Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: Daisy Ridley

Star Wars The Last Jedi Review (2017) | Epicness Continues

One word. Epic! Star Wars The Last Jedi promises goosebumps and it delivers exactly that on a silver platter. Episode VIII in the Star Wars saga has an extremely well-written story that gambols on different storylines to keep viewers interested. It has so many awe-inspiring moments in it to leave you wonderstruck, nay, starstruck with each scene that follows. Whether it be the inclusion of new characters or species, Star Wars The Last Jedi movie aces them all in a plot that’s simply befitting.

Direction of Star Wars The Last Jedi

You might know Rian Johnson from Looper fame. He is a fantastic director who carries a gradual enthralling pace when it comes to depicting frames. While others choose to run towards action, he lets it come of its own accord. That being said, Star Wars The Last Jedi movie has plenty of action but there’s not a single moment in it where you feel it has been rushed. Every section has a proper build-up which Rian creates to rope you in until it reaches fruition. When everything sieves in, it feels like as if each story meets its perfect end.

Yoda: The greatest teacher, failure is.

In terms of presentation, he scores the highest when he chooses to depict decimation in a light that lets things stand out. Yes, a nod to that final Crait fight in red and white. Simply spectacular!

Rian breaks free from all standards and conventions of cinema. He obliterates those customary fetters that we have become so accustomed to – seeing things happen the way they are supposed to happen. He toys with parallel storylines wherein an expected course of action doesn’t generally work as planned. To be honest, it all feels like life itself. How many times have you felt that way? Like when you expect something to happen and things don’t go as planned. There’s always Plan B for failures. Rian Johnson presses on that living and extant nerve.

You cannot overlook Rian’s genius even when portraying the force ‘connection’. Never for a second does he get into the eyes of the characters to show us what they were seeing, primarily because it is a notion intangible that binds them. You cannot depict them seeing each other in a crystal clear light. It’s a feeling to be felt.

Rey and Luke Skywalker

Reprising her role as Rey, Daisy Ridley once again proves why she was a perfect choice for a protagonist when she was signed for one of the most brilliant and successful running franchises of all times. To take the legacy forward Rey leaves no stones unturned and fits in her storyline that follows the events of The Force Awakens like a glove.

Rey and Luke in Star Wars The Last Jedi

I need someone to show me my place in all of this.

We find Rey learning ways of the Jedi from a reluctant Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). It is a relentless struggle to bring Luke to train her and the director makes sure you understand the struggle really well. It is quite palpable when you look inside Luke’s brain and find out as to why he had decided to call it quits. The tension runs for a while, and though exhausting at times, it all builds up for its epic showdown.

The Balance between the Dark and the Light

The Last Jedi teases you more than once to make you truly believe the story that’s painted on the screen, forcing that layer of credibility, making you actually think that inclining to the Dark or the Light is only a thought away. And it builds itself around that quotient intelligibly. You get to know what Force is all about and what it all means through what Rey actually sees and feels.

Luke Skywalker: Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out. What do you see?

Rey: Light. Darkness. A balance.

Luke Skywalker: It’s so much bigger.

That montage of frames Rian Johnson decided to go with, goes on to show how he wishes us all to have a glimpse of what we have been only registering in our thoughts for decades. That popular symbolic energy that permeates us has a form to be felt. Rian makes it all very tangible for us.

Kylo’s Tussle (Spoilers)

Whilst Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is busy walking on the precipice of the forces, occasionally gleaming with that good guy spark, you realize it’s something Darth Vader was struggling with too in the past prequels. But Adam Driver simply nails it! With all the right expressions, the brawl in his head oozes out like a real struggle.

The Empire, your parents, the Resistance, the Sith, the Jedi…let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be.

You can taste defeat in Rey’s hopeful face when she makes a theatrical broken heart sound real. It is as if you are rooting for Kylo for a second, counting on him to turn towards Light, and then your heart gets broken too. Rey and Ren make it all very relatable transporting you into their world.

To break Rey, Kylo does what any villain would do. Plucking that parentage card and playing it. Giving her hope, a darker one to coax her into joining hands with someone that connects.

You come from nothing. You are nothing. But not to me.

It is amazing how the creators have always managed to create dark as a tempting alternative to light. It feels so right and yet it is so wrong. Like a perfect balance! It’s good to see The Last Jedi milking it again.

The Resistance in Distress

You might think that’s the only story in the plot, but it expands as it oscillates between the one that’s holed up in the beginning frames. While Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is incapacitated, Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) takes command.

With Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) confined indoors the rebels rebel amongst themselves as he takes charge of the situation. There’s a Plan A still under wraps headed by Finn (John Boyega) which Poe wishes to see through.

I was raised to fight. For the first time I have something to fight for.

Finn finds a pleasant company in Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) who by the way is just perfect for him.

Rose Tico in Star Wars The Last Jedi

That’s how we are going to win. Not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.

It is brilliant what Rian does with the story when he chooses to confuse the audience by showing Holdo in a bad light, (letting us watch her from Poe’s perspective) and then resuscitates her as the one who was actually trying to help.  She was the Plan B that was playing in the backdrop all along. Watch out for her badass assault on First Order! That was out of the blue!

The Epic Showdown

Whilst at a point you feel that the movie is about to end, you realize the action is just getting started. Everything takes us and prepares us for one final showdown that’s as epic as it gets. Not only does it do justice to the title but it also does justice to Luke, the protagonist of prequels, paying as much homage to him as one could by giving him a single shot at fame in a limited time.

He shows up like a true Jedi he is, finally overcoming his recalcitrance to face the First Order’s suicidal onslaught. What follows is an eye-boggling moment to be witnessed only in theatres for true mirth.

Every word of what you just said was wrong.

You cannot also overlook what Resistance does in desperate times. Whatever limited resources they had in their hands they use it nevertheless. By heading to an old base in Crait, they revive the old. Despite surrounded by obsolete and battered stuff, they still give it a shot, fighting with what little they had, but fighting nevertheless.

The Final Verdict

Star Wars The Last Jedi is a brilliant addition to one of the most venerated series of all times. It does the franchise the most justice a movie could possibly do.

The flick also pays tribute to titular characters and goes on to include more, literally aiming the gun at impending sequels. It reprises Falcon, Chewbacca, the AT-ST, Yoda, and lets us relive a lost era. New additions are great too. Porgs are simply the cutest!

Here you can order your own life-sized porg:

There are plenty of epic moments in Star Wars The Last Jedi that you cannot simply forget.

Snoke: You are no Vader. You are just a child in a mask.

The most impressive one is hands down the way Snoke gets slaughtered. Not to mention the final showdown where Luke shows up like a one-man army. Despite the teary end to Luke’s bit, his passing away doesn’t feel painful. It was in a way fulfilling as if he was waiting for a purpose all this time, to slide the torch to his posterity before he left.

See you around kid.

Star Wars The Last Jedi is a beautiful movie that shouldn’t be missed.

Go ahead and watch this one at once if you haven’t still. May the force be with you.

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review (2017) | Full Spoilers

Murder on the Orient Express movie helps us relive Agatha Christie‘s crime mystery era once again. Hercule Poirot, the forgotten detective breathes yet again and he does so, with a flair that’s peerless owing to a power pack performance aced by Kenneth Branagh. The whodunnit flick is based on the eponymous novel and is further aggrandized by Kenneth’s cinematic filters and its extraordinary screenplay written by Michael Green.

However, the movie isn’t pure gold either. Frame segues, at times, do not feel effortless. Murder on the Orient Express movie drags for its first half trying to sieve into its tale. Even though that part is crucial, it often sucks out life from the movie.

The world is a cold cruel place.

Continuous shots are a joy to watch. Long winding takes that the cast aces without letting their guards down only tell us how good they are all as actors. They perform their bits unflinchingly. Kenneth  Branagh’s visionary takes from different angles make the story more riveting. His close-ups and continuity in shots will leave you stupefied.

Even though the final revelation is an epic unspooling and might have blown your brains out, I am pretty sure you were left scratching your heads on a lot of occasions. For that, I have decided to do an analysis of sorts with full spoilers for the Murder on the Orient Express movie.

Bear with me, it begins:

Plot Analysis of Murder on the Orient Express Movie (Spoilers)

We see Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective solving a theft case at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem first. Then we find him traveling to Istanbul where he wishes to rest but is forced to return to London for another case. Piggybacking on the Orient Express with his friend Bouc (Tom Bateman), who is the director of the train, he is asked to scooch himself into a room.

They may get lost in life, but I will be damned if they don’t know where they are.

Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp) offers a job to Hercule to be his personal bodyguard during the three-day journey. Ratchett had been receiving life-threatening letters and so he wishes Hercule Poirot to help him out.

Ratchett: You are the world famous detective Hercule Poirot. Avenger of the innocent. Is that what they call you in the papers?
Hercule Poirot: And you are the innocent?

The latter bluntly refuses since he knows Ratchett to be a crooked businessman. His reputation preceded him.

still of Johnny Depp as Ratchett in Murder on the Orient Express

The same night Hercule has a hard time sleeping owing to noises coming from Ratchett’ s room.

Caroline Hubbard: Eyes linger any longer I will have to charge rent.
Edward Ratchett: I will pay.

At one point he even sees someone running in a red kimono down the hallway. The train gets derailed on account of an avalanche leaving the passengers stranded.

You know there’s something about a tangle of strangers pressed together for days with nothing in common but the need to go from one place to another and never see each other again.

The Murder

So we already knew a murder was imminent. (What gave away? The title?) The next morning it is discovered that Ratchett was murdered during the night with a dozen stab wounds on his body. The investigation begins with Bouc convincing Hercule to take the case up, so no one gets wrongfully convicted by the police.

If there was a murder then there was a murderer.

Caroline Hubbard (Michelle Pfeiffer) claims there was a man in her apartment the other night.

Hercule discovers a note that has been destroyed. He manages to reveal its content, figuring out the reason behind the murder – the first piece of the puzzle.

Let’s ask the victim.

The Reason

Ratchett, the victim, earlier known as John Cassetti was responsible for abducting Daisy Armstrong, a child abducted from her crib and held for ransom. Even after the ransom was paid, Ratchett still murdered the poor child. Taken by grief, her mother Sonia died in childbirth giving birth to a stillborn. Her father, Colonel Armstrong too committed suicide unable to bear the pain.

The police wrongfully convicted Susanne, the family’s nursemaid, who hanged herself up, even though later exonerated after her death.

 I have lived long enough to know what I like. What I dislike, I cannot abide.

Murder on the Orient Express movie still of Hercule Poirot played by Kenneth Branagh


What follows is Hercule Poirot individually setting suspects aside interrogating them one by one. Amongst other pieces of evidence, he finds a handkerchief with an ‘H’ mark on it, a missing button from a conductor’s uniform from Hubbard’s compartment. Hercule also discovers the kimono he had seen the other night in his own suitcase.

Hubbard is meanwhile stabbed in the back however she survives. She is unable to register the attacker though saying the attack was from behind.

As the investigation proceeds, Hercule keeps on discovering links that people have to Armstrong’s family in one way or the other. When all fingers seem to be pointing towards Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley), Dr. Arbuthnot (Leslie Odom Jr.) tries to shoot Hercule claiming himself to be the killer.  But misses him shooting him on the shoulder. Bouc intervenes and he gets caught.

We are surrounded by lies.

But it is clear to Hercule that he isn’t the killer since the doctor was an expert marksman who wouldn’t have possibly missed.

The Revelation

In the final moments, Hercule lines everybody up, buys time for a showdown even though the train was already repaired and ready to leave once again.

He presents two theories. The first one being – the killer disguised himself as a conductor boarded the train and killed Ratchett and absconded.

The second theory is the real one where we find out that each traveler in the train had a motive to kill Ratchett. They were all affected by the monstrosity of a villain that didn’t deserve to live. They all stabbed Ratchett together inflicting on him poetic justice, all twelve of them, and hence 12 wounds.

Did he have enemies?
Pick a number.

It is revealed that Hubbard is none other than Sonia’s mother Linda Arden former stage actress who set the events in motion.

You can order Murder on the Orient Express movie from here:

It is also revealed that it was Arbuthnot, the doctor, who had deliberately planted the knife in Hubbard’s back, so as to not injure her and to set Hercule Poirot on a wild goose chase.

Poirot places his gun in front of them asking them to shoot him, since he was the only one who knew their truth. That Bouc could lie, but he couldn’t fracture the truth. Hubbard picks up the gun and tries to shoot herself, but the gun wasn’t loaded. A test clearly on Hercule’s part to see how would the suspects react.

It is a mind-boggling output that leaves Hercule brooding. For the first time in his life, he believes that the killer deserved to die. He goes with the first theory in front of the police allowing all of them to escape.

What are you afraid of?

As the movie concludes we find Hercule Poirot being approached by someone about a murder case near the Nile river. It is a wink at the sequel that’s clearly based on the book Death on the Nile.

The Final Verdict

It feels so good that Agatha is still not forgotten! Her famous character Hercule Poirot springs alive and that too in ravishing pizzazz. It is hard not to marvel at how amazing Kenneth Branagh looks as Hercule. He does him enthralling justice. Can’t wait to see him in future runs.

The flick is a stunner especially when it comes to its cinematography. It packs some really astounding visuals. It has this alluring cinematic feel to it that will make you marvel every shot. I particularly loved long uncut camera shots that Kenneth preferred to show working on different perspectives. Although some of the long shots ended up taking away the fun and you feel a little editing could have made it better. To be honest you can still be okay with it, if you are paying attention to what the characters have to say.

It was one of a kind experience. It makes us believe that the future of Agatha Christie is in good hands. Highly recommend this movie to people who genuinely love crime drama.

You can check out our other movie reviews as well.

Check out the trailer of Murder on the Orient Express movie:

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!