White Bird In A Blizzard (2014)

White Bird In A Blizzard (2014) – Review

I liked the title, clever use of alliteration and metaphor combined together. Catchy. The movie is a running metaphor in a way. You will figure it out eventually.

Based on a novel of same name, by Laura Kasischke.

“I was 17 when my mother disappeared.” So this is the story of a teenage girl and her mother. And when the mother goes AWOL, we get to see how it affects the daughter.

Shailene Woodley – The daughter Katrina (Kat). She is also the narrator. I watched this movie coz I liked her in ‘The Fault In Our Stars’.

Eva Green – the mother (Mrs. Connor). Who goes missing.

Story is set in 1988.

Initially when Kat finds out about her mom, she stays calm, normal. How can she be so cool about her mom suddenly disappearing? She should be freaking out!! But then later, she begins having some recurring nightmares about her mom in trouble…in the blizzard.
All throughout the movie, Kat keeps remembering the things in the past, how her mother used to be and how she changed, became an alcoholic and sadist or something. And how Kat’s parents were unhappy in their marriage. She figures that that was the reason her mom left.

Her dad makes her see a shrink; so that she could talk about her repressed feelings. She is seen in therapy and later with some pills too. Poor girl.

She even told about those dreams to the shrink…. But the shrink said, dreams don’t necessarily mean anything. It’s just a way for your brain to let off steam at the end of the day. Is it so now?! I don’t think so!!

And her stupid idiotic boyfriend Phil is of no help either… I mean he says things like “vicious CIRCUS” for God’s sake! He is trash. She says she knows he isn’t the brightest crayon in the box; to which her friend replies: that’s the understatement of the century… and I was like, I so agree with you!!

Haha it just makes sense his nick name is “Garbage” LOL

I swear I wrote the trash word for him before I knew his nickname!!!!!!!

So ya he was of no use coz he stopped having sex with Kat which was so weird. Then she even went on to seduce the detective on this case, and slept with him! Perhaps her mother’s disappearance was a shock to her and this is the way she responded.

Flashback till spring of 1991. Kat was narrating it to her college roommate.

That’s like half the movie. But on and off there are flashbacks throughout.

From there starts the thriller part. Well a subtle thriller I would say. Didn’t feel like it in the beginning. It was all drama and sex and nudity before.

And even this is flashback. As Kat is again narrating this entire story, apparently, to some unknown person! Or to herself?! No idea.

White-Bird-in-A-Blizzard_poster

Initially Kat was playing it cool. She claimed she was not bothered at all when her mother disappeared. You might think that was because her mother wasn’t exactly a role model for a parent. It seems that she was jealous of Kat maybe. This is not good. I mean no mother can ever get jealous of her own daughter….beats me.

But in my opinion, Kat was in denial when she didn’t react at all. Also, the way her mother had become, must be only coz of the frustration of not being able to have a fulfilling sex life, and that’s the reason she was jealous of Kat. You know, as she was just a teenager and yet she had a better sex life than Mrs. Connor!

Sooner than later, Kat begins to think about where her mom really went. And this really begins to bother her. Nightmares were already bothering her a bit. She breaks down and decides she wants to know what actually happened.

And gradually as we get to see the flashbacks, we learn something new each time. I don’t wanna spoil anything so won’t say much.

And the climax was totally unexpected.

The movie has some uncomfortable moments. Some words might make you uneasy (excessive use of the F word). Some comparisons are totally unnecessary. Like Kat losing her virginity being compared to her mom’s disappearance. Just like that. In a jiffy. Crazy logic!

Depressing movie. But also makes you realize that no matter how close you are to a person, be it your own family, you can’t claim to know them completely. There are always elements of surprises, shock even, that you can’t ever imagine, even in your wildest dreams….

Nothing new in the story, apart from the twist at the end. Average performances. Although nice screenplay by the director Gregg Araki. Unnecessary nudity. Fucked up family. Not much of a treat. 6/10

Behavior-o-logy !!

Isn’t it ironic that people try to be at their best behavior during social interactions with the outside world, when clearly they should be more careful about the things they say to those who are really close to them – family and friends.

Because people who will feel hurt by your behavior and words, would be the ones who are attached to you emotionally; and not those who may be good to you on your face but bitch about you behind your back.

People who truly care for you, and value what you think/say – they are the ones who genuinely deserve your best behavior.

So go ahead, give them the best of you, and surely they’ll appreciate and treasure it more than you could ever imagine. 🙂

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

This Is Where I Leave You (2014) – Review

A comedy drama film, based on a novel of same name by Jonathan Tropper, is about the Altman family coming together under same roof after the funeral of their father.

Plot (reminds of August: Osage County). Everyone is having a bad day or bad time, suffering through bad relationships and problems of their own. First of all we get to see Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) who caught his wife cheating on him with his boss! He is now divorced, out of work, and to top it all receives the news of his dad passing away. Now he has to meet his entire family after a long time which is a task in its own. His sister Wendy (Tina Fey) is married and has two kids, shares a bond with Judd and youngest brother Peter as well, since she practically raised him. Wendy was in love with their neighbour when she was young but had to part ways after they got in an accident and the guy suffered a major head injury.

The eldest brother Paul is married to Annie who is Judd’s ex. Paul and Annie are trying to have a baby since a long time and facing difficulties. Hell breaks loose on Annie when she finds out that even Judd’s ex wife is pregnant! Judd also had a past with one of the neighbourhood girls Penny. Peter also helped Judd getting close to Penny. Peter brought his to be fiancé who is apparently his previous therapist. Everybody thinks Peter to be a child and the most irresponsible, immature of the lot. Nobody takes him seriously.

The mom Hilary is kind of whacko who tells everyone that it was their father’s last wish to sit shiva for him (as they are a Jewish family), and it’s supposed to be 7 days long!

The movie is hilarious having some moments here and there of its own. So the family who can barely stand each other, hadn’t been in contact with each other for ages, were supposed to spend the next seven days, under one roof with each other. The challenge was to bear each other’s spouses, exes, would be’s, could be’s and all. It becomes a madhouse. How well they manage it, what surprises and shocks come along, what changes and what stays the same, watch to find out. Over all 6.5 out of 10. (Mainly because of the humor factor – brainless comedy!)

PS – If you have already watched August :Osage County then you can skip this one. You aren’t missing anything, seriously!

August: Osage County (2013)

August: Osage County (2013) – Review

As soon as i learnt that this movie features Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts together, i instantly decided i wanna watch it no matter what! Obviously because both are considered amongst great female actors of Hollywood, who would want to miss this one. Cast includes Abigail Breslin (of Little Miss Sunshine fame) who used to be my fav child artiste, is suddenly a grown up now! But she is playing a 14 year old in the movie in spite of being 18 years old in real life. The three actresses look perfect for the role of three generations – grandmother, mother and granddaughter. Also there is Benedict Cumberbatch who is supposedly a raved about actor due to him playing the role of Sherlock Holmes. I mean yeah he is indeed a good actor but what’s the mayhem about his looks and all, i don’t understand! In the cast there is a long list including Dermot Mulroney (of My Best Friend’s Wedding and Wedding Date fame) and Julianne Nicholson (more of a TV series actor) amongst others.

Movie is based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play of same name by Tracy Letts. The story revolves around the fact that the whole Weston family (three sisters and their extended family) has to come together after the news of their father’s disappearance, and from there on they have to stick together in this unusual crisis of a situation which keeps getting out of hand. They have to just endure each other’s presence; especially their mother’s who is not well in more than one ways. She is a mouth-cancer patient who is addicted to drugs and pills of all kinds; and ironically she is a smoker too. Then they get to know that their father has died (committed suicide probably). There is a funeral and afterwards, such things unfold which no one could ever imagine. The three generations viz a viz Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts (one of the sisters) and Abigail are just perfect fits for their roles and also complement each other in every way. Talking about the three generations, i could somewhat draw certain similarities between the three of them. Like mother like daughter; like grandmother like granddaughter!

Surely i didn’t expect the movie to be so serious. The comedy is too dark to be laughed at, the story line keeps getting tangled and more intense which has just left me speechless. But one thing is undeniable. All the actors have given brilliant powerful performances and Meryl Streep is undoubtedly beyond perfection. New found respect for her. Same for Julia Roberts, she is just amazing as well.

My point of view about the movie would be that it depicts very bluntly the sort of behaviour different people would portray at the time of utmost misery. Everyone behaves differently and reacts in a different manner to various things like fatal disease, loss, death, estrangement etc. The kind of person you are is truly reflected by the way you behave while you are grieving. This, i believe, is the essence of the movie. At one point i almost got a little heart attack watching the reactions that are shown in the movie, which is a tad bit over exaggerated, but at the same time very realistic and extremely blatant; almost at the verge of being scary. At the end, its all about choices, priorities, mistakes, emotions, good, bad, ugly…everything what life is all about.

A must watch family drama. I would give it 8 out of 10.