When we went to the Odeon Cinemas, the self-service Ticketing machine shows the above as the movie title and it took a while for me to figure it out.  I was worried if the movie, War for the Planet of the Apes, was already out of that cinema given that it wasn’t even a week since it was released. Seriously, can’t they just have it as Planet of the Apes – 3 in case the title was too long?

Mr M hadn’t watched any of the prequels so I had to fill in him on the happenings of the previous movies even before we went in. But I needn’t have bothered because they give you a brief two line synopsis along with the name of the movies. That was clever. And from there the story starts. There is never a dull moment. Humour relief is brought by one new introduction, who introduces himself as the ‘bad monkey’. It is like the life comes a full circle in this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ain’t going too much into the story because it might spoil it for you. The Colonel’s story line is such that you find yourself thinking if he is right as does Caesar.  Titbits that include the current situation like ‘the wall’ finds its way into the movie which is also very clever. You know that it will have its own cliche moments. But that is acceptable. That is what this movie was all about. But it does have its own twists and turns.

Mr M also enjoyed the movie even though he thought it a little weird (having seen the old Planet of the Apes movies) but at least it kept him awake and indulged and that is a big plus 😉

All in all, a very enjoyable and a technically very well done movie. Andy Serkis has done a brilliant job. I sincerely hope that they stop the sequel or prequel to this saga here and now. Do not want to corrupt a nice series and dilute the strength of the story and its characters.

To support or not

I don’t remember the last time I had to argue with my family about something non-family related and argue vehemently at that. I am usually a person who wouldn’t engage in arguments unless I use it to expand my knowledge of that specific matter by playing devil’s advocate. And arguing over WhatsApp isn’t fun, even though it can be useful to curb your emotions which might come to the fore when you are talking in person.

So, what was this argument all about? I am not sure if you have heard about the Jallikatu protests that have been going on in my state in India. There was some support shown by Tamilians all over, US, UK etc Everyone supporting the traditional sport of Jallikatu (a bull taming sport) held during the second day after Pongal (the harvest festival). You see, the Supreme Court had banned this sport citing cruelty to animals and people wanted to rally against the ban. Especially students. The protest was on a very large scale and it was all peacefully done (in a very non-violent way) which I really appreciate. My siblings also participated to show their solidarity and support to this sport. Not just them, my very close friends too spoke up and started using the ‘I Support Jallikatu’ picture as their WhatsApp profile picture.

A lot of news, talks, messages, information was being passed on in the WhatsApp family group about this and it came to a stage where I was asked to show my support by joining the people here in London if there were any such thing happening. I told them that I do not support the cruelty to animals in the name of culture and even though I support the fact that the local breed of cattle which is diminishing should be addressed, Jallikatu might not be the only solution that we should be resorting to. Also once the Government removes the ban, people will go back to their own life and forget all about organic breeding, farming, supporting farmers, supporting local cattle breeds etc until the next year when the sport is banned again. That ruffled a lot of feathers. At least they didn’t pounce on me for my views, but I was bombarded with so many cultural references and stuff like that through the messages.

Yesterday, when the protests were getting to a close, the political parties played their game and turned it violent where the police officials themselves involved in arson and put the blame on the students. I was expecting this to happen. Because that is what happens every single time we try to protest peacefully. Every party wants to gain mileage with any such huge event to gain votes.

I wanted to write all about it but wasn’t sure where to begin. Mr. M and I used to discuss it every day for the past week about why my folks or others are not seeing the bigger picture? It totally turned into an emotional blackmail thing. If I didn’t support it, I wasn’t a Tamilian who is proud of her culture, so if I am a Tamilian I would support it, no matter what. That wasn’t agreeable to me. I had questions for which they didn’t have answers. And I was told that I was being unreasonable.

But today, I found an article which highlighted each and every single question I had (it is so convenient when someone who is better at writing their views expresses your thoughts) and I think it will be better to share that instead of going through the same questions again.

Jallikattu: ethics versus entrenched traditions – []

I am sure that article will bring up a lot of comments (I am yet to go through the comments there) and some harsh ones at that too. But I am glad that I found that.

It is always a Dangal.

[Dangal can mean competition, wrestling, or wrestling arena]

Recently we watched the movie ‘Dangal‘ (a Bollywood movie). We liked it very much, even though it was a bit longer than normal. The story is very uplifting, sometimes cliched, based on a true story of course, and it is about women in wrestling in India. Not a small feat especially in a very patriarchal society. I have been waiting to write about it, but then I stumbled upon this article in by a young writer. She portrayed my thoughts very well. It was as if she read my thoughts, my doubts and in spite of those doubts she still liked the movie, just like me. So I thought it best to share her views (not a review, she says) and leave it at that.

Last year, I happened to see three very good movies in Hindi. One was Pink, the other Dear Zindagi, and the third one was Dangal (Since we saw Dangal over Christmas Bank holiday, I am counting it in the last years account). And surprisingly they were all women related, more uplifting, more positive and did well at the box office too. Changing trends? If only these kinds of movies could prevent the kind of incidents like mass molestation and such. It is such a shame, really and very sad too. We still have a long way to go.

Fantastic Beasts

The first movie my husband took me to, the next day I arrived in London was ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them‘. Both of us are huge Harry Potter fans (I am glad to say that he joined the Wizarding World quite recently…better late than never..and oh! he is a Ravenclaw by the way) and we were glad that we were able to see this movie together instead of Skyping about how the movie was.

I am not entirely happy about all the extensions to the Harry Potter and the Wizarding World after the series ended. I am sure I am only the minority in this. I would never take up the Fantastic Beasts book series and read them. Thankfully, neither does my husband. We both have decided that henceforth we will just watch the movies and be done with it. It is quite hard to give up on them as of yet. We did, however, watch the Order of Phoenix the other day and enjoyed it immensely.

Coming back to the movie. It was not a disappointment, but it wasn’t a great success either.  Eddie Redmayne might do more loud talking instead of mumbling. I could hardly understand what he was trying to say. I think Collin Ferrell and Ezra Miller did much better jobs in this movie than the rest. And (Spoiler Alert) I so did not expect Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the end. That was a “gasp” moment for me. I read a news article about his involvement in the project, but I thought it was only in the upcoming movies. But the best of the lot was Dan Fogler as Kowalski (Incidentally I liked the same named character in Penguins of Madagascar too and it’s a cute name too) He was amazing and very funny. He was the one who kept it all together and real for us. I would give a 3/5 for this movie. I might sound an old person who doesn’t want to get away from the original series, but that is OK. The more it goes on and on, the more it gets thinned out and there wouldn’t be any personal relationship with the characters at the end. For me, that is more important with a series. I love that personal connection, even if it is fictional. Don’t know if it makes any sense…but that is how it is.


A book and two movies – views

I picked up “All the Good Parts” by Loretta Nyhan because of its reviews and I wanted something for the journey and leisure read. Finally, after 3-4 days, finished it yesterday. It was surprisingly good. It was more realistic except for maybe the final chapters. It wasn’t the usual romance story that I get to read. The story line was different. I am not sure how people will like the religious parts of it. But I really enjoyed this good novel.

After a long time, I watched movies on the flight. One of them which I found so entertaining was ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘. It was on my list for a long time but never managed to pick it up. When I saw that on the list I decided to forgo my sleep and tick that off my list. What a lovely and very entertaining movie 🙂 I did not know that it had such an extensive list of known actors in it.

Me before You‘ – I almost didn’t watch it. When we saw the trailer earlier, it was too cheesy and my husband said that he wouldn’t watch it ever. So I decided to give it a try during my flight so as to not torture him. It was OK, not something I would enjoy much but realized that the trailer portrayed a totally different story line when compared to the actual one. And hey, there is Neville Longbottom in there. How grown up does he look in that 😯