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American Assassin Movie Review (2017) | Every Rebellious Child’s Dream

American Assassin movie can’t be taken seriously. It feels like every child’s dream when they are growing up, wishing to revolt against something, everything, and against everybody. Not listening to anybody, doing things as one pleases, being the sole hero, to stopping everything bad without bothering for consequences.

Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’ Brien) is a one-man army with absurd unrealistic dialogues in his mouth, who calls the shots himself and acts upon them all by himself. He doesn’t  need a system to work. He has his own. Mitch is a dangerous man put on the field by an authority, and he acts like he doesn’t give two rats about anything or anyone.

American Assassin movie is bloating for attention, seems to be clearly aimed at teenagers who are secretly heroes, fighting the terrorists and defying the government, in their heads.

Plot of American Assassin Movie (Spoilers)

One of the best things about American Assassin is its opening scene where the tragedy happens.

still of Dylan O' Brien as Mitch Rapp in American Assassin movie

We see Mitch proposing to his girlfriend Katrina (Charlotte Vega) on a beach in Ibiza and then heading off to get some drinks to celebrate. Terrorists appear out of the blue and start shooting randomly at the crowd. The struggle in Mitch’s eyes is real, as he heads out to check on Katrina even though he is shot at numerous times. That feeling of not being concerned about one’s own life and placing someone else above you is beyond compare. They both get shot but our hero survives. It saddens you terribly and your eyes manage to hit tears then.

It is like a single most upending moment in one’s life that defines everything thereon. Like something insanely huge we can’t forget. Unfortunately, American Assassin movie doesn’t milk that fact properly. We know the guy’s shattered but the poetry in Michael Cuesta‘s frames never ooze out. The movie takes that angst and then tries to carve a story out of it but fails at it terribly.

Vengeance

As we see a vigilante mission in progress, where Mitch is trying to hunt down the terrorist responsible for his girlfriend’s death, we observe CIA closely monitoring his acts. As he secures a meeting with the leader of the terrorist, US Special Forces swoop in killing all the terrorists in the room, including the one Mitch wanted to kill badly himself.

In a CIA safehouse meeting, Rapp is being questioned by Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan), who is the CIA Deputy Director. She offers him to be a part of special black code ops Orion. It is a downhill ride from that point onwards and you know then you can’t take the movie seriously with Mitch being overtly smug for a guy who was so serious and taciturn moments ago.

Orion is headed by a former US Navy Seal Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), another gem of an actor who ended up in a bland movie. The time we see the duo meet is the time you begin to see the true kiddish colors of American Assassin movie.

American Assassin movie still

When the dialogues  become as childish as this:

If you and I go hand to hand you could probably figure out inside 20 seconds whether I have what it takes to make it through your selection process. So what do you say?

Then the training begins which seems to be as absurd as failing to use the insanely gifted fighting skills of Scott Adkins. He plays Victor, a fellow teammate who gets killed even before we could see him in action. Wasn’t this supposed to be an action film? Then why not use available resources, Michael Cuesta?

Taylor Kitsch as Ghost

As Orion trains the already talented Mitch with a couple of cliches like this:

He is not ready.

There’s a villain wading through covert deals trying to get all nuclear.

Ghost played by Taylor Kitsch is our villain for the movie, who we find out once was trained by Hurley himself. We see him stealing Plutonium and then disappearing into the crowd.

Hurley’s team goes into action on a mission to intercept the buyer but the whole plan goes kaput with Ghost’s intervention. But Mitch, the badass hero he is supposed to be, doesn’t follow orders and chases the buyer to his apartment, and retrieves his laptop after a brief fight. With the information on the laptop, CIA figures out that Ghost needs a nuclear physicist to turn the plutonium into a nuclear weapon.

Rome

The mission then switches to Rome as the team gets made by Ghost, but Hurley comes in just the nick of time to save the team. However, Ghost manages to escape.

still of Annika and Mitch from American Assassin

Mitch figures out his companion agent Annika to be an Iranian intelligence agent and captures her. She later explains that she was a part of an Iranian faction trying to stop nuclear material to change hands.

Hurley, meanwhile, is meeting with an Iranian contact of his. A guy who was Annika’s father too. The latter gets shot as Hurley is captured by Ghost.

The Final Volley

Mitch helps Annika to escape and asks her help to find the whereabouts of Ghost. Hurley is tortured by Ghost as he arms the nuke. Mitch arrives into the tunnels. A fight ensues. Annika gets killed as Ghost escapes on a boat.

Hurley figures out Ghost’s intentions to use the nuke against the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet. Mitch, the hero, then fights Ghost killing him in the process, and then flying away in a helicopter as the nuke explodes in the sea.

The damage is reduced considerably with the nuke jettison as the fleet goes on to carry on the nuclear decontamination protocol.

As an epilogue we see Hurley recovering as Irene pays him a visit in the hospital. They talk about the whereabouts of Mitch as the TV in the backdrop implies Iranian hardliners’ sure-shot win in the elections. Later we see the hardliners’ leader entering the elevator as Mitch smiles at him. The movie shuts to a closing elevator.

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The Good and the Bad

One of the good things about the movie is hands down, Dylan O’ Brien. Never for a second do we find him letting his guard down. He doesn’t flinch while he acts. It is just that his dialogues were too cocky that made everything sound stupid. Michael Keaton is good too. He stretches the movie for a considerable amount of time as a trainer but the fact that a guy like Mitch always does something defiant makes his character appear really insignificant.

The screenplay has nothing out of the box in it or even something that forces you to think. It isn’t cleverly written. There isn’t even a morsel of good dialogues for us to feast on.

Then there is that absence of energy you feel at all times. Stunts aren’t really eye-popping or even close to something that will make your heart stop. The only visually appealing and attractive scene is holed up at the very end where we see the Nuclear Bomb actually exploding, and its titanic wave uprooting masts from ships. That’s the only scene I think that might force you to dilate your eyes in the entire flick.

The Final Verdict

American Assassins story has nothing new to offer. Things are quite cliched if you watch a lot of action movies. There are tons of movies out there made on similar lines. The best parts of the flick are located at the starting and the ending. While Dylan delivers a great performance, its poor preparation makes it really insipid.

In short, there is just too much of child written on it.

Check out other reviews of Dylan O’ Brien movies.

Check out the trailer of American Assassin Movie here:

Logan Lucky Review (2017) | Steven Soderbergh Returns to Heist

It’s one hell of a sight to see Steven Soderbergh get back to heist movies. Logan Lucky is as ravishing as his Ocean’s franchise used to be. It has a star-studded cast, a great story, great humour and is really satisfying to watch. Almost manages to take you back in time to the Ocean’s.

Logan Lucky is smart, inventive and funny and that’s what makes it an enjoyable flick. The cast does a fabulous job with Channing TatumAdam Driver and Daniel Craig literally driving the story forward. People who make the plot even more entertaining are characters portrayed by Brian Gleeson, Jack Quaid and Seth McFarlane.

Direction and Theme of Logan Lucky (Spoilers)

Steven Soderbergh is still great with the camera. Writing credits for Logan Lucky goes to Rebecca Blunt and it’s apt that Soderbergh took this project under his wing. His reach is diverse when it comes to choosing actors. And Logan Lucky has got plenty of big names to showcase. The best thing is that he simply aces situational humor to crack you up which never bores you even for a second.

Meet the Logans

The movie begins with Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) being fired from a job on account of him being limp. He had been working as a construction worker for Charlotte Motor Speedway until he was let go one day out of the blue. If his day couldn’t turn any worse, his ex-wife Bobbie Jo Chapman (Katie Holmes) breaks it to him that she plans on moving to Lynchburg with her new husband thus making it difficult for Jimmy to visit their daughter Sadie Logan (Farrah Mackenzie).

logan lucky brothers channing tatum and adam driver

Furious he is drinking at his brother Clyde Logan’s (Adam Driver’s) bar where he gets into a fight with Max Chilblain (Seth MacFarlane) and his friends. He has clearly hit a rock bottom and that’s when he becomes desperate to rob Speedway.

Cauliflower.

He talks with Clyde about his plan to do so, sharing with him the knowledge he had garnered on pneumatic tube system when he was working for the company. Speedway used it to move cash across its main vault.

Logan brothers also include their sister Mellie (Riley Keough) into their plan thus making it a family thing.

Meet The Bangs

They hire Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a safecracker to safely crack the safe.

I am incarcerated.

Probably one of the most intriguing things to watch in the flick is Daniel Craig’s performance as Joe Bang. He becomes something we are not used to watching him as. The actor changes his entire personality making you forget that he is the guy who plays Bond, James Bond. And that’s one sign to make out a good actor.

Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky movie

Joe Bang comes at a price. They are forced to hire Joe Bang’s brothers Fish (Jack Quaid) and Sam (Brian Gleeson) too, who by the way crack you up with their daft acts.

I know everything there’s to know about computers. Okay? All the twitters! I know ’em.

The Plan in Logan Lucky

The plan is to break Joe Bang out just for the robbery and then sneak him back in before it would raise an alarm. To help him from the inside Clyde intentionally incarcerates himself for a delinquency. Watch out for that bit! So funny.

Mellie, Fish and Sam put cockroaches in the main vault of Speedway to get its proper dimensions.

Joe and Clyde create a riot inside to veil their absence from the prison and then escape via the infirmary under delivery trucks. They are picked up by Mellie who drives them to the Speedway. The dimwit Bang brethren blow up the generator forcing everybody to switch to cash. When the cash begins to flow in really fast, Joe creates a working bomb out of mere gummy bears, bleach, and salt.

Is it twenty or is it thirty? We are dealing with Science here!

They even hire a guy to bullshit the security sent to investigate the smoke coming out of the tube.

The plan stays foolproof throughout. The only problem happens when Clyde ends up running into Chilblain. That and Clyde’s prosthetic arm getting sucked in by the vacuuming machine.

The Big Reveal

The best thing Logan Lucky does is what it does with its climax. It creates an impression as if Jimmy had a change of heart and he leaves all the money behind, tipping off the police about the money whereabouts. Clouds of doubts are created deliberately forcing you to think in that direction. But just as you are about to feel frustrated by the flick’s ending, just as much Joe Bang and Clyde supposedly might have been feeling at one point, you realize that Jimmy is way smarter than he looks.

We find out that Jimmy had simply returned some of the cash from the whole sum to stop the tailing investigations. He had midway, along with Mellie, arranged to hide the cash in a dump. He had also retrieved Clyde’s arm in the process doing all the right things.

As the movie ends we realize that the crew ends up becoming safe and happy after all, but the pain in the tooth is still there in the form of Special Agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank). We see her sharing a drink with Clyde in the end. It leaves all the threads open leaving the audience in a whirlpool of speculation.

You can order Logan Lucky movie from here:

That Emotional Touch

The movie resorts to playing in with its soft corner by using the youngest of all Logans – Sadie. The only thing unselfish about the movie is the father-daughter angle, where Jimmy wishes to provide for Sadie and really be there for her. As the movie begins we see Jimmy telling Sadie about why he loved the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver the most. The significance behind it that made him love it even more.

As Sadie takes the stage for her pageant show, where she plans on singing Rihanna’s Umbrella, she finds Jimmy show up at the entrance. She then takes the bold move of changing the song and singing her father’s favourite song instead to make him proud and happy, eventually winning the trophy as well.

The Sense of Satisfaction

The most satisfying thing probably isn’t just watching Jimmy get away with it. But him having a big heart to leave some cash for even the most insignificant people involved in the heist in one way or the other. Even the ones whom he caused minor inconvenience, ends up getting a wad of cash. Even a girl from the school Sylvia (Katherine Waterston) who just put a band-aid on him.

With that, we know that Jimmy isn’t a bad guy after all. He is just a reflection of maybe a fragment of us. Our anger that forces us to become something that we are not. And the picture is so satisfying to watch that it tempts you into becoming a smartass like Jimmy and get what you are really worth.

logan lucky bang brothers

Minor Issues

Surprisingly I don’t see why Sebastian Stan was even included in the movie for he didn’t have anything to do with the plot. His presence merely felt like a jest the writer wasn’t aiming for but somehow Steven was convinced to rope in a huge name. It is like his regular wont of adding up as many valuable personalities he could lay his hands on. This time it was the Winter Soldier I guess that he had in mind.

However, tempting the idea of robbing might sound or how cool the idea of being a smart ass like Jimmy might appear to be, the flick after all, in a way propagates crime, and delivers a wrong message. That’s the only flaw one could see if one squints too much.  But at the end of the day, you must remember a movie like this is supposed to be looked at, just for fun. Hope nobody takes a wrong message from it.

The Final Verdict

Logan Lucky is a hoot. It is really satisfying to watch. The humour will keep you constantly riveted to the story at all times. Even though there are tons of heist movies out there, the subtle entertainment it slips in is unlike we have seen in any of the others. It is a movie that should not be missed.

You can check out another amazing movie review of one of Adam Driver’s movie here.

Check out the trailer of Logan Lucky here:

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

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

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

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

Plot of It Movie Full Analysis (Spoilers)

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

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

Prologue of IT Movie Explained

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

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

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

Pennywise the Clown

it movie clown pennywise

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

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

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

Eight Months Later

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

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

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

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

Other Characters in It Movie

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

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

They are the ones doing it.

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

sophia lillis as beverly marsh in it movie

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

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

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

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

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

The Fear Quotient

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

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

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

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

Individual Qualms

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

Why Nothing Happens to the Kids

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

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

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

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

it movie pennywise with the balloon

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

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

Meeting with Ben

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

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

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

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

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

History of Derry

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

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

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

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

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

The World of the Fearful Kids

Beverly hears voices coming from her wash basin. It’s all the children who went missing calling her out to “float” with them. When she tries to investigate, her hair that she had cut some days ago ends up strangling her, and the whole basin bursts open with blood. It paints the entire washroom in red. On listening to the noise her father shows up, but he couldn’t see the blood.

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

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

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

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

Bumping into Mike

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

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

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

The Research in It Movie

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

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

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

This stuff seems to happen every 27 years.

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

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

Maybe none of this is real.

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

Going After the Clown

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

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

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

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

In the Well House

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

it movie scary the well house

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overcoming Fear in It Movie

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

As he turns around with the arrow he injures Ben.

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

Don’t let it get away.

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

The Breakup in It Movie

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

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

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

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

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

The Bowers Quandary

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

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

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

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

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

Beverly’s Stand in It Movie

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

Are you still my girl?

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

it movie pennywise attacking beverly

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

You die if you try.

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

It got Beverly.

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

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

Children get together and prepare for war.

The Ending of It Movie Explained

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

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

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

it movie scene of kids in the well

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

I am not afraid of you.

Which bothers Pennywise.

You will be.

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

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

I will come back for you Beverly.

Meanwhile the rest of the kids find Beverly floating moonstruck.

beverly marsh floating in the air

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

January Embers.
My heart burns there too.

Bill’s Acceptance

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

What took you so long?

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

I was looking for you all this time.

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

I wanna go home.

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

I want more than anything for you to be home.

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

It Means War

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

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

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

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

The Final Assault in IT Movie

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

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

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

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

Guys kids are floating down.

The Losers Club in It Movie

The Epilogue of It Movie

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can order It movie 2017 from here:

Thinking Out Loud (Theories Behind IT Movie)

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

I will try to explain:

First Theory

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

Second Theory

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

Another Weird Theory for IT movie

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

The Final Verdict of IT movie

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

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

Highly recommended for everybody.

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

Batman and Harley Quinn Movie Review (2017) | Worst DC Animated Movie Yet

Batman and Harley Quinn movie is hands down one of the worst DC animated movies yet. It went straight to video and there’s no surprise there! It is demeaning and disparaging to all the characters in the DC universe. A Batman flick deserves a better story and dialogues, goes without saying, a character like Harley Quinn deserves a better movie. The humour is so not funny. It makes you feel as if a 12-year-old wrote its screenplay. Things don’t make you laugh but force you to shake your head so many times, I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up with a cramp in your neck.

It is that picture that Sam Liu paints with the flick about its characters which just makes the whole movie outright repulsive. Even though you try to hang on, just to see if there’s some surprise lurking in the corner, eventually you find out that everything’s plain stupid.

The Absurd Batman and Harley Quinn Movie Theme (Spoilers)

The theme of Batman and Harley Quinn movie, you can tell, is deliberately kept funny. Like even when there’s a serious scene going on, when the story is about to unfurl, a guy walks in to clean the table stopping the flow to point out that he was a big fan of Batman. As if that was necessary! You can feel that the movie brazenly tries to be funny and that’s one of its biggest mistakes.

still from Batman and Harley Quinn movie of guy who cleans the table

Then there’s that hunting down Harley montage wherein Nightwing keeps asking different types of people about Harley’s whereabouts. It returns absurd answers. It’s hard not to see through it all as to why the director decided to put that scene in there. But in doing so he poses Nightwing as a loser. As if his detective skills took a toll or something.

All of which seems quite alright actually until the kinkiness comes into play. Nightwing becomes a character that you can’t take seriously, and it’s a constant tumble thereon. Batman with Barbara in The Killing Joke, I can forgive that any day. It had at least some solemnity to it. But this is just plain unforgivable!

We see Harley going so gross she even starts farting in Batsy’s car. Why was that indispensable?

The Pointlessness

They create one whole scene of a pointless chase for a joke that wasn’t funny. Then a scene to retrieve information from a contact in a pub, where Harley sings a full song which runs more than 2 minutes, in the end dropping the mic to look cool. I mean why is the humour so tasteless and cheap?

It even goes on to expect the audience to feel sorry for a worthless character who wasn’t even given a proper screen time for us to actually feel sorry for. The reason you ask? Just to show how good Harley is even though she advocates supervillains.

The plot of Batman and Harley Quinn movie is basically trying to drive a story towards an environmental issue, which is supposed to be a good thing. But somehow the work doesn’t end up becoming convincing. The plot is void of thrilling moments. Batman doesn’t feel like Batman. Nightwing doesn’t feel like Nightwing. The rest of the cast follows suit.

The Climax

still of Swamp Thing in Batman and Harley Quinn

Swamp Thing‘s entrance is grand and his import in the DC lineup story is preserved which is probably the only good thing I could think of from the movie. That and the fact that Harley Quinn is kept loony as we want her to stay.

Another good thing I would say is the presence of Floronic Man who, I am glad, isn’t a moronic man. The only good villain in the movie who stands true to what he set out to do – villainy. Jason Woodrue is serious about turning the world into plants and he sticks by it till the end. Poison Ivy, on the other hand, the main villain calling the shots ends up having a change of heart.

You can order the movie from here:

Eventually, the final scene of Batsy and Nightwing kissing Harley for a dumb-genius idea (which Batsy being the world’s greatest detective could have easily thought of) would make you want to marvel at the idiocy once again. It is dripping with all the writer’s love for Harley, you can tell. That’s the only thing to make out from that. No subtlety! I really wish DC starts hiring some good writers for the job.

The Final Verdict

You can choose not to watch this movie. But if you are a DC aficionado and you can’t help yourself whenever a DC flick shows up, you can go ahead and stow this flick into your collection. But trust me this movie doesn’t deserve to be there.

As a final say, I would say, the jests are not up to the mark. The storyline is a complete dud. The fact that characters are messed with, ends up making the animated flick a huge bummer. There is a not a bit of seriousness anywhere which ends up taking away all its mojo. Villains don’t feel like villains. And Harley is intentionally loaded up with jokes that are not at all funny.

Check out the trailer of Batman and Harley Quinn movie:

The Hitman’s Bodyguard Review (2017) | An Act of Deliberate Plotting

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is as weird, absurd and fun as it sounds by the very title of it. Doesn’t that give away a bit of a plot as well? So, we already knew the nub of the tale even before walking into the theatre. Of course, oblivious to how much comedy the movie was going to pack in. The good news is that the movie is exactly what it promises to deliver by that moniker. The bad news is that there is nothing serious going on in here, so even if you try your best to find something somber, trust me, it isn’t. It is written in all good fun, and I guess, supposed to be enjoyed like that.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is solely driven with “seat belts” on by Samuel L. Jackson. Even though you feel like the movie’s title is about the bodyguard Ryan Reynolds and not the hitman himself, you are dead wrong. Ryan is just an uptight rabbit, no matter how good he is on the field, he forever stays below the real deal Samuel L. Motherfucking Jackson.

Oh, by the way, there’s probably no one in the world who says “Motherfucker” better than this guy. And that somehow makes his dialogues enjoyable. I think he writes over his screenplay.

This guy single-handedly ruined the word motherfucker.

Plot and Direction of The Hitman’s Bodyguard (Spoilers)

As mentioned earlier The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t keen on showing you genuine action. The action is wrapped in comedy and so if you think there is a serious scene about to come, be wary it has just been shot for cheap thrills. Not to give you any unadulterated adrenaline rush.

The character of Samuel L. Jackson, Darius Kincaid, being the real hero of the flick, does smug things, acts as if he is the boss, and keeps condescending the bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) who is asked to save his ass.

still from The Hitman's Bodyguard

It almost seems like the concept was imagined first, and then a story was written all around it. Like why would a Hitman require a bodyguard in the first place? Unless he’s injured, right? Let’s injure him. And why would the bodyguard be protecting him? Unless he has been hired or forced to, of course. For our hitman to be badass it would be too beneath him to call for help, so let someone else do that. So there’s a woman Amelia Roussel played by Elodie Yung. Since it’s a bodyguard protecting the Hitman, he has to be the best, or there’s really no point. Let’s make him the best! And thus the agency AAA came into existence.

Catch my drift?

The movie is directed by Patrick Hughes. The story is written by Tom O’ Connor.

The Chemistry

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is all about the chemistry between its two lead actors. With that flaky storyline, it had to be. Surprisingly that’s really good.

Darius Kincaid: I will bust a cap in your ass.
Michael Bryce: Have you ever said “please”?
Darius Kincaid: Please, motherfucker!

Ryan Reynolds the deuteragonist plays the uptight guy keen on fulfilling his mission while Jackson is just relentless playing a guy full of himself.  Their trivial conversation about “how to do a thing” is pretty interesting, and most of the comedy is derived from that very equation. You have Michael Bryce trying to ensure that a certain way is followed for safety reasons, but Darius does the exact opposite being a guy who enjoys living on the edge.

Darius: I made that jump on one leg.
Michael: I made that jump without jumping.

There are plenty of laughs strewn across the movie. Some of them really enjoyable, others fail to tickle you. The great comic timing of Ryan comes into play more than often, and you realize the casting was done great with that pissed off face he makes.

still from The Hitman's Bodyguard movie

Salma Hayek brings more fun to the table by playing Darius’ wife. She is boisterous and equally high on expletives. Love how she calls Darius an unkillable Cucaracha.

Wasting Gary Oldman

When the villain isn’t as dangerous as he looks, it becomes a concern for a movie. Gary Oldman was roped in to play Vladislav Dukhovich the main antagonist in the movie who is calling the shots to stop Darius from reaching the court. Unfortunately, even though he has been provided with some great lines, and an accent to ace that, there is nothing he could do with a story-line that places him as an insignificant person against Darius. He ends up disappearing in a jiffy.

You fucked up when you shot my bodyguard.

All that talent goes to waste when you don’t use him enough. At least should have let him do something outrageous or contemptuous. He didn’t even reek of perversion. The flick ends up becoming all about his minions who come try to kill the couple.

Even there, the level of action is moderate. The energy, however, stays great and the stunts are performed effectively. The most stretched scene is that of Darius trying to escape on a motor boat while Bryce guards him using a bike. Then there are some cool car chases, bullets flying all around, close encounters and fist fights that end up making the movie worth watching.

You can order the movie from here:

The Final Verdict

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is average if not great. But it is entertaining nevertheless. Even if the plot just sounds like nothing but a road trip movie for its characters, the real fun happens when these two get to talking.

Go and watch it for yourself to enjoy its sweet nothings.

Check out reviews of other Ryan Reynolds movies.

Check out the trailer of The Hitman’s Bodyguard here:

The Dark Tower Movie Review (2017) | The Tower Fails to Stand

Fans of Stephen King, witness disappointment! The Dark Tower movie adaptation by Nikolaj Arcel is an undercooked meal that fails to do the book the justice it deserves. Hell, it even doesn’t stand as a good movie on its own. If it only had some eye popping action to shoot it forward, the movie would have been entertaining at least. But it is all so limited that you are forced to blurt out, “That’s it?” All this technology, and we let it all go to waste!

The movie is quite flippant in terms of its colossal import in the world of fantasy. Characters in the movie don’t evoke empathy. You fail to connect and the movie fragments into something insubstantial and forgetful even though it has a huge name of Stephen King in its backdrop.

Glib Direction of The Dark Tower Movie

The Dark Tower is paced too fast for a movie that calls for meticulous reflection. You want to be able to be in it, to feel what a child is going through. This brings to mind the extraordinary relatable tale of A Monster Calls. But The Dark Tower movie fails to make it to that enclave. Well if it couldn’t have possibly even reached that level of child’s mastication, at least it could have tried to connect. We don’t feel much agony of a child trying to make people listen in a world that’s secretively run by monsters.

the dark tower movie tom taylor as Jake Chambers

Introduction of the character Gunslinger played by Idris Elba feels so bland that you fail to understand how big they were or used to be. And that how important it was to be the righteous last man standing in a world that was about to be overrun by dark forces. Then there is the dark force – the Man in Black, Walter played by Matthew McConaughey, who plays a convincing smug villain without badass lines that we all know how brilliantly he aces.

You can’t stop what’s coming. Death always wins.

All the shallowness in dialogues written and the way things get directed take away the joy and thrill, and the out-worldliness that the movie should have banked on in the first place.

There’s no western feel to the movie, although it should have been something to do with that as originally thought of by Stephen King.  The Dark Tower movie mixes a lot of Stephen King novels to spit out an insipid work that is very easy to forget.

Plot of The Dark Tower Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

To begin with, we have a kid named Jake Chambers played by Tom Taylor who is having visions about a Man in Black, a Dark Tower, and a Gunslinger. Nobody believes him, he is having a hard time convincing them. His shrinks are no good. He has been dealing with the death of his father, and the fact that another man has moved in his house is eating him alive too. (Just imagine the possibility of how amazing we could have turned this into dramatically!) One day being sent off to shrinks.

Everyone who walks with you dies.

One day people from a psychiatric facility arrive to put him into a rehab. He recognizes them as monsters under human skins and escapes. He ends up visiting a forsaken ramshackle house from his dream that has a portal that takes him to a different world called Mid-World. It is a dystopian backdrop that is abounding with deserts and mountains and everything you could expect in a post-apocalyptic world.

Gunslinger

Jake ends up meeting the gunslinger from his dream Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) who has been looking for The Man in Black – Walter as well. He seeks vengeance since Walter had killed his father.

the dark tower idris elba fighting

Jake discovers that there is a Dark Tower at the center of the universe which Walter intends to destroy to let the dark forces in. It can only be destroyed by the screams of psychic children. (Such beautiful thinking! Stephen King take a bow!)

The tower will fall.

The Village

Roland takes Jake to a village in Mid-world to interpret Jake’s vision with the help of a seer. Arra (Claudia Kim) helps Jake identify his true psychic abilities and tells her about his “shine” how powerful it is. Although using the shine could alert Walter about his whereabouts. Walter figures out that he needs someone like Jake to destroy the Dark Tower singlehandedly. Trying to hunt Jake down, he goes and kills his stepfather and mother. While Arra tells Roland to visit New York where Walter’s base of operations is.

Walter figures out that he needs someone like Jake to destroy the Dark Tower singlehandedly.

I do not aim with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye. I do not shoot with my hand. He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind. I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.

Trying to hunt Jake down, he goes and kills his stepfather and mother. While Arra tells Roland to visit New York where Walter’s base of operations is.

Walter sends of his minions “the Taheen” to attack Roland but he kills them all in a theatric display of action. Roland and Jake go back to New York as Jake is worried about his mother. He finds her remains at his house, and is heart broken. Roland promises to avenge them teaching him the basics of gun slinging and fighting.

You can order The Dark Tower from here:

The Final Showdown

Jake gets abducted by Walter and is strapped to a machine that uses psychic children’s shine to destroy the tower. Jake keeps resisting the machine and tells Roland about his whereabouts helping him to come for aid. Roland appears then as a final showdown happens with him and Walter.

Darkness is your weapon, guns are mine.

The Dark Tower movie still Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey

He shoots Walter eventually bending laws of Physics, though it looked rad, it will bewilder you. Ronan then destroys the machine saving all the other children.

Jake: It’s a hotdog.
Ronan: Savages! What breed?

When Ronan is set to return to Mid-World he asks Jake to join him which Jake accepts.

Curtain falls.

The Final Verdict

It wouldn’t be wrong to ask for a better director for The Dark Tower movie. Someone needs to reimagine things and write a better screenplay. I have even a better idea! Turn this into a slow paced and ravishing TV series, and you can engage audience all over again.

Check out the trailer of The Dark Tower here:

 

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

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

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

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

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

Plot Analysis of 20th Century Women (Spoilers Ahead)

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

20th century women movie still

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

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

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

Unfulfilled Promises

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last night we said a great many things.

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

The Power of Gratitude

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

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

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

To that she says,

Yeah? Why not?

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

Other Crucial Characters in 20th Century Women

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

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

She learned to dance when she got sad.

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

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

Julie responds:

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

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

Jamie and Julie in 20th Century Women

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

It was so much easier before you got all horny.

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

elle fanning in 20th century women

Friends can’t have sex and still be friends.

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

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

She’s compensating for her loneliness.

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

The Birthday Party Dinner

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

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

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

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

The Old Times

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

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

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

People from her time never admit anything went wrong.

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

The Upbringing

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

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

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

The Happiness Quotient

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Punk Music

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

Can’t things just be pretty?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Near Death Experience

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

When he is finally fine, Dorothea asks him:

Why would you do something so dangerous?

To which Jamie replies:

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

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

That Deliberate Attempt

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

Why did you hurt yourself like that?

with an answer that’s just quite apt:

Why do you smoke yourself to death?

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

Why are you fine being sad and alone?

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

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

I know him less every day.

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

History and Men

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

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

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

Beseeching Help from Abbie and Julie

20th century women asking for help still

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

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

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

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

This is what Jamie thinks of it:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can order 20th Century Women from here:

Abbie Seeking Validity in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

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

I can’t just be myself?

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

Julie’s Pregnancy Test in 20th Century Women

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

20th century women still of therapy

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

You wish you were crazy.

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

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

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

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

Abbie’s Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dorothea’s Acceptance

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

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

You never seem into it.

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

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

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

Do I seem stuck to you?

The Going Out Disaster

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

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

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

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

That’s not something serious.

To that Dorothea replies:

Then why do it?

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

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

The Feminist Book in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advice keeps flowing in.

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

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

The Love Life of Williams in 20th Century Women

Dorothea and Williams meanwhile talk about their love lives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it was the aftermath that confused Williams the most:

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

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

Just be there. She just wants a little company.

Jamie in the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Unison with Feminism in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Regret

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

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

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

The Menstruation Talk in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

20th century women menstruation talk

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

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

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

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

The Runaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Homecoming in 20th Century Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jamie corrects her by saying:

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

The Opening Up

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

Were you and Dad ever in love?

To that she replies:

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

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

Are you lonely?

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

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

The Sad Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Verdict of 20th Century Women

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

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

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

Check out the trailer of 20th Century Women here:

Annabelle Creation Review (2017) | David F. Sandberg Revives Annabelle

Remember 2014’s pathetic spin-off? A lot of people thought Annabelle was doomed until David F. Sandberg was roped in for Annabelle Creation. Sandberg’s first big break (big screen debut) happened with last year’s Lights Out. It was a pretty good flick that marked him as one of the good ones in horror genre. With him standing on the pedestal to helm a movie from The Conjuring universe it was already intriguing per se. The good news is, he delivers!

It is like when someone cooks something really bad, and you step up to add the right spices and condiments to turn it into something delectable. That’s what happened with Annabelle too. John R. Leonetti (the director of the first one) had made sure with his bland depiction that a reboot was necessary to resuscitate the doll. Gary Dauberman and David F. Sandberg together rescue it making it a movie worth watching. With the movie’s success, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that The Conjuring universe is back on track with only one sour movie on its list. But Annabelle Creation doesn’t let us forget that taste.

Read on and you will find out.

The Direction of Annabelle Creation Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

The doll had potential and we knew it. How scary it looks, right? Also, the fact that it keeps moving all by itself around the house, and comes back if dumped makes it a pretty horrifying affair. David F. Sandberg makes sure that the doll is identified for its true petrifying theme. He was already great with creating suspenseful scenes, and he uses them aplenty, gradually building up for a scare.

still from Annabelle Creation Movie

Sandberg’s camera movements stand corrected as good if not great. But they are pretty good for a horror movie. You do miss James Wan‘s amazing continuous shots at one point. Some of the scenes where the backdrop was left unfocused were simply ravishing to watch.

Sandberg and Dauberman choose to merge the story eventually with the events and happenings of the first which was a pretty smart move. It is even great for the marketing of the first. Annabelle Creation being the prequel saves a sequel, and all its future runs too. It was a calculated move.

Plot of Annabelle: Creation

To plot the plot concisely, we see how it all started first here. A doll is being created by a doll maker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) marking it as a single piece before wrapping it up in a box. The Mullins have a daughter named Bee (Samara Lee) who ends up getting killed in a freak car accident. 12 years later we see a group of six girls and a Sister being provided an abode by the Mullins after their orphanage gets closed.

There is a secret they unveil in the form of a demon who has been invited by the Mullins to stay marred by the grief of their dead daughter. It is tied to the doll and kept locked inside a closet until Janice, one of the crippled girls, goes prying into the room and ends up unleashing hell.

What follows is an insane terrifying joyride of happenings around the house that upends the lives of all those living in the house. The most affected are Janice and Linda.

Some Obvious Issues

The only problem with Sandberg’s direction and probably some of Gary Dauberman’s writing is that he doesn’t pay attention to natural courses. For instance, what would you do when you have had a frightening scary experience? Will you once again venture there? Sadly characters in the movie keep on doing so, even though they had their hearts in their mouths.

When you see something frightening going on, you break all hell loose and look for solutions first. You don’t go venturing in there every night. Annabelle Creation oversees this apparent fact and keeps terrorizing you with scary scenes one after the other. They are all great scenes by the way and spook you out aplenty. But the contrivance kicks in when you know in your head what reaction you want the character to be giving, and how artificial they end up becoming when the story demands them to visit a horrific place all over again. That’s probably the thing that shouldn’t have been overlooked.

The Creepiness

There are plenty of creepy factors Annabelle: Creation houses and they exploit them properly too. Right from the spooky scarecrow to Esther Mullins (Miranda Otto) the demon exploits every possible scary element in the huge house of the Mullins, and the scenes are written in brilliant gore too. You will have your heart pounding like crazy every now and then.

Only when you begin to see the actual demon, as you saw in the first installment of Annabelle, the horrific quotient begins to decline gradually. Horror emanates from something you don’t understand well but when you actually begin to see it, things suddenly begin to not affect you as much.

That being said you will personally feel the movie to be not as scary as The Conjuring movies were. But it has its moments.

You can order the movie from here:

Characters and Acting

On the acting front, all the actors have acted really well. But the actor you remember the most is Talitha Eliana Bateman who plays Janice. She wears her expressions pretty well at the same time makes you feel sorry for her. Then there is Lulu Wilson who plays Linda in the movie and you can’t overlook her either. She nails close encounters.

Lulu Wilson as Linda in Annabelle Creation

You once again see Sandberg’s wife Lotta Losten in this movie which I think was totally dispensable. Her inclusion only confuses people more, as some might start to tack her character against Lights Out. I really hope Sandberg should avoid doing a Shyamalan and choose to be more subtle and careful with his upcoming projects.

The Final Verdict

Annabelle: Creation is a good horror flick. It saves the infamous doll from drowning and makes a strong statement about Annabelle’s resurrection into the horror world. It exploits it brilliantly giving the demon of the flick a second chance.

Even though the movie has a lot of flaws and issues which I am pretty sure will be overcome in future parts, it stands as a pretty decent horror flick all by itself. It retains ample chilly moments to keep you jumping on your seat. Another great addition to the horror genre!

Sandberg is here to stay.

Check out the trailer of Annabelle Creation here:

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha Review (2017) | Addresses a Major Issue in India

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is not intelligently built but it tries to address some fuming questions nevertheless. It is manufactured around one of the worst problems that India still faces today, and tries to bring awareness in a way the rustic may understand.

Raising your voice causes repercussions. It is evident from the way the conventional multitude begins to fight our protagonist in the movie. Then there are words, the parochial outlook of people who stand against you when you have something to say. Oh! the things they say don’t even make sense, and yet they say it because that has been the way. The movie captures that in a light of how one would really react to something revolting. Our country is abounding with such idiots and they are getting away with it too.

I am happy that Toilet – Ek Prem Katha tries to change that perception by acknowledging us with men similar in context to Bauji (Sudhir Pandey) or Sarpanch (Rati Shankar Tripathi). I guess it is only fair we see what we have become that we understand our pointless obstinacy that tack against old societal rules.

Sudhir Pandey in Toilet - Ek Prem Katha

Scraping off Conventions

No matter how progressive you call the country, or how much pride you feel swelling up your chest, deep down you know we are still light years away from getting there. We are nowhere there where we ought to be by now. And it’s all because of the little things that hold us down. Scriptures, religion and culture, you name it, they are all well blended in our idiocracy. People of now, they don’t even have to try. They just make sure their thinking stays driven and unfortunately we are all reading the same book without raising a voice. They will be here, even when they are gone. That’s the sad amount we pay for blindness and ignorance.

Toilet Ek Prem Katha tries to address that very issue in a fun light way. It is a satire that tries to bring us up to speed with the many scams India hides in its bosom. It also shows us that the very reason it does so is because of our indifference. We don’t want change. It says loud and clear:

“You can only bring a horse to the water. You can’t force it to drink.”

It also jostles with us head-on with the apparent reasoning that rings in the head of every Indian. It questions our empathy quotient and makes a mockery of it:

“A problem isn’t a problem unless we face the problem ourselves.”

Direction of Toilet – Ek Prem Katha

Unfortunately, the brilliant concept of an issue that still percolates in villages all across the country doesn’t find the director it deserves. We have Shree Narayan Singh directing this flick.

You get the feel of contrivance hitting you in the face right from the very first scene of the movie. Forced laughter, forced energy, and unrealistic reactions are a big bummer. Nothing appears innate and you know at once that it is going to be one of those movies where there’s no serious filmmaking involved.

The director chooses to place the camera right at an angle that shows an apparent cleavage of a dispensable character for cheap thrills. It almost seems the director is trying too hard to get a closure on an unwanted scene when there are plenty of other important scenes worth experiments.

To make matters worse, it is preaching all the wrong things as well. That too in a movie that is trying to address the wrongs? For instance, is it alright to flirt around and be done with it when your parents force someone else down your throat? Then if it weren’t enough, what about all the stalking that happens between Keshav (Akshay Kumar) and Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar), its lead actors? How do you justify it as a right thing to do?

Other Concerns

You get a feeling of being on set at all times, be it be a shoddy scene of Keshav trying to steal the toilet talking loudly right next to a sleeping guard, or the pathetic rain effects, or the easy to make out color layering effects to aggrandize Holi. The filters are an easy make-out which raises questions why it was so hard to walk that extra mile to get the perfect shot.

With the content of the story, you feel that it actually had the potential to become something huge. It is just that it doesn’t find a director like Anurag Kashyap or Tigmanshu Dhulia who have been known to ace India’s rustic scene.

Another concern one might have is about the length of the film. We could have whittled a lot of things out, but the movie chooses to keep all of them intact, raising questions on the editing front as well.

The Chemistry

The movie is trying to sell its story line as a “Prem Katha” (a love story). I believe it isn’t wise to write a story about people who are being treated as heroes and frame them as stalkers that nobody should look up to. The movie does that which could have been a tad acceptable if it were trying to paint things as is. But the absence of reality and the layering up of theatrics make it appear otherwise.

still from Toilet Ek Prem Katha

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha doesn’t feel like a love story at all, when the foundation itself isn’t strong enough. It is not fabricated to appear like a love story when the roots are so weak that it fails to stand on it in the first place.

Although as you move on, plenty of chemistry gets established eventually. In scenes where we see Keshav coming up with insane live hacks to manage around Jaya’s toilet problem, even though hilarious establishes him pretty nicely in the husband shoes. Times he goes out to reach her, to meet her, and to face her without a positive solution are all well taken, and flickers up some genuine concerned vibes.

But all of it disappears somewhere on account of the issue at hand. You sense something really missing in the ways they meet. There is an apparent lack of energy there, that we see taking a promising shape only when the movie songs flare up.

The Drama

Most brilliant lines of the movie get delivered once or twice when the anger meter explodes. It comes from Keshav when his own father drops the villainous bomb by getting the toilet he so diligently and tenaciously built demolished. That shot is one of the best the movie has and lets the actor speak his heart out. All that frustration and pain lingers on his face, and the director chooses not to cut it.

A similar revolting line is given to Jaya too who nails her part when given the opportunity. Sadly the way it is allowed to happen seems really unrealistic. Sadly there aren’t many moments where Bhumi Pednekar’s character is allowed to be as gutsy as it was supposed to be. She becomes meek when it matters the most. She is flamboyant only when the director or the story wants her to be, irrespective of how her character was supposed to be in actuality.

Divyendu Sharma sounds really preachy at times, owing to his crispiness when it comes to enunciating dialogues. Some of them he aces, some of them feel unfunny. It makes you miss the presence of a natural comic like Deepak Dobriyal in such movies.

Sudhir Pandey does a fine job as a recalcitrant father, and so does Rati Shankar Tripathi as Sarpanch. Atul Srivastava and Anupam Kher try to blend in with the flick’s humour and they do a good job too however limited their screen time is. Rajesh Sharma delivers once again with limited lines; his role is more like a cameo.

The Final Verdict

In terms of direction and screenplay Toilet – Ek Prem Katha doesn’t score much, but the issue it tries to scale is worth every applause. To those who don’t really care about the meticulous creation of a film, the movie is a mere “will-do” notion, as it hits just the spot. Its satirical humour and dozen one-liners even though not subtle and cliched, at the end of the day, end up being very effective.

Toilet – Ek Prem Katha does the job, even though it doesn’t do so to make you fall in love with it. It puts its case in a file that is worth giving an eye, and I think that’s where its real strength lies. That being said movies that address issues should be commended for what they are.

There are still many underlying daunting issues that need our immediate attention and despite how mucky or dirty they might sound we need to make the Orthodox aware of what wrongs they have been doing all this time.

A movie not to be missed by the orthodox, if you have a country to change. Make sure your parents watch this. 🙂

Check out other Indian Cinema Reviews as well.

You can check out the trailer of Toilet – Ek Prem Katha here:

Atomic Blonde Review (2017) | Outstanding Action with a Weird Plot

Atomic Blonde is atomic to a certain extent, not so much with the story it tries to build itself upon. The flick fills you up with extreme indifference for its character building part that runs till we almost reach the ‘half-time’. You wish for the real action to begin, as promised and sold in the trailers, but unfortunately, it is holed up in its later section. By the time you are there, you are already knackered by its punishing story-line, its unusual pace, and impoverished editing style that leaves you parched for some real thrill. But the good news is that the action bit finally arrives, and when it arrives, you realize it is outrageously dope!

David Leitch‘s latest is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnston. Atomic Blonde is trying to sell itself as an action flick. Unfortunately, the number of times you see our lead protagonist Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) fighting the bad guys – Next to three or four times max! That’s it. The movie then runs nay rambles with Theron trying (no she doesn’t have to try) to look badass in her cool getup as she saunters on the roads of Berlin.

Plot of Atomic Blonde (Spoilers Ahead)

There is nothing out of the extraordinary that the plot of Atomic Blonde offers. In fact, what makes it really confusing is the whole setup, the way its stories oscillate back and forth in two different timelines. Events of the actual plot is narrated by Lorraine herself and we often come back to her every now and then for doubts and confusion raised in by an MI6 guy Eric Gray (Toby Jones) and CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld (John Goodman). What might vex some is ‘their’ placement in the story. It is not intelligently crafted or edited as it might sound from the sound of it, and ropes in the first sign of bewilderment.

movie scene from atomic blonde

For those who might have accidentally dozed off while watching, I have decided to sum up the plot of Atomic Blonde for you. The story begins with the prologue of MI6 agent James Gasciogne (Sam Hargrave) being shot by a KGB agent Yuri Bakhtin (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson) for a list that’s on a watch. The list is the name of all active agents in the Soviet Union. So whoever has that list clearly has an upper hand in the entire Spy Industry, not to mention any moron could sell that list for an insanely huge price to whoever he thinks should stay ahead of the curve.

Lorraine Broughton, another MI6 agent is ‘brought in’ by the authorities for questioning about her Berlin mission. Her mission was to recover the list and slay a double agent Satchel who has been a constant itch in the crotch selling their secrets to the Soviets.

Lorraine’s Story

The story that’s been narrated is Lorraine’s story reaffirmed by Eric and Emmett as the events unfold. According to her story (the story we witness), Lorraine is set up to meet David Percival (James McAvoy) another agent already in action in Berlin. She is ambushed there by the KGB associates of hooligan Aleksander Bremovych (Roland Moller). Percival swoops in to aid her after. After visiting the dead man Gasciogne’s house, she begins to suspect Percival to be Satchel, when she is made by West German police, since he was the only guy who knew about her whereabouts. Meanwhile, she encounters Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) a French agent who is like the Jon Snow of the movie. She knows nothing!

There is this really busy Watchmaker (Til Schweiger) who sets up meetings with agents and stuff. Bakhtin approaches him with his intentions to sell the list, but as he is making his way back he is killed by Percival who retrieves the list. Percival meets Bremovych with intentions to sell the list but is photographed in the process by Delphine. There is this Percival’s contact code-name Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) who has memorized the list and he is to be transferred along with his family across the border. Percival kills him and sends Bremovych’s man after him which Lorraine theatrically fights off in one of the most amazing fights of the entire flick. She is unable to save him though. Percival kills Delphine but ends up hunted down by Lorraine. She kills him and retrieves the list from him, although doesn’t admit so in front of authorities she was narrating the tale to.

The Ending Explained

Percival is painted as Satchel with the help of Delphine’s photographs by Lorraine and the case is closed. However, after a few days, we see a meeting being set up with Bremovych revealing Lorraine as Satchel. She doesn’t give him the real list though and before killing him admits that she had been manipulating everything right from the beginning. So right when you feel that Lorraine was always ending up getting the short end of the stick, we realize that she was, in fact, duping everybody. Okay!

On a private jet with Kurzfeld where we find him holding the watch with the list, it is revealed that she wasn’t just a double agent but, in fact, a triple agent! Whoa! That escalated pretty quickly.

The Amazing Fighting Scene in Atomic Blonde

Let’s talk about that peerless mind-boggling fighting scene in Atomic Blonde. The real talent of David Leitch as a great stuntman cum action director is revealed in that relentless breathtaking fighting sequence where Lorraine tries her level best to save Spyglass from Bremovych’s men. It is one continuous shot of an epic showdown that stops you from actually regretting to watch the movie. The sequence will make you jump on your seat. It is so good!

atomic blonde movie still

There is a certain rawness in that scene, where you feel the real exhilarating adrenaline rush. Walls get painted, Gore gets reworded, as Leitch moves alongside the demolished actors, shooting them nevertheless, as they literally rip each other apart piece by piece. It is hard not to applaud him for letting us achieve a theatrical action orgasm.

Watch out for that bit!

You can order Atomic Blonde from here:

The Fuming Questions

If you have watched Atomic Blonde, I know the first fuming question you must be having secretively at all times in the back of your head – “Who really cares about the list?” I know coz I didn’t really care at one point. And I often said, “Oh Cmon!” when the story didn’t ever come across a subtlety meter. While the creators decided to rotate an entire story around a watch that has the list, you can’t help but wonder why it is such an ingenious thing to do.

Why is there such a childish climax?

Just when you thought there was a good climax at the end revealing Lorraine as Satchel, in comes another one – she is a triple agent too. Paul Goodman, the good man he pretended to be, turns out he was just feigning it all, just like Lorraine trying to be super dumb in her tale, playing too dumb for a spy.

Then there is the question about being the smart one.

There is Lorraine’s unconvincing story you know. For the better part of the movie, we see Lorraine moving about the city of Berlin in shades, literally beating about the bush for her mission, falling in love with Delphine and doing really nothing to get closer to the truth. She is waiting for the truth to be delivered to her. She was failing her mission at all junctures. It makes her character really implausible to watch.

The Final Verdict

Atomic Blonde bores you in the beginning but when it tries to delve into action it becomes really exciting to watch. By the time you reach one of the most rad action scenes of all times, you realize you are thoroughly enjoying it. If it were not for its weird storyline and the indifference that it fills you up with owing to its yawning start, this movie could actually be called a good action flick.

With David Leitch’s involvement here, comparisons to John Wick are only quite natural. The good thing here is that at least Leitch worked on the story here, clearly, he didn’t do enough or maybe overdid himself au contraire to the first John Wick part. While a lot of people argued on the lines that you don’t need a story when you are trying to show just action, when the first part was shown, I would love to hear what they have to say about this movie where the action is quite frankly limited and the story building is just too much of building.

Check out the trailer of Atomic Blonde movie:

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