All we want is Hope: When Marnie Was There Review

I have to admit, I associated anime with childish cartoons, over-the-top action and cheesy plot lines that only attracted social discards. Having said that I was always aware of the fandom that amine had. The amount of films, cosplays, films and TV shows only pointed at the awesome grip that this had on cinema goers. So needless to say ‘When Marnie Was There‘ was my first anime and I must say that I’m impressed. From a Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who has directed other, universally well acclaimed anime, comes a story of a misfit girl Anna, sent to countryside for health reasons.

The story included flashbacks, visions and a girl named Marnie. It was quite intriguing to see who Marnie really is, is she a ghost? A spirit? A fragment of Ana’s imagination? Who is she, you wish for Anna’s sake that she is real, as she is the only friend she’s got. Eventually what starts off as a standard story line escalates to a much passionate ending. On the other hand, Marnie’s story line was far more touching, the torments she’s put through, the cruelties she has to bear connects you with her on a much deeper level. You can help but feel sorry for her as her back-story is revealed. The final revelation is very emotional and the complexity of the story line, leads to a much grounded, heartfelt message.

For me, it was a message of hope that no matter how much of an outcast you think you are, how much you feel alone, there is hope. You are not alone, someone is watching out for you. It makes you closer with your family, the ones who are here and ones that are not. Ending left me with mixed feeling, while I was glad to see Anna happy and finally smiling, Marnie’s story left me feeling sad. The fact that she was always smiling and making the most of what she’s got makes you like her even more. The fact that this is based on a novel that came out in 1967 only highlights the fact that us humans crave human connection, we want to be belonged, and this movie connects with audience 47 years after the novel came out.

Still From When Marnie Was There It taught me to be happy with my life, the way it is, and always have hope. Also, it taught me to never judge a book by its cover.

4 Well Deserving Stars!

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Why All The Hate? Men, Women and Children (2014) Review

Jason Reitman is one of my favorite directors. His Juno and Up in the Air remain some of my favorite films of all times. When I heard that he is directing the likes of Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner in his next I couldn’t be more excited. His latest, Men Women & Children deals with teenagers and their parents getting hold of their relationships in today’s digital world. Based on a novel by Chad Kultgen it has a range of intervening stories, all dealing with that same issue.

Don (Adam Sandler) and Helen Truby (Rosemarie DeWitt) frustrated of their love life start to have extra-marital affair, while their son Chris (Travis Tope) deals with extreme porn addiction. Chris’ girlfriend Hannah (Olivia Crocicchia) wants to be famous and is dropped after being selected for a reality show because the producers discover the inappropriate pictures taken by her mother posted online. Her mother Donna Clint (Judy Green) starts a relationship with Kent Monney (Dean Norris) a divorcee, lives with his only son Tim Monney (Ansel Elgort). Tim after his parent’s divorce quits football and is in a relationship with Brandy (Kaitlyn Dever) who hides her secret Tumblr account from her mother, Patricia (Jennifer Garner). Patricia an over-protective mother monitors everything her daughter does. From reading her text messages to proof reading and deleting her Facebook messages. The saddest story is perhaps of  Allison Doss (Elena Kampouris) who’s under a lot of peer-pressure along with low self-esteem and body image issues. She sleeps with a guy who couldn’t care less about her. Later she has a miscarriage due to anorexia after extreme dieting following the advice of her chat room buddies, “Eat celery while smelling her Shepherd’s Pie.”

A range of different characters made the film more interesting for me. Every character in the film feels like technology be it internet or phones can solve their problem. But the sad thing is that no one seems to realize the implications it can have. Tim reluctantly tells his online game friends that his mother is getting married again, hoping to get some sympathy but only gets insults and crude jokes targeted at his mother thrown his way. You would think that turning off phone is an option, but you cannot bury your head and hope no one sees you. Everyone is looking for sanctuary in the world of technology, when what they really need is human interaction.

Every character faces their own conflict. All the conflicts from eating disorders to depression are portrayed as real as possible, which is why the impact of the film is powerful. Its gut-wrenching seeing Allison on the hospital bed post her miscarriage. One of the more haunting scene is when Helen is confesses to Don about her affair and instead of getting mad, he tells her he can either tell her what he has done or they both can just let it go. The things that is upsetting is perhaps that only the negatives of technology is portrayed in the film. Technology, like anything has it pros and cons. Everyone has secrets and insecurities and no one talks about it, throw technology into the mix and its a whole new thing.

Adam Sandler out of all the cast is a stand out for me, for portraying a cheating husband so effectively.  In fact there is not one performance that isn’t brilliant, all-star cast but on an all impressive show. I was surprised to see all the negative review against the film. Reitman has done exceptionally well in portraying these real and sometimes frightening scenarios on screen. It’s an endearing film that does deserve a watch. It wont make you laugh instead will make you think and question a lot of things.

We should learn from this film, not discourage it. Like I said, Why all the hate?

4 Stars.