Opening Scene n lines: “Why do i want to kill myself? I don’t know. I wouldn’t kill myself for the same reasons as other suicidal people. Money problems…broken heart…hopelessness…no, not me. Many books say “death is relaxing.”did you know that? No need to follow the latest trends, no need to keep pace with the rest of the world. It’ll be like taking a nap before waking up refreshed and ready to begin your next life. That’s what they say; “this is bliss.”
This is the story of Japanese guy Kenji, working in Thailand, who is always thinking about suicide & trying to commit suicide, though half heartedly ‘cos he never quite succeeds. One thing or another distracts him at the last moment n then the mood is gone!!
He loves reading books. His home is almost a library. He is introverted & super organized.
His brother works for a Don(mafioso) in Japan. Bro sleeps with Boss’ daughter n Boss now wants him killed. Brother flees n comes to Kenji’s Apartment. At that very moment Kenji was preparing to hang himself. As he is about to tighten the noose, the doorbell rings & the brother Arrives!! The Don sends a hit man to kill the bro. Hitman kills the bro n Kenji Shoots the hitman.Now this is a bit strange n paradoxical. If Kenji really wants to die he would have let the hitman kill himself too.
By some twists & turns in fate he meets a girl Noi, who has recently lost her sister in an accident & holds herself partly responsible for it. Kenji moves in with Noi (‘cos two corpses are now lying in his home)n a beautiful friendship is formed. They are eventually romantically involved. Noi has to soon move to Japan. Noi’s Apartment is as as messy as Kenji’s is organized.
The story is extremely gripping.Both Kenji n Noi are interesting, eccentric n likable. Though it with dark material it is extremely humorous. The humor is subtle n situational. 3 comedy scenes stand out for me. One, when the bell starts ringing as Kenji is about to kill himself.Two, Kenji starts reading a Japanese book in the bus, another Japanese man starts to talk to Kenji seeing the book. Kenji is in no mood to talk n he gets down the bus, suddenly just to avoid the man. Three when Kenji’s brother’s boss is at the Airport, he is coming to Thailand to shoot Kenji to revenge his hit man’s death at the hands of Kenji n this conversation transpires between the Don n check in girl:
Japanese/Thai Movie: Last Life In The Universe,
Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang,
Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Sinitta Boonyasak,
Director of Photography: Christopher Doyle
Queen of Versailles is a peek into the (sad & pathetic) lives of (filthy) Rich n Famous. We always try to speculate whether money buys happiness or not. We philosophize & wonder about it. We reason n we argue. There is no definitive answer to this quest. Everyone has their own hypothesis n conclusions. Now this Award winning Documentary by Lauren Greenfield gives us an excellent lens to see things with our own eyes. n then decide!! It’s a commentary on the emptiness of consumerism driven life & failure of the American Dream.
The Queen of Versailles” began as a documentary about a time-share billionaire, his ditzy wife, and their grotesque quest to build the largest house in the United States of America. It ended as perhaps the single best film on the Great Recession.”
The Siegels have a plan to build a 90,000 square feet home, bigger than the White house n modeled on the Palace of Versailles, ‘cos their life can no longer fit into the 26,000 square feet home!! Now just look at what all it will have when finished:
When completed it will have:
30 bathrooms, each with a full-sized jacuzzi tub
10 kitchens and a sushi bar
2-3 Theater sized Entertainment Centres
3 swimming pools
20 car garage
10 Kitchens!! Are you fucking kidding me? I mean what do you need 10 kitchens for?? Reminds me of one of my favorite stories, ‘The Billionaires‘ by Maxim Gorky in which he wonders what do billionaires do with all the wealth..Do have stomachs twice/thrice the size of normal people? or do they have more mouths?? or maybe more teeth!
Now about the Siegels:
David Siegel is the founder n owner of Westgate, the pioneer n biggest player in Timeshare holiday industry. He is 74 something. He married Jackie, a beauty pageant winner n 30 years his junior when he was 60. Together they have 8 children!!!. Jackie has a fondness for shopping n she shops things by truckloads (or rather limousine loads) when the stuff is already overflowing in their huge mansion. There are too many children, too many (neglected) pets,too many nannies n housekeeping help n too much clutter, n too little appreciation for anything, n no Savings. Obviously they fly in their Private jets n when the recession hit their fortunes, the ‘poor’ folks had to fly commercial…one of the son asks, ‘What are all these people doing in our plane?’ !!
David says everyone wants to be rich,if they are not rich, they want to feel rich n if they don’t want to feel rich, they are dead!!!
But is he himself happy with all this wealth and opulence?? The Answer comes from the horses mouth. David openly admits to the camera that nothing makes him happy any more. Asked if he draws strength from his marriage, he flatly replies, “No.” Finally , some sense starts to prevail when it becomes clear to him that recession has actually hit them too. Then he is like a normal middle class person getting worried about electricity bills, Housing staff is cut down drastically, but regardless the X’mas shopping n party are celebrated with fanfare.
As a person who actually enjoys frugality n living beneath the mean,I really don’t understand a lifestyle filled with so much extravagance n wastage. Period. Even if I had billions n trillions I would really want to stay the way we live now. The big mansions don’t even excite me. I dream of shifting into smaller n smaller homes n finally ending up in tiny house (1100 square feet). Tiny houses n simple lifestyle with low footprint is what excites me. I am not even interested in how their life fell apart during recession…I don’t like that extravagant n wasteful lifestyle even if had continued being so without hiccups. That kind of lifestyle is empty n hideous. I’m simply not interested in too much money, ‘cos all it gets you is a super ugly gold throne. I’m happy lounging in my easy chair, reading books n daydreaming.
- Queen of Versailles Jackie Siegel wants a reality show: bad idea (realityblurred.com)
- The Queen of Versailles (goodeveningclarice23.wordpress.com)
- Queen of Versailles – Movie Review (simplyjosephine.net)
- The 11 Best Movies Of 2012 (buzzfeed.com)
These are a few of my favorite things:#4 (Ferdinand, the Bull, by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson)
Ferdinand, the gentle, peace loving & content Bull is everyone’s favorite. Though the story is meant for children, Ferdidand is equally loved by adults. To me Ferdinand’s story is about embracing your true nature rather than succumbing to the pressure of society . If you are a bull but like to smell flowers rather than fight then there is no good reason that you should fight. I discovered this book n video only a couple of days back but wish I had known it in my growing up years when I had a little tough time being comfortable with my introversion & solitude loving nature. You were supposed to love meeting new people, making loads of friends & enjoy partying. I would rather read books & daydream. Eventually I learned that my choices were as valid if not more valid than the more popular choices of the day. Today I don’t feel the pressure to be a super-woman. Like Ferdinand I’d rather be smelling flowers & enjoying afternoon naps.
Up is an animated story (in 3D as well as 2D) of adventure of Square faced & round nosed, ex balloon seller Carl Frederickson but more than that it’s a tender story of enduring n eternal love (Quite unusual for an animation film but I guess this film is meant for adults as well as children). When Carl first meets Ellie they share a passion for adventure. Their story is presented in the form of a four minute montage with beautiful background music. It was always their (or rather Ellie’s) dream to go & live in Paradise falls in South America. Though they start saving for the trip but the money kept getting spent for more pressing urgent, mundane needs. Finally when Carl buys the tickets to go to Paradise Falls as a surprise for Ellie, she dies before Carl can show her the tickets. This is powerful, evocative story of joy, sorrow, and enduring love. That part of the movie was brilliant. It is one of the great love stories in cinematic history. The next few scenes present Carl as a lonely old man who misses his wife terribly. This is very Heart wrenching. Though she is no more he always feels her presence & converses with her (Picture). Carl’s love for Ellie is the proof that Death may leave a heartache no one can heal but love leaves a memory no one can steal. True love doesn’t have a happy ending, because true love never ends.
Carl decides to go to Paradise falls to fullfill Ellie’s dream by tying a million balloons to his house. Russell an over enthusiastic ‘wilderness explorer’, inadvertantely but joyfully become his companion. Together they meet a colourful bird, snipe ‘Kevin’, a talking dog (Dug) & Carl’s childhood hero (Charles Muntz) who doesn’t turn out to be so heroic after all. It’s fun to watch the bright colourful visuals of the movie with some cool lessons too.
~How does a person define adventure? Is adventure out there in great deeds, or can it also be between people in the small moments that make up a life. Carl and Ellie’s love story helped us tell that theme – that small moments lead to a life’s adventure.
~ Let go: Carl has to let go of many material things in order to make the house fly again to save Russell. In the end he loses the house to which he is quite attached but still he lets go n says ‘hey, it’s just a house’.
~ No to Hero Worshipping: Carl’s childhood hero turns out to be a villain after all. Many people worship & emulate celebrities without realizing who those people really are. Instead of hero worshipping we should embrace the best in OURSELVES. Who is a bigger hero in our life than our own self??
~ The journey is more important than the destination. Carl & Russell have an adventurous & full of lessons journey which develops a bond between them. Carl had set out to reach Paradise falls but the journey was the real fun n adventurous part. The journey is the reward.
I must confess this is the first animation movie I’ve watched if we don’t count Tom n Jerry/ Mickey n Donald & I am hooked. Up next are: Toy Story (I, II, III), Finding Nemo, WALL-E……
Other Movie Reviews on my blog:
Mirch | Roman Holiday | Babel | Guzaarish | 7 Khoon Maaf
Book Reviews on My Blog:
Roman Holiday is a 1953 Romantic comedy that enthrals the audience even today. It is a Fairy Tale in the reverse. Usually all girls want to be treated like Princesses but here a Princess is longing to be an ordinary girl. Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) who is on a tour to Rome is sick n tired of her boring Royal Duties & wants to explore the city as a commoner. So she runs away from her caretakers. She meets a Journalist, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) who is at first thrilled to have run into an opportunity for an exclusive & intimate interview with the princess & so hides his real identity. Together they spend a fun n carefree day exploring the famous sites of Rome on his Vespa scooter. (we see not just a romance between the lead pair but also love affair between the camera and the city of Rome) But his plans fall apart as the pair falls in love by the end of the day. They know they can’t be together. So their love story ends rather abruptly. It’s an ephemeral love affair yet eternal ‘cos it gives them a lifetime of memories (Princess Ann at a Press Conference: “Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live.”). Usually when we think of Romance we have images of roses, choclates & candlelit dinners but a day spent together idly doing fun things can be much more romantic.
The movie is full of charming scenes mainly because Audrey Hepburn gets the demeanour of a Princess just right.
I would rate Roman Holiday as a very good but not great movie. It’s good because it’s a cute bitter sweet love story & acting is impeccable & the comedy very subtle. But for me to be great a movie should have some underlying message, something you can learn from it that makes you think & that stays with you for a long time. So I prefer films in the genre of ‘The Ground Hog Day’/ ‘Bucket List’, but still it’s a good movie to watch on a lazy weekend when you don’t want to think too much.
Director: William Wyler
Cast: Audery Hepburn, Gregory peck, Eddie Albert
Writer: Dalto Trumbo
Year of Release: 1953
Won Oscar for: Best Actress & Best Screenplay
Other Movie Reviews on my blog:
- The Hepburns at Cinerama (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- John Farr: For Valentine’s Day, Ten Movies Sure To Inspire Romance (huffingtonpost.com)
- Rose’s top 10 favorite movies (and why) (thenerdymodel.wordpress.com)
Babel is a story that reflects how one (seemingly random & improbable, out of the blue) incident can change our lives in a way we never imagined. It is a collection of four short stories, set in four countries: Morocco, USA, Mexico & Japan, in 5 languages: Arabic, English, Mexican, Japanese & Sign Language.
A sheep herder in Morocco buys a Rifle & gives it to his two sons for shooting wolves that have been eating their sheep. The boys instead try (rather foolishly) aiming at a passing car n a bus to test the effectiveness of the rifle. A bullet from their Rifle hits n American tourist (Cate Blanchett) who is on a holiday to Morocco with her husband (Brad Pitt). They have come on this holiday to sort out their marital problems, leaving their two children behind in the US with their Mexican Nanny & Housekeeper who has to attend her son’s wedding in Mexico during the same time. As the couple is stranded in a small village town trying to get a Helicopter to transfer the fatally wounded Lady to the Hospital, the Nanny finding no other alternative goes to her son’s wedding taking the children along with her with disastrous consequences. The fate of the Moroccan family, the American family & the Nanny are altered with this random shooting of the bullet. The movie alternates among these three & also moves to the life of a deaf & dumb Japanese Teenager who is coping with the trauma of her mother’s recent suicide & her own handicap. She is also desperate to lose her virginity. Her life is also affected by the shoot-out though in a very round about way. You must watch the movie to find out how.
The movie keeps one glued to the seat in a tense suspense of what is the ultimate fate of all involved. The movie is like a piece of puzzle, the pieces of which get connected only in the end. Some stories reach their logical conclusion whereas some are left vague & open to subjective interpretation.
The movie is named Babel after the story of the Tower of Babel in the Biblical Book of Genesis. In the story, the people of the world are all united and speak a common language. They begin to build a tower to reach the heavens and become godlike themselves. God, seeing this, decides to confuse the language of the people and destroy the tower. When the people could no longer understand each other they gave up work on the tower and spread out to different parts of the world. It also refers to the connections -or lack thereof- that come through the use of language. In each storyline the characters struggle with surviving and self-identification based on misunderstanding through a language barrier. This film ultimately looks at the fact that we are all intimately connected on a life-and-death level, yet the trivialities of langauge and misunderstandings break us apart.
Some Facts: (Gleaned from Wikipaedia)
Babel is a 2006 international drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga, starring an ensemble cast. The multi-narrative drama completes Iñárritu’s Death Trilogy, following Amores perros and 21 Grams.
The film portrays multiple stories taking place in Morocco, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. It was an international co-production among companies based in France, Mexico and the US. The film was first screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and was later shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Zagreb Film Festival. It opened in selected cities in the United States on October 27, 2006, and went into wide release on November 10, 2006. On January 15, 2007, it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture — Drama. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and two nominations for Best Supporting Actress and won for Best Original Score.
Other Movie Reviews on my blog:
- The lessons of the Tower of Babel (respiratorytherapycave.blogspot.com)
- Alejandro González Iñárritu interview for Buitiful (telegraph.co.uk)
- Mexican director honored by ‘Biutiful’ Oscar nod (foxnews.com)
- Director Alejandro Inarritu Barely Beat the Recession With New Film (walletpop.com)
- Nine Films Make Oscar Foreign Film Shortlist (slashfilm.com)
- ‘Biutiful’: Javier Bardem is striking as a dying father in the slums of Barcelona (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Javier Bardem in Biutiful reviewed: Get ready to be really depressed. (slate.com)
- Director Alejandro González Iñárritu Interview BIUTIFUL (collider.com)
Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffery Rush
Oscars, 2011: Best Actor, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay
This is a biographic film about how King George VI (Colin Firth) overcame his stuttering problem to become the King when his elder brother is abdicated from throne because he marries an American divorced woman (apparently marrying a divorced woman is a disqualification for the post of king!!!). Now there is a major hitch, Albert has a bad case of stammer & hence can’t be an effective King because that essentially involves making speeches. He tries several speech therapists but to no avail, then he is referred to Lionel Logue (Geoffery Rush) whose methods are off the wall & some what eccentric (Shouting Profanities, Singing) but nevertheless apparently effective. He deals with George VI on an equal footing, refuses to drop in at the his palace but demanding that he drops by at his (lionel’s) office for therapy sessions (As Lionel puts it: My Game, My Castle, My Rules), addresses him as ‘Bertie’ instead of Your Royal Highness…at first George VI is very uptight & very upset about this rather radical behavior but gradually he realizes the effectiveness of Lionel’s ways & the warmth of his spirit. A friendship develops between the two. & then the Dreaded speech has to be delivered..on one level the story is about how George VI overcame his stuttering problem but it is also a poignant story about the friendship between the two..The King realizes that he has had no real friends in life so far….performances by both Colin Firth & Geoffery Rush are impeccable in their respective roles as the Duke/King & the friendly Speech Therapist. The movie doesn’t have any Action but holds your attention till the end.
Other Movie Reviews on my blog:
- The Real King’s Speech: Watch Rare Footage of King George VI Speaking to a Crowd (moviefone.com)
- The Oscars 2011: glory for The King’s Speech, Colin Firth and director Tom Hooper – Telegraph.co.uk (news.google.com)
- The Oscars 2011: glory for The King’s Speech, Colin Firth and director Tom Hooper (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Oscars 2011: glory for The King’s Speech, Colin Firth and Natalie Portman (telegraph.co.uk)
- The King’s Speech enthroned as best picture (guardian.co.uk)
- The King’s Speech (everyonelookbusy.wordpress.com)
- Colin Firth: Oscars 2011 Best Actor Winner (huffingtonpost.com)
- The King’s Speech gets rating change ()
- Colin Firth Oscar acceptance speech: Stuttering’s star role (cbsnews.com)
- Firth against censoring Speech (guardian.co.uk)
I knew I had to love this movie ‘cos I’ve got a thing for movies with philosophical undercurrents. This movie explores the concept of what it means to be happy. It traces the experiences of 4 New Yorker’s as they go about their Pursuit of Happiness. The life of the characters change dramatically & irreversibly after some incidents. Ultimately happiness is an inside job & it depends on our own disposition & how we choose to interpret/view the incidents that happen to us.
A lawyer, Troy (Matthew McConaughey) is guilt ridden after his car hits a woman, Beatrice (Clea DuVall) & instead of helping her out he just runs away. Both their lives change thereafter. Troy suffers from guilt pangs & Beatrice’s faith is shaken as she tries to find reason ‘why it happened to her’. Just before the accident Troy was another successful, carefree young Professional who was very confident in having his life all figured out. . But that accident changes everything. He is never able to forget the incident or forgive himself. Embedded in Troy’s story is the Law of Invisible Karmic Justice. He escaped the Law of the Land for his accident but couldn’t escape the Karmic Laws. His remorse (which overtook rest of the things in his life) was his punishment. You can run, you can hide but you cannot escape the fruits of your Karma.
A bored physics professor, Walker is looking for happiness beyond the content but routine life he is living with his wife. When asked what he really wants out of life by his wife, Patricia (Amy Irving), he answers: “What everyone wants: to wake up enthused, to experience life, to be happy.” Apparently he does so by having an affair with a colleague. Not a smart choice as he ends up losing both his wife & girl friend. In his own words ‘the consequences of our actions are IRREVERSIBLE.’ Once we make the choices we have to be ready face the consequences. Again the happiness depends on our own outlook. He claims to be bored but perhaps he wouldn’t have been so if he was alive to those around him. He fails to notice the misery of his wife & his student who commits suicide.
A middle level manager in an insurance company, Gene (Alan Arkin) has worked hard to get his current position but loses his family along the way. He is embittered & is irritated by his ever smiling colleague Wade Bowman (William Wise). Bowman is a guy who can put a positive spin on almost any circumstances. When out of his irritation & subconscious desire for revenge Gene fires him, Bowman says it’s his chance at a vacation which he always wanted to take. Bowman represents the key to happiness, if there is one, is to choose to be happy despite the external circumstances. That is the only way happiness is possible.
The film keeps one entirely hooked because there are multiple stories weaved around the theme of human desire to be happy, the meaning of happiness, trying to make sense of our experiences……
Bruce (Jim Carrey) is a TV Reporter living in a nice house, with a nice Girl friend—Grace (Jennifer Aniston) & a dog but he is dissatisfied with his life (he wants to be an Anchor instead of a Reporter, his dog pees on his rugs…minor irritants but Bruce seems to be making a great deal about them)…he finds his life mediocre …looks like Bruce focuses on negatives only, glass half full kinda guy. He feels God hates him & that God is not doing God’s job properly. God also has enough of Bruce’s cribbing & he (God played by Morgan Freeman) decides to bestow God like powers on Bruce n he himself could use the vacation. Initially Bruce is thrilled. He uses his power to get back to the goons who beat him earlier, blow up a woman’s dress, bring moon closer for a romantic evening with Grace, make her boobs bigger, changing his run down car into a sports car & in the most hilarious scene make his dog pee in a toilet, flush it & put the seat down!!!). He soon realizes that though these things are fun but these don’t really matter in the bigger picture of life & that power comes with responsibilities. If he makes the choices he has to take responsibility for consequences. For instance his drawing moon closer causes Tidal Waves in Japan & 1000s of people died. Despite having God-like-powers Bruce is clueless about his love life & what his girlfriend really wants. He arranges a romantic dinner, Grace thinks he’ll propose to her but he just wants to announce that he’s got the job as an Anchor…no wonder she leaves him. At this point Bruce realizes how difficult God’s Job really is & how he has failed in his job (Even God has limitation in that that he can’t influence anyone’s free-will..& you can’t make anyone love you against their free choices)…he wants to hand the power back to God.
Even though I’m an Agnostic I enjoyed the movie, especially for the underlying message & lessons. (Oh boy, do I love movies that work on several levels…a comedy on the face of it but it explores human issues & choices). I simply replaced God with existence/life. We often overlook the positives in our life & instead of feeling Gratitude we crib & complain (like Bruce)… Instead of trusting existence for giving us what we need, we think we know what’s best for us. But sometime maybe what we want is not we actually need. & though there might be elements of fate/destiny in human life ultimately we have Free-will which is for us to exercise & we have to bear the good n bad consequences of actions born out of free will.
English Movie Revies on my Blog:
Hindi Movie Reviews on my Blog:
My List of Must Watch Movies (With Reviews)
Book Reviews on my Blog:
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This movie is a laugh out loud laughter riot starring Bill Murray. Bill Murray is one of the most talented and unique comedic actors.
A successful psychiatrist (Richard Dreyfuss) loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) tracks him down during his family vacation.
Bob becomes attached to Leo. Leo finds Bob extremely annoying & clingy. And to add to his woes his wife n children find Bob fun n amiable. As the movie progresses Bob becomes increasingly saner & Dr. Leo starts losing his marbles. Towards the end Dr Leo becomes a psychiatric patient n Bob goes on to become a psychologist!!! One of the most hilarious situation develops when Dr. Leo is interviewed for a television show to promote his upcoming book. The interviewer thinks it’s a great idea to include Bob as a patient. Bob totally hijacks the interview n steals the limelight just being himself. After the interview Bob is a celebrity while no one recognizes Dr. Leo.
~Dr. Leo Marvin: You understand, don’t you? There’s no other solution. You won’t go away.
Bob Wiley: I will.
Dr. Leo Marvin: No, you won’t. You’re just saying you will! But then, after I don’t kill you, you’ll show up again. And you’ll do something else to make everyone in my life think you are wonderful and I’m a schmuck. But I’m not a schmuck, Bob, and I’m not going to let you breeze into town and take my family away from me, just because you’re crazy enough to be fun.
~Bob Wiley: [speaking to workers in a mental hospital] It reminds me of my favorite poem, which is, “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a schizophrenic… and so am I!”
~Bob Wiley: [telling a joke] The doctor draws two circles and says “What do you see?” the guy says “Sex.”
Bob Wiley: Wait a minute, I haven’t even told the joke yet! So the doctor draws trees, “What do you see?” the guy says “sex”. The doctor draws a car, owl, “Sex, sex, sex”. The doctor says to him “You are obsessed with sex”, he replies “Well you’re the one drawing all the dirty pictures!”
At the outset I admit that I didn’t like the movie too much. I mean I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either (Not as much as I loved Groundhog Day, The Bucket List & What about Bob at any rate). Still I feel it’s a must watch movie because it explores the theme of destiny at length via Lt. Dan, mama & Forrest’s own synthesis. + I liked mama’s wisdom n found Forrest’s simplicity endearing.
Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) is a simpleton with an IQ of 75. Nonetheless he’s not lacking in other talents. He is very good at sports (Running, Football, ping pong). He goes on to become a gazillionaire running a successful shrimp company.
He’s also very endearing in his simplicity.
(Bubba: My given name is Benjamin Buford Blue, but people call me Bubba. Forrest Gump: My name’s Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.
Forrest Gump: I’m not a smart man. But I know what love is.
Forrest Gump: Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company (Actually Apple Computers). So then I got a call from him, saying we don’t have to worry about money no more. And I said, that’s good! One less thing.
Forrest Gump: The best thing about visiting the President is the food! Now, since it was all free, and I wasn’t hungry but thirsty, I must’ve drank me fifteen Dr. Peppers.
Jenny : Do you ever dream, Forrest, about who you’re gonna be? Forrest Gump: Who I’m gonna be? Aren’t I going to be me?
Lieutenant Dan: Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?Forrest Gump: I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir. )
I loved mama’s wisdom:
Forrest Gump: Mama always said life was like a box a chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Forrest Gump: Mama always said, dying was a part of life.
Forrest Gump: My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.
The theme of destiny in Forrest Gump
Lt. Dan says, “We all have a destiny. Nothing just happens. We all have a plan.” This means that every person is set to a particular plan for life when he is born. Each person is locked in to how they will live life and how they will die. Lt. Dan believes he was cheated out of his destiny. He should have died in the war just like his father and grandfathers before him, but Forrest cheated him out of dying by saving his life in the Vietnam war. Life after that was very meaningless and non-fulfilling until later in the movie when he changes his views. Lt. Dan’s theory of destiny is the people are given a plan in life when they are born into the world.
Forrest’s mama had always told him that it’s in his own hands to make his destiny. Forrest wonders towards the end “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floatin’ around accidental-like on a breeze. But I, I think maybe it’s both.”
Groundhog day is an excellent comedy and an excellent romance: a perfect Romantic comedy but then its much more than that. It also has an an excellent moral underlying it…of course without being preachy. The story of our hero parallels that of Sisyphus. Sisyphus is condemned to roll a huge rock on top of a mountain only to watch it roll down back again…roll it up..it rolls down…tada…ad infinitum. In Groundhog day the protagonist (Phil Connors, a cynical, self obsessed, sarcastic weatherman played by Bill Murray) is condemned to relive a single day over n over n over (till he gets that day right.) He casually remarks once “Every day is the same. Nothing ever changes.” And the others agree, having no idea of Phil’s unique predicament. But Camus would have instantly seen what Phil was talking about. We all live our Groundhog Day. We repeat our same routines, go through the same motions as the day before, live our lives the same way.
Phil goes to a small town call PUXATAWNEY to cover an event called Groundhog day in which there is a tradition of a small rodent predicting the weather. He finds this absolutely stupid. Unfortunately he is stuck in this very day that he hates. For him it’s Groundhog day again day after day.
He realizes that tomorrow will have no consequences.So he tries to live it up (stuffing himself with food, seducing women, reckless driving, breaking all the rules). But eventually even this starts getting frustating n maddening & he tries to commit suicide…but no matter what he does he always wakes up into the same day…Feb 2nd, The Ground hog day. Realising this, his response start getting better n better, & he starts trying to improve himself taking advantage of the eternity he is stuck into. (The lesson or we could say the moral of the story is Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in situations that we absolutely hate & there seems to be no way out (much like Phil stuck in Puxsutawney on the groundhog day)…yet if we act proactively & choose to respond positively to it then the situation not only becomes more bearable but it actually starts to improve. Also trying to escape from the problem (akin to Phil’s suicides) doesn’t help. Phil actually starts enjoying his repititive days when he starts engaging himself fruitfully in learning piano n ice sculpting n being kind n helping to people around.)
Phil plans to seduce Rita (Andie MacDowell) and he implements his plan cleverly, discovering more and more about her — her favorite drink, the kind of man she is looking for. He has so much time on his hands that he learns to play the piano expertly because MacDowell likes men who play instruments. His scheme seems to be working but no matter how perfect his plan he simply cannot get her into bed in one single day — and every day he must start over with her from scratch. Eventually, however, he comes to realize that he really does care for her after all. When he realizes this he goes about doing good, no longer just acting nice but actually being nice.. She falls for him and they live happily ever after. In the process he has a total change of character…from extremely nasty to a genuinely nice human being. ( This reminds me of rules for being human: Rule #4: A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it — then you can go on to the next lesson.). As the movie proceeds though he is still reliving the same day over n over again he learns to choose better responses to the same situations. Instead of being irritated n frustrated he learns to be helpful n friendly. (Life is 10% of what happens to us & 90% of how we respond to it)
Phil meets Ned again n again with a different response each time (very funny):
Rules for Being Human:
I watched this light hearted flick in between a series of movies with messages (Pursuit of happyness, Lajja, Bucket List, Aashaiyen, Forrest Gump, Life is beautiful….). Well apparently this movie has perhaps no message as such (good for a change). It is about two women in different eras finding their calling through their passion for food.
Based on two true stories, “Julie & Julia” intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.
We jump back and forth between France, where Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is the 36-year-old wife of Paul Child (Stanley Tucci), a Foreign Service officer, and New York, where Julie Powell (Amy Adams) lives in an apartment above a pizzeria with her husband, Eric (Chris Messina).
The movie begins with neither woman really knowing what to do with herself. Julia takes French classes, learns to play bridge, tries hat making. None of it holds her interest for long. She finally realises that her passions lies in food n eating & decides to master the Art of French cooking & make it accessible to Americans. Julia Child changed the way America cooked.
Julie decides to start a blog to overcome her frustration with her dead end & boring job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, taking calls from people waiting for money after 9/11.
Julie and Julia began as a blog that chronicled Julie Powell’s efforts to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. She gave herself one year to work through the 524 recipes. Eventually the blog became a book, and then the movie.
In most of the reviews that I read people tend to like the Julia child part of the story more. Perhaps I’m the only odd one out. I enjoyed the Julie Powell side of the story more…simply because I can identify more with it…it’s more contemporary. + Which blogger can’t identify with the thought n concept of blogging? (Her excitement over the first comment, her mom always telling her that blogging is useless n that no one reads her blog are all too familiar.)
Here’s the link to Julie Powell’s blog:
Julia Child making an Omelette:
Other Movie Reviews on my Blog:
The Pursuit of Happiness is not a comfortable movie to watch. For 1 hr 48 minutes out of total 1 hour 57 minutes our hero (Chris Gardener played by Will Smith) is struggling to get through disaster after disaster falling on him. He has invested his life savings in a machine called ‘bone density scanner’ which turns out to be practically unsaleable. His wife leaves him. He is falling back on his rent payment. As he goes about trying to sell the bone density scanner he keeps accumulating parking tickets. He is arrested for not paying the parking ticket fine on the eve of his job interview for a brokerage firm, trying to get which he undergoes a series of more disasters. He n his son (Played by his real life son Jaden Smith) are rendered homeless. Yet he never cribs or complains nor blames anyone for his circumstances. His perseverance & patience finally pays off & he becomes a successful broker. To me that is the most is the most important lesson from the movie. Be patient, don’t lose hope no matter what, don’t complain & don’t blame others or circumstances.
In the movie Chris often plays around with Rubik’s Cube. I believe Rubik cube is an interesting metaphor for life. Rubik cube has many sides & you juggle to get all the sides in order (you are supposed to get the same color on each side…one side red, one side blue n so on). Life also has many sides. As we try to achieve a work life balance we keep juggling around. Just when we get one thing in order the other one goes topsy turvy. It’s quite difficult to solve a Rubik cube. In fact very few people are able to.In the movie Will Smith gets his Rubik cube right. This shows his commitment n patience to stay with a problem n not give up till he is successful.
The story is based on the life of Chris Gardener who went through almost same circumstances & went from being homeless to a multi billionaire. Chris Gardener has written two books ‘Pursuit of Happyness’ & ‘Start where you are’ in which he shares his life story & life lessons.
Movie Trailer & Favorite Scenes:
Chris: Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. Alright?
Son: All right.
Chris: You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it.
Chris: It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?
Memorable Quotes from (the Real) Chris Gardener:
I asked the guy two questions. One was, ‘What do you do?’ The second was, ‘How do you do that?
I was homeless, but I wasn’t hopeless. I knew a better day was coming.
It’s not just my story. It’s the story of a lot of people who grew up and took a lot of crap – and decided, ‘I’m going the other way.’
Find something that you love. Something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. Forget about money. Be happy.
The money thing will come. I know so many people who have so much more money than I. They are miserable. It is so important to be happy.
You have to be committed, and you have to find something that you are passionate about. And forget about money. I’ve learned that money is the least significant aspect of wealth.
No matter how much money is involved or no matter how easy it is for you to do, if you’re not happy, you are nothing more than a slave to your talent and money. Do something that makes you happy and makes you feel good about yourself. Do something that makes you feel your work is significant and meaningful. If you just want to make money, that’s a whole different trip. I can’t help you with that.
Baby steps count, as long as you are going forward. You add them all up, and one day you look back and you’ll be surprised at where you might get to.
More on Patience & Perseverance (on not giving up):
Other Movie Reviews on My Blog:
This is the 1st movie that I watched twice in a single day & I must say I never got bored a single moment even the second time…which speaks volumes about how interesting n entertainig the movie is (& this the movie achieves without any bikini clad women, item numbers…heck this movie doesn’t even have a heroine). What it does have is Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman with their charismatically natural acting prowess.
This is the story about two (as different as chalk n cheese) guys Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) & Carter Chamber (Morgan Freeman) who discover they’ve about 6 months or so to live. They find themselves in the same hospital room. While Edward is a multi billionaire, eccentric, 4 time divorced playboy; Carter is a car mechanic, level headed, married family man. Nevertheless a great friendship develops between the two & together they embark on a adventure filled journey to fulfill their ‘Bucket List’ (A list of things to do before they ‘kick the bucket’). With Edward’s wealth nothing is beyond their reach. They do things like skydiving, sports car racing, visiting the seven wonders…other things on their list are: to kiss the most beautiful girl in the world, help a complete stranger, view something magnificent, to laugh until you cry (Interesting, huh?)
Their motto becomes : You are busy living or you are busy dying.
This movie is about finding your joy, living each day to the fullest…weather or not you are dying.
The film has a natural performance by the leading pair (Nicholson n Freeman). Their chemistry creates a very heartbreaking yet hilarious cinematic delight. In short a must watch again n again n yet again.
~Get busy living or get busy dying.
~Carter (to Edward): “You know, the ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance to heaven, the guards asked two questions. Their answers determined whether they were able to enter or not. ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’”
~Carter (Thinking) : There was a survey once. A thousand people were asked if they could know in advance, would they want want to know the exact day of their death. 96% of them said ‘No’. I always kind of leaned to the other 4%. I thought it would be liberating knowing how much time you had left to work with. It turns out it’s not.
~ Edward (to Carter): The way I see it we can lay around here hoping for a miracle of some bullshit science experiment. or we can put some moves on!
More Movie Reviews on my blog: