine day it strikes Gloria that she could simply go away from him, and crush him even so by restraining his actions by helping those who get affected instead. That’s her going to Seoul, catching Oscar and flinging him away into space, making one final stand to show him who’s the boss of her life.

Her walking down to a Seoul bar to tell the bartender an amazing story is about her trying to tell the world of how she overcame the monster that had her caged. The irony to that is the bartender offers to offer her a drink.

The movie concludes at that point compelling us to think whether or not she would wind up once again encircled with the colossal problem she had just managed to scare away. While there’s a world out there trying to lure her into making mistakes, she has to face her demons by staying focused with life. It’s something she has to resist to stay sober, and not give rise to another monster that could bring havoc once again.

Why Gloria is a Kaiju and Oscar a Robot?

There is another great point to ponder upon as to why was Gloria representing a Kaiju and Oscar a Robot. You see, a Kaiju is evil in the minds of the people. Her huge drinking problem is frowned down upon by society. Her not being able to keep her life together, her blackouts, her inability to land a job, and constant partying habits are every representation of bad ways in societal eyes. That’s why she is akin to a Kaiju.

colossal movie kaiju image

But in reality she is good and pure from her heart. She accepts that she didn’t want to harm anyone, and that she was truly sorry for her act. It is something that is contradictory to a Kaiju’s behaviour.

Oscar, au contraire, appeared like a nice guy, and hence he is the robot. Because everyone thinks that he is a really good guy from the way he carries himself. Unfortunately he ends up doing just the opposite of good. That’s why the veil of a ‘Robot’ which the people consider to be just.

So we take another great point from the Colossal movie that what appears from an outward appearance is not necessarily the way things are in reality.

Direction of Colossal Movie

I can’t help but applaud Nacho Vigalondo enough for his colossal project. The trailer actually belied what the movie was going to be all about. It had us think that it was a mere comedy that was supposed to be superficial. But it isn’t. It is so much more than mere cheap thrills. To be able to wrap something so powerful inside a concept that appears shallow and that too is a resounding story in its own, it takes colossal balls. And Nacho has them!

Then you can’t overlook the editing of the flick. It gives ample focus to issues and makes for a good engaging watch. At all times issues are addressed, tension is created and every step promises to unwind into a plausible course of action. Everything falls in its natural order. That’s what makes the movie a hoot to watch.

The One Obvious Issue

The only thing that bothers is how many things do we have to sieve away in order to capture the gist of the movie? If you are watching Colossal movie in its utter joviality you are going to think it is nothing but a monster sci-fi flick that is for mere ephemeral fun. Well, I am pretty sure more than 75% of the moviegoers might have taken it that way.

Some might argue why wasn’t there any sort of linkage asking us to think in that direction. Why wasn’t there any remark if the movie was supposed to be an allegory? Why does it force us to think so much? The answer to that was in Oscar’s statement about boredom.

You take out the monster equation from the flick and it falls flat like an age old tale of a girl trying to figure out her crumbling life and then eventually taking a stand.

But that’s the whole point of it. If things were apparent and out in the open it wouldn’t have been as good a movie as it ends up being.

The Final Verdict

Colossal movie is an eccentric take, yes but it is so deep when you begin to actually think about it. It is manufactured to meet an esoteric bunch because if you think you have got it, considering it to be all about mere monsters and psychos, then you really haven’t.

Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis remain the heart and soul of the movie just like their metaphorical monsters. Both keep it casual to show the worldly bit, joking around, fooling around with their fun and frivolous side, only to end up being serious eventually before ripping each other apart.

The flick is truly about facing real problems, but it keeps everything fun and light by bringing to life epitomes of behemoths. It leaves everything out to exist on its own without actually relating anything to anything. So there are like two stories in it each capable of existing on its own universe.

Colossal movie is for the unusual masses who like to read between the lines. Watch it only if you aren’t as shallow as the unfeeling crowd.

It is a peculiar flick yes and so I will place the Colossal movie amongst my Avant Garde Bunch.

You can watch the trailer of Colossal Movie here:

 

The Red Turtle Movie Review (2016) | The Speechless Leaves You Speechless

Whoever thought the mute can’t speak? The Red Turtle movie might be a film where no one talks but not for a second do you feel like you are watching a dead screen. Because in the background goes a beautiful score that aggrandizes an already fantastic tale of a shipwrecked man who meets a Red Turtle whilst trying to escape an island. The story is reflective of our lives, and acts as a parable for us to figure out the analogy.

One look at the animation and you feel reality taking an alluring form. It’s stunningly done,  and brilliantly brushed. Every scene looks like a painting worth keeping. The turmoil in the head of its protagonists looks real, and so does all of his choices. There is humility in him, struggle, love and a fighting attitude that turns The Red Turtle movie into a learning experience.

Plot of the Red Turtle Movie (Spoilers)

If you look at the plot of The Red Turtle movie it looks like a lore, a fairy tale that we grew up reading about. To be honest it doesn’t call for an explanation only your interpretation of it, of how you choose to relate to it, take out the gist and enjoy its countless similarities to life.

It holds true for every fairy tale out there. There are no dragons, monsters and fairies in real life. Just the good and the bad things. Situations that topple your lives over with their icky monstrosity.

The Red Turtle movie is a profound journey of a man’s life where he gets stuck in a flood, then in an island, lost and alone. In his stay of entrapment, he looks for things he could use to feed himself and survive. Also he wishes to go back where he came from.

The Red Turtle Movie Still of Man Trying to go on a Raft

He builds a raft to set out for the sea, but fails to go the distance owing to a mysterious blow that breaks his raft. He tries again, and fails. Then again, and fails, only this time he finds the reason gawking at him with mute eyes. A Red Turtle, the likes of he has never witnessed before, is the one who is the destroyer of his dreams. The Turtle once again topples him over, before swimming away.

On returning to the island furious this time, spewing fits of anger, the man finds the same red turtle making its way to the beach. Taken over by fierce madness, he bludgeons the turtle hard and topples him over, and jumps over its chest. That image of beauty and elegance goes silent. He realizes that it’s dead. Soon he is overwhelmed by guilt.

The Beautiful Woman

One day however the shell of the turtle breaks, and comes out this beguiling woman that changes his will to go back. Smitten by her, he decides to stay on that island. They have a beautiful child and it almost seems like a happily ever after. The child grows up into a young man who learns to stand on his feet. He learns the way of the ocean, befriending turtles and knowing whatever his little world has to offer. But he is curious for more.

A tsunami hits them destroying their island in the process. Amidst chaos he finds his parents again. After a few more days of torpor, the child’s parents could read his willingness to see more of it. Thus, he bids farewell to his parents and sets out for sea. The old parents then lead the rest of their lives in that island loving each other even more until the day they pass. The woman turns back into the Red Turtle before disappearing into the sea.

Interpretation of The Red Turtle Movie

I believe there could be as many interpretations to the movie as many thoughts exist in the universe. Mine tries to look at it this way:

A man stuck in a storm is akin a cardinal adversity that life flings at you. You are alone, trying to face it with all you have got, but it drifts you away nevertheless.

When the man finds himself on an island, it is like a situation we are not comfortable with, that we didn’t ask for, but got anyway. Maybe a state of mind or a job that we are averse to, but it somehow gets us by. We always have that inbred wish to go back to a past that we came from. That could be made out with his obstinate wish to return to the sea with a raft with hopes to make it to his land. He fails incessantly at it, but he never stops trying only to realize someone or something toying with his life.

Our first reaction to anything that stops us from doing what we wish for is anger and frustration that hits the poor creature bluntly without realizing the consequence of the action. It is instantly reflective of how we choose to ignore people who are trying to help us out by stopping us from heading into the wrong direction. The island was supposed to be his destiny. But he was too recalcitrant to notice.

Reason to Live

As a result the poor thing dies. Then there is regret. We tend to burn in a hell of our own doing, our own thoughtless action only when it’s too late. To his surprise, enters a girl in his life emanating from a theatrics of a red turtle. The purity of his profound emotions rewards him with a reason to make life less painful.

image of the red turtle woman and man

All this time he wanted to run from a place he didn’t to want to be in, but then with her ingress he finds a reason to stay. The juxtaposition of leaving and staying is enchantingly managed in the movie. He experiences love and bliss. Stays and leads a happy life to give birth to a child. A child who is yet to learn the ways of the world. One of the most wonderful parts is the part where her mother stops the father from saving the child, as she believes in him that he is capable of taking care of himself. She lets him learn how to find a way when stuck.

The child finds a bottle on the shore one day. It’s analogous to us finding wonders and miracles in life, wondering all about it, wishing to see more of it. The parents then teach him everything they know. But there is more to the world. We can’t cage a bird that wishes to fly. So, the child leaves, as is the way of life, of every creature who exists on the planet who wishes their offspring to see what they have seen and more. The turtle-friends of the child were nothing but opportunities in the world that keep calling you for things you could do, and be.

The Huge Takeaways

The Tsunami is yet another nod at our unprecedented life. It keeps throwing at you obstacles that you have to fight, in the process finding each other, looking after and caring for the ones you love. Eventually all there is, is love. And that we can find only when we have nothing to worry about, so is suggested when they have the island for themselves.

When the protagonist passes away, I loved how she responds immediately to it, as if she sensed his soul leave. It is hands down the saddest bit in the movie, and brings tears to your eyes.

When we see the lady turn back into the red turtle again, we realize she was a good time. A paragon of elegance, support and grace that came into the life of the fallen, showed him that it was alright even if you are stuck somewhere, that you can make the most of it.

The red turtle was an analogy for that one person, or chance in your life that comes at a point when there are no doors open. It makes you comprehend life’s biggest lessons.

“We should be happy with what we have, and try to make the most of it.”

Life put us at a place; the nature placed us at its disposal. If we try to run away from it, we are to gain nothing but destruction. It has laid out its beautiful plan for us. It intends to make things better if we pave way for love, and not run away. There are good things for everybody. Sit tight and enjoy the ride. Your time shall come!

The Final Verdict

The Red Turtle Movie is an outstanding flick. One of a kind. The setup of course doesn’t require anybody or anything to speak up. So there’s no dialogue whatsoever. Despite of that, the movie shines through owing to its mind-boggling life like animation, its surrealism, the correlation it packs in and owing to its extraordinary pulsating thrilling music that uplifts every frame into a level your brain cannot possibly register. Awesome stuff!

I would like to place this movie in my avant garde collection, since it is so eloquent even though it’s entirely mute.

You can check out the trailer of The Red Turtle Movie here:

The Lobster Movie Review (2015) | A Satire on Human Relationships

The Lobster Movie is a stunning satire. It is a metaphor on relationships, of how humans are always under constant peer pressure of finding that one true soul mate that has the same mental disability or defining characteristic as theirs. It is a society that’s divided into two major factions that calls shots on the relationship game – one being that of a loner, whilst the other cohort belongs to that of the couples. The Lobster movie is an unbiased therapeutic journey of David played brilliantly by Colin Farrell who stays influenced by all the rules, and takes decisions complying to set ordeals.

Direction of The Lobster Movie

What Yorgos Lanthimos does with his mammoth project is absolutely breathtaking. His choice of plot projection is simply ravishing too. He chooses to pick a monotonous mannerism to reflect on life’s bleakness. Our pointless gestures captured in one single dull tone. Every character is written in morose vibes except when they are pretending. Then there were his subtle lighting effects to assist him with his gorgeous setup.

still of Rachel Weisz and Colin Farrell in The Lobster movie

His story chugs forward in decisive emblematic frames. There’s a reason every frame is there, silent metaphors lurking inside them. And he manages to leave you mesmerized with his product. At the end he leaves you guessing too, finally dropping a possibility of a big ‘what-if’ thus throwing you in a whirlwind of thoughts. You come out wondering, questioning, assessing and re-evaluating what the director had in his mind, and how everything sieves in to fit the bill.

Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou come up with this beautiful screenplay that goes hand in hand with life’s countless equations. They trace us in a way, stay comical at times and yet so profound that it is hard to shake their thought off.

We all dance by ourselves, that’s why we only play electronic music.

Theme and Comparisons

The comparisons that Yorgos Lanthimos intends to make and so effortlessly puts out there will compel you to question your life’s choices. Imagine a hotel, a mental institution of sorts, where people come out to meet their right fit. They are allotted a fixed amount of time to set their life in order, by finding a partner – a requisite to stay complete and fulfilled in a world obsessed with relationships.

“She feels nothing at all.”

The Hotel

The hotel forces upon its rules and regulations creating its very own set of theories and beliefs to establish its ordeals forcing people to act on them. People act as sheep following ways laid down by the Hotel. They have their very own idea of eternal bliss sprawled out on their brochures compelling others to think of yachts as their ‘happily everafters’. That finding a companion is the ultimate thing that needs be done. If by chance you couldn’t find a companion by the end of 45 days of hotel stay, you will be deemed unfit and turned into an animal. Animal here is a subtle wink at people who are looked at by our current societal set of mind as goners.

the hotel in the lobster movie

Loners

Au contraire to hotel’s belief, stands resistance. Rebellions known as loners (aptly named) who prefer to stay alone, dance alone in their misery. They are constantly hunted by the hotel residents as a sport. It is a way of Lanthimos implying society constantly picking on singles every now and then, turning them into animals. The juxtaposition of a world right outside that of hotel is beautifully done. You think that maybe the resistance would be the good guys, but no! Though liberal in their outlook they have their own set of regulations that take punitive measures for those who do not abide by their own laws.

“You can be a loner until the day you die. There is no time limit.”

City

City life here is another clever allusion at the world out there, where people judge you based on your relationship status. Staying single is a crime there. It works entirely on the lines of hotel beliefs. To them it is more of a preparation to set you out for sea. All the happy couples live, work and shop there. If you somehow are spotted single, cops start prodding you asking questions to establish if you aren’t an outcast, a loner which is a punishable crime in their eyes.

Then there are missions which are analogous to life’s menial purposes. Whilst the hotel is bent on hunting loners with tranquilizers, the mission of the loners is to bring chaos into the lives of those in relationships. The latter tries to open the eyes of those blinded by the concept of love. All of it is astoundingly directed.

“It is more difficult to pretend that you do have feelings when you don’t than to pretend you don’t have feelings when you do.”

With horrendous choices like the two factions, you can’t understand which one is right? Which one is the perfect one? Which one you should opt for? Because the idea of both of them are equally abysmal.

Beautiful Allegory

There are tons of allegorical slaps strewn all across the movie that makes you ponder on how things work in real life, and how pretentious we consider some things to be.

It also intelligently hints on how we are not supposed to be dependent on others for anything. This clever remark has been wrapped in the following extraordinary quote:

“Don’t expect anyone else to dig your grave for you or to carry your corpse. We’ll throw some dirt over you but that’s about it.”

That we should take matters in our own hand, always be prepared for the worst, and try to find a way without expecting someone to help us out.

Then there are numerous human emotions that come part and parcel of a relationship. Like the apparent jealousy, anxiety and distress that bothers you when you see someone talking, gifting, and caring for your partner more than you. It is perfectly shown when David goes over the top to find out if a person had the same distinctive feature as that of his love interest.

What is worth appreciating is the fact how Lanthimos uses ointments as an exemplary wink at single people in pain. How they can’t reach it by themselves, and are forced to live with it.

“He didn’t know how much it hurts to be alone, how much it hurts when you cannot reach to rub pain-relief ointment on your back, and you are constantly in pain.”

I intend to write a proper explanation of the movie in detail to help you fathom The Lobster movie completely. Keep your eyes open for that post.

You can order The Lobster movie here:

 

The Final Verdict

The Lobster makes for a very satisfying watch owing to its extraordinary comparisons, its dark parables and its unsettling irony. The final climax, leaves you in a cliffhanger posing a question as to what the protagonist might have really done. It leaves you to decide and that’s what a good movie should always do. Make you think for hours!

You can check out the trailer of The Lobster movie here:

 

Arrival Movie Review (2016) | Denis Villeneuve Helms a Masterpiece

Wonderstruck! Dumbfounded! Arrival movie confounds you as it crushes dams of conventions. It is the arrival of a change, a different outlook at the word ‘alien’. So many movies we have seen hitherto, all showing aliens in an ugly limelight, branding them destroyers, marauders or invaders. It used to paint the same old picture with its destructive cliches.

Arrival movie changes everything. Your perception about strangers in our land. It stresses on the fact they could be here for a reason other than war. The movie unfolds gorgeously from a stupefying elusive pickle into a mind-boggling explosive revelation. That’s the entire driving force on which Arrival runs.

Direction of Arrival Movie

Denis Villeneuve stays highly revered in my head owing to all the uncanny topics he picks. He isn’t afraid to experiment, takes bold awe-inspiring risks and literally fuels avant-garde cinema. His direction abounds with intelligence that nips at our traditions of perceiving movies. He challenges us to think, knocking us out of our comfort zone. It’s ballsy, different and simply remarkable. Something we don’t see everyday in cinema today. Primarily because such films vexes many, and then all the movies end up becoming nothing but moderate crowd-pleasers. But this man right here, never ceases to take risks.

still of Amy Adams as Louise Banks and Jeremy Renner as Ian Donnelly in Arrival movie

In particular I love how Denis Villeneuve imparts tranquil focus to his frames. Everything happens for a reason. It merges and overlaps with wistful thinking and asks of you to do the same. In those momentary transitions you are forced to hear your thoughts, you think of the possibilities and given his reputation try to envision the figurative side of the story.

Plot of the Arrival Movie (Minor Spoilers Ahead)

Created on a story by Ted Chiang titled ‘Story of Your Life‘ the movie runs beautifully making up stunning placid frames for its plot. To understand the movie truly you must get this first: There is no definite order! It is a ragbag of tenses. And Denis, the genius he is, intermingles them often supersedes them brilliantly amongst each other. The main theme goes like this:

Louise Banks is an insanely gifted linguist who is sought after by a US Army Colonel to communicate with alien spaceships that have landed on Earth. She meets physicist Ian Donnelly who has also been hired to accompany her for the job.

still of alien letters and symbols from Arrival movie

I loved how Denis decided to show repercussions of alien arrival. Betwixt his poised frames we get to see our world flame up in chaos, even though all alien ships did was stand still on our ground. The contextual insinuations that human mind read are beyond our grasp. It goes on to show how humans are akin bubbles waiting to explode with a mere instigation without comprehending the what, the why and the how of a situation.

What then follows is constant prodding in order to understand the language of the aliens to figure out their true purpose of visit. The final revelation is so huge (and yes it has time theory entailed) that I have decided to pen a separate article to expound it better. You can find the article here:

Arrival Movie Explained

But really, you need to watch it to experience that climactic relentless pile driver yourself.

You can buy Arrival movie here:


Music and Screenplay

The music of Arrival has been given by none other than 2 times Oscar nominee Johann Johannsson himself.  It is beautifully done, you have to live it to truly experience it. It being an art movie, limited words get spoken. But those that are there try to expand how huge the subject of language is. Also, there are pretty cool one-liners that don’t fail to titillate your ears every now and then. Like when Ian Donnelly confesses:

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

What also constantly elevates the movie is an artful performance by Amy Adams. Being the lead protagonist, the driving force, the film basically revolves all around her. If it weren’t for her, things would have been really different. A nod to the movie casting there! Great Job.

The Final Verdict

Arrival is not for everybody. I learnt this the hard way as I was compelled to hear two of my friends, who accompanied me to watch the movie, snore profusely throughout the movie. It was ‘their’ loss of course. Because it was only by the time we reach the end that we get to learn the colossal secret. It wraps up beautifully around the concept that eludes us throughout. It almost brings back memories from Christopher Nolan‘s magnum opus Interstellar movie.

Read Interstellar movie review.

You know what else really makes me happy? It is the director’s next colossal project. It is none other than Denis Vileneuve himself who helms the Blade Runner sequel with Jared Leto and Harrison Ford in the vanguard. Can’t wait for that one as well.

You can check out the trailer of Arrival movie here:

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

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

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

The Tree of Life Movie Explained

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

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

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

Theme of The Tree of Life Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

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

still of cosmos life in tree of life movie

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

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

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

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

Narration

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

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

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

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

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

Demise of the Son

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

“I just wanna die to be with him.”

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

People try to justify the ways of nature with condolences:

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

To that she replies:

“I don’t want it to.”

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

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

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

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

Jack’s Memories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Searching his Brother

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

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

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

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

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

Incessant Frames of Cosmos

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

image of cosmos universe in the tree of life movie

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

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

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

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

The Dino Era

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

the tree of life movie water dinosaur injured

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

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

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

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

Waco Origins

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

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

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

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

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

Nature and Grace Speaking through Things

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

“Mother. Make me good. Brave.”

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

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

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

Lessons by Nature

Then comes remarkable lessons from the father:

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

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

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

Without Nature

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

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

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

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

His mother on the other hand keeps teaching them good:

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

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

“How do I get back…where they are?”

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

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

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

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

Hatred for his Father

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

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

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

Jack has never seen his father so fallen or lost.

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

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

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

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

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

You can order The Tree of Life Movie from here:


The End of Time Explained

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Each Other

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Verdict

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

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

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

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

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

The Little Prince Overview

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

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

Music of the Little Prince

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

You can listen to the Preparation here:

The Plot of The Little Prince Movie: Spoilers Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

Constant Run of Gorgeous Screenplay

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

About hoarding, the aviator says:

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

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

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

The Little Prince: “You are perfect.”

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

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

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

The Rose realizes its mistake, and tries to apologize:

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

image of the little prince with rose still

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

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

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

Characters: Reflections of Societal Elements

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

still of the conceited man in the little prince movie

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

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

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

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

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

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

To that the old Aviator explains:

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

The Prince Resumes his Tale

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

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

To which the snake replies:

“It is also lonely among men.”

Taming a Fox

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

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

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

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

still of the fox and the little prince in a rosebush

Trying to reason with the prince, the fox expounds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But I need you here.”

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

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

The Inevitable Showdown with her Mother

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

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

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

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

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

still of the aviator and the little prince

In comes big advices that will leave you brooding:

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

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

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

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

“Don’t go without me.”

Coming Out of The Little Prince’s Tale

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

“What is most important is invisible.”

As a parting gift he tells the aviator:

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

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

still of the little prince in desert

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Second Story: Movie Addition

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

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

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

Grab your copy of The Little Prince Book here:

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

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

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

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

She concurs having a vision too.

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

Meeting the Aviator in the Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

Anomalisa Review (2015)

Beautiful and overwhelming! Anomalisa is a rare take on human insouciance towards things that one becomes accustomed to.

ANOMALISA IS AN EMOTIONAL JOURNEY

I have rarely seen a movie so eloquently shot to capture human emotions in the most vivid way possible. It is unafraid to scale horizons of the bold, yet humble enough to revisit tattered fronts of human nature. The cast is just, well, three people – David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan who weave the character voices to perfection. Jennifer’s voice will make you fall in love with Lisa instantly. Her character is the most relatable one. She is something when she breaks into a candid conversation. It is hard not to feel sorry for her when things go south on her.

BEAUTIFUL ANIMATION

The stop-motion animation that Anomalisa bides by is just magnificent. You can almost read the efforts put in by the director Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman to create continuous shots of pizzazz. Ice all that up with brilliant expressions that its characters pack in and we end up with a spectacular flick in our baggage. Screenplay steers to create wonders as we feast on some beautiful words at a haywire juncture.

SPOILER CONNECTIONS FROM THIS POINT ONWARDS

The plot of Anomalisa takes us unto a frontage where we come to realize, that’s how it is. That’s how the world works! People are going to feel incomplete. Love is ephemeral. The moment it meets time, it becomes chaotic. Fills up with indifference and then we start searching for that spark again.

VOICE-OVER CREATIVITY

The most unique thing about Anomalisa is the way it carries the voice-over for women. It tries to portray the indifference the protagonist carries for every woman on the planet through a male cacophonous voice. He is on the prowl for that melodious voice once again, here spark, which let him feel something once. The scavenge ends up taking us to the Anomaly, Lisa. She seems perfect until indifference slays her too.

This movie makes you ponder hard. If you really look at Anomalisa’s story, you cannot possibly take sides. You cannot just feel sorry for Lisa here, and ignore Michael Stone. There’s an Anomalisa in everyone’s life which seems harmonious at first, and then suddenly disintegrates to ruins because of some abomination. You cannot simply ignore the horrific dream he has either. It reeks of Stone’s crude life that is trying to devour him. A stunning representation. Well thought of!

RELATING TO THE CHARACTERS OF ANOMALISA

You can relate to the character in the movie – Aloof from the world, but then a chord just sounds right enough to make you interested again. Then boom! out of the blue something makes it dissonant once again. Well, that’s life for you.

Intelligent take. Bravo!

Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Review (2014) | Genius

Exhilarating! Extraordinary performances! Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is an outstanding flick that tries to capture the life of a washed up actor, his continuous battle to prove his mettle in the acting world once again. Michael Keaton, the protagonist plays a character that is miffed by his psychotic split persona, in his endeavour to revive and in the process, get a hold of himself.

Plot of Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s riveting drama isn’t just about a lost actor who is trying to find himself through a Broadway play but is also about a broken man trying to justify his relevance to the world. Birdman is an extremely well written dramatic account of Riggan’s life, his tattered relationships, his dream to make it big once again and the alter-ego that literally rules over him. 

still of michael keaton in birdman movie

Direction

Inarittu’s direction is a beauty as he merges several frames subtly to project a continuous shot. The whole movie seems like it has been shot in a single take, and that illusion is worth an ovation. The director also gorgeously masters every frame’s timing quotient. Every act starts with a proper follow through of a character only getting intercepted when it’s someone else’s queue. The flow and rhythm of the movie is simply splendid. 

There is something beautiful about Birdman’s story. The ploy is brilliantly narrated through the messed up head of Riggan with glimpses from his past debacles, screenplay that makes you brood that often cross over for emphasis, an ever ending take that goes on till the climax, and a conclusion that loosely dangles for intense interpretation. Everything has been wrapped up beautifully by an audacious and dark voice in his head, the one big thing he ever was – Birdman, one big success from the past that keeps haunting him, telling him he isn’t dead and that he flies above the meaningless. 

Breaking Birdman Down

With an imaginary backdrop working along with the protagonist, you already know that you are in for a fantasy-world. What is crucial is that you pay attention. There are minute subtle hints that will blow your mind away while trying to connect the dots. 

If we overlook the mind boggling ending for a while, still we are left with some exceptional drama pieces like when Sam speaks up to her father and shatters him with cold, when Riggan takes on a famous NYT critic in a bar and excellent conversations between Mike and Sam and Lesley’s remorse. Things become intense owing to bits of psychotic drama as Riggan inches towards insanity. The climax of the movie leaves you spell bound and is deliberately left open for interpretation.

Final Epilogue Explained (Spoilers)

If you have not seen the movie, please stop reading at once. But if you have, the ending is sure to raise a dozen doubts in your head. 

The flick ends in a surreal epilogue with Riggan jumping out of the window, and Sam reacting happily to her Father’s ‘flying’ act. The one theory that I would like to believe but not stick to is Riggan’s death after he shot himself during the theater act. Reasons that reassure me of this:

  • The plot was one continuous single take but the continuity breaks for the first time right after Riggan shoots himself.
  • In the hospital when Jake switches on the TV it showed people lighting candles for him. You don’t do that for a person who is alive. Du-uh dead! 
  • The hospital scene was probably the next day right after the incident. Sam bringing flowers for him could be at his funeral. This justified by his inability to smell them. His funeral again supported by the fact that her wife was wearing a black dress. 

Riggan jumping out of the window could be a symbolism of his soul transcending, as he finally rejects Birdman to be his only way to stardom. Sam’s smile in the end could be her acceptance of her father’s feat as a true hero.

Contradicting the Above Theory

What contrasts the above ‘dead’ theory greatly is the fact that there were several past failed suicidal endeavors by Riggan which have been subtly inserted into the screenplay. Lesley responding to Ralph once: “He shot himself in the mouth. But he screwed that up, too.” The Jellyfish story goes on to show how Riggan was unsuccessful in killing himself in the past. So shooting the nose seems plausible. Then it takes us again to the hospital part. Taking this theory ahead on the vanguard, we can say that the imagination of Riggan once again begins right from the part he decides to take off the bandages and the rest that follows is once again the imagination bit. In the end he flew fantastically and figuratively with an acknowledgment sign from her daughter. This seals the deal too.

Whatever the case might have been Birdman is truly a rare feat that must be celebrated. Go ahead and watch this movie if you wish to visit some avant-garde style of film-making.

Check out the trailer of Birdman movie here:

 

The Babadook Review (2014) | A beautiful metaphor | Stunning Direction

The Babadook isn’t exactly a horror movie. It is more of a mere reflection of it. Jennifer Kent’s movie depicts a character’s madding affair with grief through leaflets of terror. And it does in a way you have never come across before.

Yes, it is avant garde at its best!

The Babadook Movie Metaphor

If you have seen The Babadook recently and not scratching your head, you have only seen the superficial. What surrounds beautifully the obvious horror is actually far more intricate. It is really worth applauding the effort Jennifer Kent put in to hold something so profound, so gorgeously wrapped under the aegis of psychotic horror.

Essie Davis dons Amelia’s character so marvelously that it makes you feel the pain inside her eyes. You could read the grief in her character almost instantly.

Still of Essie Davis as Amelia in the Babadook a grieving mother

I have moved on. I don’t mention him. I don’t talk about him.

Plot Spoilers Lurking Ahead

The opening scene finds an accident. It is portrayed in a spectacular fashion, by showing the protagonist rotating inside a car. It was more like a thing in the past that prologue carried. Clearly she had been in an accident.

Amelia is then disturbed by the constant yammering of her six year old son Samuel. It is a peaceful dream of the mishap which Amelia wishes to see unperturbed, however gets objected by her son. It is like a reflection of chaos knocking at her door in the form of her son.

She hates him to the guts, and it is quite evident by the way she tries to ignore him. He was born the day her husband had died, the same wretched day of the accident.this again mentioned eventually when she admits that she wanted him dead instead of her husband. The hatred, nicely shown in two instances in the beginning itself when Samuel tries to cling on her, and she moves to the edge of the bed, and when he hugs her and she asks him not to do it again.

We spend a lot of time story building where we understand how Amelia’s life has succumbed to grief owing to the terrible misfortune. She is intertwined in her devastating misery.  And it is really sorry to see her that way. Essie Davis aces the grieving mother role to perfection.

still of the babadook ghost from the book

Direction of The Babadook

The direction of the movie is extremely subtle. Bits like the way the night would turn into the day, the moment Amelia would slip into her blankets, manifested how fast time flew by. Also, a nod to her life that always lacked proper sleep. It was iced further by the waking call from her son every single morning. You can easily tell it was killing her. She was annoyed by her son beyond limit. That’s what gives rise to her dark side. The dark side is none other than The Babadook himself, a figment of her child’s image that becomes real in her head. It is a subtly put metaphor to depict her dark image.

There are many clever references that hone the aforementioned analogy to perfection too. For instance there is a scene where Amelia finds a piece of glass in her food. Samuel says it was The Babadook who did it. She checks his bowl but doesn’t find any. The glass is an apt wink to her car accident, where glasses were shattered. It also insinuates how she would always clung on to those memories.

Another scene where Mrs. Roach shows up at her door with reassuring eyes compels Amelia to have a change of heart is also a reflection on how advices and social talks tend to be helpful for grieving people.

You can get The Babadook movie here:


The Final Part of The Babadook Movie Explained

We find horror in the form of a made-up stories by Amelia’s kid which she inadvertently starts living. The rogue part in her constantly overpowers her and she ends up hurting what’s left. However, eventually she overcomes her fears and says no to her past, (mister Babadook here) and starts loving her son. She celebrates her son’s first birthday thus paving way for happiness and love therefrom.

The movie ends up in utter contrast with the beginning: a smile on her face and love in her eyes.

Only for people who are willing to watch quality cinema which doesn’t skim mainstream!

Here’s the trailer of The Babadook movie: