Movie Review: Gone Girl

I don’t get to go out too often and watch movies. But when I do and it turns out to be for a movie like Gone Girl, it is totally worth it. Btw, the link contains the spoiler too, so read it only if you aren’t planning to go see the movie.

This movie will appeal to those who enjoy good cinema and not merely look for ways to fill up and hour or so. Also, those who like their characters well-nuanced and fleshed out are in for a treat because Gillian Flynn is a woman with a diabolical mind and she unleashes that in the book and also in the screen play of this movie. The movie then becomes an extension of the book by bringing to life those scenarios one might have wondered about while reading it. The director, David Fincher and the author move in sync to make this movie the closest representation of a novel that I’ve seen in a really long time.

Onto the actors- this movie is Rosamund Pike’s through and through! What she emotes, what she leaves unsaid, her icy cool demeanor, her scrambled desperation, her warped mind as Amy is unadulterated good acting. Entirely au naturel! The Oscar is in the bag this time. Or it should be!

And it’s a good thing that she’s acting because the thought of this kind of sociopathic individuals out there is a bit discomforting to say the least. Especially when it is made out to be quite easy and believable.

Ben Affleck- looks baffled. Don’t know whether he toned it down for the movie or not, but just I did not feel his intensity, his desperation let alone his angst.

The rest of the cast, especially Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon and others add the right kind of tang to the mix to bring everything to a boil; at which point Rosamund Pike picks it up again and carries it through like a trooper.

And now is where I use the psychobabble in the review- the movie with all its made-up parts is still harshly indicting of long-term relationships that have been left to fester. Of the people in them who present a calm veneer but are raging rapids of passion be it lust, anger, aggression; inside, all bottle up and ready to spew forth in a unholy spout of venom, darkness and immorality. Dramatic aren’t I?

The end result is a mindfuckery which will have you marveling at peoples’ talents and also at the questions of how well you know your spouse. Do you actually know them? Along with their dark places? Do their dark places resonate in you as well? And most importantly, do you want to get into their headspace and find out the answers to your questions?

This movie isn’t for everyone. It’s not rainbows and bring sunshine. But it’s still one helluva movie!

Ban The Man?

The latest news about atrocities against women has gained quite a bit of momentum. The incident happened in Hyderabad and in a hostel no less. And that’s why the decisions taken by the university management really goaded me to write; since I was a boarder in a hostel when I was at a University.

Apparently the girl students will no longer be allowed to go to the mens’ hostel. Ponder on that for a minute. How is what even remotely a solution? Why bar the female students when there were 2 different groups involved? How is prohibiting women entry of some place, a place which they really can avoid without inconveniencing themselves I agree; without applying the same logic to the men?

Because all throughout, in the name of keeping women safe, a section of women have had their movements restricted while the men have not had any such rules enforced on them at all.

In my hostel we had to head back in no matter how important the work was, the minute it was 10 pm. The boys had no such rules. Or even if they did, no one made sure that it stuck.

So while the girls had to get into a pattern of lifestyle that got cut short at 10 pm the boys roamed free and am sure a lot of them didn’t do things which would have been considered appropriate.

So if a male is inclined to be antisocial, abusive and have any criminal tendencies or inclinations; many of the rules just close off one door for him to indulge his vices while opening another convenient one instead!

What would have been so bad to ensure the deadlines or curfews were applied fairly to both the sexes? Isn’t it about time that the same lakshman rekha that’s drawn out for women be applied to the men as well? Not to get them to empathize but to let them know there are boundaries that can’t be crossed? That is to say if their feeble minds didn’t already clue them into that fact. But having the same rules made applicable does bring in some sense of conformity, identification and can build an adherence in time. The current method’s flaws are there for the whole world to see and judge.

My experience has always been this- more people do stupid things the moment it becomes forbidden (and therefore tantalizing) rather than if it’s not a temptation at all. What isn’t forbidden has little charm because it can be accessed, indulged in at any time and therefore less attractive. If the girls from my hostel had been given the liberty to stay out a bit late and do a movie AND dinner in the same evening whether they were dating someone or just with friends; less girls would have been tempted to go out during broad daylight and do the nasty with totally unsuitable people just because the waves of temptation.

Of course this isn’t to say that an individual still won’t exercise the wrong judgement even when all sorts of liberties are given to them. However, when making rules, it makes no bloody sense of have them applicable for one segment of society and not for the other. It’s Animal Farm all over again albeit with differences.

And getting back to the alleged crime in question- I know people have to take chances and meet people, do things that they like and not become prey to mass hysteria and paranoia but for God’s sake women….THINK! We are living in times when it doesn’t take even the most decent-appearing individual to do a volte face and that too to the tune of a crime or anything heinous. Grab yourselves a safe spot and learn to look after yourselves a little bit better.

Don’t turn into victims but be forewarned. There is too much going on around you to think you’ll be exempted from the shit. Most women have a spidersense that kicks in…don’t block yours out because it’s fashionable to do so or because it seems out of place. One day it won’t be.


The Lure Of Online Retail

There is something fantastic about shopping! It’s akin to a discovery. No matter what you’re buying. I remember on a family trip years ago to Europe, my father was overjoyed on seeing a large, ripe, pumpkin in a supermarket where we’d gone to buy (and become disappointed yet again) water. I guess the pumpkin reminded him of the food he loves to eat and seeing it in a foreign land was quite the thrill for him.

But getting back to shopping…it’s more than just spending money although that does become an integral part of it; but there’re a lot of sensations associated with it that elevate it to more than just a girly thing to do. Whether you possess estrogen or not, some of us like shopping for the high it gives rather than the acquisitions that are actually just the byproduct. Shopping, believe it or not, actually releases the happy chemicals that give you a high and in many cases, take your credit card to Mach speed. Shopping has been pooh-poohed as a cathartic experience but honestly speaking, those who haven’t tried it out shouldn’t knock it because the looking for something specific, finding it and being able to acquire it gives a sense of accomplishment. That kind of high stays with you and takes you through a few low spots as well.

Personally? I love going to flea markets although in all these years I’ve gone to just one. The new-fangled flea market also called pop-up bazaars haven’t really taken my fancy because they seem to have a rehash of things from stall to stall. In a real flea market there’s no end to the kind of things people can think of selling- jams&jellies, quilts, old stuff, new stuff, really old stuff, barely new stuff and from books to bookends to spoons and tshirts…it’s ALL there!

When Red goes abroad for his work I ask him to go down to the farmer’s market for me…not for a vicarious thrill because let’s face it, I”m not going to “get” any thrill from more than 13000 kms away. And yes, I *did* look it up. I like to know what I’m writing about. Call it one of my nicer quirks 🙂

But getting back to shopping, clothes, shoes, jewellery (something I just don’t do unless it’s junk jewellery), the variety is what is so attractive. The colors, the shapes, and of course the prices. While a lot of people just love freebies, I personally love a bargain. Not the one you have to haggle over and feel like you won back the Earth from the invaders but a good bargain where you like what you see, you like the price tacked up on it and it’s something you’re actually going to use. I’m a bit of a hoarder but with a kid around, hoarding is possibly the worst thing you can go to yourself, OCD or not!

Now traditional shopping entailed having to go out and walk up and down sidewalks and then browse around but in this day and age of parking problems, limited me-time et al, online retail is the new king in town! You can shop from comfort of your home, your bed and your loo even!

And it feels so, so nice and comfortable. Sit on your favorite spot on your favorite couch, get your coffee/tea/alcohol (for the revenge shopping- an explanation will be forthcoming eventually in a new post) and start clicking. It’s convenience galore and that’s why it’s the new addiction. A term’s even been coined for it, well for the broader term actually viz Oniomaniaand we all know it’s just a matter of time before a specific term is coined for the online aspect as well.

But be as it may, this isn’t a post on the perils of it. Far from it. I encourage people to try it out at least once. The kind of insight I get about myself is amazing. Do you know you can be a window shopper online as well? It’s fun, it’s not harmful and it’s actually quite a distraction from the everyday humdrum.

As long as you know that caveat emptor applies everytime and everywhere…you’re good to go!

So log on, find out what’s new at Bergdorf, Barneys or Babyoye and maybe, just maybe cause a bit of ka-ching while you’re at it!