Words bereave me as I try to put this one together. Kubo and the Two Strings had me mesmerized. And not just by its breathtaking realism, but by the calm in its thoughtful direction, and the peerless work that it tagged along. Very satisfying!
The movie forever carries a hint of grim element, and is not afraid to walk across dark enclaves in order to provide us with an amazing tale of a one-eyed young boy named Kubo who is on a magical quest to find his father’s armour to defeat a wicked Moon King.
Looking at the animation of the movie, you can’t help but wonder – Can stop motion really reach such fascinating levels of allure? Well, Kubo and the Two Strings surpasses all! Who makes that possible? None other than Travis Knight the lead animator, also the actual mind behind exceptional movies like Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls.
You can’t applaud Travis Knight enough. Apart from the fact that he can ace Herculean jobs as an animator, he can also direct better than most of the directors out there. So, he proves with his sharp presence of mind. The transition of frames happens through walking into a tree or a wall. And it does so with such a peaceful nimble snap that it is hard to tell if the frame had actually changed in that teensy swift scale.
What I also loved about Travis’s direction was how he imparted Kubo and the Two Strings with a charming gait. The movie is literally abounding with focus. It lets you feast on every single frame letting things percolate beautifully. You can perceive minuscule details in his frames, and that’s what makes his frames stunning to look at. Owing to that, even though Kubo and the Two Strings banks on a fictitious tale for its plot, the movie doesn’t falter at all at any point.
Plot of Kubo and the Two Strings
The story is more of a fantastical take set against the backdrop of ancient Japan. One-eyed Kubo takes care of his ill mother. He uses a Shamisen to bring inanimate papers to life. He performs in a nearby village to get himself and his mother by.
If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish.
Kubo is a storyteller and he barely knows his past. In her mother’s ephemeral jovial moments is he able to fill himself up with stories of the past. He is fascinated by tales of his father and yearns to meet him in person. But her mother warns him not to venture out when it’s dark coz that’s when the moonlight shines bright meaning the Moon King, his grandfather and his aunties might see him. His mother tells him that they are after his other eye, and that this rule be followed at all costs.
One fine day however in an attempt to rekindle with his father’s soul, Kubo ends up staying out late.
I just wish you were here, so I could talk to you, see you, find out what I should do.
A big mistake! That’s when the attack of the aunties happen. His mother pays the price for it as she intervenes just when things were about to go south. She saves him asking him to find an armour, the only way that can possibly defeat the evil Moon King.
Ensuing Magical World
As Kubo wakes from a tumultuous backdrop, he finds a monkey voiced by Charlize Theron calling out his name. He realizes that the monkey was in fact none other than a toy he used to carry around with him at all times. The talking monkey tells him that she was brought to life by his mother before she died. The only thing Kubo is left with is a strand of her mother’s hair.
This bracelet, her hair, it’s a memory. And memories are powerful things, Kubo. Never lose it.
On their quest to find the armour they find a human soul trapped inside a beetle. He claims to be working for his father Tatsu but isn’t sure because of a memory wipe out scene.
Thus the ultimate quest begins to find armour elements that are placed at unusual places, as magic and perversion from Moon King and his mother’s sisters try to stop them from achieving that goal. In a life that had reeked of loneliness almost all the time, Kubo reflects of how amazing it was for him to be a part of someone’s company, with:
I have never had a meal sitting between anyone before.
Kubo is so thoughtful that it syncs you instantly with his feelings. His one eye can grasp little things that are of colossal import to him and you can’t applaud him enough for that.
Sometimes I would tell my mother stories about little things. Like skimming rocks across the river or catching fireflies in the mulberry fields. And when I told those stories, I could see her eyes were mostly clear. I could tell she saw me. Really saw me. I could see her, too. Her real self. Her spirit trying to fight its way out. It was beautiful.
Tiny lippy movements of the protagonist are so beautifully done that it almost makes you feel as if he is an extant creature.
You have to give it to Tatsu voiced by Matthew McConaughey who makes his character even more lovable. The story of his mother that climaxes with:
You are my quest.
and which is soon followed by:
I had seen the wonders of the universe, but the warmth of his gaze as I looked into his eyes. That, that I had never known. It was his humanity I saw. And it was more powerful than anything in my cold realm.
brings power in his story and it makes it even more warm.
Then it has that contemplative paragon of a song as well which is depicted by flying golden heron that are believed to carry the soul of the departed.
How do you see a song?
To which the reply goes:
That moon reflection, water droplets falling everything was beautifully imagined and executed.
Trying to look at the downside, things escalate too quickly. For example you are not really prepared for a whimsical alteration, but then it happens which kind of kills the mood. And then the final bits with the Moon King doesn’t fill you up with wonder much since you are prepared for the cliched ending of the tale. There is nothing eye-candy like about it and you can’t help but wonder if the trouble to reach that grimy end justifies truly.
Also the fact that the gloom that comes right after when his parents get killed hasn’t been shown properly makes it even less plausible. The story however nibbles such drawbacks.
The Score of Kubo
What makes stop motion frames of Travis even better is Dario Marianelli‘s outstanding score. It imparts depth to his ethereal animation. It complements the actual story-line of Kubo, and gives much more meaning to it. Even when Kubo is simply walking down a forest or a desert there is always that beautiful composition playing wonders in the backcloth.
You can check out the trailer of Kubo and the Two Strings here:
Sausage Party is a ballsy satire that tries to open the eyes of blind believers by gelling up with its fantastical fun theme. Food talking! Yes, this world is all about your favourite food talking with each other, and cracking up jokes in an attempt to please humans.
Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan’s humorous R rated comedy is all about self-realization and it uses plenty of sarcasm to achieve that. When you look at the strata of comedy the animated movie packs in, you are going to realize that it is too damn funny. What makes it immensely entertaining is its slapstick witty humour that never stops even though the movie constantly keeps running into a tad vulgar category.
Sausage Party is more of a well executed fantasy wherein your daily food begins to talk. This personification, even though as ridiculous as it sounds, is a really fun attempt at seeing things differently. That’s what great comedians do. They put life into the inanimate and try to tickle us with things that we haven’t paid attention to.
You know like, what would a potato be saying when someone is peeling it off, or things that go great together are actually soul mates in their dimension. Sausage Party does all of it giving it a contemporary touch and a modern lingo in order to make it even more enjoyable.
Plot of Sausage Party (Minor Spoilers Ahead)
Sausage Party starts off with a faith-smitten song that is meant to mimic the ways of religions. Prayers, hymns, carols, anthems and psalms, that’s what every religion asks of us. People sing it with a mere belief without questioning or realizing if there could be a different truth altogether. Sausage Party tries to show us a contrasting vision which is something really ugly and hideous.
With that song it also tries to mock how people in the real world think:
“Everyone else is fucking stupid. Except for those who think like me.”
It goes on to show how dismissive we are of contrasting thoughts. Also, that we are not good listeners. Troy another sausage trying to make fun of Barry’s deformity is like people judging others based on their looks. An issue still percolating in our minds.
You are different, and that makes you weird.
A place called The Great Beyond exists in their confined minds about which they know nothing of, and yet they pray for it, every morning. Humans are akin Gods to them, and they feel chosen when they are picked. It is a way of life reflective of ours in a way.
The Dark Lord
There is a Dark Lord human in the movie who basically acts as a paragon of Death. It is a quintessential element, who is ending lives, but according to him what he does is justified. So, when The Dark Lord puts a decaying package in trash, here leaving it to die, Frank, the protagonist, voiced by Seth Rogen takes it like:
They stayed in their package, followed all the guidelines of the song and what do they get for it?
The reply is just how you would imagine a blind follower to come up with:
We are not supposed to understand the will of the Gods, Frank. They work in mysterious ways.
Frank is the questioning sane guy who doesn’t believe in anything until and unless he has proof. So his sojourn begins with an accident that leaves him stranded in Shopwells, in the process unknowingly saving his life too. What pushes on the adventure is his will to find out the sad ugly truth about their existence which basically forms the primal theme of the movie.
An antagonist Douche who is an actual Douche, voiced by Nick Kroll, is trying to take revenge on Frank who had upturned his life unknowingly. A concept of accessing fourth dimension wherein food is visible is wittily hoarded at people who do weed. It also happens to be the only way people can come in sync with the food’s dimension.
You can pre-order Sausage Party movie here:
At times you feel like Sausage Party’s risque jocularity belies its profound import. It is an unbridled flow that keeps the jokes flowing despite it being cheesy at times. Yet with such an eccentric concept that it tries to bank on, for some it might appear to be too mindless to be true. Then you can’t overlook profuse weed, lewd talks, offensive filth and crudeness in the movie. In the end there is an orgy of sorts showed to us done by food. It is completely brainless and yet laughable too.
With that, I cannot emphasize enough, this is not a movie to show to your kids.
The Final Verdict
When your food starts talking, naturally jokes ensue unrestrained. There are plenty done with the accents, that are easy to tie down based on the origin of a dish.
To those who are really shallow Sausage Party would seem nothing but a cheap shot attempt at trying to defame conventions. But if you really look at it and watch carefully despite all the rib-ticklers scooched in there, you will realize it is something more.
You can check out the trailer of Sausage Party Movie here:
Terrence Malick’s project The Tree of Life movie has eluded many. There are epic tree life quotes strewn across the movie that are deeply satisfying. To say that The Tree of Life was one hell of a baffling movie would be an understatement. It doesn’t skim mainstream and that’s why it is hard for some to fathom. But in a whirlpool of avant-garde films, if you take a look at its ballsy attempt at trying something out of the ordinary, The Tree of Life movie beats everything else to pulp.
The Tree of Life movie is a beast that tops avant-garde elite cinemas. Why, you ask? Read on to find out:
The Tree of Life Movie Explained
There is a heart melting metaphorical poem residing in Emmanuel Lubezki’s spectacular frames, a bold defying question that Terrence Malick poses via human pang, and tries to answer through our creator’s perspective. Also, The Tree of Life movie retains a touching screenplay that amazes you invariably with every stellar Lubezki image.
The Tree of Life movie must have perturbed many. But if you don’t attempt to give it a fair shot at explaining itself, then you have no right calling yourself a true movie buff.
To those who didn’t get what was going on in the movie, I have tried to explain it as unequivocally as possible, rhyming things through its thoughtfulness. I hope it helps in putting things in perspective.
Theme of The Tree of Life Movie (Spoilers Ahead)
Even before you try to understand the movie, get this beforehand – There is no proper timeline followed. So, if you are expecting a series of certain frames to go in order, it simply won’t. You have to remember images on the go, and what they are trying to tell you with every change. Alright? Okay, let’s go!
The titular name of the movie has been aptly named so since it is trying to present us a map to the universe. It goes spiritual, cosmic and skims human psyche at the same time. That being said, it tries to cover all the 10 prominent spheres that acquaint us with mystical extant powers. They are also known as Sephirot.
As the movie commences, we are shown a formless representation of the divine. It could reflect our creator’s formless state, since the real form of what has created us is still unknown.
“Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your door.”
You can hear in the background a surging roar of the sea and squawking Seagulls as we look at that artless form flicker. That is enough to make you understand it is the protagonist (here Jack) who has come at His door, trying to justify his seeking Him with the aforementioned line of how and why.
Moving on let’s focus on the theme of the movie. Just like every movie has a theme by which it is supposed to bide by, The Tree of Life movie too has one, and an exceptional one per se. It gets expounded via the following diegesis.
“The nuns taught us there are two ways through life – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow. Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it, when love is smiling through all things. They taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end.”
As thoughtful words of Mrs. O’Brien go in the background, we see her younger self embellish the screen. She is an epitome of grace. A personification of joy and mirth, and all the good, pleasant and buoyant things in the world. She plays with other elements of grace, meek harmless animals – like a baby goat, or cows. Then we see Nature – her father (here the men) who appears just when she talks about the existence of nature in their lives.
“I will be true to you. Whatever comes.”
Then the aforesaid is dropped all of a sudden. I believe it could be reflective of a time when Mrs. O’Brien had accepted Nature as a part of her life. Either through her marrying vows, or her offering herself to the universe in the form of prayers.
Demise of the Son
Then we time travel to a time in the future in The Tree of Life movie, where Mrs. O’Brien receives a letter that reads to her the demise of her son. Both Mrs. O’Brien and Mr. O’Brien take it heavily.
“I just wanna die to be with him.”
Death is nature. It is part of Universe’s way of creating and destroying things that has forever eluded us. But to her, it appears like an unfair, unjust act that has ripped off her son and taken him away from her.
People try to justify the ways of nature with condolences:
“I know the pain will, it will pass in time, you know? It might seem hard, my saying that, but it’s true.”
To that she replies:
“I don’t want it to.”
The way of the creator, the unseen is justified with a beautiful line then:
“He sends flies to wounds that He should heal.”
Grief is havocking. At the same time, it is pure. The purest of human notion that lets you brood profusely on things you could have done differently to change the outcome. So Mr. O’Brien laments for the first time succumbing to the ways of grace:
“I never got a chance to tell him how sorry I was. I made him feel shame, my shame. That poor boy. That poor boy.”
That’s where the second flicker of the same artless light consumes us. Jack’s talking again. This time with himself, trying to remember his brother.
“How did you come to me? In what shape? In what disguise?”
That’s also the place in The Tree of Life movie where we get to see an even further future memory glimpse of Jack standing right next to a doorway. It could be a place in his memory, where he is trying to reconcile with himself. We see seagulls for real this time too.
We then find Jack in gloom waking up to the news of his brother’s death. His distant wife who doesn’t have the right words for him is just staring at him. She is a victim to human nature, and Terence makes sure of it that they don’t speak in those fleeting frames. At another point in his office, Jack even though miffed with dusky thoughts, can’t help but stare at a woman who passes him by. That’s again human nature coming at play.
“The world has gone to the dogs. People are greedy. Keep getting worse.”
Within split seconds come images of trees, an entity that has stayed with us at all times, even as we have evolved, and Jack begins to wonder:
“How did I lose you? Wandered? Forgot you?”
Searching his Brother
That’s when we see Jack in a desert. This could be analogous to barren corners of his brain, and he is seeking memories of his lost brother therefrom.
A glimpse shows us a lady who has found his little brother and is kissing him. She is yet another paragon of grace. She could be an angelic memory or a messenger that has him, that also symbolizes the dead boy is now in good hands, with grace. That’s when Jack also finds an image of his little brother at a sea asking him to find him. It could very well hint that Jack wishes to come to terms by seeking faintest memories of him so as to succumb to reconciliation.
Right after that we see Jack imagining himself home, checking on her mother and wondering how she took it. Her screams echo, and he feels it in his bones that it didn’t go well for her.
Mrs. O’Brien is still talking to the almighty meanwhile.
“Was I false to you? Lord? Why? Where were you?”
Incessant Frames of Cosmos
That’s one of the high points of The Tree of Life movie when the real Lubezki magic begins to flow. And it flows straight for 16 wondrous minutes. That gets complemented gorgeously by Alexandre Desplat’s awe-inspiring music. In the form of Nebulas, gases, flickers, shimmers, cosmic energy and big bang, we find our creator answering her.
“Did you know? Who are we to you? Answer me.”
When a mother demands God to answer, asking if He even cares, Malick shows us our creator answering her through stunning frames of creation. A poetic gesture manifesting universe, big bang, volcanic eruptions, hot springs, and evolution ensue, as if He is trying to answer that he was busy creating, balancing, maintaining and nurturing the universe, all this time.
“We cry to you. My soul. My son. Hear us.”
We find nature creating grace too. The advent of life with an uplifting music, cells splitting, forming new lives in the process and thus giving rise to multi-celled organisms.
The Dino Era
Life began with water. So we are introduced to a lot of water animals. We see an injured amphibian dinosaur near a water body trying to figure out the gravity of its wound. It has been caught in an ugly side of nature. Something it doesn’t have control over. We see blood in water, and then a hoard of sharks. They are nothing but aquatic behemoths that are simply balancing life even in its blunt ugliness by killing ways of grace.
There is a beautiful frame wherein we find a predator sparing the life of an easy prey, an injured dinosaur, showing it mercy. It simply goes on to show how grace was present at all times, defying nature silently.
We see that destined meteor heading towards the earth that had disrupted the experimental life of dinosaurs back then, paving way for human life.
We once again reach Jack’s perspective who is scampering along barren lands, still trying to find the spot of placation in his brain.
“You spoke to me through her. You spoke to me through the sky. The trees. Before I knew I loved you. Believed in you. When did you first touch my heart?”
He is now trying to remember how grace had him from the very start. This is the part that takes us back in time wherein he was conceived by Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien played powerfully by Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain.
Pregnancy has never been such poetically depicted before. We find Mrs. O’Brien calling out children, whispering into their ears, showing them gates to life, steps to the world, summoning them at all times. You see different types of children there, which could be suggestive of the process of fertilization and then how despite all odds only one makes it in the end. Here Jack! A child swimming in water leaving his room (womb) behind could be intimating us of how a womb is a world per se for foetus.
We find Jack growing up as Mrs. O’Brien helps him at all times. Then comes another child, and we see Jack becoming wary of all the attention that is given to him instead. There is repressed jealousy that once again directs us towards nature, something we have no control over. Then we see bubbles. A sign of grace! Then a man dying, a violent act of nature yet again.
Amongst other things of nature that follow are: a dog barking at Jack, him being afraid, his father scolding him, yet another baby etc. Then at the same time grace stays close by in the form of her mother caring for them all, their celebrating Halloween, lighting up sparklers, mother reading a story book, playing with water, Jack holding his brother’s hand, good night kisses and also them playing with each other.
Nature and Grace Speaking through Things
Whilst tucking children in bed Mrs O’Brien is asked to share a past good memory. She tells them about the time she went for a ride in a plane. Then we actually see her fly in the air which is in fact her telling them that it felt as if she was flying for real.
“Mother. Make me good. Brave.”
There are glimpses of miscreants showed, the bad elements in life (nature), and then a frame that shows Mrs. O’Brien helping a miscreant drink water. (grace)
“Where do you live? Are you watching me? I want to know what you are. I want to see what you see.”
We find contrasting images, in the Tree of Life movie, of their mother trying to wake them up with their father’s. The latter always compelled them to comply with a glum face. Whilst the former would mischievously yet gracefully wake them up with ice, bringing smiles to their faces.
Lessons by Nature
Then comes remarkable lessons from the father:
“Don’t do like I did. Promise me that. If you are looking for something to happen, that was it. That was life. You lived it.”
Then at one point we see Mr. O’Brien using this beauty of a line:
“Wrong people go hungry, die. Wrong people get loved. The world lives by trickery. If you want to succeed you can’t be too good.”
We find a boy ending up getting drowned and a boy razed by fire, which compels Jack to question God’s existence.
“Where were you? You let a boy die. You’ll let anything happen. Why should I be good, if you aren’t?”
Jack succumbs to vandalism, animal abuse and trespassing when his father goes to a long business trip. The absence of Nature, goes on to create a subset of nature. His heart fills up with guilt when he finds himself getting weirdly attracted to a neighbor, and ends up stealing her nightgown. This again is an aftermath of a wild uncontrollable act of nature. All of it gets aptly justified by:
“Things you got to learn. How can we know stuff until we look?”
His mother on the other hand keeps teaching them good:
“Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.”
There’s malice, hatred that flows as part of nature in Jack, and there’s nothing he could do to feel otherwise. In a deep reminiscing voice Jack says:
“How do I get back…where they are?”
There is this moment where he accidentally takes a joke too far, and ends up shooting his brother’s finger. He goes abounding with guilt as the backdrop says:
“What I want to do I can’t do. I do what I hate.”
He is truly sorry and is instantly forgiven by his brother too. It is like an unnamed feeling for him, but it shatters him beyond limit nevertheless. He learns compassion, sympathy – the ways of grace.
What was it you showed me? I didn’t know how to name you then. But I would see it was you. Always you were calling me.
Hatred for his Father
There are conspicuous moments of abomination in The Tree of Life movie wherein we see Jack hating the guts out of his father. He hates to see his mother being fine with it all. That grace can’t live without nature, and vice versa. Jack wishing his father dead is like a person hating nature. The inevitable segment that is blunt and yet quintessential in order to ensure that life goes on.
Finally we see Mr. O’Brien realizing his big mistake:
“I wanted to be loved because I was great. A big man. I’m nothing. Look at the glory around us. Trees and birds. I lived in shame. I dishonored it all and didn’t notice the glory. I’m a foolish man.”
Jack has never seen his father so fallen or lost.
“Father. Mother. Always you wrestle inside me. Always you will.”
Mr. O’Brien realizes he hasn’t done anything substantial when they are forced to move out of their house, and asks for forgiveness.
“You boys are about all I’ve done in life. Otherwise I’ve drawn zilch. You are all I have. You are all I want to have.”
In the last moments of Jack’s memories we see how they move on ending one of the crucial chapters in their lives. It aces with a beautiful quote too:
“The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by. Do good to them. Wonder. Hope.”
You can order The Tree of Life Movie from here:
The End of Time Explained
We slowly fade away from Jack’s memory and head towards reality, where we find the mother, Mrs. O’Brien coming out of her grief. She has come to terms with all her questions with the Lord.
We also see the grown up Jack coming out of his trance, for a while too:
Keep us, guide us, till the end of time.
We finally see what looks like the end of time. A point where souls come to rekindle. Images of dead calling out people from the grave, to reconcile is evident there. Jack finally reaches the spot, a beach, where he finds every dead sauntering along trying to find each other. So, even though the place looks like a figment, it is a glimpse shown to him about how everything pans out in the end. Yes, there are seagulls squawking over them.
Finding Each Other
Jack finds his mother, and his dead brother. They are happy to see him. His whole family is there. His old man is proud of him. Love is everywhere. Mrs. O’Brien’s joy as she finds her dead child would bring tears to your eyes.
She then kisses a shriveled hand which could be a random one or could be her mother’s too, it’s hard to say. She then leads her child through a door and is able to reconcile with the sad truth finally, and yet understands the way of the nature.
“I give him to you. I give you my son.”
It looks like there are angels around him, or elements of grace that help her overcome grief. They are talking to her with hand gestures and nimble movements, and she comprehends the way of living with their elemental energy.
We see a smiling Jack in the end as if he has realized the ultimate truth, and has come to terms with it too. He feels lighter and better.
The Final Verdict
Of course there are other explanations possible, but what would be spot on would be Terrence’s own thinking. I would love to hear it though and see how close I was to getting him.
Movies like The Tree of Life are rare gems that need to be celebrated. If you have a knack for watching the unusual I would highly recommend you to watch The Tree of Life movie at once. It is an esoteric flick that will definitely blow your mind away. However, you need to stay on the same page in order to truly understand the movie for what it is. If it isn’t your forte, I would say don’t bother. Because it could be really vexing for some.
You can check out the trailer of The Tree of Life movie here:
The Little Prince happened to me in the form of this movie. I didn’t have a clue, a story so colossal hid all this time from me. Le Petit Prince, the original product of the extraordinary brain of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was published in the year 1943. It has found numerous collaborations over the years, all countless beautiful contributions hands down.
The Little Prince Overview
One of the best-selling books ever published, Le Petit Prince’s story is more of a parable that criticizes human nature with elements existing in real life. It chooses the character of a little lad with a huge brain whose words will literally open the insensible vaults of your brain. It does all of it using its clever flair by making allusions to mundane pointless characters that surround us in every area.
The Little Prince movie is a different take on the Le Petit Prince story. Even though it makes a few changes, introduces a fresher perspective, does some minor additions and subtractions here and there, it still doesn’t stop being less awesome.
Music of the Little Prince
You listen to the Preparation play and you will know how beautiful the composition is. None other than Hans Zimmer frontlines its beautiful score. He stays well complemented at all times by Richard Harvey. They create magic!
You can listen to the Preparation here:
The Plot of The Little Prince Movie: Spoilers Ahead
Words fail to describe how much relatable I found The Little Prince movie to be. To begin with, it eases in with a drawing of a boa constrictor trying to digest an elephant in its stomach. Showing how adults crush images in a child’s head, steering them away from their dreams, goes on to show how crass people’s imaginations are. They give precedence to things that are not worth paying attention to, and in their blunt obstinacy create robots just like them.
Then we are introduced to a little girl voiced by Mackenzie Foy (of the Interstellar fame) who is on her way to become a carbon copy of her mother. Discipline, perfection and non-stop studies are ways of her life, until one day she finds the first page of The Little Prince story. Her neighbor The Aviator voiced by Jeff Bridges strikes up a friendship chord with her and she discovers for the first time the brilliance in fancy. The story of the Little Prince penned by The Aviator piques her interest and she keeps visiting him to know more about it.
“When a mystery is too overpowering, one may not disobey.”
I loved the way how contrasting frames are picked up. It’s a perfect blend that draws awe right away. Like when the old man blows pain away from the girl’s hands, the air goes on to tremble the grass with its stop motion animation in the Little Prince’s story. Also, I loved how when she picks up a shell against her ears to find the voice of sea in it.
“As you live, some things kind of just stick to you.
Mark Osborne uses a magnificent set of stop motion animation to weave the Little Prince’s original tale. The prince goes on to narrate his story to the aviator of how he met his rose, and about his sojourn therefrom.
There are metaphors galore, even in its subtle personification. Falling in love with a rose is actually insinuating falling in love with a girl.
The Little Prince: “You are perfect.”
Rose: “Am I not? I was born the same moment as the sun.”
The rad depiction of how the little prince just sits there, trying to reason with a vain Rose, how circumstances change the course of the planet and they end up sitting against each other have been beautifully animated.
“The shame of it was that they loved each other. But they were both too young to know how to love.”
The Rose realizes its mistake, and tries to apologize:
“Of course I love you. If you are not aware of that, it’s my fault.”
Gloom lurks nevertheless in those button like eyes of the prince. You can make it all out with Osborne’s thoughtful depiction of dusk as he covers the Prince up in a glum demeanour.
“I would very much like to see a sunset. It would remind me of my rose.”
You can grab the DVD of The Little Prince movie here:
Characters: Reflections of Societal Elements
Biding somewhat by the original, wherein the Little Prince met six, here he meets three of the characters inhabiting asteroids. All of the three are uncanny lives that have been critiqued beautifully. One is a king without subjects who has a feigned sense of power and has nobody to rule over, very much suggestive of impersonators.
Then there is that narcissistic element, the conceited man who just can’t wait to garner more praises. Reflective of how people run for vanity, even though it doesn’t earn them any strata. The third one is the Businessman who simply spends day counting stars which reflects people in real lives who are after money and materialism.
“What good does it do you to be rich?”
After knowing about all such characters in the little prince, the little girl realizes how grownups do not know what they are really after. They stay under the schism of immaterial things. She considers them really odd.
There is one brilliantly shot scene where the little girl is drinking from her glass, and from the bottom of it she realizes that her mother too is caught and lost in one asteroid, one planet of her own, just like those characters from The Little Prince tale.
“I am not so sure I wanna grow up any more.”
To that the old Aviator explains:
“Growing up is not the problem. Forgetting is.”
The Prince Resumes his Tale
The Little Prince story continues with the prince finding a snake in the desert on Earth. He doesn’t find anybody else, and inquires:
“Where are the men? It is a little lonely in the desert.”
To which the snake replies:
“It is also lonely among men.”
Taming a Fox
It is then when he finds not a cunning, rather a clever fox and strikes up a chord.
“To me you will be unique in all the world. And to you I shall be unique in all the world.”
On coming across a rosebush, the prince becomes sad for he thought his rose was the only one in the whole universe.
“My rose is just a common rose? But she told me she was the only one of her kind in the whole universe.”
Trying to reason with the prince, the fox expounds:
“But she is not a common rose. She is your rose. It is the time that you have devoted to her that makes your rose so important.”
With that the fox asks him to find her, dropping this beauty of a line:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
When the little girl outside the tale tries to understand why did the prince leave the fox, the aviator explains her the importance of moving on.
“The fox, he sees the little Prince when he looks with his heart. If you can do that you will never be lonely again.”
Along with that he also tries to insinuate that he would one day leave too. The girl manages with a heavy heart:
“But I need you here.”
It is so sad that it brings tears to your eyes.
The Inevitable Showdown with her Mother
The showdown was always on the cards, since the little girl was always sneaking up, and lying to her mother. When it does finally happen, the girl stands up with:
“That’s your version of my life. Not mine. If you were ever around, you’d see that.”
Too blind to see the apparent, her mother tears her prince’s story pages and throws it in the dust bin. I loved the bit how she tapes it back, and the animation shows us then the desert in tapes. Beautifully thought of!
Words of wisdom keep spewing amidst the laughter of the prince, as the girl reads about him through her taped pages.
“The stars are beautiful because of a flower that cannot be seen. What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”
In comes big advices that will leave you brooding:
“The men where you live grow thousands of roses, and they do not find what they are looking for. What they are looking for can be found in a single rose or a little water.”
The conversation of the aviator and the little girl is meanwhile the most nerve-racking kind. He says:
“When the moment does come for me to leave, I have to go alone.”
She tries to tell him she wishes to come too, not knowing he talks of death.
“Don’t go without me.”
Coming Out of The Little Prince’s Tale
The Little Prince meanwhile is bidding final adieu to the Aviator after telling him about his tale, and the fact that the snake has promised to end his misery rattles in the backdrop. He is trying to reason with:
“What is most important is invisible.”
As a parting gift he tells the aviator:
“In one of those stars, I shall be living. In one of them, I shall be laughing. And so when you look up at the sky at night, it will be as if all the stars are laughing.”
With that the snake bites the little prince, beautifully animated again making it disappear with a shimmer.
When the aforementioned is shared with the little girl, it bums her out. She doesn’t like how the story ends, incomplete with the little prince swaying in the stars without requiting to his lost waiting rose.
“I will grow up but I will never be a grown up like you.”
In that conversation with the aviator, she is angry at him for forgetting and disregarding the little prince. She remarks how he lost all hope, and forgot about fancy.
“You have forgotten everything, you have just become one of the grownups.”
She is mad at him beyond limit, and decides to return to her home for good. She doesn’t want to see him again, and days pass by. Her life continues with the same tinge of the stagnancy.
Once while returning, she finds the old aviator being taken to the hospital. It’s then when she feels truly sorry and runs for him like crazy. It is one of the most emotional segments of the movie, when she doesn’t stop at nothing to go see him.
The Second Story: Movie Addition
With an aim to rekindle the prince with its rose, she decides to embark the plane. Meaning she wishes to change the ending to the original. That’s when we are introduced to the second part of the story.
It is more like a different world, where characters have lost their purposes. It is a bizarre setup and for a second you start thinking that maybe the girl did start the plane, maybe she did go to a different planet, but then with the oddity, things fall in place. In reality, the girl simply tries to finish the tale with a happy ending, but from a different vantage.
There she meets all of those characters in different shoes, and ultimately the little prince who is all grown up. Her quest to take him to the rose meets fruition when they alight at the prince’s planet.
Grab your copy of The Little Prince Book here:
The final moments are the moments of epiphany for her, when despite everything she does the rose ends up dying, and withering away.
“You are supposed to be with her. I am gonna lose him too. And grow up. And forget all about him. Forget it all, forever. I don’t wanna lose him.”
It decimates you listening to her in despair. But when she realizes, with the hopeful eyes of the little prince, that all it takes is a glint of remembrance, she realizes what she wasn’t seeing.
“She was not a common rose. She was the only one of her kind in the whole universe. I remember her. I remember all of it. She is not gone. She is still here. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.”
She concurs having a vision too.
“He will always be with me. I understand now.”
Meeting the Aviator in the Hospital
Coming back to the real world, she goes with her “changed” mother to the hospital to see the old aviator again. She offers him the book that had his pages and hers, then shattering into pieces in front of him.
“You run the risk of weeping a little, if you let yourself get tamed.”
The movie ends with her mother spending time with her, trying to see the world with a child like gusto. That one star that the little prince had promised would laugh from, then concludes this epic tale.
I recommend every one to watch this movie, if you haven’t ever come across The Little Prince before. Highly recommended stuff.
You can check out the trailer of The Little Prince here:
Batman The Killing Joke walks in with that same old stunning Joker lore with a bit of Barbara’s emotional turmoil hooked to it. We find Paris Franz here, another badass villain that talks through the smug of a pyscho, and you can’t help but wonder about the similarities he shares with Batman’s archenemy Joker himself.
It’s like he’s fallen off the face of the Earth.
There are two main stories galloping here. Halfway through the movie, you can’t stop yourself from appreciating what you are served – extraordinary psychopathic Paris Franz story with Barbara’s constant battle with herself to confess her love for Batsy. But then the later half gradually degrades, without a strong cemented backbone to uplift the story. No doubt The Joker was magnificent as ever, but the story falls down in respect to Joker’s evilness as it reaches climax.
STORIES IN BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE (SPOILERS INCLUDED)
There is an ambiguous disconnect between two main story-lines, that seem to work in different parts of Batman The Killing Joke. We have an exciting, ballsy, different and emotional tale to the Batman-Batgirl relationship that continue with Joker shenanigans that try to rampage past human sanity.
THE FIRST PLOT: PARIS FRANZ QUANDARY
BATA starts off with a diegesis of sorts, Batgirl narrating her story beautifully. Animation keeping up with her as she scales down the city explaining rare accounts from her head. This side of the vantage is well thought of and well written. It engulfs you almost instantly.
I realize this is probably not how you thought the story would start, not with a big shiny moon or a city that or me.
A smug introduction to a titular Paris Franz character compels you to ponder upon those rare shades of psychopaths that the city of Gotham houses. He pulls off the villainy fairly well until he is battered down by the decimating Batgirl fury, which was actually nothing but a vent from her relationship trauma. You will see how smug Paris Franz is, and how cool he behaves even when there is someone breathing down his neck. That rare air of confidence helps Paris Franz to ace perversion in a way it never has been before.
Batman’s portrayal will bring all those memories back from the past. The way he puts it:
You haven’t been taken to the edge yet. The abyss, the place where you don’t care anymore. Where all hope dies.
Barbara’s constant reasoning with herself to win a dead man’s love will have you feel sorry for her. Her emotions are so real that it beats the inanimate off the CGI. Her incessant scrimmaging with herself to prove herself, to prove her love for Batman, is as gorgeous as she looks in Batman The Killing Joke.
The beauty of it all as they make love right underneath a Gargoyle silently watching on a rooftop, is so poetic that you can’t help getting mesmerized by its sheer description. Brilliantly pulled off!
As she describes it:
It was fantastic, like fireworks.
The aftermath – the avoidance, brims her up with thousand questions. There is poetry everywhere. When she sits amongst pigeons like a delicate bird she is, for hours thinking about him. It is an enchanting frame.
Maybe it was too soon, even after all this time.
Unfortunately she ends up getting devoured by the ugly side of insanity, and makes one of the most difficult choices of her life. Leaving Batman, one true person she wanted to be with, as she decides to get out.
I saw that abyss you spoke about, very scary, but so tempting. I don’t know how you resist it. I don’t think it’s humanly possible.
THE SECOND PLOT
Batman the Killing Joke moves on to a different enclave altogether after leaving the Batman-Batgirl story right there. Enters the main event after which the moniker finds its meaning. Joker is absolutely stunning with that wicked gleam in his eyes, and the delivery Mark Hamill brings home is simply majestic.
You see this rare side of Batsy who tries to reconcile with Joker too, trying to squeeze in a reason for him to hold on to.
How can two people hate so much without knowing each other?
Joker’s madness is drenched in stark psychosis. He does a loony song too to pull Gordon towards the ugly clutches of insanity. His take on memories, his past and craziness is so brilliantly written that is hard not to applaud him for his ingenious comportment.
Remembering’s dangerous. I find the past such a worrying, anxious place. Yes, memory is so treacherous. One moment you’re lost in a carnival of delight, childhood aromas, the flashing neon of puberty, all that sentimental candyfloss. The next, it takes you somewhere you don’t want to be. Somewhere dark and cold, filled with damp, ambiguous-shaped things you’d rather forget. Memories can be vile, repulsive little brutes.
At one point, you see Batman hunting down Joker and ends up facing Maroni. He puts Joker’s perversion in perspective with:
We might be scared of you, but we are terrified of him.
As if those stories weren’t enough, there is another backdrop side-plot that oscillates occasionally to and fro, taking you to the Joker’s past every now and then. If only they were shown at junctures worth revisiting, it would have been perfect.
The final bits are left for viewer’s interpretation. It is actually a nice way of leaving the story like that. You can’t help but wonder if Batman might have killed Joker in the end or if he might have taken him to the Arkham Asylum yet again, overlooking his horrific deeds to prove he doesn’t win.
THINGS THAT DON’T WORK OUT
Given the colossal theme of the movie, we expected something much more exhilarating eventually. Climactic bits wizen down gradually during the final bits, as Batman hunts down Joker to a Carnival. Gordon fails to succumb to the insanity Joker had planned for him. Given the monstrosity of Joker’s villainy the tale ends quite stale, leaving us with a weird sense of disconnect, as it fails to merge with the leftovers.
I’ve demonstrated there’s no difference between me and everyone else. All it takes is one bad day. That’s how far the world is from where I am, just one bad day.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Batman The Killing Joke is different, yes, no doubt. Screenplay absolutely brilliant! Story wise, I am afraid I liked the Barbara story more. Music is just as gorgeous, forever complementing every single frame. The movie also pays homage to a lot of previously depicted materials that will at once throw you into pits of nostalgia.
Whilst Batman The Killing Joke might not be the best of Batman Joker movies, it certainly stands in the vanguard as one of those rare movies to serve us a breathtaking glimpse into their enmity-inevitability. Also, it poses a daunting question out at the end. What did Batman really do?
Check out the trailer of Batman: The Killing Joke here:
So we have done a lot of changes on our website. We have changed entirely the look and feel of movie reviews and quotes. Right from changing the theme of it (which has now become more awesome btw), to outsourcing of quotes which we assumed was quite the need of the hour, and removing a couple of unwanted menu items that helped us to primp it down further. Quotes can be accessed via the “Quotes” menu which will redirect to you our tumblr version, which as a matter of fact, is doing pretty fine per se.
EXPLORE OUR MOVIE REVIEWS AND QUOTES ENCLAVE
We have also ventured into Instagram waters and are wading just fine in kudos. Of course, that is restricted to quotes alone. You can find the link here:
The front static page of Straight From A Movie is still open for ideas. We have stopped including a “portfolio view” of the things we were onto on the landing page since it was causing speed issues. Another idea of revamping movie reviews and quotes site is through the inclusion of a section that celebrates the forgotten movies. We are still thinking about including such a corner, or might settle on using the Blog section We have also included a “Quote of the week” section in our movie reviews and quotes website which will let you have a
Another great idea that has still not reached fruition is the inclusion of a “Quote Rant” category that will visit bad-ass movie quotes from different flicks and squeeze out words from the mouth of our writer into expounding why the quote was chosen in the first place. What drew his attention towards it? Blah Blah Blah! It will be great to get an insight and see if there are like-minded people breathing in the world with the same stream of thoughts.
Straight from a movie is on its way to become the Big Daddy of the movie sphere. We promise to blow your minds with only the best critical-laudatory movie reviews and quotes ever.
Spectre is yet another exquisite icing to the renowned double agent’s tale. The grandeur of James Bond returns with Sam Mendes’s enthralling direction.
“To liars and killers. To liars and killers everywhere.”
SAM MENDES AND BOND CONNECTION
It’s official. Sam Mendes is the only person who does immaculate refined justice to Bond. It is so great to see him handle such colossal projects. Three years ago, he had done a similar job of primping and preening the Bond who was jackhammered into the debris of Solace. With the right kind of posture, demeanour and mien, he had in his mind for a Bond of our dreams, Mendes’ protagonist soared to an unimaginable level. So he created Bond, a man with the right words, the right class and the right air.
The depth in his eyes when he seeks love, the fearless fluent proclamations he bears on his lips when he faces his enemies, his unique flamboyant flair, and the way he walks adjusting his cuffs. Ooh! So filled with pizzazz! Daniel Craig hits a home run with every minute detail that’s asked of him to master a Bond of style. He will stand tall as one of the best Bonds to have ever walked on the big screen.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Writers of Spectre do a fair job of revisiting the forgotten by punching in faces from the past to shake up an already stirred Bond. However, it is hard to shake him up. This is Bond we are talking about. Craig looks more focused, fearless and more relentless than ever in Spectre movie.
Spectre is one of the most realistic movies to have ever been made in the Bond saga. Even whilst Bond shoots pawns of Blofeld, he does so by sitting, crouching and aiming before taking the shot. He takes into account the distance factor, which seems quite plausible when you compare it to past Bond movies. He has a story to unfurl which moves at quite an interesting pace. (I don’t know why some found it lengthy!)
Christoph Waltz is brilliant as Blofeld too. His villainy is soothing, calm never leaving its walls of perversion. He has a badass voice that he carries superbly throughout his ephemeral act.
We have a side plot led by Andrew Scott which runs parallel to the story. Sam Mendes tries really hard to juggle both stories and endeavours to hold them in the same basket, but barely manages to succeed at that. Somehow I feel, the director could have done a better job weaving it more brilliantly.
BEAUTIFUL SCENES (SPOILERS AHEAD):
There are extremely beautiful bits in the movie that come to my mind when I think of it. Like the one where Bond wakes up to the silencing commotion of a mouse. He points the gun at it and says,
“Who are you working for?”
I think watching Bond sandwiched between M and Swann was brilliantly shot. It was quite poetic if you really look at it. At one side, there were “saving-the-world-shoes” to fill, whilst at the other end there was freedom and the love of his life gawking at him with hopeful eyes. Right at the middle, the author of his pain asked him to shoot him. As Swann had said before life gives you choices. Bond was faced with a choice to kill and not to kill, and of course, to choose a side. To Blofeld’s beseeching command to kill him, he empties his barrel and says,
“I would if I had bullets.”
and starts walking towards Swann. He chooses “to stop.” What a beautiful way to go!
One of the most daring acts of Bond in the flick is when he rams and tries to scooch a plane amidst a narrow path surrounded by trees. He stops at nothing whilst chasing. So he has proven in the beginning chase scene of Casino Royale. Another one of course, walking into the lion’s den eventually, which was both bold and stupid at the same time. But hey, we are talking Bond here!
The beginning of the flick is outrageously rad too. The cameras that walk alongside Bond as he strolls through Mexican streets, to a hotel room, then scales beside him till he reaches his target, every bit of it has been gorgeously captured. Action is top-notch as well. Watch out for the Bautista train duel. Perfetto!
Grab a Blu-Ray DVD of Spectre here:
SCORE OF THE JAMES BOND MOVIE
Another thing that you would notice is its score. So bloody brilliant! Thomas Newman makes the music so beautiful and badass that it’s hard not to notice it. Before deciding to watch Spectre, mark this on your checklist: Choose a theatre you love for its sound. Right from the Mexican beats, to Sam Smith’s marvelous song, to soothing violins, everything downright impeccable!
Sam Mendes frames exceptional panorama as he ranges down beautiful landscapes all across the globe. The photography and the cinematography can’t be overlooked here. Simply outstanding!
This movie is a perfect Craig-Bond tribute. Go bid your adieus! (Only if this is Daniel Craig’s last movie)
You can check out the trailer of Spectre movie here:
Unbroken movie breaks into mediocrity. What separates a great movie from a good one? Direction? Well, then Angelina Jolie misses it by an inch. Albeit, she might reach it someday given the experience she is gradually garnering under her directorial hat. However sadly she isn’t still there. Yes , Unbroken isn’t really that great.
Plot of Unbroken Movie
The biopic we have is a survivor’s tale of Louis Zamperini embodied by Jack O’ Connell. He isn’t a hero exactly, rather someone who has endured ugly guts of war.
Things that were outrageous were: Louis’s stint as an athlete, a bland story that picked pace without any powerful interest or focus. The story itself did not throw light on any of his heroics except at one point where Louis’ decision reflects simply doing the right thing. It misses the point of the movie to show the athlete who inadvertently got lost into war owing to an unfortunate event. The script demanded quality thought spent into the melodrama it should have retained. Unfortunately it failed to reach those heights.
I’m nothing. Just let me be nothing.
Cherishable Bits We Take
Some of the best bits of the Unbroken movie were placed right at the ingress. Like the fight sequences that were portrayed happening beautifully around a tenacious bomber and was manifested through different vantage points via aircrew’s eyes.
Zamperini’s pining for survival in an ocean of sharks marred by devastating hunger (watch out for that albatross bit), punishing tides, hopeful rain, and the dark life that followed therefrom were also beautifully shown.
Jolie tries to venture into subtlety by showing the filth of war: trodden books, corpses, loss and grief, however fails to portray the exact image of her emotions. Her insipid presentation takes away the gist she wished to capture.
You can order the Unbroken movie from here:
The plot just loses focus owing to the slow pace it carries throughout without a lucid screenplay to hold the viewers riveted. Even though the Coen brothers came up with the flick’s screenplay Unbroken hardly retains all the dramatic substance that matters.
The editing too is very pathetic. Her style of film-making is good for dramas, yet what Jolie still needs to find is a really good script that is accentuated further by a gorgeous screenplay.
There are some movies that make you pity its ill-fated actor, make you empathize with the protagonist, feel the pain. I was surprised to find out that nothing in this flick made me feel Zamperini’s pain. This again shoots a dozen questions at the direction.
Average alert. Watch Unbroken movie only if you have a lot of time to kill.