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The Hitman’s Bodyguard Review (2017) | An Act of Deliberate Plotting

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is as weird, absurd and fun as it sounds by the very title of it. Doesn’t that give away a bit of a plot as well? So, we already knew the nub of the tale even before walking into the theatre. Of course, oblivious to how much comedy the movie was going to pack in. The good news is that the movie is exactly what it promises to deliver by that moniker. The bad news is that there is nothing serious going on in here, so even if you try your best to find something somber, trust me, it isn’t. It is written in all good fun, and I guess, supposed to be enjoyed like that.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is solely driven with “seat belts” on by Samuel L. Jackson. Even though you feel like the movie’s title is about the bodyguard Ryan Reynolds and not the hitman himself, you are dead wrong. Ryan is just an uptight rabbit, no matter how good he is on the field, he forever stays below the real deal Samuel L. Motherfucking Jackson.

Oh, by the way, there’s probably no one in the world who says “Motherfucker” better than this guy. And that somehow makes his dialogues enjoyable. I think he writes over his screenplay.

This guy single-handedly ruined the word motherfucker.

Plot and Direction of The Hitman’s Bodyguard (Spoilers)

As mentioned earlier The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t keen on showing you genuine action. The action is wrapped in comedy and so if you think there is a serious scene about to come, be wary it has just been shot for cheap thrills. Not to give you any unadulterated adrenaline rush.

The character of Samuel L. Jackson, Darius Kincaid, being the real hero of the flick, does smug things, acts as if he is the boss, and keeps condescending the bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) who is asked to save his ass.

still from The Hitman's Bodyguard

It almost seems like the concept was imagined first, and then a story was written all around it. Like why would a Hitman require a bodyguard in the first place? Unless he’s injured, right? Let’s injure him. And why would the bodyguard be protecting him? Unless he has been hired or forced to, of course. For our hitman to be badass it would be too beneath him to call for help, so let someone else do that. So there’s a woman Amelia Roussel played by Elodie Yung. Since it’s a bodyguard protecting the Hitman, he has to be the best, or there’s really no point. Let’s make him the best! And thus the agency AAA came into existence.

Catch my drift?

The movie is directed by Patrick Hughes. The story is written by Tom O’ Connor.

The Chemistry

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is all about the chemistry between its two lead actors. With that flaky storyline, it had to be. Surprisingly that’s really good.

Darius Kincaid: I will bust a cap in your ass.
Michael Bryce: Have you ever said “please”?
Darius Kincaid: Please, motherfucker!

Ryan Reynolds the deuteragonist plays the uptight guy keen on fulfilling his mission while Jackson is just relentless playing a guy full of himself.  Their trivial conversation about “how to do a thing” is pretty interesting, and most of the comedy is derived from that very equation. You have Michael Bryce trying to ensure that a certain way is followed for safety reasons, but Darius does the exact opposite being a guy who enjoys living on the edge.

Darius: I made that jump on one leg.
Michael: I made that jump without jumping.

There are plenty of laughs strewn across the movie. Some of them really enjoyable, others fail to tickle you. The great comic timing of Ryan comes into play more than often, and you realize the casting was done great with that pissed off face he makes.

still from The Hitman's Bodyguard movie

Salma Hayek brings more fun to the table by playing Darius’ wife. She is boisterous and equally high on expletives. Love how she calls Darius an unkillable Cucaracha.

Wasting Gary Oldman

When the villain isn’t as dangerous as he looks, it becomes a concern for a movie. Gary Oldman was roped in to play Vladislav Dukhovich the main antagonist in the movie who is calling the shots to stop Darius from reaching the court. Unfortunately, even though he has been provided with some great lines, and an accent to ace that, there is nothing he could do with a story-line that places him as an insignificant person against Darius. He ends up disappearing in a jiffy.

You fucked up when you shot my bodyguard.

All that talent goes to waste when you don’t use him enough. At least should have let him do something outrageous or contemptuous. He didn’t even reek of perversion. The flick ends up becoming all about his minions who come try to kill the couple.

Even there, the level of action is moderate. The energy, however, stays great and the stunts are performed effectively. The most stretched scene is that of Darius trying to escape on a motor boat while Bryce guards him using a bike. Then there are some cool car chases, bullets flying all around, close encounters and fist fights that end up making the movie worth watching.

You can order the movie from here:

The Final Verdict

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is average if not great. But it is entertaining nevertheless. Even if the plot just sounds like nothing but a road trip movie for its characters, the real fun happens when these two get to talking.

Go and watch it for yourself to enjoy its sweet nothings.

Check out reviews of other Ryan Reynolds movies.

Check out the trailer of The Hitman’s Bodyguard here:

The Great Wall Movie Review (2016) | Typical Monster Flick

The Great Wall movie is one of those monster flicks that starts abruptly without offering you any perspective. Unlike mythical horror movies that are built on sheer horror and tons of suspense, The Great Wall movie doesn’t bank on the fear factor rather chooses to go with the action platitude to the finish line. It ends up becoming a resounding dud shot when you can see through a plot that sounds very cliched, can feel the shallowness of its scenes and literally read the flick’s apparent contrivance.

Theme and Plot of The Great Wall Movie

The Great Wall movie tried to cash in on the myth surrounding China’s biggest miraculous defense. It created a story out of a mere lore and tried to throw in some tangible veracity to it. Yes it shows the wall in a light that would leave children fantasizing for days.

In doing so, its writers made the wall something it couldn’t have possibly been even in a dream. The movie tried to aggrandize the then extant Song Dynasty scenes with epic armies that acted tough and in unison. They responded pretty well to each other using signs and noises a normal guy couldn’t possibly register.

Max Brooks, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz created alien mythical monsters that visited every 60 years trying to overrun the planet with huge numbers. At the center of them is a queen, a gigantic monster who stays protected by her very own circle of trust er…monsters who do not let anyone get near her. She is calling the shots for her race and yes, she is literally yowling for a boss fight.

matt damon and pedro pascal in the great wall movie

Imperial Court has assigned the job of protecting its realm to a military order called The Nameless Order. Our hero William portrayed by Matt Damon who is way too heroic for a hero, and who barely makes mistakes, is a complete badass with his bow. He has Tovar played by Pedro Pascal for a sidekick who keeps questioning his choices. Both are mercenaries who accidentally run into the Imperial Court in their search for black powder, an ancient moniker for what we brand today as gunpowder.

Willem Defoe‘s character Ballard was terribly written. You could feel him disappear without any bang, oh wait! there was one for him alright. Pleasant escape!

The Good Things

If you try to focus on the good things the movie retains the first thing would be the music by Ramin Djawadi. He is capable of giving you goosebumps with his score. You could feel that emanating through the reverberation that drums produced in The Great Wall movie’s trailer.

Then there is that rare grim attitude Matt Damon wears most of the times, where you can see him delivering lines with a steady resolve. There is one particular scene where we find Lin Mae portrayed by Tian Jing trying to make William understand trust. She tries to coax him into jumping that she wouldn’t let go. But William, who is used to not trusting anybody chooses not to, and responds:

I’m alive today because I do not trust anybody.

Then you cannot overlook the colossal army of The Nameless Order either. It’s huge. The way they move, the way they walk, the grandeur and the resplendence is beyond comparison. It is enough to put you in awe.

Then there are the monsters that are intelligently thought of with the concept of the queen at the center of it. A well thought of fantasy.

You can order The Great Wall here:

Other Issues

Now that we have good things out of the equation, let’s move on to the ugly part. There were plenty of issues starting with the creation of fear. With movies that deal with monsters and aliens, there has to be that morsel of fear lurking that should terrify its viewers. With the Chinese finding it not a big deal since they have always imaged beasts and monsters all their lives, it ends up becoming kind of a big deal, a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Everything happens too fast, there is no slow graze to help one experience that fear. That’s one of the most important points that the flick overlooks. Apart from that you have the cliched storyline. You have seen this happen so many times that it compels you to yawn your way into it. Heroics included are too childish to be true. Also, climax isn’t exactly the movie’s forte. You know what will happen. No element of surprise there.

Then one of the most daft things the movie does lost in its splendour is with the human harpoons, the acrobatic soldiers or the crane troop. When you are left on the mercy of a rope and an army of monsters below you don’t go spearheading straight into their jaws. No matter how cool it looks. That’s leaping into the mouths of death. That’s what they do, and many pay the price too as was expected.

The Final Verdict

The Great Wall ends up becoming really mediocre if you look at what it has in store for you. A predictable story, monsters that you are going to probably forget with time. Some heroic stunts with arrows that look good but too good to be true. It all becomes forgetful in the end which should have been exactly the opposite of what we all wanted.

You can check out the trailer of The Great Wall here:

Manchester by the Sea Review (2016) | Immensely Mournful

Extremely sad and touching. Kenneth Lonnergan‘s masterpiece is a movie that can’t be forgotten. Manchester by the Sea is a soul-stirring drama that will make sure you end up in a pool of tears. It has profound grief written all over it as it moves forward showing frames of a gradual build up that ends up in colossal dolour.

Grief is havocking. So the Manchester by the Sea proves when it swings around a reason so blood curdling that it is hard not to cry. It is a blend of guilt with pang thereafter that doesn’t let you slow down a bit. And you cry, and cry for a loss so horrendous it compels your guts to sing icky songs.

Direction of Manchester by the Sea

One of the best things about the movie is Kenneth Lonnergan’s direction. It is as calm as a good drama flick demands. Poignant and very powerful. It hides its cardinal cause well under the wraps for a good amount of time, building up enough suspense around the mystery man, the protagonist of the tale.

He chooses to go back in time occasionally showing the good days to prepare us for the saddest news our brains could register. His frames run long even if they are memories to give us a proper look into what had once happened.

Amongst Lonnergan’s other works are Margaret and You Can Count on Me.

Casey Affleck’s Acting Prowess

Casey Affleck’s performance is Oscar worthy. He is a great actor who is often overlooked by the gavels. He plays a guy who has accidentally done something horrible and is constantly living with a sad reminder of the tragedy.

Playing Lee wasn’t an easy job. The fact that he is tied up by an incessant struggle where he behaves like a tough guy, silently wishing to wane away inflicting pain by putting himself in harm’s way will make you feel extremely sorry for him.

It was an accident. An accident. It is so hard to make someone understand, the mishap you have to live with is all your own doing. He is in an incredible amount of pain and forever girded by depression. He says no to life, and is just carrying on without a will to live.

I don’t know if anyone could have played Lee Chandler as convincingly as he did.

Plot of Manchester by the Sea (Spoilers)

Lee Chandler portrayed by Casey Affleck is a guy doing menial jobs, who says no to the world, and you are left to wonder why. That’s when you see the movie making time jumps occasionally. It travels back and forth in its timeline to show you a glimpse of the before and the after.

It is only when his brother Joe Chandler portrayed by Kyle Chandler (yes he’s the real Chandler) dies that he decides to pay him a visit. Even there we are forced to believe Lee is an emotionally absent guy, who doesn’t shed a tear for the loss of a loved one.

With Joe’s death, he is supposed to look after his son Patrick played by Lucas Hedges. The latter is a teen still trying to figure out life. He seems to take the death of his old man lightly because it didn’t seem to affect him either. Both Joe and Patrick appear to be somehow on the same pedestals of human emotions wherein distance seems to have created what looks like reckless indifference.

still of casey affleck and lucas hedges in manchester by the sea

We delve a little deeper as they carry on their regular chores, inadvertently circling his grave with what comes as an aftermath of someone’s death. It is the mundane part that deals with funerals, the will, the entire setup that juxtaposes his thoughts against his past.

The Tragic Accident

In a place that Lee had forever dreaded to go back to, we find him unknowingly winding up. We are introduced to his enormous pang, the reason for a screwed up life, and why he wishes to stay miles away from Manchester. He had accidentally set his house on fire killing his three young children. It is hard not to empathize with it. The accident so despicable that could leave anyone shuddering for years. So it happens with Lee. It sucks out the will to live out of him.

The part that follows him when all charges are dropped against him is one of the most havocking parts of the movie. You find him asking:

“That’s it?”

to the cops who write him off saying it was just an accident and that it was nothing but a misfortune. His first impulse is to shoot himself when the police vindicates him. But he wishes immense punitive measures to be taken against him. To live with that pain is to be completely dead inside. And given the angst surrounding his tragedy anyone would want a quick escape.

With a downward tumble into the world of depression after a failed attempt at suicide, he has moved out of the city, out of his marriage and everything that remotely connected him to any memory. He is in constant pain, and wishes others to inflict more on him. A state of mind you can relate so much too. Deliberately asking for bludgeons to death.

Towards the end we find Randi Chandler his ex-wife played by Michelle Williams trying her level best to talk to Lee. It is another one of those devastating moments in the movie that puts drama back in action. Watch out for that!

“There’s nothing left. There’s nothing there, you don’t understand.”

You can order Manchester by the Sea here:

Lucas Hedges as an actor

At the same time Lucas Hedges doesn’t make you overlook him either. He plays that quintessential teen who couldn’t care less about what goes on in the family. But then again, he never let things percolate into him, and once it does, he breaks too. He has his own way of remembering, and putting sense into the loss. Like keeping the cadaver into a freezer bothered him the most. He is naive apparently yet brimming with emotions when he actually stops to think about it.

“Something’s wrong with me. I don’t know! I feel really weird! I am having like a panic attack or something.”

The Final Verdict

The aptly named Manchester by the Sea is a movie that should not be missed for the world. If you are not a fan of drama, then there’s a chance that you might not like it owing to its slow pace. Au contraire, if you are, you are going to absolutely love it. Do we hear Oscar bells for Casey and the movie?

You can check out the trailer of Manchester by the Sea here:

 

 

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

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

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

Direction of Hell or High Water Movie

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

hell or high water brothers chris pine and ben foster

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

Plot and the Pairing Up

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

Lord of the Plains.

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

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

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

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

Crime Movies

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

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

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

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

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

You can order Hell or High Water here:

Awesome Scenes to Watch Out For (Spoilers Ahead)

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

Boy, you’d think there were 10 of me.

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

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

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

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

Do you know what that makes me? A Comanche.

The Final Verdict

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

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

 

The Founder Movie Review (2017) | The Gruesome McDonald’s Story

The Founder movie jumps into the detailing of how one of the most successful American dreams was built, pampered and then snatched. Did you ever stop to think that McBurger you have been devouring voraciously was once greased in dreams, fried in resilience and then eventually toppled over by a spatula of greed? That a man named Ray Kroc coveted for someone else’s dream, and then swept it away from right under their nose. No! You just want to eat that burger!

It is a biography of the journey of McDonald’s and the big role Ray Kroc plays to make it into this humongous fast food chain. But his path to success would repulse you because it plays unfair games.

Plot of the Founder Movie (Spoilers)

The Founder movie begins with Kroc trying to sell his Milkshake Makers always pushing for that one shot that would change his destiny. Always on the lookout for that big thing! That’s when he comes across the place that were to change his life forever.

A small diner serves extraordinary burgers and amazingly fast too. He gets smitten with their idea of serving food so fast and decides to pay the owners a visit. McDonald’s is run by Maurice McDonald portrayed by John Carroll Lynch and Richard McDonald played by Nick Offerman. They let him in on their secret and tell him how they run things. It’s one of the cardinal stories of how McDonald’s was dreamt and built from scratch. It is beautifully run, a tad lengthy to be honest, but crucial given the theme of the flick. You can sense how much energy, time and effort was spent in their moulding of a dream.

image of Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch in The Founder Movie

When that bit gets over, we see Kroc rooting for them, beseeching them to run a franchise. When they tell him they  tried and failed at it miserably, he reassures them that this time they won’t. With that he signs a contract with them, and expands. The expansion rakes in more moolah and suddenly he is at the top of the world. The franchise grows however so does the dispute between Kroc and the McDonald’s. The former used to earn a meagre percentage off the benefits reaped in, which forces him to consult someone who changes his life. In comes Harry J. Sonneborn played by B. J. Novak who flings an idea that makes a wolf out of Kroc.

The Real Estate Bolster

The ravenous Kroc as suggested by Harry starts buying chunks of land by creating his own company thereby not falling under the radar of the brothers. Thus the real money begins to flow as he keeps expanding the company all over states. He names the company “The McDonald’s Corporation” without consulting the brethren and rips them off paying them 1.35 millions each taking the reins of the company entirely in his hands. He shakes on 1% of future earnings to be given to them as well however doesn’t sign on it.

With that he announces himself as the “Founder” justifying the titular movie name, gloating his win with a trophy wife Joan Smith played by Linda Cardellini by his side, who he steals away from one of his business associates Rollie Smith played by Patrick Wilson.

We see his gradual decline into this monstrous image that we expected him to be the opposite of. Business is a vile thing. It creates fiends out of human beings. That’s what the Founder proves to. The final moments see the brothers changing the name of their diner as per the contract. It’s a sad sight watching their dream tumble down like that. Also since that 1% was never actually written down in a contract, they are never really paid for it as well.

The Unscrupulous Precinct

When you try to pay attention to what Ray Kroc was all about, you cannot really blame him for what he did. He was a businessman who tasted success. He abided by the laws of business wherein he was ready to take desperate measures to stay at the top. In his own words:

“If I saw a competitor drowning, I’d shove a hose down his throat.”

If you were to justify his decisions, he seems right on a lot of points. McDonald’s lacked vision until Ray Kroc walked in. If it weren’t for him, people all across the globe might not even have heard about it. So even though his steps seemed kind of desperate and immoral, ultimately it helped in getting the job done.

But then again, he brought the original brothers to his knees which makes him demonic in a way. Building an empire by stepping on someone’s chest. It is unscrupulous of any human being to do such an inhumane act, and that’s why you can’t really come to terms with it too.

I am afraid the movie shows Ray Kroc in a little bit of bad light, but that’s the beauty of John Lee Hancock‘s project. It leaves us with questions on what we should call fair, and what not.

You can order the Founder movie here:

Screenplay and Drama

The movie scores a tad low in the drama front. The primary reason for that being that half of the time you are made to believe that it’s actually comical. But what’s happening is far more grave. It is the brothers Mac and Dick that make it sound like that, but slowly the movie steps into ghastly waters when things start looking up for Ray. With the tone of the flick it was hard to tell however.

Laura Dern is shown in a bleak light, with dramatic vibes missing in her character of Ethel Kroc. It is sad how Ray picks her out of his life and throws her away like dirt.

Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc in The founder movie

Screenplay isn’t that exciting either except for cliches of success going on in the backdrop that are actually pretty great. The most heartfelt moment of the movie however stays in the struggling moments of Ray when he bends down to pick a fistful of sand, and with all his heart says,

“Just be right this one time. One time.”

It makes his character instantly relatable. All those dreamers who are struggling in life, waiting for their big moment to hit them, for their right decision to happen, would empathize profusely with his state of mind.

The flick might be vexing for some who are not used to watching lengthy biographies. This is however for the visionaries, and those who wish to grasp what really goes down in a business, and also for those who wish to know the actual story behind McDonald’s fame.

The Final Verdict

The Founder movie stays uplifted owing to Michael Keaton‘s mesmerizing performance as Ray Kroc. You can see him transpire into a wicked businessman gradually which suits his persona perfectly. It is a rip off for the original owners, a story that a lot of people don’t know about. Hence, if you wish to know how it all came into existence, whether it was an egg or a hen that led the pack, this movie should not be missed for the world.

Check out the trailer of The Founder Movie here:

 

La La Land Review (2016) | An Exhilarating Dramatic Musical for Dreamers

If there’s a definition of astounding in your head, then La La Land simply surpasses it. It’s literally spellbinding! And we aren’t only going by the story here. The music, the setup, the acting, the metaphor, the screenplay, the editing, the choreography, everything has been given ample thought and scrutiny before the actual execution. And you can expect only a genius like Damien Chazelle to ace everything to perfection.

Theme of La La Land Movie

La La Land carries that quintessential dream every dreamer has. It is about not giving up even when the whole universe seems to be plotting against you. The flick is about following your dreams till the end, about you being willing to take risks and make colossal sacrifices to reach there. It being a musical is often sprinkled with gorgeous songs that are well executed and complemented by Justin Hurwitz‘s stunning compositions. Even whilst you listen to the Jazz play, you can’t help but time travel two years ago when Whiplash had showed up. Amazing exhilarating music!

image of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as Sebastian and Mia in La la land movie

Fascinating Drama (Spoilers Ahead)

La La Land will rip you apart, tear you down to a million pieces. It is so profound that it touches just the right chords. And it does so by its genteel build-up. There is that thrill of a growing relationship, the perfection that seems to have been made in the stars. It goes on like that, reflecting life, and when you are least prepared, it drops the real bomb on you. Climax becomes havocking all of a sudden. It leaves you grieving, forcing you to feel its pious pain. It ends up talking to your cheeks with those teary beads.

This is the dream! It’s conflict and it’s compromise. It’s very, very exciting!

It is when you listen to Ryan Gosling play his song “City of Stars” on the piano for the first time, that you understand the level of uprooting music La La Land packs in. It is sad, profound, soothing, and in a way really satisfying to listen.

You can check out the music here:

His character Sebastian‘s way of re-imagining a life with Mia played stunningly by Emma Stone is what gives the movie a gloomy punch. It is the most nerve-racking moment of the movie. You feel the sudden gush of emotions burst all dams when you realize Sebastian wished everything undone, unwritten and then rewritten in his memories with Mia in it. I ended up in tears. It’s really that profound.

You can pre-order La La Land movie from here:

The Chemistry

Whilst there are movies that skip the chemistry to feast its plot, we get served a perfect one here. Both Sebastian and Mia create such a beautiful world that you forever stay on their high. There are metaphors galore that Chazelle uses via his songs. Like the time when they start flying in the air, even though they were actually sitting. They dance their way into the stars and cross galaxies together. It leaves things for viewer’s imagination, and it hits just the spot.

Ryan Gosling simply steals the show. There is something about him that captivates you almost instantly. You feel his pang, if he is sad. You feel his vibes when he is happy. Even when there is nothing to show but sarcasm, you feel him there too. He brings that uncontrived flair to his work that is just remarkable! When you watch him go psyched about Jazz, he makes you reflect on things that you have been passionate about all this time too.

You could just write your own rules. You know write something, that’s as interesting as you are.

Emma Stone is an equally great performer. Twice does she go into that full-blown acting mode, whilst giving those powerful auditions. The aura that she retains and the energy that binds her makes you want to give her a standing ovation every time she slithers into that mode. With that you just know the casting for La La Land was done perfectly.

The Final Verdict

La La Land deserves all the accolades! It is a movie that makes you want to retrace your dreams, inspires you to go after them. It’s romance acknowledges that perfect key that awaits your lock. It shatters you to pieces when it tries to showcase unfulfilled possibilities. Musical lover or not, it is a movie that needs to be immediately seen. Grab some tissues before watching this beauty of a movie.

 

Kubo and the Two Strings Review (2016) | Bewitching Animation

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.

Extraordinary Animation

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

still of monkey and kubo in kubo and the two strings movie

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.

Sentient Kubo

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.

still of all characters from kubo and the two strings movie

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:

You look.

That moon reflection, water droplets falling everything was beautifully imagined and executed.

Downsides

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 Review (2016) | An R-rated Damn Funny Satire

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.

The Concept

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.

still of potato being peeled by God in Sausage Party movie

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

still of the dark lord in sausage party movie

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:

Downsides

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:

What Does The Tree of Life Movie Mean? | Epic Tree Life Quotes | Analysis and Meaning Explained

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!

still of cosmos life in tree of life movie

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.

Narration

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.”

Jack’s Memories

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.

still of Sean Penn as Jack in the tree of life movie

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.

image of cosmos universe in the tree of life movie

“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.

the tree of life movie water dinosaur injured

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?”

Waco Origins

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.

still of Jack being taken by Mrs. O'Brien in Tree of life

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.”

Without Nature

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.

image of sean penn as jack in the tree of life movie beach

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 Review (2015) | Abounding with Stunning Metaphors

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.

image of the little girl and her mother in the little prince movie

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.

image of the first chapter in the aeroplane page sent by the aviator

Constant Run of Gorgeous Screenplay

Words of wisdom ooze out at every corner. Some straight from the Le Petit Prince book, whilst some by Irena Brignull and Bob Persichetti.

About hoarding, the aviator says:

“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.”

image of the little prince with rose still

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.

still of the conceited man in the little prince movie

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.”

still of the little girl and the aviator in the little prince movie

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.”

still of the fox and the little prince in a rosebush

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.”

still of the old aviator with his plane in the little prince movie

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.”

still of the aviator and the little prince

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.

still of the little prince in desert

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:

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