1. The Circle
There were 2 reasons why I wanted to watch The Circle – (i) Emma Watson; and (ii) the idea behind this technological thriller – an all encompassing intrusive software that blurs (no, actually, extinguishes) the line between public and private (do I hear the name of a similar tech company that we use on a daily basis?). The movie has a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes so that should have warned me, right? However, no, I had to watch it – Emma Watson wouldn’t make star in such a crappy movie! Plus, it has Tom Hanks! This had to be good! Fact is, it stunk. It tanked. It tanked on all fronts – storyline, plot, editing, climax (rather, anti-climax) and what have you. In all fairness, the only good thing about the movie was Emma Watson but that might just be my bias.
The fundamental issue with the movie which had one of the most interesting storylines in a long time was that it failed miserably in depiction and in playing out the entire premise. So yes, you have this intelligent software which can rapidly analyse data and you have technology which can provide you this data through invasive means such as these tiny circular cameras – what do you do about it? You go transparent. You put every single second of your life out there for the public but shouldn’t that be voluntary? Is it not grossly egregious that strangers have access to every single second of your lived reality? A camera that looks inside my house is definitely invading my privacy but so will the same camera if I was in a beautiful scenic hillock enjoying a quiet moment. I could “choose” to capture that moment and paint it as a I deem fit for the world to see but that should be my choice and that is probably what The Circle should have tried to do – to explore this debate surrounding privacy and this constant urge to stay connected.
It does none of that but just ends on this bizarre note where Emma Watson says hi to a drone while kayaking by herself finding solace in the fact that everybody is exposed. It fails to tie in the premise of the movie with the climax which I certainly wasn’t expecting. So much “unfulfilled potential”.
2. John Wick: Chapter 2
I slept through the first instalment of this fast-paced and edgy series but this one I loved. It has it all – cars, guns and a hell lot of blood and gore. At the end of it, you just feel for the guy. Leave him alone! He just wants to stay alone in his palatial mansion with his dog. It’s a simple movie. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a trained assassin by the best of the Mafia. He is wounded and hurting after the death of his wife. Different segments of the Mafia piss him off at one point of time or the other and contract him to do bad things like kill, wound and maim other people. In this instalment, an idiot chooses to steal John Wick’s car which he is personally attached to just like he is attached to his wife’s memories and to his dog. Needless to say, Wick is pissed and goes on a killing rampage. However, that’s not where things end.
When people hear that he is up and about, they hire him to kill other scions of the Mafia and, well, you know the rest. There is a traitor involved and before you know it John Wick becomes the hunted instead of the hunter. It’s a fast movie and doesn’t keep you guessing. It’s all out there – the hidden motives, the gun battles, the Mafia customs and decorum and John Wick’s helplessness. Like I said, you got to feel for this guy. I particularly liked the sleek climax which had the classy museum exhibit with the mirrors. Chasing people through mirrors and people colliding into them was fun to watch. It has this butch villain woman and one has to give her credit for being tough but stupid. At the end of it, John Wick ends up killing somebody on neutral territory and he now has to pay for it as the whole world (apparently everybody is connected to the Mafia in this world) is out looking for retribution. John Wick limps away sadly.
I loved it, I simply did. Simple movie with good action – Keanu Reeves’ dead pan expressions suit his character perfectly. Dialogue could be better but that’s not the point, is it?
3. Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot. Enough said. No actually, wait. Gal Gadot equals Perfection.
If it’s possible to have a girl crush, Gal Gadot would be it. To use a word I never thought I would use – she slays! Not only was Gal (yes, my friend – Gal (what an interesting yet un-generic name)) 5 months pregnant when she shot for the movie, she has played each action sequence perfectly. In all fairness, what’s with David Thewlis as Ares! The costume and the dialogue was lacking but who cares when you have Gal Gadot swishing her long hair around and lasso-ing villains left, right and centre. I have heard a lot of people comment on the success of her role and this movie hinging on the Wonder Woman costume but then these are the very people missing the point. How else is a woman supposed to fight the bad guys if she was dressed any differently? Cat Woman wears lycra! Anyway, that’s a side-bar if you pay attention to the context and premise of the movie. Admittedly, I found the precocious and innocent side of Gal Gadot irritating (if I kill the God of War, War will end) and her support of human beings based on her love for Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) even more jarring but the way I could reconcile it is by understanding that Wonder Woman is a Goddess after all. I guess I expected more out of a superwoman movie. This is Wonder Woman! Okay fine, I relent, yes, she is a wonder and just perfect.
I loved it all – the sights, the action, her acting, her accent, her stride, her sway. Like I said, girl crush.
4. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Mixed feelings about this one but solid points for nostalgia. Stars Hollow and its citizens are irritating as ever, especially, Kirk and his stupid pig Petal. You must be wondering why I watch this show – it’s a favourite. It’s drama, emotion, slight hint of comedy but more importantly, it’s a portrayal of life and relationships. The relationships are stupider in the show but how else would you make good TV. GG is my guilty pleasure plus it reminds me of my Mom and how I am with my Mom. If your Mom is your best friend, you would appreciate this show.
The best part about this revival is that Rory the over achiever is now depicted as having real-world problems – the kind of problems you and I face. No wait, she always had real world problems before also but they were always bizarre like having to deal with too many boys (actually, that might also be a real-world problem). This time around Rory is shown as a failure with no proper career trajectory (hi-5 Rory!) having done small bits here and there (hi-5 Rory) and, finally, having to deal with existential crisis at 32 (way ahead of you in that department!). She is also cheating with Logan on his fiancé also on her own non-existent boyfriend. Lorelai Gilmore tries very hard to be the old Lorelai but she isn’t the same upbeat person. Emily Gilmore softens much like cheese with age.
It’s pretentious (what’s with the references to Wild? – I see what you did there!) in bits (Rory downing shots of whiskey!) but what the hell, it’s comforting. It’s like putting on your favourite blanket and drowning in some good old nostalgia as you travel through time and sometimes logic to Stars Hollow. I ignored (fast-forwarded) the annoying bits (the nonsensical town play and just about everything to do with the town) and was rewarded with some good old-fashioned drama. Lorelai gets married to Luke, Rory finds direction by writing about her Mom and herself, Emily chills by herself away from the fake world of money, Logan is perfect (why didn’t you marry him Rory!), Jess still loves Rory (to think she would have lesser admirers now but no!), Luke is…boring and the others are just there which brings me to the climax. I have three letter – W.O.W. It’s the circle of life adjusted according to the time but wow.
If the producers ever read this, you better make a third revival season. This cannot end like this. (Spoiler Alert: Rory is pregnant outside wedlock (like Lorelai) but at 32!) !!! *utter dumb-founded disbelief*