After the most roller coaster last few weeks, I'm back. Still wrapping my head around what the heck is going on in the world, but we must move forward eventually, right?
As we had a national holiday in Brazil this week and it was too rainy for beach going in Rio (sorry autumn-readers, it's beach-and-florals-time-spring around this part of the world), boyfriend and I took a couple of trips to the movies. No complaints here, to be honest. I'm a pretty happy camper if you put me in a movie theater and feed me some popcorn.
First one in our plans was Ben Affleck's new movie, in which he attempts to make the most boring job ever seem exciting. Some one should have warned him. Accounting is boring even if you add talented actors, family drama and a few guns.
As the daughter of an accountant who admits to himself that his career is utterly boring, I did not have high expectations at all. Even if I do think Ben Affleck is a good actor, find Anna Kendrick incredibly endearing and J.K. Simmons acting superb. There is only so much quality acting can do to a movie.
Don't get me wrong, it is a perfectly fine film. It's just entertaining enough to watch on Netflix on a lazy sunday. It's just not good enough to make my movie ticket worth it.
Despite the multiple fight scenes and the dramatic rides it takes you on, the movie falls flat most of its run. Trying to be too much at the same time, it ends up rushing way too much through the various story lines. Never does it quite make you understand or connect with Christian, let's you truly believe in the pseudo romantic relationship between him and Dana, fully tells you who Medina and Ray King are or actually serve to raise awareness on autism. Not to mention the couple of very cliche reveals at the end. Maybe if one or two story lines were dropped, characters would have gotten a more well-rounded portrayal and the movie would consequently be more satisfying. But that doesn't really happen.
Still, I praise Jon Bernthal, whose comedic timing and charisma were undoubtedly flawless, and Anna Kendrick, trying to make the most out of the very father-daughter chemistry she had with Affleck while it was supposed to be romantic.
The Girl on the Train
Let me preface this by saying: I have not read the book. My opinions are based solely on what the movie is. I do not know if the storyline was changed or if the build up is less insane than it appeared to be in the movie.
Honestly, there was so much I could not wrap my head around in this movie. I really wanted to like it, I truly did, because I love Emily Blunt. But I just could not. It was way too much. just simply too much.
I had watched the trailer for it a while back, when it was released, so I expected it to be quite a thriller and a crazy exciting ride. But during the first half or so of the movie, it felt like a melodrama. Not that I don't appreciate melodrama, it just was not what I had intended to watch. Only halfway in did I start to actually feel some of that characteristic nervousness that comes with watching thrillers. And unfortunately, by then, I had already correctly guessed who our villain was, which only makes it almost as infuriating as reading a Dan Brown novel.
The truth, however, is that these details are not the biggest issue with The Girl on the Train. It's biggest issue is trying way too hard on giving the audience gasp-inducing twists and turns on the very last few minutes of the movie and not focusing enough energy on constructing an interesting story throughout the entire 2 hours.
Add to that the fact that I thought the movie had ended about 3 or 4 times before it actually did.
Once again, another one that was just enough entertaining to watch on Netflix, but not enough to get you to the movies.
Now this one. This one I would pay about 3 movie tickets to go watch again and again. I'd pay for my friends and family. I'd lend it out to anyone who asked. In fact, I keep recommending it to all my acquaintances. This is a mandatory movie. Especially if you, like me, are a privileged white person.
Not ironically, on the 9th, after spending the entire day in a mix of sadness and despair, I decided to dedicate my evening to watching this movie, which was recommended by a women of color who went to Law School with me and is currently an activist for black rights in Brazil, on a Facebook post commenting the Trump win. It could not have been a better recommendation.
The 13th is a documentary made by Netflix and Ava DuVernay, director of Selma. Although I know Netflix has an incredible range of documentaries, I had never watched any of their original ones, other than the docu-series Making a Murderer (also a highly recommended watch if you are still late to that party). The documentary portrays the prison system in the USA and how the 13th Amendment of the American Constitution was used throughout the years to "recycle" slavery into the criminalization of people of color.
It's a deeply disturbing and moving look into racism, criminality, politics, capitalism and institutionalized slavery, which definitely drove me into a range of anger and need to act. Right now, more than ever. Especially as, having studied criminology and the brazilian penal system in Law School, I could easily parallel the american system with the brazilian criminal system, since many a times we borrowed american theories such as the Three Strikes and You're Out. And I never felt more sick and revolted about it. But also, as a privileged white woman, never had I felt so enlightened, empathetic and understanding of what it feels like to be a person of color in a society that automatically discards you as a lesser. Never felt so certain of the necessity of being an ally.
If I can ask you any favor, I would like to ask you to watch this movie. ASAP.