Monday, February 19, 2018

The amusing weekend of Shape of Water & Black Panther

This weekend was awesome! Let me tell you about my thoughts on the movies Shape of Water & Black Panther & something personal from my professional & personal life. I recommend watching both of the said movies wholeheartedly! And a little caution first hand, that you’d be greeted with the storyline & spoilers for Shape of Water alone. I’m giving SoW a 10/10 and BP 8/10.

Let’s begin with Shape of Water. I’ll spoil the fun & break it in the inception itself, this movie is a masterfully written, gorgeous, beautiful, soulful, admirable, tantalizing, thought provoking poetry which at the end leaves you in a limbo; for better or worse.

A god like creature is taken into a lab in US, they try to test him out; like all the weird shit we see in the movies. There works Elisa Esposito (played by Sally Hawkins) as a cleaner who cleans the lavatory and everything in the building. Zelda Fuller (played by Octavia Spencer) is Elisa’s friend. Esposito means an orphan, it seems, our female protagonist is an orphan and a mute. Something happened in her past, which left her scars on her neck and sans words in her mouth. Richard Strickland (played by Michael Shannon) oversees a project there. Richard has a family with a boy & a girl child. He seems to be a normal top tire military personnel. He has a loving wife & children, he takes pity for Elisa when he comes to know how she is a mute and what caused her to be one. At the contrary, he is also a little evil with racism, ego, vengeance and all.

Elisa’s character is very relatable to me. She’s an underdog, who has few friends (two to be precise), who keeps coming late to work, enjoys alone time and likes all the beautiful things the ever-busy world always seems to miss & leaves unappreciated. As an introvert, asocial & a reserved guy, I can understand where she is coming from & what she is going through; and more importantly, what she enjoys and appreciates.

Amphibian Man (our hero, played by Doug Jones) is being tested; where Elisa takes concern on him. Initially, he acts like a dick, but soon enough he understands Elisa’s true intentions that she’s a friendly human meaning no harm to him; unlike the entire rest of the other humans present in that lab. One more character who sees beneath the skin is Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (played by the amazing Michael Stuhlbarg). Robert or Dr.Hoffstetler like he prefers to be called, is a Russian spy working for USA. He is an interesting character who puts science before country, right before everything else.

Elisa socialises with the amphibian (let me address him as hero, moving forward, it’s easier to type; yes, I’m a very lazy person) gives him eggs, something that she can afford to do so, which are rich in protein by chance and something our hero needs. Swiftly, she has a bond with our hero, they spend time and fall in love. I know, I know, it might sound stupid to hear a woman falling in love with a hero; but you need to see the movie to fully understand where I’m coming from right now.

Dr. Robert is unable to get much out of our hero, but understand that he (hero) is an intellectual, capable of communicating with humans. Russia considers taking the Dr. & hero in as a huge risk, an unwanted one at that; orders the Dr to kill him off, so that the US doesn’t get anything more out of it. The US too wants the same, they don’t want the Russians to get hold of this and improve.

Like mentioned previously, our Dr. is someone who puts science before the country, the right before the wrong and understand our hero needs to live on. That he doesn’t deserve an end like this. Meanwhile, let me touchbase with Elisa’s other & the only friend part from her colleague, Giles (played by Richard Jenkins). He is a gay, perhaps that’s why he is a loner like Elisa, we come to know about this when he is eating his pie. The movie shows a lot of tiny but uber important things.

Starting from how the restaurant franchise owner asks the black couple not to sit and asks them to leave; how Richard doubts Zelda first over the white Elisa, these talks about racial discrimination. Also, Giles being gay, both of which were unacceptable back in the day, where the movie is portrayed from. In fact, they remain to be that case even till this day, just a little less so. Black Panther also says the same, it says how black people were oppressed and how they were helpless, the injustice… Black Panther is a very important movie for Marvel Cinematic Universe, this changes everything (referencing Fast & Furious dialogue by Dwayne :D) I liked BP very much and I recommend everyone to see it. You’d be able to appreciate it as a standalone movie, even if you haven’t watched a single other movie from the MCU. I’m not gonna talk about BP much here, as this is already very long as is, but more importantly, Shape of Water has leaven a bigger & heavier impact on me than BP. They both are good movies in their own way, but SoW is something different, I feel the urge to talk about that.

Coming back after a little derailing to the land of Wakanda, since it is already 800 plus words and since I haven’t blogged in ages, let me cut short, Elisa tries to save the hero, Dr. witnesses and helps her. Hero stays with Elisa & Giles, Elisa makes love with our hero, Giles gets his hair back and his wounds healed, Thor the cat dying, our hero watching a movie, Elisa & hero making out again, Dr being assassinated, Zelda’s husband betraying, Elisa & our hero being shot, hero recovering and killing Richard, and then the climax!

Oh boy! What an ending, the whole movie preps you up good to this point - it takes your heart, makes it question the whole world, shows you a glimpse of hope, pushes you into a wonderful love, teaches you to stand by what’s right at any time, shows friendship, inclusion, making love and wired sex fetishes or let us say preferences (the movie is full of ‘A’ jokes sprinkled all over, by the way)…
In the end, we are left in a limbo and a poem, the director allows us to decide the ending in our own minds. I can’t describe the feeling when I came out of the movie, I was smiling, I was curious, was questioning many things; but after all, it’s only when a movie makes you think well after its ending, it succeeds. I may have not articulated the movie or my thoughts about/on it eloquently. But I do hope I induced a little interest in you, which pushes you to watch this movie. If so, I’m glad that I took some time to pen down my thoughts.

These movies, on this weekend is a nice thing to me personally; as February is a short month and I took few days off in the starting of the month, on account of personal illness due to fluctuating temperatures. It has given me shorter time amidst the weekdays, and I will be stressful at work, trying to hit my targets in time. A short escape to a different world, has given my mind and body a much-needed rest and amusement, which would fuel & propel me throughout the rest of Feb, in the last week of the month.

A special note of personal thanks to Abhinav Manoj Menon, son of Geetha Manoj. He observed that I frequent to movies alone, asked my opinion on BP and suggested me to express my thoughts; that gave me a push to right this, his words were partial motivation, but the much-needed push came from SoW itself. And If you’re curious why I mentioned his mom, well, that’s for good reason. I had few wonderful & friendly teachers during my schooling like Caroline Raj & Flora Raj, they were my English teacher. But Geetha mam would always be special to me, she was my first English teacher, she was my class teacher too at one point in time, she was an angle with kids. Part of the reason, for my love of this beauty of a language, English is from her. She was a pivotal part of my life, for the limited skills that I have on/with English, is what given me numerous friends and my job. Without English, I’m not sure where I’d be, I don’t even want to think my life, a time where I need to be without it. If you’re still reading it thus far & started sharpening your pitchforks, calm down! I love Tamil, it’s my mother tongue, it has its own greatness. I like both Tamil and English equally, like the coldness of cold coffee, like Snapdragon SoC for phones, like water & air for humans, like Mars for Musk, like Putin for Trump, like bikes, movies, technology, solitude etcetera for me. I like both I can’t be without one of the two, but I have use English a little more; as my work and most of the people I converse & interact with on a daily basis use it. For the ease of expressing myself in it. I can’t imagine typing this whole thing in Tamil, typing and expressing yourself to the world gets you far than Tamil can take you, its just a fact.

I’m hoping to blog about the movies I watch, as I’m been oftening to SPI Cinemas almost every single weekend for the past 2-3 years. I paid for a domain name, I used to blog, well let me fuse both of them together and put it to a good cause, a nice hobby; a long-abandoned passion, rekindled with love. Feel free if you liked my writing, it’d sure put a smile on me; on the contrary, I may not be thick skinned for internet trolling & hatred, yet; but I can take constrictive criticism.

Thanks for spending sometime with me, in my world; I’m hoping to see you soon.

And one last thing (pinky promise) before parting ways, I’m going to end each of my blog about movies with a line, it’d be the very last line of this post; preluded with another favourite line/point in life in MCU.

Tony Stark: Thank you for saving me.
Yinsen: Don't waste it... don't waste your life, Stark.

Enjoy your life, your way 😊.

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