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Category: 2016 (page 1 of 11)

Holds movie reviews from the year 2016

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review (2016) | A Biopic to Celebrate a True Hero

Hacksaw Ridge Movie is a game changer for those who think taking lives is alright. It is powerful enough to stand against ideologies, makes you want to question your belief, and puts the right thoughts that brazen heads tend to overlook. There is nothing noble in war. It swallows everything in its wake. People need to see that. The struggling life of a man named Desmond Doss who spent his life in the service of others, who made a promise to himself to not touch a gun in his life, and the conscientious objector who puts everyone who thinks “war is just” to shame, is a life worth celebrating.

Clashing Ideologies of Men

People don’t get the concept of peace very well. Many don’t understand why it is important not to kill anybody and to live in perfect harmony with each other. They consider fighting to be the only way to get there. For such multitude, a mere clash in idea or ideologies has to be sorted out with a fight. It is a thrilling way to live when you are proving your mettle with your might and not brains; One has to almost agree to it to feel the adrenaline rush. But if you just sit for a while and ask why? Why fight? Reckon the cost one is forced to pay to go through a war. You will realize it isn’t the right way after all.

War is not right. It has never been just. War shouldn’t happen in the first place. Taking a life is the biggest curse. It is important to realize that a country is prepping up heartless creatures as an excuse to fight their wars in the name of security and defense. Soldiers are akin to dispensable robots created under the belying aegis of patriotism, and they are monsters on fields, slaying people who are just like them to gain something they will never gain – Peace!

I mean how could any sane man live after that?

Desmond Doss – A Real Hero

real desmond doss with wife dorothy image

Whilst it’s a message that is hard for people to understand, and a raging debate that might go on and on, Desmond Doss a real wise man chose to actually do something about it. Joining an army just to save people without picking up a gun, it is a commendable feat per se. With its superlative pensive concept, Hacksaw Ridge movie was already on its way to become huge. With a power pack performance by Andrew Garfield (was exceptional in Silence as well) and a great direction by Mel Gibson, the movie turns out to be a colossal biopic indeed.

You can order Hacksaw Ridge Movie from here:

Plot of Hacksaw Ridge Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Hacksaw Ridge movie is a biopic so the plot of the flick comprises mostly of the happenings around the real life of Desmond Doss. But to piece them correctly you have got to praise Mel Gibson and the screenplay writers Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight who end up doing a fabulous job at the montage and writing.

To begin with, it is the accidental fight with his younger brother Hal that puts that painful searing empathy inside the heart of Desmond. He had almost ended up killing his brother which made him see what he was about to do. With a grunting insane dad Tom (Hugo Weaving) in the backdrop whipping him, and him not feeling what was happening around him, that empathy of blood in his hands was punishment enough for Desmond. The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” houses in him then and there and he promises to abide by it come what may.

He grows up to be a fine young man played by Andrew Garfield who is keen on helping people and saving lives. He meets Dorothy Schutte played by Teresa Palmer when he takes an injured man to the hospital. Love blooms gorgeously as he confides in her, his interest towards medical stuff.

With an unceasing desire to join the army as a combat medic, he enrolls himself to the dismay of his Dad. On his way to join, he proposes Dorothy for marriage and she accepts.

Joining the Army

Put under the watchful scornful eyes of Vince Vaughn‘s Sergeant Howell, he is constantly pestered by his own fellow soldiers owing to his disapproval of guns. Finding his reason absurd Captain Glover (Sam Worthington) and Howell, try to discharge him immediately under the pretext of him being mentally unstable. When they fail Desmond is put to test under punishing labour, beaten many times by his comrades, so as to make him quit. But Desmond’s resolve is unflinching.

On the grounds of insubordination, Desmond Doss is arrested and not granted leave like others on completing his training. He was supposed to marry Dorothy but he fails to show up at the wedding since he was imprisoned.  Dorothy visits him in prison beseeching him to plead guilty, but Desmond’s dogged staunchness will put every resolute man to shame.

 I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.

In a dramatic turn of events his Dad, who was a veteran of World War I, shows up with a letter from a higher authority that overrules all laws. Charges on him get dropped and he goes on to marry Dorothy.

Battle of Okinawa

It is during the battle of Okinawa that Desmond’s steadfastness as a medic is brought to test. It was Maeda Escarpment also known as Hacksaw Ridge where his battalion 96th Infantry Division was supposed to charge up and secure the mountain. While both the armies suffer heavy damage, the infantry decides to hole up at night.

Owing to a massive counterattack by the Japanese the other day, Americans are scared off of the escarpment. But Desmond doesn’t leave as he chooses to stay to save soldiers in the wake of the disaster. One by one he finds injured soldiers on the field and rappels them down from the cliff.

Help me get one more.

The scene is so poignant that it will bring tears to your eyes. A man that nobody liked owing to his strange disparate belief is the one who stands the bravest in the wake of a lost battle. He is saving lives running from soldier to soldier, giving them hope, resuscitating them with life, rappelling them down the Ridge. And such selflessness! In that dire time where a wrong move could cost him his own life, all he asks is to be able to save one more life.  It is just crazy as hell.

Saving Lives Selflessly

In an attempt to save lives he finds Howell holed up and injured. The guy who never appreciated him, and who constantly tried to ensure mercilessly that he was expelled from the Army.  Yet finding Desmond to the rescue fills Howell with hope. And Desmond with utter divine forgiveness and loyalty chooses to save him despite the hell he had to go through under Howell’s carnage.

still of andrew garfield as desmond doss in hacksaw ridge movie

Watching the ridge spurt out the wounded every now and then, the medic unit down below becomes active and inspired. At one point Doss ends up entering the enemy bunker and saving an injured enemy too. This highlights the humanity Desmond Doss had in him all along. It’s beyond faces and races. It respects a fellow human being for being one and judges no one.

He saves Howell’s life as well bringing him down safely. With Captain Glover ready to take back the Ridge next day, everyone wished to have the heroic medic by their side. Doss leads them into the battle, deflects grenades saving countless lives in the process but ends up wounding himself. The battle is won nevertheless.

In the end, through real life clips, we are told that Desmond Doss saved 75 lives at Hacksaw Ridge. Only a true hero could do that. He was presented the highest, Medal of Honor by the then President Truman.

The Ugliness of War

Mel Gibson doesn’t stop himself from showing gut-wrenching gore. The word has to go out and he seems keen on showing us minutia that repulse us beyond limit. But in doing so he often shows us the cliches we have come across so many times before.

For instance, there is this infantry sitting comfortably inside a bunker recollecting all those who perished. You can sense the contrivance in that image kicking in as if Mel wanted that scene to be deliberately put.

The Company B soldier quotes Herodotus out of nowhere:

In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.

Whilst the message was great, it felt as if it was forced. There is lesser realism in Mel’s direction of Hacksaw Ridge movie and there are so many instances strewn all across where you can almost pinpoint why the director might have gone with a particular scene. It kills realistic cinema.

The Final Verdict

It is really sad that there are fewer heroes who propagate non-violence and fewer who are willing to follow the golden rule of living. The world is abounding with hotheaded youth who are yet to see the pointlessness of it. They might not see what Desmond saw all his life.

Desmond Doss was the one who advocated it whilst being in one of the ugliest places mankind could find itself in – right at the center of it. The message nevertheless stays loud and clear.

Thou shalt not kill.

A movie this beautiful needs to be celebrated. The life of a true hero needs to be revered. It is sad that there is defiance at every corner when you are trying to do the right thing, but not falling back looking at the face of the adversity is how heroes get made.

Hacksaw Ridge movie is a biopic that we need today. We need it to make people comprehend why it is not alright to hurt people. Why it is not alright to go to war, and why it is of prime importance to save each other from ripping each other apart.

With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.

You can check out the trailer of Hacksaw Ridge movie here:

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

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

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

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

Paterson Movie Full Analysis with Spoilers

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

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

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

Bus Driver in Paterson

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

Paterson movie still Adam Driver

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

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

Love Poem

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

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

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

The Character of Donny

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

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

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

Marvin the Dog

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

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

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

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

I am guessing this is your human ball and chain,

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

Doc the Bar Guy

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

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

Doc: I am getting my ass kicked today.

Paterson: Who are you playing?

Doc: Myself.

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

Giving Up on Life

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

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

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

Another One

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

Exploring Laura in Paterson Movie

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

Golshifteh Farahani as Laura in Paterson movie

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

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

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

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

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

Poem

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

Everett and Marie in Paterson movie

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

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

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

Without love, what reason is there for anything.

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

Paterson: Working on a poem for you.

Laura: A love poem?

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

Method Man

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

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

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

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

Glow

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

Young Poet in Paterson movie

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

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

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

Water Falls

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

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

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

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

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

You can order Paterson movie here:

The Bad Day

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

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

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

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

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

Not everyone is right. The fact gets proven.

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

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

The Run

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

Marvin’s Revenge in Paterson Movie

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

Marvin dog in Paterson movie

Pumpkin

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

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

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

They were just words. Written on water.

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

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

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

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

The Japanese Poet

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

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

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

I breathe poetry.

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

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

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

Sometimes empty page presents more possiblities.

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

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

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

The Line

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

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

Poems in Paterson Movie

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

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

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

You can check out the trailer of Paterson Movie here:

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

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

Colossal Movie Theme (Spoilers Ahead)

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

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

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

Gloria’s Drinking Problem

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

Anne Hathaway as Gloria in Colossal Movie

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

Why Seoul?

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

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

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

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

Oscar with his problems

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

I knew it was a good monster.

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

Jason Sudeikis as Oscar in Colossal movie

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

I am tired of playing the good guy.

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

Monster Face Off

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

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

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

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

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

The Ending of Colossal Movie Explained

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

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

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

Why Gloria is a Kaiju and Oscar a Robot?

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

colossal movie kaiju image

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

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

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

Direction of Colossal Movie

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

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

The One Obvious Issue

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

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

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

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

The Final Verdict

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

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

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

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

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

You can watch the trailer of Colossal Movie here:

 

Split Movie Review (2016) | M. Night Shyamalan is a Paragon of Persistence

How many times did we see M. Night Shyamalan fall? Like an ant falling with food every now and then but trying again nevertheless. Split movie is his one shot that hit home run after more than a decade of movie making. He has finally grabbed hold of that ‘mojo’ he had been missing with his inventive thinking. It became all possible because of a rad ambitious project like Split and of course, a superb performance by James McAvoy.

Not only is the Split movie a thrilling flick, but it’s also bloody horrifying and gut-wrenching. It leaves you with dozens of questions wondering if a character like that could exist in reality, and at a lot of point, leaves you in electrifying shock. The story is about a man who has not one, not two, but 23 split personalities. Can you imagine that? He kidnaps three girls and holds them captive in an unknown location while he scours through his inner-self to discover yet another personality.

James McAvoy’s Performance

The heart and soul of the Split movie is James McAvoy. Had there been a different actor in his shoes, Split might not have turned as awesome. The way he gets under the skin of different characters is simply mesmerizing. He gets so lost you can’t tell any of his personalities apart. It is almost as if a whole new character has appeared out of nowhere.

The broken are the more evolved.

There is one scene wherein we get to see a close up on his gradual transformation where the camera zooms in to find him drop his act. He becomes a someone else altogether. Goes from casual to grave. And you know it in that fleeting second that James McAvoy is simply the best. You know at once why he is one of the greatest actors who is out there. He reassures you of the fact when he goes full-blown during the movie’s climactic scene.

Quickly becoming a different character with a snap of a finger and then delivering it flawlessly without going for a single cut, now that’s something.

hedwig personality of Kevin in Split movie

Amongst the numerous personalities McAvoy portrays in Split movie, we get to see these prominent ones:

  • Dennis
  • Patricia
  • Kevin
  • Hedwig
  • The Beast
  • Barry
  • Orwell
  • Jade

One of the most adorable, fun and awesome personalities of our antagonist is the character called Hedwig. He is a nine year old boy who is a delight to watch and listen to. James McAvoy plays it really convincingly too. He almost makes you feel sorry for his villainy.

Plot of Split Movie

Three teenagers namely Claire, Marcia and Casey are abducted by Dennis who is one of 23 personalities of a guy named Kevin Wendell Crumb. The latter has gone dormant with potent characters like Dennis, Patricia etc. calling the shots in his head. It is Dr. Karen Fletcher played by Betty Buckley who has been treating Kevin of his dissociative identity disorder who is oblivious of the kidnapping.

The three girls discover his special case when they meet Patricia, the feminal side of Kevin. Soon they meet Hedwig, a nine year old in the body of Kevin, who tells them they are chosen for a sacrifice to be made, for a 24th personality still in creation called The Beast.

Barry used to be the prominent character in Kevin’s mind who used to meet Dr. Karen for her psychiatric sessions. But Karen finds out soon enough (with all the mails she gets and with a feigned contrived show Barry puts on) that it isn’t Barry after all. She discovers about Dennis and Patricia for the first time, with the former telling her about the existence of their next personality called The Beast who is rising to cleanse the world of impure souls.

We are what we believe we are.

Meanwhile in his lair, Claire and Marcia attempt to escape but end up getting caught and are put in separate rooms. Casey played by Anya Taylor-Joy is the wise one with a terrifying past of child molestation. She befriends Hedwig and tries to escape but fails.

The Beast

Dr. Karen, with plenty of doubts, suspects Kevin to be holding the girls captive. She ends up coming to his place. When she discovers the captive girls there, Dennis drugs her and locks her up too. Meanwhile the transformation begins as Kevin turns into a beast. He displays phenomenal strength imitating characteristics of an animal that includes him climbing a wall.

the beast personality from split movie

An individual with multiple personalities can change their body chemistry with their thoughts.

As beast, he returns to a locked up Dennis, who has, by the way, written a note in a paper a way to summon the dormant personality Kevin by calling out his full name. The beast kills her and then kills Claire and Marcia before eating them up.

The Final Showdown

Casey stumbles at the corpse of Dr. Karen finding the note to bring the real ‘Kevin Wendell Crumb’ back for a while. Disgusted by what his personalities had done, Kevin asks Casey to kill him with a shotgun. Just then we see all his personalities simultaneously trying to project themselves. When The Beast returns Casey shoots it injuring it a little. As it tries to attack her, it claims of cleansing the world of the impure and the untouched, people who have never suffered in life.

As it tries to rip open a cage where Casey has locked herself in, The Beast witnesses marks on her body understanding she was a pure soul herself. He spares her life in the process before disappearing into the night.

You are different from the rest. Your heart is pure! Rejoice!

She is then rescued by a worker, where she discovers that it was the Philadelphia Zoo where she was held captive in. In another scene, we see dominant characters of Kevin namely Dennis, Patricia and Hedwig talking amongst each other, reconciling and agreeing that Kevin’s 24th personality (The Beast) is the only way to change the world.

Let us show them what we can do. Let us show them how powerful we can be.

The Ending of Split Movie Explained

The final bit is one of the most exciting parts of the movie. It’s Shyamalan’s subtle wink at the sequel to Unbreakable movie.  In case you have missed it, let me take you back to what happened.

Kevin’s horrendous crime is being talked about on the TV in a diner. There are some customers reacting to the crime being similar to an incident in the past related to a terrorist wheelchair guy. Sitting next to them is none other than David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who reminds them the name of the terrorist by calling his nickname “Mr. Glass” (Elijah Price played by Samuel L. Jackson).

It tells us that the incidents of Split happen in the same world of Unbreakable. It’s none other than Night Shyamalan’s very own Movie Universe just like MCU or DCEU where his movie sequels and movies are all related to each other. (Not all we hope!) The Split movie ends subtly hinting that the main super-villain of Split might cross paths against our superhero David Dunn at some point.

The Final Verdict

The genius of M. Night Shyamalan can’t be applauded enough. His ability to think unlike the mob has helped us find some amazing movies over the years like The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village and Unbreakable.

With a subtle entry into the Unbreakable world with Split I think Night Shyamalan is back at his best. He is weaving great stories and it’s doing the trick for him.

As far as his direction is concerned, I loved how he tried to bring us up to speed with some of the other personalities of Kevin via recorded videos. Of course, not all 23 could have been possibly shoehorned in just one movie. I also loved how his personalities would black out only to return at unknown places. A wonderful way of showing what multiple split personality feels like.

Even if you let Split movie breathe on its own without the Unbreakable shimmer, and it’s still hands down an amazing blood curdling take on horror. Let it be the repugnant part of Casey’s uncle molesting her, or the part where The Beast takes his shot at Cannibalism unperturbed by its existence as a human or the nail-biting moment of an upside down clinging Beast charging on the lights to attack Casey, everything has been brilliantly done.

Composers James Newton Howard and West Dylan Thordson have done a fabulous job with the music. That scary chilly music as and when needed has been used aplenty.

A thrilling movie like that shouldn’t be missed.

You can check out the trailer of Split movie here:

Hidden Figures Review (2016) | Appreciating the Underappreciated

Hidden Figures is about the people who stay hidden. Those underdogs who boldly take on the world and never come out on the front page. These people need to be acknowledged. They need to be celebrated. And that’s what Margot Lee Shetterly does with her book. The flick is based on that very book about the underappreciated who were literally the driving force behind putting an American man in space.

How many times have we toiled hard for something and let all the glory go to the man sitting on the throne? How many times have we given our blood, our sweat and soul for a job only to find someone else snatch our accolades away when time comes? Haven’t we dreamed for the rostrum too? Don’t our eyes seek glory too? Don’t we deserve it? Where’s our spotlight, the people who work 24×7 to make things happen?

Hidden Figures is the story about those who went unnoticed, who gave everything they had and yet somehow got sidelined in the race to dominion. That race is none other than the infamous space race.

Plot of Hidden Figures (Spoilers Ahead)

Three brilliant mathematicians who worked at NASA namely Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan who are played superbly by Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer are rooting for their chance to show the world they have potential. They have one major setback though, a hurdle that was so ugly during those times that it is hard to imagine an America that literally slayed a million dreams because of it – Racism. Unfortunately it is still broiling with its fumes.

The Segregation

These African American women are having a hard time being noticed until one day a bright opportunity shows up for Katherine G Johnson who is assigned to The Space Task Group owing to her impeccable skills with Analytic Geometry. The problem there is that she is the only colored woman in the team, and everybody hates her. To make matters worse there is no colored people toilet in the building where she works.

still of taraji p henson as katherine goble in hidden figures

Can you imagine the daily torment of running all the way to the toilet that’s located half a mile far in another building, constantly working nevertheless, and then running back to the headquarters, of course, half a mile again, just so there is no setback in work. At times it would be raining outside and she would be soaked trying to make it to the toilet and back.

Just ’cause it’s the way, doesn’t make it right,

If that weren’t enough, there is prejudice even in coffee machines. Then in her work culture. People constantly being dismissive of her thoughts, not giving her the credit for her efforts. It is really sad for her to be working in a place that doesn’t appreciate her, and yet she gives more than 100% being glad for the opportunity to be a part of something huge.

Kevin Costner’s Al Harrison

Al Harrison the head of the Space Task Force played brilliantly by Kevin Costner is the guy calling the shots. Kevin creates a character that’s very much believable and relates to those highly involved researchers who really want the job done. He is grave and intelligent, and sometimes arrogant just like a real leader.

He identifies Katherine’s talent when she solves complex equations and is impressed with her genius. However, on constantly not finding her on her desk, he asks her where she goes. Katherine snaps venting out her anger telling him everything about the segregation at work, about her toilet, the coffee etc. As a result, Al goes ahead and personally breaks the “White Ladies” toilet sign breaking the shackles of differentiation then and there.

Here at NASA we all pee the same color.

Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson Story

Running parallel to the story is that of Dorothy who wishes to be a supervisor, but is constantly put down by Vivian Mitchell (Kirsten Dunst). Mary on the other hand proves her talent and wishes to pursue her engineering degree.

Every time we get a chance to get ahead they move the finish line. Every time.

Dorothy makes herself indispensable by learning FORTRAN and teaching her coworkers the same as an IBM machine jumps in to make the ladies history. Vivian is forced to give her a chance and she finally gets to be the supervisor.

While Mary convinces a judge to let her attend an all-whites college to pursue her engineering degree. She becomes the first colored woman to do that which is an achievement per se.

still of john glenn meeting the ladies in hidden figures movie

Katherine proves her mettle with her geometric calculations in a room full of big names winning John Glenn‘s trust. The latter becomes the first American to orbit the Earth and return safely back owing to her spot on calculations.

Epilogue

When epilogue ensues we get to know that Katherine was also one of the major heads responsible for calculating trajectories of Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her service, also one of the Research Facilities at Langley was named commemorating her.

We get to the peak together, or we don’t get there at all.

Dorothy headed the programming section of Analyis and Computation Division in Langley. While Mary earned the highest senior engineering title, later demoting herself to become a manager of Federal Women’s Program and Affirmative Action Program. In short, each one of them ended huge!

You can order Hidden Figures movie from here:

Minor Obvious Issues

One of the problems with the movie is its contrived feel. You realize Al Harrison trying to break the toilet board is merely put for theatrics, and it wouldn’t have possibly happened. Characters that try to push the colored, forcing upon them feels of segregation weren’t actually immediate characters like Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons) or Vivian. These were lodged in the American society back then, and even though things they did weren’t obvious but they were still there. These characters weren’t concrete and individuals like them have been cut out from thin air to prove a point.

Putting a man up in space wasn’t just one person’s diligence, it was a team effort. The whole unit, the team was responsible for doing the unthinkable. Now if you are acknowledging just few, doesn’t it make the rest of the team, I don’t know, hidden figures?

The movie traverses from the original happenings on a lot of occasions but as Margot admits, it was fine, since not everyone could have been possibly scooched in a movie, nobody is complaining in that front.

The Final Verdict

Margot Lee Shetterly’s story writes an after-glory of sorts that celebrate the real brains behind US’s intense affair with space. The movie takes a lot of liberty with the story fitting it in with theatrics, and showing us the ugly side of segregation. However, it celebrates the unnoticed people bringing them into the limelight which is in itself celebratory.

The screenplay of the flick stings you with its ballsy statements. It’s powerfully written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder.

Yes, they let women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson. And it’s not because we wear skirts. It’s because we wear glasses.

Theodore Melfi‘s direction is good, and he places apt focus on showing both sides of the wall. He packs in enough fun to keep things enjoyable, at the same time he doesn’t move away from the color issue. He portrays what ugly things people have been doing for so long, and shows us the pointlessness of it all  against bigger things like trying to gauge the unknown.

It’s a movie that one should not miss for the world.

Check out the trailer of Hidden Figures here:

Silence Movie Review (2016) | Ripping for the Faithful | Debatable for the Faithless

The passion project of Martin Scorsese finally comes to fruition. It took him 25 years to carve this beauty, and Silence Movie is in every way abounding with all the right emotions that we expected from it. The movie is based on the eponymous novel by Shusaku Endo and is about two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to find Father Ferreira, their mentor, at the same time spread Christianity in a chaotic land where Christian priests are unwelcome.

The flick is a spiritual sojourn where it tries to quest for humanity in a place and time that objects to new teachings and principles. Japan was ruled by a tyrant then who was bent on uprooting any kind of alien dissonance from its soil. Religion being one of those major issues that stood at his cross-hairs. The movie is driven forward by powerful performances by Andrew Garfield, Liam NeesonIssei Ogata and Yosuke Kubozuka.

Direction of Silence Movie (Spoilers)

Scorsese is hands down one of the best in the business. And he keeps reminding everybody of that every now and then with his superlative direction. The movie captures minutiae of life, creates real tension forcing us to relive it as if we were right there surrounded by some serious agitation. It shows an inhumane past of Japan that one shudders at the very thought of leading a life in that era.

He recreates crucifixion so powerfully that it draws out instant pathos from you, crushing you under the weight of emotions. Even when he builds up dispensable characters, he makes them so concrete that it becomes really hard to part with when time comes.

silence movie character image of Shin'ya Tsukamoto as Mokichi

There are some brilliant diegetic moments scooched in, wherein Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) writes to Father Valignano (Ciaran Hinds) home and reads his thoughts through his letters. Then at times he speaks directly to God. They are so brilliantly written that you can’t help but empathize immensely with the protagonist.

The wait of your silence is terrible. I pray but I’m lost. Or am I just praying to nothing? Nothing. Because you’re not there.

Martin Scorsese also has that unpredictability quotient that we never see coming. We hope perversion relents, we hope heads wouldn’t roll but the fact is – you never know. The deafening silence of its melodrama is hard to fathom. You just keep hoping to hear a voice, throughout the Silence movie just like Rodrigues himself, but you know life’s like that.

Kichijiro’s Character

There is this unique character Kichijiro played amazingly well by Yosuke Kubozuka. You can’t help but wonder about his presence in the movie. His story runs parallel to Rodrigues’ hunt to find Ferreira and on more than one occasions he betrays him and his own people. He apostates continuously and bounces back to confess his sin. He is constantly asking for forgiveness from Rodrigues, who keeps forgiving him for his sinful acts.

At one point he has been compared to none other than Judas. His sins are terrible and when you really try to figure him out, you understand he is nothing but a common man who is just trying to get by when things go south. At the same time, there is guilt in him. He is truly sorry for his acts but ends up repeating his mistakes when a challenging time comes. Kichijiro is just a weak man caught in a wild place. He has suffered profusely and he suffers every second of his life with guilt.

Importance

If you notice carefully you would realize how he never leaves Rodrigues at all, always winding up at his door asking for forgiveness.  There is one scene in the end where Kichijiro tries to illuminate that flicker of faith back in Rodrigues even after he has apostatized.

I suffered beside you. I was never silent.

The above voice goes in the backdrop showing Kichijiro in the frame. It’s the voice of God speaking to Rodrigues once again trying to reason with him, telling him it was alright.

still of Yôsuke Kubozuka as Kichijiro in Silence Movie

Even though Kichijiro had been a sinful man he teaches Rodrigues one important lesson. That despite apostatizing and renouncing God, you can always come back to Him because He always forgives. Something Rodrigues wasn’t sure about after he had apostatized.

It was in the silence that I heard your voice.

The Silence movie ends the way it had started, in silence, with sounds of nature all around, implying silence is never there after all. That all you gotta do is listen.

You can order Silence Movie from here:

The Raging Debate

While at a time where religion was trying to spread its wings in every corner of the world, this might have seemed quite okayish to exist, but in times like today, it ends up becoming one of the most controversial chapters ever. If you look at the movie cynically, you realize what were Father Ferreira, Rodrigues and Garupe (Adam Driver) trying to do anyway? Weren’t they trying to spread Christianity, forcing a religion on people? Whilst the Japanese Inquisitor confirmed the existence of Buddhism in their country, weren’t they still bent on giving a country a taste of their own medicine?

Then you see what that Inquisitor was doing after all. Wasn’t he killing his own people in the end, trying to apostate a foreign guy? What kind of ruler does that? Okay, don’t answer that, a bad one, I know. But still people are being killed in the name of religion. Was everyone blind to that? Why are people so terribly blinded they fail to see what’s beyond religion?

Atheist Much?

If you drift further away from religion here, if you are an atheist, then the very idea of it would seem quite absurd. First of all, you are trying to force a religion on someone, then because of your ideals you are getting people killed. Hadn’t any of the foreign priests stepped on their land in the first place, the massacre could have been entirely avoided. Even Rodrigues confesses to that idea secretly when he tells Garupe about how he felt.

Then again what is a religion if not a set of code of conducts and moral values to keep people in check? We created it for our own convenience. Like Marvel and DC stories are in vogue today, it might as well be a religion for some. Okay leaving this ceaseless debatable thread open right here.

Signs of Faith

Then there is that insanity of valuing things like fumi-e that are mere stones and wood that are considered as gifts from God.

They value these poor signs of faith more than faith itself.

While to some this might sound justified, but to non-believers this is really hard to gobble. Your inability to step on a mere rock is getting someone killed. If there is an even an ounce of compassion in you for another fellow being, you would do it eyes closed. How hard is that to fathom? Isn’t compassion, humility, and fraternity above God? Does God teach you to make his idols and objects and demand of you to treat Him with such reverence? If there was a God He wouldn’t ask you to be so foolish. He would willingly ask you to step on Him if you can’t help it.

Does God teach you to make his idols and objects and demand of you to treat Him with such reverence? If there was a God He wouldn’t ask you to be so naive. He would willingly ask you to step on Him if you can’t help it.

I think that’s what happened to Rodrigues when he chose to listen. That voice of God was nothing but his very own reasoning for himself, where he accepted renouncing God with a heavy heart.

The Final Verdict

I understand the Silence movie was supposed to be watched keeping faith in heart. But for those who have none, if you really look at it, the amount of torture, killing and mass murder that happened in the name of religion is simply appalling. I guess, it could have been avoided too. It is as if killing someone because someone chooses to believe in Superman‘s existence, and that I think is highly unacceptable.

In a world where we judge everything by our own conscience, by passing everything on the belts of morality, I think a movie like Silence poses a serious question. Why are we so blind? But if you get under the skin of Rodrigues, a dogged guy who cannot be moved from his beliefs, you begin to feel for him. You begin to empathize and when you do, it is hard not to cry. There are blood-curdling moments strewn all across the flick that ensures you leave the theaters teary eyed.

Wicked characters like that of the Old Samurai played by Issei Ogata, provide a convincing spread on the Endo story. The Silence movie ends up becoming a really powerful wrap capable of existing sturdily on its own sans the God factor.

It’s just the doctrine that it fights for might not be the same for everyone out there.

You can check out the trailer of Silence Movie here:

 

Lion Movie Review (2016) | A Biopic that Promises to Rip your Heart Out

If you haven’t watched Lion Movie up till now, I beseech you to watch it right away. The Oscar Nominated movie (in six categories) is a flick so profound, touching and melancholic, that it is definitely going to leave you wiping your tears. It is a true story based on the book “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley, which packs in a gut-wrenching tale of a lost boy who tries to find his origins.

Direction of Lion Movie

Lion Movie is directed by Garth Davis. His direction is simply mesmerizing. He doesn’t leave out the details, doesn’t rush things, doesn’t leapfrog to show you just the crucial moments, rather focuses on stepping stones that are paramount in properly packing up an entire story.

With Greig Fraser by his side, he picks up long rails to depict Saroo’s running, follows the protagonist up from beautiful angles. Greig and Garth have a keen eye for capturing beautiful shots. It is evident when they choose to sit behind characters, capture vista from distant locations and walk alongside his people. I loved how the former sometimes chose to clear the lens on a face.

Also, nothing seems insincere. The cast is lost just like the child is. Garth brings out some dogged acting from even a young child like Sunny Pawar. Nobody is aware of the camera and that’s what makes things more uncontrived.

Plot of Lion Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

The plot of the Lion Movie is nothing but leaflets from the real Saroo’s book. The movie starts off with little Saroo helping his brother Guddu steal coal from a chugging train, which they use to trade milk to get by. They have an amazing relationship. Guddu is always taking care of Saroo, given how young Saroo is, appreciating him for every tiny effort of his. Both enjoy each other’s company a lot.

still of Saroo played by Sunny Pawar in Lion movie

Saroo wishes to accompany Guddu who goes to a job at a place nearby. His resolve to prove that he is no longer a mere child when he picks up a chair and then a bicycle goes on to show how eager he is to spend more time with his brother. Sunny Pawar simply nails that part.

The Lost Boy

They head to a nearby station platform where Saroo ends up dozing off. Guddu promises to return asking him not to go anywhere. Waking him, not finding Guddu around he boards a train wondering if his brother’s there. Tired, he once again sleeps, wakes up only to find the train moving. Doors are locked, and he is stranded in a moving train. The train goes on, ends up reaching Calcutta. Being too young and naive he doesn’t know or understand how he could get back to his hometown. He remembers her mother’s name to be “Ammi”, remembers the place he lived in as “Gneshtali” and doesn’t know the way of the world.

Saroo, the lost boy, wanders the city, finds its ugly jaws trying to get a piece of him. He is hungry, unfed, and he keeps narrowly escaping trouble. Until one day a man finds him and takes him to the police. With no place to map him to, they find him an orphanage. Around three months later, with the help of an advertisement about the child, an Australian couple, Sue Brierley played by Nicole Kidman and John Brierley played by David Wenham, decide to adopt him. Saroo’s upbringing happens in Hobart, Tasmania along with another adopted brother Mantosh who has rage issues.

You can buy the movie Lion here:

The Time Leap

The movie then traces the worried mind of an adult Saroo Brierley who is trying to find his forgotten origins. He is constantly peeved by the fact how his real mother and brother must be still searching for him, while he breaks bread unperturbed. He finds love in Lucy played by Rooney Mara but ends up being distant owing to the constant buzz in his head. Same he does with his parents. Afraid to tell them about his desire to see his real mother, he locks himself up in his house, and subjects himself to thorough brainstorming.

still of Rooney Mara and Dev Patel in Lion Movie

The movie captures the minutiae of his thoughts, how he wishes to locate his mother and brother. He imagines them still looking for him, on the station, at the river. He begins seeing their profiles in broad daylight, losing it every day.

One day he goes back to Sue, his mother to tell her how sorry he was, and how hard it must have been for her to own kids with a past. She replies that it was their choice to adopt reasoning:

The world has enough people in it. Have a child, couldn’t guarantee it will make anything better. But to take a child that’s suffering like you boys were. Give you a chance in the world. That’s something.

One day with the help of Google Earth he locates the exact location of his house thus pinpointing his origin. He then sets out to meet his mother and brother. On reaching there he finds his mother. The atmosphere erupts in delirium. He gathers that Guddu, his brother, was dead. He had died the same night he had gone missing, hit by a train. Saroo finds his sister Shekila too, and with that family reunion the movie concludes.

Minor Issues

Whilst Garth gave his level best in terms of direction, casting of Saroo’s real mother seemed a tad out of place. Kamla was terribly done. She seemed distant with her acting. Whilst there were plenty of good Indian actresses out there who would have nailed Saroo’s mother avatar, Garth Davis decided to choose Priyanka Bose for the role. I wonder why.

Guddu’s angle was, I felt, necessary too. If it wasn’t for Guddu’s accident, he would have come nevertheless for his brother. That sheer fact could have been milked to ooze out more feels. But even without that, the Lion movie has enough reasons to send you on a sobbing spree.

The Final Verdict

The Lion Movie is one of the saddest stories you will ever hear, and the fact that it’s all true makes you mewl even more. I kept weeping the whole movie. It is hard not to empathize with the boy, the plight of the adult Saroo, as he begins to experience that gush of emotion that overwhelms with pain and missing.

To do something so selfless and noble as to adopt a child from a different land, giving him a life and providing for him, is simply commendable. You can’t stop applauding the Brierleys enough. It puts hope back into the world where it should belong. At the same time, it inspires us to do something of the kind. You never know a Saroo could still be out there, waiting for his directions to come.

You listen to its amazing score, and your heart ends up being a slave to the angst. Dustin O’ Halloran and Volker Bertelmann (Hauschka) simply aggrandize the movie with their music. They are placed at right junctures to fill you up with emotional trauma.

A flick that everyone should watch. A real life tale that should not be missed for the world.

You can check out the trailer of Lion Movie here:

 

Moonlight Review (2016) | A Stunning Triptych About Finding Yourself

The LGBT issue is real, and people still find it hard to accept. A movie like Moonlight tries to bring it in the vanguard. In a neighborhood that roughhouses the quiet and the mute, where being gay is unacceptable to people, thrives the story of a little boy with hopeful eyes. He is yet to understand and wrap his head around his sexuality, but the people he breathes alongside have stones in their hands. He has to make his way through that dreary path, figure himself out at the same time deal with an invariably cooked mother who is no good for a poor child.

Theme and Interpretation of Moonlight

The Moonlight movie started out with a project called “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”. Whilst the play couldn’t reach fruition, it certainly made it out big at the end of the day, and came out in the open as something that the world will never forget. I love how the term moonlight acts as a polysemy per se.

While the best one comes straight from the play, of how black still holds as a slander in people’s minds, it is hard to fathom why something as insignificant as the color of one’s skin still gets to be the judge of a person? Like moonlight is white. The juxtaposition of black with white ends up making the black blue (here sad), because the white is dominating. It tries to paint people in its own color. The whites revere its tinge and consider it a privilege to be under their skin. This behavioral pattern is evident in their snobby patronizing acts. Of course, the movie doesn’t paint that black and white picture here, it’s title alone still remains powerful enough to make you think otherwise.

image of Mahershala Ali as Juan teaching Little to swim in Moonlight

While coming to the real theme of the flick, Moonlight still justifies. We get to see three phases of our protagonist’s life, each suggestive of how moonlight shines and wanes with each phase. It stays dormant for a while before showing up once again bright and shiny. There are the ugly phases, the dark ones that are abounding in the flick introducing us to the character’s rough past. It includes the rough neighborhood he is brought up in, his addicted abusive mother and the constant bullying kids. There are those hopeful blotches of him too trying to find himself, his true identity, his accidental acquaintance with himself which cannot be lauded enough. After which he eventually shines out a man.

Direction of Moonlight

Whilst I never came across Barry Jenkins before, I was amazed to discover the poignancy in his frames. They are really really profound. He is quiet with his frames, lets your thoughts sieve in, a perfect helmer of drama. He boldly goes for different angles and gradually crawls it towards the protagonist. The end result is absolutely brilliant. He slowly zooms in and zooms out for emphasis, until he puts his character under his lens. To find action he walks alongside it, with the right profundity.

Even though he was there all along, the movie couldn’t have done without Nicholas Britell‘s extraordinary composition. He helps in delivering you to the right vibes. Whenever the music comes it squeezes out of you emotions that you have been holding on to for the right moment. It’s really deep.

You can buy Moonlight movie from here:

If we take a look at the outstanding actors who play the part of the protagonists in the movie, you will be surprised to find out how each one of them copies each other to perfection. Ranging from Alex R. Hibbert‘s unfazed acting as Little, to Ashton Sanders‘ Chiron, to eventually nailing it with Trevante Rhodes as Black for the better part of the flick. Each one of them was equally riveting.

We can’t certainly overlook Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Andre Holland‘s performance either. They all happened to the protagonist like moonlight itself. In phases, shining out for him, on him with erratic blotches of light.

The Final Verdict

The drama is intense. Scenes created are brimming with impactful performances. While it is strictly a drama flick, and might not interest those who are not fans of drama, it certainly should be able to tingle you for the issue it skims.

I highly recommend you watch it even if drama is not your forte.

Check out the trailer of Moonlight movie here:

The Great Wall Movie Review (2016) | Typical Monster Flick

The Great Wall movie is one of those monster flicks that starts abruptly without offering you any perspective. Unlike mythical horror movies that are built on sheer horror and tons of suspense, The Great Wall movie doesn’t bank on the fear factor rather chooses to go with the action platitude to the finish line. It ends up becoming a resounding dud shot when you can see through a plot that sounds very cliched, can feel the shallowness of its scenes and literally read the flick’s apparent contrivance.

Theme and Plot of The Great Wall Movie

The Great Wall movie tried to cash in on the myth surrounding China’s biggest miraculous defense. It created a story out of a mere lore and tried to throw in some tangible veracity to it. Yes it shows the wall in a light that would leave children fantasizing for days.

In doing so, its writers made the wall something it couldn’t have possibly been even in a dream. The movie tried to aggrandize the then extant Song Dynasty scenes with epic armies that acted tough and in unison. They responded pretty well to each other using signs and noises a normal guy couldn’t possibly register.

Max Brooks, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz created alien mythical monsters that visited every 60 years trying to overrun the planet with huge numbers. At the center of them is a queen, a gigantic monster who stays protected by her very own circle of trust er…monsters who do not let anyone get near her. She is calling the shots for her race and yes, she is literally yowling for a boss fight.

matt damon and pedro pascal in the great wall movie

Imperial Court has assigned the job of protecting its realm to a military order called The Nameless Order. Our hero William portrayed by Matt Damon who is way too heroic for a hero, and who barely makes mistakes, is a complete badass with his bow. He has Tovar played by Pedro Pascal for a sidekick who keeps questioning his choices. Both are mercenaries who accidentally run into the Imperial Court in their search for black powder, an ancient moniker for what we brand today as gunpowder.

Willem Defoe‘s character Ballard was terribly written. You could feel him disappear without any bang, oh wait! there was one for him alright. Pleasant escape!

The Good Things

If you try to focus on the good things the movie retains the first thing would be the music by Ramin Djawadi. He is capable of giving you goosebumps with his score. You could feel that emanating through the reverberation that drums produced in The Great Wall movie’s trailer.

Then there is that rare grim attitude Matt Damon wears most of the times, where you can see him delivering lines with a steady resolve. There is one particular scene where we find Lin Mae portrayed by Tian Jing trying to make William understand trust. She tries to coax him into jumping that she wouldn’t let go. But William, who is used to not trusting anybody chooses not to, and responds:

I’m alive today because I do not trust anybody.

Then you cannot overlook the colossal army of The Nameless Order either. It’s huge. The way they move, the way they walk, the grandeur and the resplendence is beyond comparison. It is enough to put you in awe.

Then there are the monsters that are intelligently thought of with the concept of the queen at the center of it. A well thought of fantasy.

You can order The Great Wall here:

Other Issues

Now that we have good things out of the equation, let’s move on to the ugly part. There were plenty of issues starting with the creation of fear. With movies that deal with monsters and aliens, there has to be that morsel of fear lurking that should terrify its viewers. With the Chinese finding it not a big deal since they have always imaged beasts and monsters all their lives, it ends up becoming kind of a big deal, a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Everything happens too fast, there is no slow graze to help one experience that fear. That’s one of the most important points that the flick overlooks. Apart from that you have the cliched storyline. You have seen this happen so many times that it compels you to yawn your way into it. Heroics included are too childish to be true. Also, climax isn’t exactly the movie’s forte. You know what will happen. No element of surprise there.

Then one of the most daft things the movie does lost in its splendour is with the human harpoons, the acrobatic soldiers or the crane troop. When you are left on the mercy of a rope and an army of monsters below you don’t go spearheading straight into their jaws. No matter how cool it looks. That’s leaping into the mouths of death. That’s what they do, and many pay the price too as was expected.

The Final Verdict

The Great Wall ends up becoming really mediocre if you look at what it has in store for you. A predictable story, monsters that you are going to probably forget with time. Some heroic stunts with arrows that look good but too good to be true. It all becomes forgetful in the end which should have been exactly the opposite of what we all wanted.

You can check out the trailer of The Great Wall here:

Manchester by the Sea Review (2016) | Immensely Mournful

Extremely sad and touching. Kenneth Lonnergan‘s masterpiece is a movie that can’t be forgotten. Manchester by the Sea is a soul-stirring drama that will make sure you end up in a pool of tears. It has profound grief written all over it as it moves forward showing frames of a gradual build up that ends up in colossal dolour.

Grief is havocking. So the Manchester by the Sea proves when it swings around a reason so blood curdling that it is hard not to cry. It is a blend of guilt with pang thereafter that doesn’t let you slow down a bit. And you cry, and cry for a loss so horrendous it compels your guts to sing icky songs.

Direction of Manchester by the Sea

One of the best things about the movie is Kenneth Lonnergan’s direction. It is as calm as a good drama flick demands. Poignant and very powerful. It hides its cardinal cause well under the wraps for a good amount of time, building up enough suspense around the mystery man, the protagonist of the tale.

He chooses to go back in time occasionally showing the good days to prepare us for the saddest news our brains could register. His frames run long even if they are memories to give us a proper look into what had once happened.

Amongst Lonnergan’s other works are Margaret and You Can Count on Me.

Casey Affleck’s Acting Prowess

Casey Affleck’s performance is Oscar worthy. He is a great actor who is often overlooked by the gavels. He plays a guy who has accidentally done something horrible and is constantly living with a sad reminder of the tragedy.

Playing Lee wasn’t an easy job. The fact that he is tied up by an incessant struggle where he behaves like a tough guy, silently wishing to wane away inflicting pain by putting himself in harm’s way will make you feel extremely sorry for him.

It was an accident. An accident. It is so hard to make someone understand, the mishap you have to live with is all your own doing. He is in an incredible amount of pain and forever girded by depression. He says no to life, and is just carrying on without a will to live.

I don’t know if anyone could have played Lee Chandler as convincingly as he did.

Plot of Manchester by the Sea (Spoilers)

Lee Chandler portrayed by Casey Affleck is a guy doing menial jobs, who says no to the world, and you are left to wonder why. That’s when you see the movie making time jumps occasionally. It travels back and forth in its timeline to show you a glimpse of the before and the after.

It is only when his brother Joe Chandler portrayed by Kyle Chandler (yes he’s the real Chandler) dies that he decides to pay him a visit. Even there we are forced to believe Lee is an emotionally absent guy, who doesn’t shed a tear for the loss of a loved one.

With Joe’s death, he is supposed to look after his son Patrick played by Lucas Hedges. The latter is a teen still trying to figure out life. He seems to take the death of his old man lightly because it didn’t seem to affect him either. Both Joe and Patrick appear to be somehow on the same pedestals of human emotions wherein distance seems to have created what looks like reckless indifference.

still of casey affleck and lucas hedges in manchester by the sea

We delve a little deeper as they carry on their regular chores, inadvertently circling his grave with what comes as an aftermath of someone’s death. It is the mundane part that deals with funerals, the will, the entire setup that juxtaposes his thoughts against his past.

The Tragic Accident

In a place that Lee had forever dreaded to go back to, we find him unknowingly winding up. We are introduced to his enormous pang, the reason for a screwed up life, and why he wishes to stay miles away from Manchester. He had accidentally set his house on fire killing his three young children. It is hard not to empathize with it. The accident so despicable that could leave anyone shuddering for years. So it happens with Lee. It sucks out the will to live out of him.

The part that follows him when all charges are dropped against him is one of the most havocking parts of the movie. You find him asking:

“That’s it?”

to the cops who write him off saying it was just an accident and that it was nothing but a misfortune. His first impulse is to shoot himself when the police vindicates him. But he wishes immense punitive measures to be taken against him. To live with that pain is to be completely dead inside. And given the angst surrounding his tragedy anyone would want a quick escape.

With a downward tumble into the world of depression after a failed attempt at suicide, he has moved out of the city, out of his marriage and everything that remotely connected him to any memory. He is in constant pain, and wishes others to inflict more on him. A state of mind you can relate so much too. Deliberately asking for bludgeons to death.

Towards the end we find Randi Chandler his ex-wife played by Michelle Williams trying her level best to talk to Lee. It is another one of those devastating moments in the movie that puts drama back in action. Watch out for that!

“There’s nothing left. There’s nothing there, you don’t understand.”

You can order Manchester by the Sea here:

Lucas Hedges as an actor

At the same time Lucas Hedges doesn’t make you overlook him either. He plays that quintessential teen who couldn’t care less about what goes on in the family. But then again, he never let things percolate into him, and once it does, he breaks too. He has his own way of remembering, and putting sense into the loss. Like keeping the cadaver into a freezer bothered him the most. He is naive apparently yet brimming with emotions when he actually stops to think about it.

“Something’s wrong with me. I don’t know! I feel really weird! I am having like a panic attack or something.”

The Final Verdict

The aptly named Manchester by the Sea is a movie that should not be missed for the world. If you are not a fan of drama, then there’s a chance that you might not like it owing to its slow pace. Au contraire, if you are, you are going to absolutely love it. Do we hear Oscar bells for Casey and the movie?

You can check out the trailer of Manchester by the Sea here:

 

 

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