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Ready Player One Movie Review (2018) | Gamers Assemble!

If you are a gamer, you are going to absolutely love Ready Player One movie. Even if you are not, don’t worry, it is a spectacle for sore eyes. Will still leave you wonderstruck. The flick is a pageant of allure carefully crafted to make you feel exhilarated at every juncture. Built on a gaming spindle, it’s a wild joyride that should not be missed for the world.

Steven Spielberg weaves a deserving film to an extraordinary story written by Ernest Kline. Who doesn’t dream of living under a different skin, of being someone else? Ready Player One movie channels that fantasy in the form of OASIS, a place where you get to be someone else. How cool is that!

Theme and Direction

Built on the concept of VR, that teleports you into a different world (the one that doesn’t suck), you can be whatever you want to be. Just imagine yourself as a creature from your favorite flick, or a character from a game or movie you loved, or simply create your very own avatar and start living it. It is as simple as that.

People come to the OASIS for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be.

Camera movements are simply next level, and you can’t help but think how much of incomprehensible work it might have undergone to ace a rad scene. The action in Ready Player One is fast-paced so much that you want to stop the whole thing for a second to go back and watch it all slowly. It’s just downright orgasmic. You feel the same amount of, or maybe more, adrenaline rush just as you do when you are playing one of your favorite games. It’s simply overwhelming and intensely satisfying.

Ready Player One Movie Wallpaper

The Plot of Ready Player One Movie (Spoilers)

Ten minutes into the movie and it is already spilling visually striking juices that are too hot to handle. You are hit by a conglomeration of characters that are out of the world, each having their own unique and specific characteristics. And such beautifully have they been put together in a single frame that you can’t help but appreciate the effort of the VFX team. How meticulously every frame has been painted!

There’s a race in the very beginning that will simply leave you in awe. It is just mind-numbing, one of those high tides that will prepare you for what’s to come. It also quickly fills you in on the story of Ready Player One Movie. James ‘Anorak’ Halliday played by Mark Rylance (Spielberg’s favorite), has placed an Easter egg in the OASIS, to be opened with three keys that are hidden. The finder is to inherit ownership and full control of OASIS.

In the form of my avatar, Anorak the all knowing. I created three keys. Three hidden challenges test worthy traits, revealing three hidden keys to three magic gates. And those with the skill to survive these strengths will reach the end, where the prize awaits.

Gunters (Egg Hunters) have completely dedicated themselves to finding the key. There is also a fully dedicated organization called IOI, headed by Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who has hired researchers, top gamers, and Sixers to get the job done.

First Key

So far everyone has been unsuccessful until the protagonist Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a 17-year-old lad, understands the first clue to figure out the whereabouts of the first key that was hidden at the very beginning of the race. It’s like a cheat code that delivers you directly to the exit. It is brilliantly thought of and pulled of.

His avatar Parzival befriends Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) when he saves her life from getting “zeroed” (a surefire death in OASIS that takes away all your avatar progress in reality) by the hands of a King Kong.

Parzival: Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story…
Art3mis: Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.

He has Aech (Lena Waithe) for a companion, whom he has never met in person but has built up an online bond with. Players Daito and Sho are also kind of like his clan. So he tells them all the clue to finding the first key as they follow suit. Together they top the scoreboard and become famous as the “High Five”.

i-R0k (T. J. Miller) is a mercenary hired by Sorrento to find out the true identity of Parzival. In an OASIS dance club, Parzival makes that task easy as he tells Art3mis his real name, in an attempt to tell her how he felt. Parzival is identified as Wade Watts by Sorrento who then tries to convince him to join IOI. When Wade refuses, Sorrento bombs his ‘stack’ with the help of F’Nale Zandor (Hannah John-Kamen) believing him to be there. In that process, Wade’s aunt dies.

Second Key

Waking up he meets Art3mis in the real world – Samantha. Together they hunt for the second key figuring out the fact that Halliday was in love with Kira, who later went on to marry Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg), his best friend.

She wanted to go dancing, so we watched a movie.

They end up in a horrific recreation of The Shining movie where the second key is hidden. That part is absolutely stunning, almost puts you back in time and ravishes it with a twist of course. Art3mis is the one to retrieve the key.

A creator who hates his own creation. A hidden key: a leap not taken. Retrace your steps, escape your past. And the key of Jade will be yours at last.

Meanwhile, Zandor tracks Wade to the hideout but Samantha lets Wade escape allowing herself to be captured. She is turned into a Sixer for exceeding her family debt.

Wade meets all the real world avatars of Aech, Daito, and Sho and is surprised to find them all different than imagined.

She could actually be a 300 pound dude who lives in his momma’s basement in suburban Detroit. And her name is Chuck.

i-R0k meanwhile creates a force field using the Orb of Osuvox around the final key which is located on Planet Doom. Wade tricks Sorrento into revealing Samantha’s location and helps her escape. With her help, Wade invites all the OASIS players for an all-out assault against the Sixers and Sorrento. Samantha deactivates the force field suited up as a Sixer, allowing OASIS players to carry on a fully fledged attack on Sorrento’s army.

It’s fucking Chucky!

Sorrento surprises everyone with his MechaGodzilla avatar but is attacked by Daito’s avatar of Gundam. The fight is just brilliant as Art3mis is the one who puts MechaGodzilla down allowing the rebels to win. Sorrento mad as hell searches for Samantha amongst his Sixers, but she narrowly escapes when Wade zeroes her Sixer avatar and asks her to meet the team in the real.

Third Key

Parzival and Sho discover that the last key revolves around a game from Atari 2600. They find out that no matter which game the Sixers try their luck on, time expires for them. Even when a Sixer beats the game of Adventure he still loses. Pressed in a dire situation, a fight ensues between Sorrento and Parzival as the Cataclyst (a kind of bomb) zeroes everyone on the Planet Doom.

Luckily Parzival is revived with an extra life that was given to him in the form of a coin by the curator of Halliday’s museum when Parzival had won a bet against him. Eventually, Parzival figures out that the clue is not to win the game of Adventure but to find its very own Easter egg. He finds out the easter egg hidden in the Adventure game and obtains the last key.

The Ending

Anorak gives Parzival a contract to be signed which  he refuses believing it to be a test, since a similar chapter had happened in the life of Morrow when he had signed a contract that had dissolved his partnership with Halliday. Considering that decision to be the correct one, Anorak metamorphoses into Halliday providing him with the Golden Egg and declares him the winner.

I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world. I just didn’t know how to connect with people there. I was afraid for all my life, right up until the day I knew my life was ending. And that was when I realized that as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place that you can get a decent meal. Because, reality is real.

The police arrests Sorrento and Zandor after they receive Aech’s tape that has recorded Sorrento’s conversation with Wade that had resulted in the stacks attack. Wade shares his award with the High Five hiring Morrow as his consultant, who is revealed to be the curator who had given him the coin. OASIS once again begins its operations giving Tuesdays and Thursdays off to allow people to stay more in the real world.

All the Easter Eggs

Ready Player One movie builds up itself on nostalgia as it brings to forefront characters from the past. It is like a fully loaded movie having a bazillion Easter Eggs per se. You have got to have its Blu-ray or something just to literally stop each frame to find characters hidden inside the movie.

Here’s where you can order Ready Player One movie from:

Ready Player One movie milks them all aplenty with cameos from a T-Rex, King Kong, R2-D2, X-Wings, Harley Quinn and the Joker, Chucky, Tracer, Chun-Li, Ryu, Deathstroke, El Dragon, Blanka, Battletoads, Ninja Turtles, Halo, Freddy, Jason, Batman, Mach 5, Bigfoot, DeLorean, Banzai, The Iron Giant, Battlestar Galactica, Alien, Aliens, Clark Kent, Hulk, Marvin the Martian toy, Goro, Beetlejuice and what not.

What aces them all is the recreation of The Shining. It is gory and scary, probably the most entertaining and cherishable part of the entire movie. It literally puts you inside the movie with different camera angles that Stanley Kubrick hadn’t picked. What is wonderful is that it becomes something more, and something else entirely as even more formidable elements lurk in its climax.

Aech: I’ve never seen the Shining. Is it really scary?
Sho:  I had to watch it through my fingers.

The Final Verdict

Ready Player One movie stands as an exemplary paragon of what technology can do. And if you hand over that technology to someone like Steven Spielberg, you get something entirely out of the box. If you wish to experience what gaming is all about and what it is to become in the long run, the cinema hall where this movie thrives is a perfect place to visit.

It is a movie that might not do as much justice to the book as we expect, but it does far more justice than you expect from an adaptation. Ready Player One movie gives you everything that you get when you play a really good game.

Check out our other Steven Spielberg movie reviews as well.

Peter Rabbit Movie Review (2018) | Plainly Made For Kids

Peter Rabbit Movie is an entertainer alright, and it does try to resuscitate the age-old story by Beatrix Potter which is great, to be frank. Long lost tales should show up every now and then because I highly doubt Millenials would ever hear about them otherwise.

Sadly this new adaptation by Will Gluck isn’t really as humorous as it was supposed to be if you look at it with a critical eye. How can the James Corden voiced bunny not be funny? Everything boils down to the writing, of course.

There are so many moments in the flick that will give away the fact that the writers were trying really hard to deliberately make the conversations funny. Unfortunately, they didn’t know they were simply worsening things.

Peter Rabbit movie is ridden with so many flaws that you can’t stop yourself from shaking your head every now and then. Apart from the bad writing, even the direction fails to impress you. In a world where live action-computer animated movies, like Ted and Paddington, are doing so well, the rabbit fails to win the race yet again.

A Movie For Kids

Looking at the bright side, which we should always practice, Peter Rabbit movie amuses you nevertheless and brings a smile to your face. It is supposed to be a light movie that should be enjoyed for its characters (I am afraid there are only a few that are memorable). The presence of great actors Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson even though how comic they become at times, their characters have been made really brittle.

Peter Rabbit Movie the rabbit kin

But I get it. It is supposedly made for children. If you take that quotient into account, you will realize that kids are going to love it. And they absolutely do. But if you take into consideration minor aspects of the flick, you will begin to see so many pointless things lurking that it is downright painful.

In the animation front, it does great. The CGI of Peter Rabbit is just brilliant. Expressions are very careful capturing even the minutiae of fauna. They have merged the frames quite meticulously, and the flow seems proper.

The Plot of Peter Rabbit Movie

Peter Rabbit, his cousin Benjamin (Colin Moody) and sisters Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki) and Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley)are on constant war with Mr. Joe McGregor (Sam Neill) when the latter meets a heart attack.

Peter Rabbit, now claiming that he has murdered him, invites rest of the jungle creatures to McGregor’s, having a party rampaging his garden. It is when an uptight estranged nephew of the deceased McGregor, Thomas played by Domhnall Gleeson, inherits the house and shows up at their gates when the war between the rabbits and Thomas McGregor begins.

The War (Spoilers)

Thomas used to work in Harrods from where he was fired for losing his temper when he wasn’t promoted – a McGregorian curse.

Bea (Rose Byrne) is a next door neighbor to McGregor’s newly inherited house. Thomas’ intent is to sell the house and open a rival shop next to Harrods. For which he begins to build a wall to keep the menacing mongers out, even though Bea objects to it. Having a soft corner for her makes hurting those rabbits a difficult task even though on one occasion he nearly drowns Benjamin, PR’s cousin.

Bea and Thomas begin to fall in love and that’s probably from where the movie starts to become a tad indigestible. Up until this point, the movie feels great but it begins to lose its validity when you see the rabbits constantly involved in the life of what Thomas and Bea do. It’s like a cinema that they are constantly watching like they have nothing else to do. Their routine life changes from stealing vegetables from Thomas’ garden to becoming all about what Bea is doing.

I miss being helpful. A parent or grandparent comes into this shop looking for a gift for the child they love. I ask a few simple questions and know exactly what they need. I love helping people get what they want. Especially when they don’t even know that they want it. Those are the best.

The real war begins based upon that element of jealousy that Peter Rabbit houses and transforms into something ugly. When the intent of killing Thomas takes another form, Thomas returns the favour by filling their tree-house with dynamite. One freaky accident avalanches erupting the tree which falls on Bea’s art studio. Seeing through the cover, and judging Thomas for who he really was, she ends the relationship.

Going Back to London

Thomas goes back to London to work for Harrods again while Bea is ready to leave her house. Peter Rabbit feeling bad for what he did since he was responsible for the detonation that caused the tree to erupt, decides to visit London to apologize to Peter and bring him back to stop Bea from leaving. Benjamin and Peter both end up at Harrod’s and convince him to return.

In the nick of time, Thomas returns apologizing to Bea, whilst Peter Rabbit comes forward to show that he was the one who had detonated the dynamite and that Thomas was innocent. A snobbish couple walks in to live in Thomas’ house since he had already sold it to them despite Thomas’ refusal. Peter Rabbit and his friends then show them that the house was infested with living creatures and that it was simply unlivable.

The Roots

The intelligent bits lie in how the bookish elements are preserved without blemishing it. Like the part where Peter Rabbit asks the portrait of his parents about what needs be done, and they reflect Peter’s imagination. Also, the part where they show how Peter Rabbit’s dad had died was brilliantly illustrated reviving the book once again.

Peter talking to Thomas as the latter admits how highly improbable it was, is that subtle hint at human fancies that winks at wishful thinking and what makes human brain all the very much interesting.

Peter Rabbit Movie Wallpaper

The Final Verdict

Peter Rabbit movie is alright if you look at it from a child’s perspective. But for a purist, it might not be. For kids, it helps them put a face to a story, understand that a character as interesting as him ever thrived in a book.

Check out other movie reviews where Gleeson was a part of.

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

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

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

A Forgotten History

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

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

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

The Plot of Loving Vincent

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

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

Full Spoilers and Analysis of Loving Vincent

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

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

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

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

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

The Past

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

Two hearts. One mind.

Vincent’s death had left him shattered.

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

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

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

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

He struggled to be what they wanted him to be.

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

Everything that happens in art happens here.

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

Louise Chevalier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adeline Ravoux

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

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

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

I tried to kill myself.

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

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

If only I could’ve been one of them.

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

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

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

The Boatman

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Church Contrast

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marguerite Gachet

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

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

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

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

Dissecting Vincent

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

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

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

She’s no trouble.

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

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

Tea Towels

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

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

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

This is where he lived? And where he died.

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

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

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

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

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

The days seem like weeks to me.

Old Peasant and the Young Man with a Cornflower

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

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

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

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

Rene Secretan

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

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

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

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

What are Friends For?

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

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

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

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

Vincent generated more letters than a town.

Doctor Mazery

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

Most likely he was shot.

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

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

Back at The Fields

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

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

Marguerite breaks the bubble by filling Armand with the details.

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

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

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

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

Maybe my withdrawal had soured things.

To which Armand replies:

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

Overlooking Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doctor Gachet

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

Doctor Gachet explains that Vincent was a victim of melancholia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rooms full of paintings that no one wanted to buy.

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

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

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

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

The Truth Behind the Suicide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe it is better for everyone.

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

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

A Letter for a Letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armand is more interested in the loving part instead.

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

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

Loving Vincent movie Vincent Van Gogh painting in the rain

Vincent’s Final Letter

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

This is what the letter contained:

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

The Bitter Truth

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

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

Isn’t that tragic?

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

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

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

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The Illusion of a Real Camera in Loving Vincent

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

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

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

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

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

The Extraordinary Music of Loving Vincent

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

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

You can listen to one of my favourites here:

The Final Verdict

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

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

Pacific Rim Uprising Review (2018) | How to Shut Down a Franchise

Pacific Rim Uprising is an utter waste of resources, and above all, of a good storyline. We had such a great Kickstarter with Guillermo Del Toro painting the benchmark for Jaegers and Kaijus with the badass flick Pacific Rim that we had witnessed in the year 2013. He had a genuine story to tell as seen in the interviews back then. I still remember the mark of conviction and hope in his head as he wished to narrate the Kaiju part of the story in years to come.

Somewhere along the line, it got lost. It all got lost. With Steven  S. DeKnight stepping over to steer the Pacific Rim ship, that hope turned into despair. With a pointless and stale movie that we got today, we have just lost the sequel. I repeat, we have lost a good franchise.

Pacific Rim Uprising overlooked the whole reason it stood for in the first place. It felt more like Transformers now, the last one to be accurate. With Kaijus in a supporting role, no wait they were barely there more like a cameo in the end, the movie drifted from its very purpose. It doesn’t have a good screenplay to bank itself on, the worst part being that it tries to poke fun at the previous run.

“That canceling the apocalypse bit was intense.”

The plot is something that would remind you of another debacle of a flick that we saw in 2016 called Independence Day Resurgence. It is weirdly similar. Somehow Scott Eastwood as Nate Lambert does it worse than Liam Hemsworth.

You pick up either Transformers or Independence Day, Pacific Rim Uprising feels like it has been spat out after they have been churned together. The way the Kaijus have been introduced feels daft as if ample thought hasn’t been given to anything in the script.

Pacific Rim Uprising Plot (Spoilers)

For its main plot, a legend’s son is created, for Pentecost, as we had seen in the prequel, was already lost. Jake Pentecost played by John Boyega who tries to be funny, only tries, plays the son to Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba).

Pacific Rim Uprising happens 10 years after the events of 2013 where we see Jake trying to live on Jaeger scraps. He runs into teen Jaeger fanatic Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny)  who has built her own single pilot Jaeger and named it Scrapper. They get caught by Pan-Pacific Defense Corps as the prequel girl Pentecost’s adopted daughter Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) gives Jake a choice – prison or return to base as an instructor with Amara as a recruit. Such great options!

On returning Jake runs into his estranged co-pilot Nate Lambert and Jules Reyes (Adria Arjona). I have no idea why the latter is in the movie.  Jake learns about Shao Corporation’s drone program which is on its way to take over their Jaeger program at PPDC. Shao is headed by Liwen Shao (Tian Jing)  and Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) from the prequel.

During its final assessment, a rogue Jaeger Obsidian Fury shows up and kills Mori in a theatric display of power. Failing to save her just in the nick of time, it weighs heavy on Jake (well it doesn’t feel like it).

Gipsy Avenger vs Obsidian Fury

Before Mori dies she successfully transmits the location of a Jaeger production facility in Siberia. Jake and Nate take their Gipsy Avenger Jaeger for a ride to check it out. Obsidian Fury shows up once again and a battle ensues. Gipsy Avenger destroys Fury but on bursting it open they discover a Kaiju brain inside.

Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) finds out that the brain was grown on Earth. Cloned Kaiju brains attack PPDC destroying almost all of Jaegers. Gottlieb approaches Geiszler for help without the knowledge that Geiszler was the bad guy. Geiszler’s brain had been affected by the Precursors (the alien race who created Kaijus) due to regular drifting with Kaiju brains.

With ulterior motives to destroy the planet, Newton Geiszler commands those drone-Kaijus to open breaches all across the world. Shao destroys the drones in nick of time, however, three Kaijus:

  1. Raijin
  2. Hakuja
  3. Shrikethorn

manage to escape. As all three Kaijus reunite to meet in Tokyo, the PPDC team realize that their intention was to detonate Mount Fuji by reacting with it using their chemically reactive Kaiju blood. It was to release toxic gases into the air destroying all life thus allowing the Precursors to terraform Earth for their very own colonization.

Pacific Rim uprising movie wallpaper

The Final Showdown

With the help of Gottlieb’s invention of Kaiju blood-powered rockets, four Jaegers leave PPDC for Tokyo to attack the Kaijus. They are able to repel them for a while when eventually they get their asses kicked when all three Kaijus are metamorphosed into one huge Mega-Kaiju by Newton. Failing to overpower the beast, as a last resort Gipsy Avenger rockets into the sky with the help of Shao’s operated Scrapper and drops down, head on, the Mega-Kaiju as the pilots barely escape.

They kill the Mega-Kaiju as Nate captures Newton Geiszler. Eventually, we see him babbling that Kaijus will keep coming, as Jake responds that this time it would be them attacking their home ground.

You can order Pacific Rim Uprising from here:

The Final Verdict

Pacific Rim Uprising is nothing but a waste of a good story. What it had originally planned on becoming, it only ended up drifting away from its primal plot. To worsen other things there is no good screenplay to keep it engaging, no good fights to make you jump on your seat.

Yes, there is ample destruction but you can’t help wonder what would have happened to all those people even though they were presumably safe under the bunkers? The destruction feels somehow more like what Superman ended up doing in Man of Steel. Somehow this movie failed to bring goosebumps, but only concern for life trapped underneath.

The story of Pacific Rim 2 feels like a juvenile plot. If I try hard to remember the good, the only thing I can come up with is its visual effects.

With such a pointless flick in its baggage, there’s no coming back from this. Can we reboot this already?

Tomb Raider Movie Review (2018) | How a Game Movie Should Be Adapted

Well, to be frank, Tomb Raider movie is basically a lot like the reboot game of Tomb Raider that we saw in 2013. It is heavily influenced by it, yes, but the latter part of the plot has been morphed enough to present us something different and new. The good thing is that it eliminates everything unnatural, thus winking at the plausibility. Ergo becoming a flick that’s a lot more relatable.

All myths are foundations of reality.

It is one of those rare flicks made on a popular game that happens to be pretty good. That being said, it would be safe to say maybe the curse has been lifted. But is it really that good? Well, to be honest, that territory is a tad debatable.

Tomb Raider movie feels like a game, so much that it almost feels like you are supposed to press a button on your console. There are moments that are slapped directly from the game. Like that plane bit sequence – a series of unfortunate events that wouldn’t let you catch a break. You almost blurt out why are things going so downhill for Lara all the time? Then you remember because Roar Uthaug, the director, wished it to be more game-like.

tomb raider movie

There are instances aplenty wherein you will feel how Lara keeps getting lucky all the time, narrowly escaping death on countless occasions. Her life is the perfect literal paragon of ‘living on the edge’. There are so many situations deliberately put in that it makes you question – is it all for real?

Tomb Raider Movie Plot (Spoilers)

The nice thing about the flick is its plot. However, it barely scratches the surface of the Himiko storyline. that we had seen in the game. The good thing is that it takes that story and turns it into something delectable nevertheless.

Tomb Raider starts off with a grown-up Lara Croft trying to earn a living as a bike courier despite she being the daughter of Richard Croft (Dominic West), the business tycoon who went missing on one of his adventures. Left with no choice but to claim her inheritance (or her father’s estate would be sold off) Lara returns home.

She finds a recorded message of her father telling her about his research on Himiko, a Yamatai queen who had power over life and death. In the video message, Richard asks Lara to delete and destroy all his research work so as to stop it from falling into wrong hands. She doesn’t comply and decides to further the research.

The mystery of the disappearance of Richard Croft leads Lara to Hong Kong where she tracks Lu Ren (Daniel Wu). Lu’s father had been missing too. Lu steers his ship ‘Endurance’ into the sea cutting a deal with Lara to help her reach the Island of Yamatai.

Mathias Vogel – The Antagonist

Washed ashore after their ship is annihilated, Lara wakes up in front of Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins) who bluntly claims that he had killed her father. He unravels his intentions to locate Himiko’s tomb and with Lara literally bringing her father’s work to him, the job becomes much easier. Lara discovers that the mission is funded by an organization called Trinity that wished to harness Himiko’s power.

Finding their moment, Lu who had been captured too helps her escape. A series of events wash her down as she ends up finding none other than her father in a cave. Convinced to retrieve his research from Mathias she goes back despite her father trying to stop her. She infiltrates the Trinity camp and retrieves the research. The chaos that follows as she tries to save the local fishermen and Lu draws out Richard in front of Himiko’s tomb.

Left with no choice but to save her father she agrees to help Mathias into opening Himiko’s tomb. As the world beyond unfurls Lara and the crew faces challenges that they overcome one by one until they end up right next to Himiko’s sarcophagus. The theme of Tomb Raider movie suddenly becomes darker as if a ghost is about to jump them any second.

Himiko

There they discover that Himiko’s true power is nothing but a disease that spread with her mere touch and that she had deliberately decided to put herself in a tomb so as to save the outer world from getting infected. Two Trinity soldiers get infected immediately upon touching the corpse and the disease starts disintegrating them like wildfire. Vogel decides to not remove the body but take a finger instead which he seals in a pouch.

A fight ensues and Richard becomes infected too. He chooses to stay behind and destroy the whole tomb to stop the virus from infecting the rest of the world. Before the bomb goes off Lara fights Vogel feeding him the finger he had so carefully removed from the tomb before kicking him into an abyss. She somehow manages to escape as she, Lu and the remaining fishermen hijack Trinity’s extraction helicopter to escape the island.

Back in London Lara accepts her inheritance and discovers that one of Trinity’s company was Patna whose name was slapped on the crates that Mathias and his men carried around. Figuring out Ana Miller (Kristin Scott Thomas) to be Trinity’s agent who lured Lara into signing the inheritance to hold the company’s rein, Lara gets ready for the next mission wielding her signature dual pistols.

You can order Tomb Raider movie from here:

Hits and Misses

While there were a lot of hits in terms of what Roar chose to depict, there were plenty of misses in the movie too. If you take a look at the father and daughter relationship shown in the movie, even though milked enough, it all feels somehow contrived and deliberated. You feel the absence of real emotions with Dominic West failing to live the moment.

Being a gaming movie it tries to cut down on the emotional quotient beyond limit, and focuses more on instances and challenges that keep Lara constantly on the run. Tomb Raider movie decides to finish its run inside the tomb which feels like a smothered world. We could have done so much more had they taken the aftermath outside.

One of the biggest downsides is that it becomes utterly game like. You can feel as if you are playing a game on countless occasions. Like all the problems Lara faces trying to track down her father, or the time she gets washed up at the shore, or that escape, it all insinuates that you are indeed playing a game. Somehow I feel that’s not a bad thing. But there’s just too much of it. The way ugly things keep happening to her takes away realism even though it is understandable.

The good thing is that the movie literally revives everything we had loved about Lara Croft’s game growing up. The mission doesn’t feel like a mission more like something that befell Lara’s life. It has been well weaved into its alluring storyline. It doesn’t play on the supernatural herein and makes the world a lot more believable which is something that was immediately admirable.

The Final Verdict

Tomb Raider movie is a new take on what we had grown up playing. It is simply amazing that we have a great actress Alicia Vikander playing Lara Croft who does proper justice to the role of the protagonist. You can read all the emotions on her face that make you relate to the character more. She isn’t as stylish to look at as Angelina was once, yes agreed but that has and should never be the point of a hero. Everyone can be a hero, and that should be the point.

Here the pain feels real. The suffering feels real. That Lara was just a girl caught in a whirlpool of mishaps. That’s what makes Tomb Raider movie thoroughly enjoyable.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that we have finally found a movie that has been brilliantly adapted from a game. A rare vault from last year’s debacle Assassin’s Creed. Don’t know why I brought Michael Fassbender up here. 😉

At last, I guess it would be safe to say that the curse has been broken.

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

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

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

The Deadly Combo

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

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

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

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

The Plot and Theme of Phantom Thread Movie (Spoilers)

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

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

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

Alma

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

For the hungry boy, my name is Alma.

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

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

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

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

Love is Poison

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

Her arrival has cast a very long shadow.

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

Maybe he is the most demanding man.

Finding Love

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

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

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

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

The Game of Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread movie

Marriage and What Comes After

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

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

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

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

I do not like to be turned away from.

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

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

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

Phantom Thread Movie Ending Explained

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

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

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

You are not cursed. You are loved by me.

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

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

Further Explanation

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

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

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

Kiss me, my girl, before I am sick.

Why Alma Didn’t Walk Away

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

Reynolds has made my dreams come true.

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

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

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

Presence of the Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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The Secret Behind the Name Phantom Thread

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Validation

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

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

The Final Verdict of Phantom Thread Movie

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

You can read our other movie analyses too.

Maze Runner The Death Cure Review (2018) | Finding Minho and The Cure

Surprise! Surprise! In a world where book franchises aren’t doing so great, stands out Maze Runner with a steady record. Maze Runner The Death Cure is as brilliant as its prequels, continuously thriving on an amazing storyline that has been written by James Dashner. The good thing about it is that the franchise keeps rolling up unnerving moments for its protagonist Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and seems to be putting him at strange crises.

I am afraid the immense downside of this part, in particular, is its tragic plot that hides not just one but two big moments in its womb. It was an unnecessary stretch the end of which we could have used in a separate part itself. But Dashner chose to compile all of the heart-rending moments he had in his head in a single novel.

Direction and Writing of Maze Runner 3

Wes Ball is really getting there with his direction, creating some amazing scenes, experimenting with his frames. You can literally sense how he has grown as a director. The story of Maze Runner The Death Cure kind of feels complete in itself, but you know it’s open-ended given what Dashner has already accomplished with the books.

Whilst Maze Runner The Death Cure movie remains as action-packed as its prequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, it somehow turns out to be better than it. There are plenty of enjoyable moments in it that make you appreciate the filmmaking. Dylan has been downright outstanding as Thomas once again. He looks intensely invested in his character.

All the supporting actors are dead serious about their bits too with Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) getting a lot of focus. The best thing about the flick is that it milks on in the tension between Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and Thomas. The villainy that Jansen (Aidan Gillen) brings in to the table, however, supersedes everything. He just reminds you of how badass he was in Game of Thrones. He makes you realize why he is such a good actor.

Maze Runner The Death Cure Plot (Spoilers)

The plot is basically a mission to extract Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and his friends, trying to save them from WCKD‘s captivity as we had seen blooming from its immediate prequel. Unfortunately, it is a wild-goose chase for Thomas as Minho is held captive by WCKD as they are trying to use him (since he is a Glader immune from the virus) for a cure.

Unable to find Minho, Thomas risks his life as Newt and Frypan (Dexter Darden) accompany him alongside. They are saved by Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and Brenda(Rosa Salazar) as they head towards the Last City where WCKD’s headquarters are located.

Three years we spent behind those walls, trying to break out. And now you want us to break back in.

The Last City in Maze Runner The Death Cure

The city awaits with raging guns as they discover it is impossible to get inside. There are sentinels opening fire every now and then to disperse the crowd. Some masked men capture the group identifying Thomas. It is later revealed that it was Gally (Will Poulter) who had refused to die in the prequels.

Enter Lawrence (Walton Goggins) the Voldemort of Maze Runner franchise. The difference here is, we can say his name, and he is not a bad guy. He is the rebellion leader of all those who have been denied entry into the WCKD’s city. With his permission, they are allowed a covert entry into the city. Despite their differences, Thomas works together with Gally who knows the way in, as he accompanies them on a deadly mission to save Minho.

The mission remains the same, however, it passes through Teresa now as Gally suggests them to capture her since she has top clearance. Little does anyone know, that it is hard for Thomas to stay around Teresa and not have feelings for her. There is this intense emotional tension that’s tearing him apart, and you can sense why and how Thomas is in a constant churning machine of pain.

Do you regret it? What you did to us?

Teresa in Maze Runner The Death Cure

Teresa as a Bait

Using Teresa to get inside, Thomas and Newt bump into Janson who sniffs them out. A fight ensues as they run further into the maze. Gally is looking for a serum to treat Flare as he chooses to stay with the Immunes. He is able to find one.

Turns out Newt is not an Immune and he is gradually succumbing to the effects of the deadly Flare virus.

Thomas: There’s no guarantee we will make it back from this.

Newt: But we started it together, we might as well end it that way too.

Meanwhile, Teresa had a plan of her own as she takes Thomas’ blood to run her own tests. She is able to make a serum through it that treats the Flare. His blood is the cure!

One of the most absurd scenes is that of Brenda being saved by Frypan using a crane. Literally, nobody even tried to shoot her or take a step forward to stop her. It was weird how all the hooligans became the spectators themselves and let all of it happen.

Amidst all of it, a rebel war is about to go down as Lawrence the Voldemort is busy delivering the speech of his life outside the city. They destroy the sentinels and head inside the city with every means to seize it and bring it to rubbles.

Brenda: You can’t save everyone, Thomas.

Thomas: I can try.

The Showdown

Minho is saved as the trio theatrically jump into a swimming pool and are saved by Gally in nick of time. Newt is on his way to becoming a zombie when he hands him over his pendant.

Minho, the fastest runner, he is, runs to Brenda and Jorge who have a Flare treating serum with them.  Newt has already become a zombie and he attacks Thomas. It is a painful transitioning of emotions that makes the whole scene simply epic. It is that same old churning that we have often watched in movies aplenty that turn a friend against a friend.

Newt is going through a lot, asking Thomas to leave or he would kill him. Thomas doesn’t want to leave his friend alone. Eventually, Newt kills himself left with no choice.

Teresa announces through a transmitter throughout the city that it is Thomas who could help people get rid of the virus.

You can save your friends, or you can save us all.

For the Cure

Thomas finds Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) who tells her that WCKD’s intentions were good even though its name meant something else. Jansen shoots Ava and hits Thomas on the head making him unconscious. It is revealed that Jansen is turning into a Crank himself. He straps Thomas on a stretcher alongside Teresa who is busy taking out his blood.

Jansen, the loud mouth he is, reveals that his intentions were to give the cure only to those who could afford it. Teresa turns on him hitting him on the head. A fight ensues as Thomas releases zombies on Jansen killing him for good. As the world around them is falling and burning to cinders, Thomas and Teresa head towards the rooftop with no hope when Vince (Barry Pepper) and Jorge show up in their aircraft asking them to jump.

You already know how it’s gonna end. Thomas makes it but Teresa fails to, and she disappears into the swallowing fire.

The world is dying. If we find a cure that’s the only way all of this was worth it.

So Thomas is 2-0 down when he tries to find a happy ending in a life that fails to give him any. He loses his buddy and his love in Maze Runner The Death Cure. You can only imagine the pain.

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Epilogue

As an epilogue that could have been made shorter, we find Thomas waking up in a base led by Immunes and the Right Arm. Together they have found a safe haven as was pointed by Ava. Thomas discovers the pendant Newt had given him and finds a note in it that has, to be honest, nothing useful in it suggesting another part. But it has warm words.

I want you to know that I’m not scared. Well, not of dying, anyway. It’s more forgetting. It’s losing myself to this virus, that’s what scares me. So every night, I’ve been saying their names out loud. Alby. Winston. Chuck. And I just repeat them over and over like a prayer, and it – And it all comes flooding back.

Just the little things like where the sun used to hit the Glade at that perfect moment right before it slipped beneath the walls. And I remember the taste of Frypan’s stew. I never thought I’d miss that stuff so much. And I remember you. From the first time you came up in the box, just a scared little Greenie who couldn’t even remember his own name.

But from that moment you ran into the Maze, I knew I would follow you anywhere. And I have. We all have. If I could do it all over again, I would. And I wouldn’t change a thing. My hope for you: when you’re looking back years from now, you’ll be able to say the same. The future is in your hands now, Tommy. I know you’ll find a way to do what’s right. You always have. Take care of everyone for me. And take care of yourself. You deserve to be happy. Thank you for being my friend.

The Final Verdict

With that ending of Maze Runner The Death Cure suddenly you realize you have never really paid as much attention to Newt as you had in this one.

There have been some amazing moments shared whenever Thomas and Teresa are together too. You can literally feel the emotions venting out and the discord trying to keep them apart even though they are dying to be together. I think there was some brilliant emotional turmoil scooched in Maze Runner The Death Cure.

There were problems with the flick in the plot department, yes, with Dashner aiming for a double headshot in the head. The fact that Wes failed to address logical things and the way the movie ends up stretching even after the final jolt. But overall it has been brilliantly packed, and you know that it truly deserves to be cherished.

Good thing is that the franchise is doing great with beautiful winding stories and we are having a great time watching them. Who is complaining?

Black Panther Movie Review (2018) | Wakanda Forever!

Marvel ups their level! Black Panther is what Marvel had been scared to do hitherto. That is lower the humour throttle and become really serious with the filmmaking. Bringing Ryan Coogler into the vanguard who had directed the brilliant film Creed in 2015, I think they made a pretty good call.

Black Panther is everything we wanted from a superhero movie, maybe a little bit more action but the exceptional story compensates for it. It has an appreciable plot that gradually unfurls into bigger intricacies.

What happens now determines what happens to the rest of the world.

The African Touch

Wakanda the fictitious city of Marvel is built on a culture that’s centered somewhere in Africa. Ryan made sure that the Wakandans were heavily influenced by the mannerism and style thus successfully painting a next to real picture about a place that doesn’t exist. It’s like moulding a comic impeccably into a reality.

Wakanda

Wakanda puts something contrasting about the image the world holds about a place like Africa. It is like a poor child’s dream who wishes to roll the dice and change his fate. It is the ultimate contrast where the less fortunate are extremely blessed. All they are trying to do is hide what they have from a ravenous world.

I have seen gods fly. I have seen men build weapons that I couldn’t even imagine. I have seen aliens drop from the sky. But I have never seen anything like this.

Whilst Wakandans have a hard time grasping the concept of sharing, it is understandable why someone would keep something so powerful as Vibranium for themselves. The Black Panther movie still, however, tries to change that by showing this transformation of ideologies by delving into “why the good in the world should be apportioned”.

For a threat that is imminent in the form of Thanos, it only provides an icing of perfection to what is about to go down. It was an ingenious build up and you cannot write it off as mere luck.

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger (Minor Spoilers)

Black Panther movie becomes more thoughtful and cognitive as it proceeds. There is something insanely sympathetic about its antagonist Erik Killmonger portrayed by Michael B. Jordan that would leave you feeling sorry for him when the movie actually fades.

Wronged by T’Challa’s father sat a poor child in Erik who only had his father’s stories for conversations. Bereaved of a childhood with no one to care for, becoming a villain was inevitable. You don’t know that but you see that gradually happen when he shows up at the door of Wakanda asking for his birthright.

 I’ve waited my whole life for this. The world’s going to start over. Imma burn it all!

Was he capable? Yes! He defeats the king in a fair fight, announcing his arrival as the new king of Wakanda. The only problem being his motives were ulterior. He wished the world to get a taste of what Wakanda was trying to hide. If you rule that out, you realize Killmonger was too good a villain. The one who had capabilities to drive his claws into superheroes and bring them down.

The most crushing moment is the tete-a-tete with his father N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) where he transforms into a kid trying to reason with his life. There is so much hatred in him for the Wakandans that it is futile for N’Jobu to make him understand that the path he had set out on only houses destruction. That child had carved a purpose for himself that avenged not only his father but a deprived life. Michael B. Jordan, by the way, is outstanding as Erik Killmonger.

Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage.

T’Challa

Whilst there are reasons enough to go gaga over the villains, nothing compares to what T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was dealing with. He held immense veneration for a father who did something terrible to Erik as a child. He is fighting his father’s image, literally boiling his insides up trying to make sense of why T’Chaka (John Kani) left the poor child behind. That has clearly crushed him mentally making him more susceptible to enemy attacks.

You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.

T’Challa’s revival has been beautifully timed when the world is about to go down in cinders. As he is about to metamorphose into the Black Panther, he once again encounters his father’s soul. This time with tons of questions in his head.

A man who has not prepared his children for his own death has failed as a father.

T’Challa resuscitates with a clear conscience focusing on what he has to do wiping off his slate of anxiety.

Black Panther fight still T'challa vs Eric Killmonger

I did not yield! And as you can see, I am not dead! The challenge continues!

The end result this time boils down to simple awareness and he becomes successful in stopping Killmonger from spreading his perversion. He does the right thing eventually opening gates of Wakanda’s knowledge for the rest of the world.

The illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.

Other Characters

M’Baku (Winston Duke) comes strong as a helper from a mountain tribe Jabari, even though the entire tribe is not on good terms with T’Challa’s people.

If you say one more word, I’ll feed you to my children! I am kidding. We are vegetarians.

Andy SerkisKlaue is another one of those brilliantly executed villains. He lands in a rabid colloquy in place filling up the screen time with extraordinary delivery. You know whenever his bit comes, there’s something interesting about to go down. His fate, even though magnificently fills in the plot, appears like a cheap shot.

I made it rain!

Bottom-line – Serkis deserved more screen time, the villain was yet to showcase his skills for crying out loud. With Black Panther his fate was sealed with Marvel, and that I think was a huge bummer.

Another one of those roles that matter the most is that of Shuri (Letitia Wright), sister of T’Challa. Her scientific creations are next to none. The brother-sister relation between them puts a smile on your face. You instantly know she is very important, proven thus by that Winter Soldier (Bucky) cameo in the end.

Another broken white boy to fix.

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Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), T’Challa’s ex, brings home that emotional angle to the story providing him the mental support he lacks.

You cannot let your father’s actions define your life. You get to decide what kind of king you want to be.

Her wisdom supersedes people which is her true strength. Lupita fills Nakia up with realism.

Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) is that eye who brings home that third-party perspective to an ongoing resplendence. It is like a marveling eye that reflects ‘us’, the spectators, in those frames.

Okoye cannot be forgotten either. She makes her presence felt by being one of the finest warriors of Wakanda. Her loyalty to her king and her allegiance to what is right, comes under the cross-hair when she finally decides to take a call.

You are so full of hatred, you will never be a true king!

The Final Verdict

Black Panther’s true strength lies in its ability of story-telling. Ryan Coogler wasn’t afraid to experiment even though it stretched the story a tad too much, like by showing the ancestral meeting (the process right after consuming the heart-shaped flower) thrice in the flick. It was crucial to the plot and he made sure that he took his time with it. It is beautifully done and literally fills the movie with emotional substance.

Its action is a tad less when you pick up all the prequels and line it up against Black Panther. It is a little bit slow paced as Ryan Coogler prefers it. But I don’t think it has affected the movie at all by the way it has been wrapped.

There are barriers it breaks, lives it affects with its storytelling as it packs in hope building that staircase to the upcoming spectacle Avengers: Infinity Wars.

Padmaavat Movie Review (2018) | You Can’t Sunder a Movie From Its Audience

What could you possibly say for a movie that’s dying to be seen? Trying to breathe in a world that is not of its time. Padmaavat movie tried hard to be seen, finally battled its way to fruition and was successful in slapping itself on the big screen, to the very place where it belonged. A movie should be watched because it is meant to be, just like a book that always manages to find a reader. We understand the very purpose of it, the very essence of its creation. You cannot stop what’s destined.

Padmaavat was a fully flawed movie with plenty of mistakes. It housed issues aplenty but did it deserve all the hate even before it made its way to the theatres? All I could remember is resonance. People who did not even know the supposedly esteemed woman, resonated at the same frequency of the mass. A perfect paragon of what our society is – a brainless resonating blob. Incapable of thinking their own minds out loud. We are not afraid of what we might say, but how one would react to it. And if we are on the same pedestal then we have a means to rise up strong.

Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmaavati in Padmavat

Why does it affect us? Why does any of it affect us? If a person whom we haven’t seen is revered so much, why not a person who we see deserve our reverence? Are we supposed to wait for our veneration, say about a generation? Are we supposed to wait for our voice to echo and be effectual, about a lifetime? Can we only talk about the dead when they are gone so that they don’t have a say in what we do?

It goes without saying that a billion of us wouldn’t even know who Padmavati was unless someone either wrote about it or made a movie on that topic. I think to remember is to pay tribute, and that should be it.

The Brilliance of Padmaavat Movie

Before getting into what issues Padmaavat movie had, I would like to celebrate it, not only for coming out strong from a place of death and destruction but also for standing tall as a victor. There are no Senas capable enough to fight the educated part of the country, who are aware of the rights, and who stand by the constitution and respect it more than an unfortunate story. Those who have watched it despite the threats are the true victors. You showed ’em, alright!

What truly stands out in Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s movies is its screenplay and its dialogues. I was looking forward to that bit in particular. And must I say, I wasn’t at all disappointed. They were extremely well written by, apparently, a poet who understands what it is to bind a word. His words have been well converted and they feel music to the ears. They are very descriptive and poetic in nature.

Ranveer Singh as Khilji

SLB scores yet again in theatricalization of even a normal conversation. But sometimes he overdoes it, which I would talk about in the next section. The next big thing about the flick was, hands down, Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji. He recreated the magic that he had created in Bajirao Mastani. His acting is by far the best we have seen, and it is amazing that he has fallen under SLB’s stamp. He is one of the only great things about Padmaavat movie. He literally makes every scene lively.

Ranveer has been branded and presented as a mad dog whose hunger for winning wars was peerless. If there was a better actor he would have probably failed to give Khilji that touch of finesse that Ranveer so brilliantly aces. He has that natural knack for it, that getting into the skin of Khilji didn’t seem like much of a problem for him.

still of Ranveer Singh as Khilji in Padmaavat movie

One cannot also overlook his energy which is simply hard to match. Even with its songs that play as celebrations, he is so committed to the role that you don’t see him fidgeting at all, even when you realize that SLB has deliberately asked him to look at the camera while dancing. A well-choreographed move to instill immediate intimidation and admiration for all those frantic moves. (Okay, they were maybe a tad funny!)

Funny reminds me of Jim Sarbh‘s performance as Malik Kafur. Somehow his being out of place fitted him extremely well in the Padmaavat movie. He aced his performance as a man trying to find his ground despite being invariably close to Khilji.

Then there is the presentation which as a matter of fact stands precariously at the edge of good and bad. There were some epic scenes that make you marvel at SLB’s creation. But then again there were some scenes that you somehow know could have been shot better.

Issues with Padmaavat Movie

While there were a lot of things to mesmerize you in Padmaavat movie, there were many that leave you pointing fingers at the filmmaking. Cinematography, for instance, wasn’t that great, to be honest. You don’t see the cinematographer panning with characters, or experimenting with the edits. It is kept fairly simple and distant. The latter is something that is quite frankly miffing. Like a scene at the beginning where Ranveer walks in dancing, the camera has been kept really far that takes away the life from his dancing. Sadly, that has been done throughout the movie. Bottom-line, the judgment of cinematography was really poor.

Then there is that bad VFX that literally pops out and pricks your eyes. I mean how hard is it for a widely popular director to hire someone from Hollywood to get it right? Don’t tell me he was running low on resources. That ostrich looked like an unreal animated snake!

Then you cannot overlook the evident set in the first meeting of Padmaavat and Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor). You could literally feel the floodlights illuminating the make-believe jungle. A laughable mistake is that Deepika Padukone has been deliberately “painted” white by the VFX team. In every scene, since the talk is about how beautiful Padmaavat is, she has been intentionally shone like a star. It is alright to stay human, you know! 😀 There is one scene where there is a fire burning in the room which is clearly hitting Shahid’s face but not a flame of warmth or light hits her face. She appears dead white! Ah! the obsession with being fair continues.

Lack of Chemsitry

While there is something really soothing about watching Padmavati slap colors on Ratan Singh in an unearthly artistry and fashion, what you cannot overlook is how hollow it feels. It appears as if there was someone watching them do it and they are supposed to be as presentable as they could be. They cannot be themselves. In doing all of that, both the actors miss out on their chemistry. They look not in love rather like robots put in a scene to enact the presentable. In their endeavour to remove the uggos, they become unnatural.

Shahid Kapoor as Ratan Singh in Padmaavat

Then it was Shahid Kapoor himself who felt like a robot Ratan Singh. He was impossible to believe. Apart from the parts where he had had sudden outbursts at Khilji and Padmavati, you don’t see him acting really. He was just standing there trying hard not to screw up and mess his perfect mustache.

Misplaced Poetry in Padmaavat Movie

The final moments where Padmaavati decides to burn herself along with hundred others, that scene I think ended up losing its gargantuan import. There is something huge about voluntarily putting yourself into the fire. Not only does it take balls to do that but it also walks in with apprehension. The audience couldn’t feel their skin tingle as she made her way into the pyre, I think the whole point was lost if you fail to elicit gasps.

You have to make them believe it is fire. (VFX guys you screwed it up again!) What it could do to you, despite that knowledge you are plunging into it, it is something inexplicable. With SLB’s version of showing Padmavati walking into it with Khilji failing to catch a glimpse, felt all theatricalized for cheap thrills. The whole point of the end, the real substance in it went missing. It should have torn us apart, but unfortunately, it didn’t.

Like too much of theatrics at times messed with the flow. Like how the figurative became literal when the Pandit picked up the fire (weird looking fire of course) and swallowed it. It was like….whaaaaaaat? Why do you have to actually do it to prove the heft of your words?

Prior to the final war, when Khilji couldn’t sleep and he decides to wait for Padmaavati to show, there was something poetic about that scene that unfortunately wasn’t milked properly. That wait, that imaginative wings Khilji might have fluttered for an unseen face, I felt a poetry lingering in those frames. To put a face to a name, to paint a picture in your head of a beauty one has only heard praises about. I think that were some of the important junctures that were overlooked.

Wars Taking Lives Forever

How hard is it to see that war was never good? That nothing of value ever emanated from ashes. The very hypocrisy of it drapes all those who have decided, influenced by the brainless, to not watch a movie. They chose to pick their weapons as if war is still a solution to everything. Those who don’t have a voice, they are the ones who pick a sword because it is easier to pluck one out of their time-loop than to go through all the trouble and embarrassment of facing them. Isn’t that right?

The reasons on which wars were fought were never fair. It isn’t still. Why should a soldier fight for a cause that’s written on something so petty as one’s desire? How could one possibly fight for something so trivial?

Ranveer Singh as Khilji in Padmaavat

Was Amir Khusrow just a poet who did not understand the pointlessness of war? Or was he just as rabid as Khilji who chose to suppress his emotions for the crushed? Padmavat isn’t interested in that answer. It is just interested in how a man was unable to see a woman, as he lived unfulfilled. That she chose death over becoming someone else’s plaything.

The Final Verdict

Padmaavat movie is a victim of time. It could have been just in its own period. Maybe if they recreated a scene from it back then, maybe it would have made the mob happy. But why are we concerned about what a group of people think, right?

Why is Padmaavat so revered into the heads of the people that they have decided already to severe heads of those who even tried to project a mortal as a mortal? Then why is the Ramayana still celebrated through Ram Leelas all across? Why are heads not rolling for that epic story? Is it because it’s not a victim to groupism?

India is a land of constant struggle. Was that just independence that we craved for? Or was it something more? Maybe a little bit education to understand what’s beneath us. What’s beneath us is just ground. You think we have learned to think broad, but we haven’t. It is just the attire we copy from the West. Our minds are decadent, still reeking of stories from the past. It wasn’t our time, and yet we live it as if it were. That whatever happened, whatever mistakes people, who roamed the earth like dinosaurs, committed, were all just.

They were wrong, maybe in their time they would have been right, but they would still be wrong in choosing to take lives even if it wasn’t theirs to take. The flick lives you with a dozen questions until you start questioning your very own conscience.

The Post Movie Review (2017) | Serving the Governed Not the Governors

Walks in with yet another engaging spectacle, Steven Spielberg is hands down a master at filmmaking. The extremely gifted man once again proves with The Post Movie that he is peerless at what he does. His work never ceases to paint flairs of extraordinaire. He is the one man who could make a simple conversation stand out. And there is so much inscribed in his frames that you can’t help but wonder how does he manage to pull it all off.

There’s a story he tells even in long winding conversations.  The Post Movie is full of such brilliant masterly koreros. Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep with their Oscar-bait presence, make all those chats stand out. There’s something about his direction that’s instantly uplifting. Even when he is not busy painting fiction like last years The BFG, he is pouring meaning into the mundane, shaping it and moulding into something delectable.

In a world of power that’s run by the corrupt, perches a voice that’s broiling to do the right thing. The Post movie bases itself on that very run, the pointlessness of a war that had edged itself precariously on the parapet of “let down”. The fact “we can’t show the world we lost” smothers the superpower dream and the United States government was finding it difficult to come clean. It was The New York Times who took the first plunge but the victor – The Washington Post who saw it all the way through.

The Post Movie Plot and Theme (Spoilers)

The Post narrates the true story of the Pentagon Papers that shook the very foundation of the US government when they were made public in 1971. It is built around all that took place inside the head of all the decision makers and the turmoil they were in when something as huge as the truth itself came along.

The Post movie kicks off in the year 1966 with a prologue showing Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) accompanying US troops and documenting US military activities led by Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood). When speaking to President Lyndon Johnson he expresses how hopeless the Vietnam war was, and yet publicly speaking McNamara says the exact opposite.

The post movie still tom hanks

There was something about that blunt lie that shakes the very foundation on which Daniel was built. Unable to take it anymore he decides to let all the government secrets out in the open for the public to see. He photocopies classified reports that showcase the progress of Americans on Vietnam soil ever since the time of Harry S. Truman and then leaks it to The New York Times. Later he releases it to The Washington Post where a pissed off Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) was scouring for news.

Quality drives profitability.

It should be well noted the import of the papers. It is worth noticing how the director chose to run the camera literally with the Pentagon papers thus establishing the colossal importance of news. A world was about to go down for some really powerful people. You could literally feel the weight of the papers in that parcel that made its way to Ben’s desk.

Meryl Streep as Kay Graham

Katherine Graham or Kay (Meryl Streep) found a world on her shoulders when she took the reins of The Washington Post in her hands as the publisher and owner after her husband died. She was overpowered by some really strong men, and it was hard for her to cope with those who condescended her at all times. Be it be her advisors or the men who surrounded her.

In the beginning, there was this apparent tension as clouds of doubts hovered over her. It was important to show that owing to the huge decision boiling in the eventuality of the flick. Meryl nails it giving an Oscar-worthy performance yet again.

Meryl Streep in The Post movie

There are some really ingenious shots put in by Steven Spielberg when he chose to show a woman entering a room full of men. It spoke of contradiction. Even though words weren’t spoken, eyes spake ’em. There was an evident air of control that you could sense in that frame when Katherine takes her seat unable to speak herself out due to stress and hesitation.

News is the first rough draft of history.

You could sense her to be this vulnerable woman who was forced out of her way and flung into a room full of responsibilities. What people did not know was the undeniable fact that every person is totally capable of handling things once they get a hang of it.

There was also one scene where all the wives of men at great posts stood outside smoking, waiting and discussing trivial matters while this contrasting lady Kay Graham goes right through them all to meet with the ‘men’ to take a call. It is just truly inspiring for all those who thought there was a said place for women. She literally changed the very perspective people had about women.

Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee

Editor in Chief of The Washington Post is Ben Bradlee portrayed by Tom Hanks. He is rooting for a big news when the biggest of all news hits him in the face. A lot of shots are called by him in the flick but at the end of the day, the decision still stood with Kay.

Tom Hanks, the brilliant actor he is, adds in plenty of heft in the pacing story through his acting. He is still one of the best actors, hands down. Taking a seat like a boss, turning down people who aren’t useful, you could literally feel him turn into the Editor in Chief of The Washington Post.

But it is Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) who is contacted by Daniel Ellsberg who flies to him to see the papers in person. It blows him away when he witnesses a room full of documents.

I always wanted to be part of a small rebellion.

The Challenge

The biggest challenge all the popular newspapers in United States faced was the government itself. When The New York Times had leaked the first received document, the government restricted the papers from publishing further by calling it an act of treason. Now more of those papers fell into the hands of The Washington Post, and it was a suicide mission for them if they still went ahead to publish.

So it all boiled down to the decision, the ultimate decision whether to post or not to. That decision was to be made by none other than Katherine herself. What made matters worse for her was the fact that she was good friends with Robert McNamara. Put in a position that demanded her to be truthful to the country, to be loyal to her friendship, despite being under the crosshair that could have destroyed the paper she had inherited, Katherine had the world spinning. She had to make a call.

The conversation between Ben and his wife Tony Bradlee (Sarah Paulson) about Kay being brave is something to watch out for.

To make this decision, to risk her fortune and the company that’s been her entire life, well I think that’s brave.

Then we had people constantly battling with her, advising her not to publish since it could decimate the company to tatters. People who looked down upon her, for not only being a woman, but for being incapable of taking a decision on her own.

He says we can’t, I say we can. There, you’re caught up.

Despite everything and a mind-numbing thrashing, she finally makes the right call by choosing to print.

My decision stands, and I’m going to bed.

She had just bugled the arrival of truth, and nothing could have put it better than the following dialogue:

The movie ends with a proper epilogue adding fuel to fire by winking at the Watergate scandal which ultimately led to the resignation of Nixon.

You can order The Post from here:

The Final Verdict

The Post movie needs to be celebrated not just for the fact of how convincingly it has been made and produced, but for its ability to be able to break something unbreakable. Even something as gargantuan as a government could be wrong. It is after all made with people. If they are corrupt, that’s what the governance would end up becoming.

The Post movie is a revolt that brims us up with hope that truth beats everything. You just have to take a stand and never back down even though how intimidating the enemy is.

The papers weigh a country’s conscience. If they are rigged or stomped down, nothing will ever be right again. It’s a movie that sets history right.

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