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

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

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

Direction and Theme of Logan Lucky (Spoilers)

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

Meet the Logans

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

logan lucky brothers channing tatum and adam driver

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

Cauliflower.

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

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

Meet The Bangs

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

I am incarcerated.

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

Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky movie

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

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

The Plan in Logan Lucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Reveal

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

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

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

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That Emotional Touch

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

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

The Sense of Satisfaction

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

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

logan lucky bang brothers

Minor Issues

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

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

The Final Verdict

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

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

Check out the trailer of Logan Lucky here:

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.

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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:

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:

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review (2015)

“I know all about waiting.”

Behold y’awl! The Force has finally awakened! Star Wars: The Force Awakens is everything you wanted the Star Wars sequel to be.

After spending almost a decade devoid of force, J.J. Abrams walks in with the next big installment of the immortal saga with a brilliant plot in his baggage. Star Wars: The Force Awakens does the franchise justice it deserves. The sequel series has once again commenced and it has one of the most pragmatic plots in its vanguard. It at once gallops to answer ‘what could have happened next’ with three young actors to take the ‘new’ story-line forward.

Here we get a new perspective altogether for the first time, unlike previous installments, of a sentient Stormtrooper who doesn’t wish to be evil. John Boyega might have played a clumsy character for the better half but he is onto something big. Finn is scared but there is something good in him that compels him to do the right thing. Also, he brings an element of humour to the tale.

Daisy Ridley’s Rey wears an endearing personality throughout the flick and plays a crucial role whilst packing a fair protagonist punch trying to figure out her connection with the force. To watch Adam Driver play the badass antagonist was awesome. His voice was heavy like Vader’s, his deeds terrifying, and his anger destructive.

Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron can’t be ignored either. His flying capabilities remind you of Luke’s bad-ass runs from the prequels. There is one single shot where Po flies the X-Wing and performs so many thrilling take-downs. It was brilliantly taken from Finn’s vantage. Snoke braces us with a cameo that clears the dust for an impending doom. Andy Serkis hammers another CGI to perfection.

The flick has elements that will haul you back in time with nostalgia. Reminiscent references, images, and characters from the previous parts cloud the screen quite often and you just can’t help pointing them out like Easter eggs. Be it be the badass Vader music in just a mere glimpse, or a circular frame-changer like the one used in previous parts, it has every element shoehorned in to call it a definite Star Wars movie.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a brilliant tribute to the most revered tale in the whole universe. If you haven’t watched it yet, just run to the theatres already! May the force be with you!