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Category: 2016 (page 1 of 10)

Holds movie reviews from the year 2016

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:

 

 

Hell or High Water Review (2016) | David Mackenzie Helms Another Masterpiece

Another great year for Taylor Sheridan as he writes another gorgeous piece Hell or High Water right after registering the extraordinary 2015 flick Sicario in the Hollywood books. The movie directed by David Mackenzie is a story of two brothers who set out on a bank robbery spree to save their family ranch in West Texas.

The beauty of Hell or High Water lies in its rugged originality, in its deadpan words that reflect reality. The way the movie trundles on its Western look and feel without losing sight of its true objective makes it an outright winner.

Direction of Hell or High Water Movie

I just love David Mackenzie’s direction. It pays utmost attention to character bearings, their talking mannerism, calm comportment at adverse times and the right on delivery of their dry humor. In his direction of the flick, he doesn’t miss out on acing the Western vista. The effortless flair is invariably there.

hell or high water brothers chris pine and ben foster

Then it is the way he lingers on a scene, until he squeezes out every bit of acting from his characters. His every scene stays definitive and complete giving the viewers plenty of perspective into the tale. Then the context of a relationship that he binds so beautifully with its characters goofing around with each other is amazing too. Even though there was a lot of Taylor Sheridan to it, Mackenzie just nails it, hands down.

Plot and the Pairing Up

While the movie banks on its robbing brothers Toby and Tanner portrayed by Chris Pine and Ben Foster perfectly to show one side of the tale, we have Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham as Marcus Hamilton and Alberto Parker silently working for the right side. The Howard brothers are the rampaging loners who steer the story forward.

Lord of the Plains.

Constantly pulling each other’s legs are Alberto and Marcus who are trying to hunt the brethren down. It is their chemistry that makes the movie a genial hoot.

Whilst the plot might sound like a bit cliched given the number of “bank job” movies that are out there, the reason here is a tad different. Toby and Tanner are trying to save their ranch, that is up for foreclosure. They have found oil in it, meaning a perfect life  for posterity. The only way out they see is by plundering banks. They are burying their four wheeler alibis in their property that can’t be touched. They wipe off their traces making it impossible for the cops to figure out the who. In short, they are really smart.

But with an even smarter cop they don’t stray far away. You can see Marcus getting closer to them with his instincts. Eventually a shootout breaks wherein Tanner loses it. Sniping Alberto he tags himself under the cross-hair of Marcus. And pays the price with his life. Toby goes on to purchase the ranch, thus earning loads of money, securing the future of his estranged children.

We are served an awesome standoff in the end where we find them pressed against each other. Yet the movie just ends with a threat in disguise leaving of what might ensue to viewer’s imagination.

Crime Movies

It must be very well understood what a crime movie tries to achieve. There’s always going to be the good side as long as their is bad in the world. There needs to be someone or something vilifying and cooling down the damage done . So no matter how badass the villainy might seem, or how likable a wicked character ends up becoming, eventually it has go down under the truck.

Toby: You talk like we ain’t gonna get away with this.

Tanner: I’ve never met nobody who got away with anything, ever.

But then there is that character akin to Robin Hood, who did whatever he did for the impoverished and the weak. He justifies the things that he has done. He is exonerated in the eyes of the public since he was doing the right thing. And not doing it just for the heck of it. He did not kill anybody and did not commit a crime so horrendous that could not be forgiven.

Toby and Tanner are paragons of such characters. Also, there is nothing above the law. No amount of good you do after you have done something bad can wipe that slate clean. Here, Marcus stays the epitome of law.

You can order Hell or High Water here:

Awesome Scenes to Watch Out For (Spoilers Ahead)

Hell or High Water doesn’t run short on its ultimate tinge of badassery. Like that scene wherein Tanner Howard stares blankly at a sporty car that stops at the gas station. And the owner is a bloke with a gun who feels offended of him gawking.

Boy, you’d think there were 10 of me.

The camera is placed such so you can see Toby making his way back from the shop. And then as things were beginning to get ugly Toby arrives just in the nick of time to literally destroy the poor guy. That’s one hell of an adrenaline rush.

Then there is that slapstick wit, that savoury tang that is always lurking in Tanner’s mouth. Like the time when he is intimidated by Bear who says:

I am a Comanche. Do you know what it means? It means ‘Enemy to everyone’.

Tanner who can’t be messed with either responds almost immediately with a comeback:

Do you know what that makes me? A Comanche.

The Final Verdict

Hell or High Water is a beautiful movie that is made even better by its entire Western setup and its splendid screenplay. Powerful performances by its characters make it thoroughly enjoyable. It never strays from its cardinal crux – come what may , thus justifying the title as well. A David Mackenzie beauty that should not be missed.

You can check out the trailer of Hell or High Water movie here:

 

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

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

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

Plot of the Red Turtle Movie (Spoilers)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Beautiful Woman

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

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

Interpretation of The Red Turtle Movie

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

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

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

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

Reason to Live

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

image of the red turtle woman and man

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

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

The Huge Takeaways

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Verdict

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

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

Allied Movie Review (2016) | A Suspenseful Shade of Romance

Robert Zemeckis returns, this time with a war thriller, an intriguing weave of Steven Knight‘s brain. Allied Movie thrives on constant suspense to come up with a tale that swivels around a sheer veil. It is a slow build up for its core suspense. But the build up is beautiful, gradually sewed in with ingenuous love that appears very convincing owing to the extraordinary acting prowess of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.

The movie falters a bit with its drama quotient, owing to a decisive plot. Also, there isn’t much eventually left to chew on. However, owing to the mammoth parable that hides underneath its pages, minor issues with the flick are worth overlooking.

Theme and Plot of Allied Movie (Spoilers)

Marion hits the home run with her every look, every stare. Her love smitten eyes are hard not to fall for. And Brad sings like a canary to her tunes. That’s why it becomes instantly heartbreaking when the actor Simon McBurney who portrays a Special Operations Executive barges in the lovely story putting a tinge of doubt to it, thus bringing cloud of chaos.

still of Brad Pitt and Mario Cotillard in Allied Movie

Allied Movie begins with a mission in 1942 where a Canadian Air Force Intelligence Officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is supposed to team up with a French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour in Casablanca. Together they are supposed to assassinate a German ambassador. In their short stint of posing as husband and wife for cover, they end up falling in love for real.

“We are married, why would we laugh?”

Before the events of assassination take place Max proposes Marianne to marry her and come to live with him in London. They survive events of Casablanca after which Marianne is summoned to London. They settle down in Hampstead where Marianne gives birth to a beautiful baby girl (Anna).

The Major Twist

A good promising year passes them by. One day an unexpected call shakes the very foundation of Max. He learns from an S.O. E. head that his wife is suspected to be a spy. As a reassurance, as part of a ‘blue dye’ op, he is asked to follow a bluff, send a fake message. If their German interceptors pick it, it would confirm them that she is indeed a spy.

“There’s a thing called the soul. I’ve looked into her soul.”

He was ordered to kill her with his own hands if that were so. If not complied he would be hanged for treason. Mentally scathed by bold allegations, Max decides to run his own errands to confirm Marianne’s true identity. He risks his own life to eventually find out the bitter truth the hard way.

The Clouded Truth

She was indeed a spy however when brought under his emotional scanner admits to have been forced into doing the job.

You cannot empathize with Max’s state of mind enough when you realize the truth. His first urge to hit her the moment she admits it reeks of human chagrin and helplessness.

“Was the love real?”

You can’t help but wonder what of a relationship that starts when it starts with a brazen lie? Is it not destined to fail? Is it not supposed to swallow itself in the muck of its own unscrupulous ingress? Even though the backdrop we have here is that of a world at war, and being a spy to a nation, selling secrets is punishable by life. It was crashing, crashing all the way. Doom written on it!

still of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard in Allied movie

To contrast the apparent downhill ride of a love story that was built on a blunt lie, Marianne is still shown in a good light. She ends up taking her life to save Max from coming under the cross-hair of a traitor.

The movie ends with a letter she had written for her daughter predicting her imminent downfall. For the first time we hear her real name, that’s when the curtain closes.

Moments to Reflect

Allied movie ends with a poignant veracity. Marianne stood by Max even though she was in the wrong. In all that murky quilts of suspense, she was still doing the right thing. And you missed all of that because the director had you convinced. Convinced with his lore that was supposed to put her in the wrong light. Then eventually he comes back to it where we see all that was right there. The way she looked at him, and the way he looked back. Love poised for hours between. The point where she goes to her room as if going to read Max’s feigned message, but that was in fact intended to write that final letter anticipating the end, coming out clean.

still of a smitten Marion Cotillard in Allied

That moment in the end where she waits, and waits for Max to come out of a pub where he goes to slay her handler, will bring vibes of uncertainty home once again. It is the beauty of the movie that it forever keeps you guessing. Even though you see the end coming, you still suspect her of her unsought actions, of what she might do, or what was she really thinking, on which side of the court she really stood?

It is only after that trigger goes that you begin to see the good in her. Alas! It’s too late then, and the damage is already done. The dead is proclaimed. The train has already left!

Other Amazing Bits

You can’t also overlook the fact to what lengths Max goes to establish the truth. It is after all his life and his everything that stands at stake.  A constant gurgle of pain that forces him to take matters in his own hand. His desperation oozes out his eyes, and he can’t settle down until he finds the truth for himself, not for the government, but for himself first. Very powerful!

You also can’t help but wonder the truth should have actually come from her, instead of him finding out about it from someone else. At least that’s the cardinal basis of any relationship. So it was slowly crawling towards an end nevertheless. A debatable topic indeed.

Anoher one of the beauties the movie aces is the depiction of a child delivery amidst chaos. That frame instantly puts you in the right poetic zone – a psychotic world unperturbed by things that are happening on earth, delivering justice with decimating bombs, whilst another one croons for mercy, silently playing sitting ducks following nature’s intended way. The juxtaposition of killing and bringing forth a life is highly commendable.

You can order Allied Movie here:

The Final Verdict

Mental games that Allied plays will have your heart in your mouth. It makes you wonder about betrayals in your life, or if not then lets you at least empathize with it. You live the turmoil alongside its protagonist, and question the decisions he took with blinding eyes.

You can’t help but feel sorry for the mental conundrum Brad goes through. His eyes wondering out loud if she is a spy or if she isn’t. At the same time you can’t overlook Marion’s enchanting performance either, the trickster who dreamed for a life.

You can check out the trailer of Allied movie here:

Passengers Movie Review (2016) | Love at Strange Crises

The coolest people we know, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence finally pair up together for a sci fi tthe time we reach its end, the damage is too gigantic to recover from. The solemnity with which the movie had actually begun and crawled forward with, ends up becoming quite vapid for even a romantic movie. However, the movie still manages to literally hyperdrive.

Plot of Passengers Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Passengers takes off brilliantly when it begins. Its beauty lingered in its stunning unravelling, the slow revelation of its intriguing plot.

The flick commences with an engineer Jim Preston waking up from a hibernation pod in a starship called Avalon, only to realize he had awakened too soon. His entire crew is headed towards a planet similar to that of earth called Homestead II. Now he can’t go back to sleep because the Avalon’s pods don’t work that way. He realizes there was still a good 90 years left for the ship to reach its destination, that he was a surefire ill-fated quietus.

image of passengers movie starship Avalon

There is only one person, er, android on the entire ship, he could have a real conversation with. The humanoid named Arthur played by Michael Sheen is a pleasant company to keep when the chips are down. The pilot area is barred by a door that can’t be opened without an authorized security bracelet. So all his efforts to enter the room goes in vain.

“The universe is not evil but it has a nasty sense of humor.”

The Sleeping Beauty

The twist in the tale arrives when Jim struggles to live insanity for more than an year, eventually deciding to give up. However, too scared to take his life, he comes across a sleeping beauty named Aurora Lane played by Jennifer Lawrence who changes the way he looks at life. He checks her files, recorded videos to find out more about her eventually falling for her hard. He decides to live, and within his countless confabs with Arthur admits an unwarranted wish to wake her up, even though it was downright unscrupulous.

Blinded by love, he ends up manually overriding Aurora’s hibernation pod. Without telling her who or what caused her pod failure he allows her to fall in love with him. Smitten with each other their destiny begins to write itself in their slow impending doom.

Stranded Destiny

It is that sense of wretchedness that swallows Aurora just like it does to us, when there’s nothing to do. When you feel constantly stranded on a planet with nothing substantial to work upon.

“I envy you Arthur. You have a purpose.”

Things run smooth, until one day Arthur, the android to whom Jim had confided in, spills the beans. It is this turmoil that destroys whatever Jim had so diligently built. Mad at Jim for waking her up before time, and considering it murder, she refuses to see his face or even listen to him.

Meanwhile Avalon has encountered numerous damages and is definitely going to blow up if they didn’t do something about it. Wakes up Chief Deck officer, Gus Mancuso portrayed by Laurence Fishburne with the authority to enter the room they had failed to enter. On being told by Aurora of what Jim did to her, Gus reasons with:

“The drowning man will always try to take someone down with him.”

This makes you wonder, it always takes a third person’s perspective to see something that stays clouded by your judgment. Even though Gus put it in her head, it was enough to think why Jim did what he did in the first place. Though not justified, for the first time she took things from his perspective.

You can order the Passengers movie from here:

The Final Part

The climactic part deals with Gus passing away, handing over the reins of the ship into the hands of its two intact passengers. Identifying the cause as an asteroidal damage that had fried up Avalon’s reactors, both work to set things straight. However, since the system is fried, and the reactor is out of control, Jim decides to go manual on it trying to vent it out. It is this ultimate sacrifice that has Aurora convinced about his huge significance, begging him to come back alive.

Once the reactor door opens and the heat vents out, it sends Jim flying in the air disconnected. He begins to wane when Aurora with hopes to bring him back, goes after. Back in the safety of the starship she finds him dead, but eventually performs a major Prometheus kind of pod operation on him to resuscitate him back to life.

Mawkish Vibes

Image a world that’s sleeping, and you are the only person wide awake. Doesn’t that reflect, I don’t know, life? It’s metaphorical only if the movie meant it. But I am afraid, Passengers movie is too shallow to actually mean it. It doesn’t cash in on its poetic vibes, rather focuses on what’s going on to meet the story requirements.

The chemistry starts off great, but then loses its spark. Jim suddenly feels getting sidelined, and doesn’t bank on his sea of thoughts when things begin to go south. Morten Tyldum overlooks emotional profundity, ends up eliminating pathos entirely.

still of Jim Preston and Aurora Lane in Passengers Movie

Final bits are as ridiculous as a movie could get. It keeps spiraling and escalating desperate to meet a happy end. It’s hard to take things seriously, when everything keeps happening in split seconds. The movie loses its endearing riveting focus then and there, that had us spellbound so far.

A headstrong Aurora in the end becomes a mere observer when she doesn’t know what’s going on, or what’s happening. The part where she ends up getting hit by a shard seems like weirdly input. To justify the heat of the moment!

Also, the colossal import of traveling to a distant planet, living alone for an year, diminishes when you lance it with cheap saccharine drops. That’s what the movie ends up becoming owing to that sped up ending.

The Final Verdict

Passengers movie makes you think of how fate binds us despite our attempt to slingshot past it. Life can happen at the most unusual places, at weirdest junctures. So can love crisscross you on uncalled for crossroads. That fate has a funny way of dealing with things. It, in a way, teaches us to make the most of the now, forgive and live before we forget how to.

If you try hard to read between the lines, the theme of the movie stays poetic as well. It reflects everything kind of our extant lives. How two people wake up, they fall in and then out of love. Their existence in a “sleeping” world makes you believe that’s how it always works in reality too. That rare magic eludes us, then happens, only to vanish again like stardust. If we hold on to it, by forgiving each other, despite how bad the fallout is then we can truly enjoy our ride.

It is just that Passengers movie is more inclined towards romance than adventure or drama. Even though the onscreen pairing of mischief is what we had been dying to see for so long, the movie doesn’t live up to the mark in terms of spell-binding gravitas that we expected from it profusely.

Still it’s a movie that should not be missed owing to a story that makes you marvel at human mind.

Check out the trailer of the Passengers movie here:

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