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Christopher Robin Movie Review (2018) | Understanding the Real Meaning | Full Analysis with Spoilers

What an alluring analogy! Christopher Robin movie is a gorgeous satire pointing all its paws towards what we have become. It tries to remind us of our place in the world. At the same time, throws light on how jobs have turned us into something else altogether. Not only were we puppets to fate earlier, now we are dancing to the tune of extant “Heffalumps” in our lives too.

Christopher Robin movie makes use of numerous strong puns in its screenplay where it compares our life to the pointless chore it has become. It expounds the meaninglessness of the life we are leading, of how ugly job has made us. And it delivers the point in a way that’s easy to grasp.

Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.

At the same time, Christopher Robin does not suck out all the magic from a fictional character like Winnie the Pooh. It serves both kinds of audience – people who don’t think too much, and those who do. While the latter has a lot to gain from a beautiful movie like this, it does not fail to impress the former too. The integrity of all the fictional characters in Christopher Robin movie is saved as if they were all real even though they were nothing but a figment of Christopher’s imagination.

If you are confused and wish to understand the analogy sandwiched in the gorgeous frames of Christopher Robin, I have decided to do a proper analysis of Christopher Robin Movie. Check it out:

The Plot Analysis of Christopher Robin Movie (Spoilers)

Members of Hundred Acre Wood are throwing a goodbye party for young Christopher Robin (Orton O’ Brien) as he is headed to boarding school. Imagine characters like Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo and Owl as soft toys Christopher has. He plays with them regularly until one day he is forced to leave them behind just like one has to when one crosses a certain age. Remember Bing Bong from Inside Out?

Pooh: What should happen if you forget about me?

Young Christopher Robin: Silly old bear. I wouldn’t ever forget about you, Pooh, I promise. Not even when I am a hundred.

Christopher Robin and winnie the pooh

But what happens to all your favorite toys when you grow up? Life happens. Christopher Robin, too, forgets all about them – his playthings. Until one day the topic is brought up by his daughter who he is not paying much attention to because of work. She has come across his old collection. With the collection tingled, we see what Pooh is up to in Hundred Acre Wood. It’s like a spark that ignites in Christopher’s mind making him imagine his favourite soft toy once again.

I would have liked it to go on for a while longer. Perhaps it’s our turn to save Christopher.

The Marionette

The company he is working for is run by Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss) who has asked Christopher to lay down 20% of resources. Owing to that he is compelled to work even on weekends thus upending plans of enjoying with his family in the countryside. We all have those “Winslows” in our lives who call your shots, who have your rein in their hands. They have you under their control and there’s nothing you can do about it. You are forced to follow their command or it might cost you and your family everything.

Christopher Robin: You promised these people good jobs!

Giles Winslow: And I thought you’d do anything for this company.

In the back of his head, he is well aware of what he has been doing to his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter by not spending much time with them. It is there inside his skull well-lit, the fact that he needs to stop being a marionette to his boss’s demands and take a stand, live a little. Unfortunately, that part is dim and surmounted by his feeble mind that has been wired to run timidly. Ultimately, he gives in to Winslow’s demand and decides to stay back while his family goes to Sussex without him.

Evelyn Robin: You won’t be coming to the cottage?

Christopher Robin: It can’t be helped.

Evelyn Robin: Your life is happening now, right in front of you.

The Arrival of Winnie the Pooh

It’s always a sunny day, when Christopher Robin comes to play

When they are leaving we see a bottle of honey falling to the ground. It is subtly placed by the writers to announce the arrival of Pooh and here honestly kept for Christopher to notice in order to bring back those memories from the past. Think of honey as a reminder that takes him back to the time when he was a kid. He begins to imagine once again how Pooh would show up into his world out of nowhere.

Christopher Robin and winnie the pooh in London

Winnie The Pooh: Your ladder is broken.

Christopher Robin: That was a shelf.

Winnie The Pooh: Well, that explains why it was no good for climbing.

So what we thought of as a ladder, the position or the status you thought you would get in a company is basically a shelf. We are all stowed in the same place and we are given an illusion of growth. We are not climbing but running, just on a treadmill.

Christopher is basically remembering things as they were. What would Pooh say if he were around? How clumsy would he be! And yet so intelligent by saying things that he would otherwise scoff at. But in reality, he is the only person putting words into the mouth of a motionless teddy bear. This notion isn’t imaginative anymore for the viewers now, even though in a way it is.

Christopher Robin: I have cracked!

Winnie The Pooh: Oh, I don’t see any cracks. A few wrinkles, maybe.

Dealing with himself and spending a night and a wrecked morning, Christopher decides to take Pooh back to his home. He catches a train to Sussex.

Christopher Robin: No, no, no! This can’t be happening! It’s stress.

Winnie The Pooh: But it’s not stress. It’s Pooh.

Catching the Train

It’s a whole lot of trouble for Christopher as he struggles to take Pooh back to his home. Winnie wears a childlike innocence that will make you go – “Hey! I used to be like that when I was a kid. Whatever happened?”

Christopher Robin: Just try and be a less, a less exuberant you.

Winnie The Pooh: Ex-Pooh-berant.

The bear is in love with balloons, surprises people by failing to “stay dead” and struggles to understand the weird world of adults. Why everyone behaves in a certain way? Why are they so cold? He calls the journey an expedition, an adventure, aggrandizing mundane things like we used to, back when we were kids.

Christopher Robin: I wonder which way.

Winnie The Pooh: I always get to where I am going by walking away from where I’ve been.

Making the Most of Life

Pooh is a creative bear making games, making the most of any situation and having fun – the very definition Christopher’s life is void of today. As a grown-up, there is lesser time for Christopher to be creative. His job is chewing him and he can’t squeeze out enough time to dive into possibilities.

Pooh makes some valid points that will make you step into a whirlpool of thoughts.

Winnie The Pooh: What day is it?

Christopher Robin: It’s today.

Winnie The Pooh: My favorite day.

On being told about the rest of the Hundred Acre gang, Christopher Robin is being hit with their memories one by one.

Christopher Robin: I haven’t thought about them in years.

Winnie The Pooh: Well, we think about you every day.

It is so sad. All the things we held dear are captured in time, and it will only take a moment to remember them and revive them, make them afresh and brim them alive. And yet we are oblivious to their existence. Good times are only a thought away. Yet we have forgotten our good times, our childhood toys and the way they used to rejoice us.

A Battle with Himself

Christopher Robin movie’s most poignant moment arrives when Christopher tries to reason with Pooh. He tries to make him understand the importance of his work. To an innocent mind, it does not make any sense. He knows that! It is like a battle with himself.

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.

It is when Pooh asks Christopher about his “working” world that things begin to get grim. Pooh thinks that all the people he works with are his friends, which Christopher at once refuses. It is so true – You are spending so much time with them, why are they not your friends? It is a work culture that we have bred that makes us strangers even though we see each other every day. We are distant with people that are in our vicinity. Why is it like that? Aren’t we playing (working) under the same roof? Why are there boundaries separating us from being with each other?

We just need a leap of faith!

A workplace is no fun, and the very definition has been gradually instilled as we have started becoming aloof to each other. We have cubicles defining our place and whispers stopping each other from celebrating with everyone. We are no longer friends. Humans, nay, adults are wired not to work well with each other. Our differences set us apart and it is hard to make that clear to a child. But what seems like a juvenile question is, in fact, a soul-shaker. It only makes us see our ugliness.

Importance of Work

On being asked what’s inside his suitcase, Christopher brands it as the most important thing in his life, that his whole life depends on it. Accidentally Pooh opens the suitcase and all his papers jostle out with the wind miffing Christopher in the process. A fight ensues and Pooh realizes that Christopher is better off without him. That he no longer is that fun person he used to be when he was a kid.

Think of it all as a conscious mind fighting with his sub-consciousness, reasoning with him and seething in the pain that emanates from his actions. “Why can’t I be the way I used to be?” is what Christopher is wondering. “Why are these papers so important? All I am is a moment away from dumping them and having a time of my life. But why can’t I?”

Heffalumps and Woozles Analogy in Christopher Robin Movie

Heffalumps and Woozles are compared to bosses and managers who have your leash in their hands. So you already know they are monsters who force you to believe that the work at hand is the most important thing in your life, but it, in fact, is theirs or someone else’s. But you wheeze anyway under the load of their self-made work so much that you forget to live.

still of pooh piglet and eeyore

It is a constant tussle as we see him falling into a pit, here a “Heffalump Trap” that slowly fills with water. It is akin to a pool of tears when you are overwhelmed and you end up letting go. The backdrop of fog is a perfect setup of confusion and chaos. The vagueness makes you lose your sight. The vision becomes hazy and you gradually succumb to it.

Waking up he has a little bit clarity although he realizes he hasn’t yet paid attention or given a proper thought to what Pooh, his subconsciousness has been ranting all this time. Remembering the rest of his friends back when he was a kid he bumps into Eeyore. You could think of him running into the soft toy and then playing a conversation with him.

Eeyore – A Powerhouse of Despair

Eeyore is like a powerful emotion. A splash of negativity that you can’t get rid of. An essential too. His vision is more inclined towards seeing the worst of things. But he is necessary. You can’t stay positive all the time, can you? It’s just inevitable.

In Christopher Robin movie, we see Eeyore in the river headed towards the waterfall, a surefire fall, and yet not doing anything about it. It is kind of like our working life. We knowingly throw ourselves into the pit and refuse to take action. He even says that out loud:

Just have to go with the flow.

He has left himself to the hands of fate when he could have chosen to swim across and save himself. We see Christopher trying to put some sense in him but he is a paragon of despair. How many times have you become so complacent in life that you stopped doing anything to change it? The torpor just renders you useless and then a point comes when you just stop caring.

Laughing at my misfortune, just like a Heffalump.

Eeyore drives the nail further by confirming the analogy of Heffalumps in Christopher Robin movie. It is the boss, the manager or the leader who has the reins of your life and laughs at your misfortune. Christopher is very keen on proving that he is not like those horrendous monsters but their same old buddy. He wishes to earn back his respect. For that, he literally pretends to fight a Heffalump, the bad guy and successfully earns their trust.

Finding the Rest of The Team in Christopher Robin Movie

It is a tad childish I know, but the young imaginative Christopher is back now. He is trying his best to, if you remove all the animals out of the equation, earn his own good trust. Making a silent promise to himself that he would be more happening and fun.

He then discovers Pooh to be in his favorite spot and then apologizes for shouting at him and getting upset thus making amends with himself by being at peace.

Christopher Robin: I am not the person I used to be.

Winnie The Pooh: You saved us. You are a hero.

Christopher Robin: I am not a hero, Pooh. The fact is, I am lost.

Winnie The Pooh: But I found you.

But what seemed to be a newly acquired virtue of being fun, doesn’t last long as he wakes up. There is a mental alarm clock in all of us that wakes us up early in the morning preparing us to go to work, to be someone’s slave. Christopher is no different and he blasts past everyone he ever loved to catch that morning train.

It is a bummer for his daughter Madeline who had thought his father was there for her. She bumps into all of his father’s friends (you can read here as toys which he might have left in a hurry) and realizes that he has left all his important papers to dry. In that shot of madness, Christopher might have also filled it with things that were dear to him. Here in the Christopher Robin movie, it has been theatricalized to be done by Tigger primarily because its character is funny and clumsy.

The End Run

Now Madeline takes that as a mission to deliver the important papers to her father with all the newly found friends. Also, she isn’t willing to go to boarding school and wishes to dissuade her father from sending her there. She leaves a note for her mother before leaving for London.

still of madeline robin in christopher robin movie

Even on the train, you see different perspectives when Pooh wishes to play the same game of naming things he sees.

Winnie The Pooh: It’s called “Say What You See”. You, first, Eeyore.

Eeyore: Disgrace. Shame. Humiliation.

It is interesting that Piglet points out fear and stress, while Eeyore goes for what you generally feel when you try to be different.

At the office, in the meeting, Christopher discovers that the papers were missing. Just then Evelyn arrives and informs him about their missing daughter. They both start looking for her while Madeline and gang end up in Winslow company crates.

The Most Important Thing

Eventually, all of them meet and Madeline breaks it to Christopher that she wanted to deliver the most important thing – “papers” to him. It melts Christopher’s heart finally. The feeling that made him feel her void, the tension that he carried in his heart while looking for her, helps him realize that there was nothing more important than his family. That he didn’t care about the papers anymore. He even agrees to not send Madeline to the boarding school instead spend some quality time with them. Things in his office automatically take the right course when he becomes bold and takes a stand against his “Heffalump” Giles Winslow. Then he barges out with his family and toys.

Work finally loses to the family. With that, the Christopher Robin movie ends on a happy note with a new and reformed Christopher for whom family always comes first.

You can order Christopher Robin movie with bonus content from here:

The Reality Serum | Ending of Christopher Robin Movie Explained

To the viewers of Christopher Robin movie, Pooh is made real, and that happens on so many occasions to a gawking world around. Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet end up waving or talking to many people they come across in London. While it could be a jest that Marc Forster, the director of Christopher Robin movie, could be playing at but somehow it all doesn’t fit in the equation. How can others see them?

Madeline Robin: You’re talking.

Winnie The Pooh: No, I’m not talking. Well, I am now, I suppose.

To that you can say, these are all people who have begun to see the spark Christopher carries. They have started observing things, those imaginative and creative efforts that Christopher brought to the world when he was a kid. It leaves its shine on all those he comes across. So when the driver sees Tigger talking or when the policeman witnesses it too, you can think of it as Madeline playing with all the soft toys now. When you see a child making you a make-believe cup of tea, you never say no to that. So the characters she comes across too play along.

I know it’s a bummer to figure out fantasies are not real. But it makes a lot of sense when you tack them against an imaginative board. But all those stories that carry a handful of fairy dust of fantasies and miracles, they all simply try to layer up the crux that they wish to deliver. It is up to you, to look past the figments and figure out the true meaning behind.

Christopher Robin: If I work really hard now, in the future our lives will be…

Evelyn Robin: Impressive? Worse? We don’t care. We want you.

The Final Verdict

If you take all the members of Hundred Acre Wood out of the equation and try to understand the mindset of a guy who is having one of his episodes of nostalgia you realize the true meaning behind the Christopher Robin movie. It doesn’t elude it, except maybe towards the end where it becomes too childish to be taken seriously. It begins to dwindle by the end.

Some of those things are acceptable, only if you understand, the writers and the director were keen on catering to both kinds of viewers, ergo the resultant work suffers.

There’s always time for a smackeral of wonder.

But if you focus on all the goods that I have pointed, you will realize Christopher Robin movie is one hell of a film that has been brilliantly imagined. Hats off to everybody who was associated with it in any way. They have done a great job!

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: