Poetry in Motion

Want to take this time to blog about the two films I’ve seen while on the plane—Call Me By Your Name and The Greatest Showman. One is a musical, the other is almost poetry in motion…but both had awesome soundtracks. They left me stunned, my hours on the plane wasn’t wasted at all, in fact, it was spent in ultimate bliss in appreciation of good films.

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“The noblest art is that of making others happy.”
—The Greatest Showman, PT Barnum

This was my favourite scene out of the whole movie: the dancing on the rooftop scene. I particularly liked the development of the story between Charity and Barnum, because their whole love story was told. From their childhood times to falling in love, building a family, then building a career. It doesn’t just tell a very cheesy cliche love story, it shows the very practical side of family life and the most common hardships and issues that affect marriages: financial status. I love how the story also focuses on marriage as Barnum struggles to build a career for himself. I am always a firm believer that a silent, supporting woman behind a man’s back can make a huge difference when it comes to his career.

My favourite song is Tightrope because of that. I truly relate to how Charity feels, and I think in many ways, Charity and I are very alike. Both of us don’t mind following a man with humble beginnings; I don’t think I need a man that’s already successful. But sadly, many men think that they have to be successful before they have the right to marry. Barnum wasn’t born with a silver spoon, hence always felt the need to prove himself. It started off masked as an excuse that he wanted to provide a better life for his kids and family, but it shows that the heart is deceitful and he is still not satisfied, that he just wants the show to be successful internationally so he can prove himself to the world and to Charity’s parents. I know because having been through a somewhat similar experience, knew someone who gave up on something potentially beautiful simply because he let ambition overtake his loved ones. I never blamed him, but just wished I had the chance to tell him what Charity said to Barnum.

Barnum: “I wanted to be more than I was.”
Charity: “I never wanted anything than the man I fell in love with.” 

Some people long for a life that is simple and planned. Some people long for safety, control, hate uncertainty. I never minded walking the tightrope with my loved ones, as long as I’m with them. Charity risked everything just to be with him, and eventually, Barnum learns that that most important thing is friendship, love, and work that he adores. It is not profit, money, or fame or power or getting invited to parties. I think this is a very important aspect of work that we have to keep in mind, especially people like us in the creative business. We don’t have a corporate ladder to climb, but we do have lots of content creation and putting our content we need a certain fame in order to be a successful artist, musician, painter, designer, whatever.

This gave me another reason to like the musical: it shows me very meaningful insights into start-up businesses. For a start, I was so inspired. He started and created a show from scratch. One of his greatest strengths is being able to persuade others – usually those high profile names – to work and collaborate with him. He gets that in on his idea and sells it well. The circus troupe, opera singer, Phillip…He demonstrated a vision that drew them in. He led them to believe in the same vision he had. The first step is to identify your vision and be very clear on what you want. He also sees others strengths clearly and how it would help his career. Then he acts on it accordingly, asking them to help him out.

Home Again reminds me of the two sides of me: the side of me when I’m on the road livin a gypsy-like, carefree life, and the other side when I’m home again: the family and hometown that has always kept me grounded. I guess, for now, I’m on the former.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

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“Is it better to speak or to die?”

The most beautiful moment, I find, on CMBYN would be the scene where Elio’s mum tells him a story, where a handsome young knight is in love with a princess. He was so humbled and speechless by his desire that he’s unable to bring up the subject of love. I knew someone who kept quiet about love for a few years. It wasn’t easy, but sometimes the most beautiful of feelings we don’t talk about. CMBYN’s sex scene was absolutely beautiful. I love how Oliver was very quiet about this whole thing, especially his feelings, that Elio didn’t even know he left hints. The part where Elio questioned him “When?? When did you leave hints?” was so cute. I feel like Elio, always the one who gets busted first.

Also, can I just say the place where they filmed was so pretty! The scenery is so nice in Northern Italy. I also love the motif of books in the film. Both of them read a lot. I don’t know why but because of that I am so determined to find a reading spot in my university, in this beautiful European summer, and sit down by the lake or something with a good book. A reading spot where I can retreat to read on stressful days.

“I like reading too, but I don’t tell anyone. I think people who read are kind of secretive. They hide who they really are.

I love Elio’s family life. His parents are so so supportive. My family has always brought out the worst version of me (in my opinion, even though my worst version isn’t that worse haha) but I feel slightly more frustrated when I’m with them. Not because I don’t love them, but that’s just the dynamics of it I guess. I have to start praying about this now hahahah. I need someone who brings out the best in me, and since family is the most important basis of all relationships, I think home is not a place for negative energy at all. My parents are amazing, awesome people, and I love them, and they’ve worked incredibly hard to provide for me. However, I also realise it is this time that I am away from home for the longest that I am also being the best version of myself. I have matured in ways I did not expect, and sometimes, I forget that side of the old me even existed.

Anyway, I realise I also desperately needed soundtracks for CMBYN and The Greatest Showman. Quick.

Orientation day

1st July 2018—Sunday

Ever since I’ve decided to document my exchange using these blog posts, I have never regretted it. So many things happen every single day that there’s so much to write about, I am almost afraid my memory would fail me if I delay for even another day!!!

Today has been an amazing day. Yesterday I was only feeling anxious about traveling and not having any friends, but today I made so many new friends! They’re such awesome people and coming from all over the world—Hungary, Brazil, Belarus…

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I’ll type up this quick blog post and then go grab dinner. I didn’t have dinner yesterday because I wasn’t feeling too well; just two bananas and a piece of pizza, then I went to bed. It’s funny how it’s 10.40pm now and I am still not hungry yet. In Australia when it’s like winter, I get hungry at like 5pm! The sun has just set in the UK, and I’m not hungry on long days like these anyway. My hunger always had nothing to do with what I ate before but more about the timing.

Ok wait, let me go grab it, I’ll be back.


I got the chicken pasta that I’ve got earlier on at Tesco’s from the fridge. Tesco is awesome, it has cheaper groceries heeee. Each time I visit something I am mentally psychoed into thinking its cheap when in fact it is in British pounds and I forgot to convert it back to AUD. We had gone grocery shopping earlier when we were in the city. It was a mini supermart, nothing fancy really, but we’re going to go to the bigger marts tomorrow!

Today began with a welcome brunch by the school and an introduction.

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“Guys, I hope you know where’s Norwich, England isn’t all about London!” haha. 

The student representatives were so helpful and friendly! Brunch was great. We were introduced to our student representative leaders over brunch and as I made my way into the dining area and sat down, I deliberately chose to sit with a different group of friends from my usual circle. Not because I liked putting myself out of my comfort zone but because I felt like I need to meet more people so that I can actually have travel buddies, the anxiety is almost killing me in my room last night. HAHHAA. As a result, I got to meet really awesome people!! I met this really nice girl who loves photography as much as I do, she and her friend from Romania; and another girl from Japan! I told her I went to Japan before and we talked and stuff. Plus another girl from Croatia, my dream location since forever. There are also so many familiar faces that I’ve seen from yesterday which I wanted to talk to!

We bonded after breakfast which was pastries, breakfast rolls, great coffee, fruit juice, tea, etc. It was great! Then it was the briefing and they gave us not only campus tips, but Norfolk tips for traveling around the city and also tips for greater England (how to get to different states, etc). Everyone’s just so lovely and helpful and nice! We played a game of bingo afterward and that was my favourite. Met so many people all at once, it’s almost like a game of speed friendship. I usually dislike bingo because it’s so basic, but I took a look down at my card and it says, “Recite a line from Shakespeare” and “been to the UK before” and I think it’s the most British bingo I have ever seen.

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LOOKS FAMILIAR??? THE FILMING LOCATION FOR THE AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON FILM!!!! I can’t believe it, my exchange University is actually the filming location for the Avengers age of ultra film??? Plus Chris Evans has been here!!

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We’re going to have a movie night on Wednesday and they’re going to be screening this very movie too!

 

After brunch was the campus tour. The weather was lovely, sunny with an average summer temperature of 18-20 degrees Celcius. It isn’t burning hot at all. So so perfect. We walked around campus, learning about the buildings and facilities and wow, the campus looks massive!

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After the campus tour, I grabbed my camera and we all headed to the city. Here are some pics!

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Norwich city seems small, but I am so surprised. The city was really cool and beyond my expectations! Norwich is more of a medieval, countryside place so I didn’t expect the city to have so many shops, packed together on every street, and they have everything ranging from local small businesses to big, global brands like Jack Wills and H&M. I think there were about 4-5 huge malls. There are also lots of quaint little cafes and boutiques along narrow alleyways, those are my favorite. The cafes are so unique and according to my sources, sell the best coffee. The alleyways are exactly what I’ve seen in movies, dotted with little-cobbled pavements and each boutique has its own design and style. (it’s like Singapore’s haji lane, but bigger and with more streets). The good thing is everything is within walking distance! Including the malls. I’ve got a monthly bus pass too so it’s not too troublesome to get around.

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The best part is, almost every shop has a summer sale going on!!! We were so tempted to go in and buy stuff, but we were led by student ambassadors who won’t stop for a second because it’s just a really quick tour to give us an overview of the city, so I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing, since I am pretty sure our money would be sucked away pretty fast if we actually did stop.

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I passed by this really hugeee & cool TV & Movie store where they sell posters, merchandise and everything related!!! It got me so hyped up because I saw Thor Ragnorok posters stuck on its huge front doors and window panes. I could literally faint that IS PARADISE!! Thor and thor ragnarok are my fave movies and besides that I’m sure I can find other gold stuff like Sherlock and Doctor Strange inside. Besides Marvel, they also have Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, anything and everything you can think of!!! My friend and I wanted to jump in straightaway of course, but our group moved quickly so we decided we would come back again.

 

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There are also a lot of cathedrals and castles, famous for its rich history and architecture.

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By the way, the pigeons in the city were massive and fat and there’s a lot of them. They are my absolute nightmare!!! They walk in flocks, and act like they’re all high and mighty. I have already mentally prepared myself when I came here, yet I still ducked in fear whenever one of them swooped over my head. As usual, this act of mine never fails to crack my friends up.

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Food all day was provided. This brunch was provided, and lunch was provided after as well. I was so so happy. Lunch was at this hotel in the city called Maids Head Hotel, serving really great main course and desserts, it almost looked too good to be true.

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We were led into a really beautiful dining room.

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I ordered the Dedham Vale beef rump, but they didn’t have it at the moment so they served me the Norfolk turkey breast which tastes just as good!!! Yum.

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This really special desert down here! Don’t know what it’s called but its actually hot strawberry jam with ice cream on top so you have to eat it really fast before the ice cream melts (very quicky indeed)! A perfect blend of hot and cold.

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After we’re done we headed out to the city again. To my dismay, the movie shop I’ve been raving about in my mind closed already. What a pity!!! I was so surprised because it’s only about 4.30pm! Shops close early about 3.30-4.30pm on Sundays. And I thought Australia’s 5-6pm was considered early! Ugh, I must visit it next time.

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And oh! The houses here are an absolute gem. They are so pretty, I wonder how much they cost and what can I do in my life to live in one of them.

Then we headed off to a pub to watch World Cup! We went as a big group, and that was such a great bonding time. We walked we laughed as we wondered how on earth are we going to get a table for all 13 of us.

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Andddddd Russia won! Unbelievable!!! It was such an exciting match, with extra time because of the draw and then Spain losing out at the last minute.

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We then sat outside in the wonderful summer weather and talked about cultures and stuff. We’re all international students, and I couldn’t wish for a better group of friends. Also, many of us are born in a different country than the one we currently live in so we do have a lot to share. One of them’s born in Brazil, lives in Malaysia; and another born in the UK, lives in Australia; and I’m born in Singapore, lives in Australia. So……yeah we do have very interesting conversations!! We talked about how we didn’t like how some foreigners force their own culture down the throats of locals when they move. For example, they told the locals how to cook rice in a certain way, or even complain about the country. I mean if you really want to complain you could have just stayed in your own country. I think it’s good to introduce your culture to your international friends but its always not very nice to force your culture down their throats. There is a fine line between introducing/sharing and forcing but anyways, the main point is to respect and appreciate the culture of the country you are currently in.

My friends told me to cook chicken rendang or bakkutteh for the international food night, a night where we all bring a dish from our home country to share with others. Gosh, I’m SO BAD at cooking. Please help me hahahhaha I wish my mum was here.

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It was a great day!! Although I wished I had more photographs of myself taken. I wanted to skip today for London but I’m glad I did not. My friends from Singapore are in London, and they’ve asked me to go over to visit the museums with them. I was so tempted to take a day trip, let me tell you. But I didn’t go because I’m having orientation on Monday and I didn’t wanna miss it. I was, and still am, so anxious to explore London! I have been dreaming of the city since I was a kid, could I not? To be honest, not a day goes by in Norwich where I don’t think of London. Here I am sitting in my dorm, thinking of London. HAHAHHA. It better be good.

Catch ya later!

Missed opportunity

A quick post again before I head off to bed. I never thought I’ll say this, but my mood has already been affected by the earlier incident where I was unable to meet Zaf at the airport. It was further affected when I started feeling sick on the 3-hour bus journey from London to Norwich; and finally, plummeted to a lower spirit when my friends started talking about their post-exchange trip plans and the regret of not extending my trip began to sink in.

Days are long in the UK. The sun sets about 9-10pm. It is now summer, a far cry from the Aussie winter that I have left behind. However, the moonlit night stills give me so much comfort as I am typing this. I have checked into my university’s accommodation, and my window faces the moon directly, which I love, because I can watch the moon as I fall into a deep slumber.

I have always wondered if I am the sort of person to be affected by jet-lag. I found out the answer today. Turns out I’m not! I’m perfectly fine. Not tired, not sore. My body clock has always been quite flexible.

My bedroom is perfect. It is just the perfect size, I wouldn’t want it to be too big either. The bed is sooooo soft!!! Also, this is the first time in my life where I would sleep on a single bed. I have always been spoiled with queen/king sized beds I don’t know why. Not that I would go out of my way to get it, it just happens. It’s now 1.25am, and I have finally finished all my unpacking. I’m the kind of person who likes to unpack all at one-shot and prefers not to do my packing in segments. It was looking pretty bare and empty when I arrived, but now I’ve decorated it with fairy lights, put up my assessories, I even bought my pillow covers from home. Those pink ones that I bring wherever in the world I go. I made it a rule. To make anywhere feel like home ehehe. After I’m done, I stand back to admire my work, looking around the room that will be mine for some time.

However, I have begun to feel lonely. This isn’t how an exchange is supposed to feel like. I am feeling anxious. I wanted this to be a fulfilling and fruitful experience. Given that today is only the first day, I think I should give it a chance.

I thought about why I might be feeling lonely. It isn’t that I missed home, I have been faraway from home for too long, I know: it’s the lack of familiar interaction in a foreign country. If I had met Zaf at the airport, or if I had known I am going to meet Sin Ming tomorrow in London, I might not feel so terrible after all. My current new friends I’ve just made seem like awesome people, but sharing happiest moments with familiar faces always cheers me up.

Zaf’s miss at the Heathrow airport got to me. I was made to leave the airport for Norwich just as her plane landed. She almost got to me, I asked her to run. I remember. She sent me her live location via Whatsapp, and I sent her mine too, with both of us realizing we’re barely a few miles away from each other. “Do we have to go now?” I asked. “Yes, now.” the student representative’s tone tells me there’s no time for a delay. My coach bus was waiting, along with all my friends already sitting inside, prepped. I began to step away from the airport: glancing back occasionally hoping a familiar face might catch up with me. Still nothing. I’ll remember this moment forever: because that’s when I realize Zaf’s such an important friend to me. It’s not the same meeting back in Singapore again. It’s something about seeing a familiar face on foreign ground that touches me. So close yet so far.

To make things worse, Lucas texted me giving me an unconfirmed reply to our promised plans to travel together. I hate things like this, hanging, uncertain. I hate people backing out on me. But most of all, I’m scared, not of traveling alone, but the thought of my limited time here. That made me feel uncomfortable. I am anxious that I can’t cover most good destinations on time, I feared that I would waste time, I feared that I would not make full use of my trip, where flight tickets are so expensive it’s better to cover most cities in one-shot so that I don’t come back unnecessarily again.

I was supposed to go to London tomorrow but I don’t think I can go now. There, bring my hopes up just to crush it again. I have orientations tomorrow, and I am sick. My stomach was churning during the bus ride to Norwich. I think I might have gastric flu. It happened so suddenly, almost like cramps, until it got worse and I started to suspect whether it was something I ate at Caffe Nero. On the tour bus, I heard this girl sitting diagonally across me ask another girl beside her if she watched Sherlock. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I think they were on the topic of London. I wanted to scream yes, yes I do and I am a huge fan and I want to go to London, but I was too shy to do so. Instead, I close my eyes and their conversations died shortly after because the other girl did not watch Sherlock. 

We’ll see, maybe tomorrow.

Thanksgiving today: smooth clearing of customs, smooth VISA procedure, no missing luggage, safe and pleasant flight.
Disappointments: Lucas’ response, Unable to meet Zaf

I just want to travel to London with like-minded people like me and overcome my greatest fear of wasting this trip to the UK. Besides London, I have thought of Paris and Windsor but have no other states in mind. Any ideas?

The land of Shakespeare

I am writing this from the London Heathrow airport, and I am alone. I have about approx a few hours to go before assembling with the rest of my friends and making my way to my school in another city, but within England. So I thought I’ll write. In fact, I’ll try as much as possible to capture the memories of my exchange experience in this blog, and I hope these precious moments might be remembered forever.

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I flew here by Singapore Airlines. There’s always something about flying Singapore air that comforts me, maybe because it feels like home. I have truly forgotten how awesome the service, food, and everything is. (literally live for the warm hot towels and blankets!!) I sat beside two elderly men on both of my flights—the one from Sydney to Singapore and Singapore to London. I have always loved long haul flights, because they gave me the time to think and clear my head and read and in this case, watch plenty of movies. I watched Call me By your Name and The Greatest Showman. Then I dozed on and off throughout. I could never sleep in planes, I don’t know why. Glancing around, I gauged that only 5% of the plane’s passengers were Asians/Singaporeans, and I don’t know why but as an international student it still makes me nervous. Me going into a foreign country with foreign people, although they seem nice.

During landing, I was shivering with excitement. I peeked out of the window, a ray of sunlight shone through, and as the plane maneuvered its way above the clouds, the European sunlight began to pour through. I smiled. The first beam I saw in Europe.

I have never been to Europe before. I’ve lived my whole life desiring to set foot in this soil. My mind has conjured up too many versions of my experience in the London Eye, Oxford street and the London bridge over the past years, it’s difficult for me to feel I’m actually here. I feel so strange, it feels surreal. I had never thought this day would come. Coming to the UK is my absolute dream come true. The land of Sherlock, Shakespeare, the hometown of my favourite British actors, ahhhh!!!!!

 

ps/ I am so nervous right now, I can barely breathe.

 

BBC Sherlock Review

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I just finished Sherlock over the past few days and oh my goodness, it is, truly a masterpiece. This is a show that made television history, took London by storm, and has a huge and patient fanbase that waited for years and years just for Season 4. I myself watched Season 1 when I was really young, like maybe when I was seventeen years old, and stopped there. Yet, it remained at the back of my mind and I never really forgot about it. Something that captured me as a young audience, though I do not quite know how to read between the lines and analyze the complicated crimes, was Sherlock’s deductions. That was the thing that kept me captivated and drew me back in again as a fan 4 years later.

I’m 21 now, and amazingly enough, started Sherlock Season 2 just after my 21st birthday. Having left for such a long time, it did not feel hard to come back at all, but this time taking on a storyline with a more mature perspective, I begin to see what a complex character Sherlock was and the different layers and layers of personality Benedict Cumberbatch injected upon this character in order to bring it to life.

Perhaps the overriding theme that I found most attractive was Sherlock’s character development, his humanness, we can see how much the character has grown since Season 1 and I am so proud of him. We can see how he might react differently to the same things. One of the most touching scenes was when Sherlock said, “Taking your own life…interesting expression. Taking it from who? Once it’s over, it’s not you who will miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everybody else. Your life is not your own, keep your hands off it.” and then you realise he said that because he saw how his beloved John grieved over Mary’s death, and then you realise this is an example of how pain changes people. The writers did not just add that line in to show Sherlock’s compassion in saving the suicidal woman, but it shows Sherlock’s empathy and his lessons learned from pain.

Many people watched Season 4 and said it was absolute shit, disappointing, whatever. Due to the bad reviews, many fans avoided Season 4 fearing that it might spoil the whole show for them. Many are satisfied with the ending in Season 3. I highly doubt there’ll be a fifth season, so I’m going to talk as if Season 4 is the last one. I loved Season 4, even though it does not queerbait as much. It does not ship #JohnLock as much, and yes, the friendship between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson is so ruined it is almost painful for me to watch. But Season 4 made me realise it is Sherlock who has fallen so deeply in love for John, maybe even more than he himself realises. More than what John realises. He blames himself for Mary’s death, stating “she gave my life a value, a currency which I do not know how to spend.” and that part just broke me. Sherlock is SO HUMAN in Season 4, a side of him the audience yearns to see for so long. Therefore, I personally liked Season 4 and I think it is worth watching.

Let’s talk about queerbaiting. Some people might see John and Sherlock as strictly platonic, but I do really think Sherlock has feelings for John, although I’m not sure if it is reciprocated. BBC Sherlock is full of gay subtext. It hints at Johnlock strongly. In Season 4, those feelings that Sherlock has kept buried inside him for so long, finally resurfaced when it is tested to its limits.

Season 3 is like the end of an era because John got married. Sherlock’s back, but things changed after 2 years. Season 3 &4’s visual effects and camera technique is so good. It is literally a work of art and visual feast for the eyes. I’ve seen the behind the scenes and production for it and it is so awesome!!

Word of warning though: Season 4 has also hurt me in so many levels. It practically haunts its viewer, episode after episode, with dark themes and very traumatic things happening to Sherlock. You’ll feel very sorry for him. Watching S4 hits me with a wave of nostalgia for S1 & 2. The light-heartedness of crime-solving in S1 & 2 seems like a very long, long, time ago; in a far, far away place…almost like visiting an old home. Watching Sherlock in Season 4, for me, was like looking through a mirror.

“It’s not a pleasant thought, John, but I have this terrible feeling from time to time that we might all just be human.”

I think precisely why I can relate to it is because I realized I’m a lot like Sherlock. Sherlock was an emotional child, with his dog Redbeard and everything, and then he loses a sense of what really happened to him, cos adult Sherlock later finds out that his dog doesn’t exist at all. It is a perfect example of burying one’s emotions until you are emotionless, and the things we have learned to keep quiet about have seemed to fade over time. Being quiet and reserved when I want to be, and I don’t deny that I like that side of me. Even better, I have managed to build up a bubbly and outgoing facade that makes everyone who meets me almost positively sure that I am an extrovert. I talk a lot, I tell everyone ‘everything’ about myself, but no one believes that ‘everything’ is only the tip of an iceberg, because ‘everything’ seems so much. Sometimes we don’t necessarily open up to people because we are not sure how mature they are, or how much they can empathize, or if our pain would ruin them.

In the final episode, Sherlock had to dig into his past ghosts and fears and we suddenly realize Sherlock’s got all these layers and layers of emotional context buried underneath him for all these years. They were so quiet, we were almost positive it didn’t exist. I was taken by surprise as I realized that the strongest aspects of Sherlock is not his brain, but his heart. He labels himself as a sociopath, thinks like a machine, is a heartless, apathetic character but Season 4’s character growth and revelations tell us that he’s actually more human than anyone else.

The loneliest people are the kindest, the saddest people smile the brightest, and the most damaged people are the wisest.

 

 

 

The imitation game

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I honestly love this film so much after watching it, and it’s not even because this is my favorite era to live in. Besides the era, it’s also one of my favourite genres—war. Well, these are just one of the bonus reasons!

5/5.

I can’t believe I took so long just to watch The Imitation Game. I was made aware of the existence of this film in 2015, yet only came to watch it this year. I remembered it was nominated for numerous Oscars, and Benedict Cumberbatch too, who plays Alan Turing.

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Yet another wildly arrogant, highly intellectual character who isn’t fit for human company. A particular detective, a surgeon…this time a mathematician. Oh, Benedict…

And also. This character doesn’t eat too!!! Always so engrossed in his work hahha. Sherlock doesn’t eat as well. And why is that these characters he plays always have trouble communicating with others?!?!?! ALL of these characters are narcissistic too. The similar pattern in the characters are so amusing

Oh and this is also my first Keira Knightly film!
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I think I was too busy noticing the differences between Alan Turing and Sherlock (both characters which Benedict played) throughout the film! But I can see why my friends love this film though. It’s suspenseful, but knowing that it’s a true story also breaks me a little, because of the lack of recognition Alan received. Breaking Enigma was his heart and soul, yet sadly, he’s one of the heroes that didn’t live to see his own glory. I would die really if I were put in his shoes, imagine pouring your heart and soul into a project that is only meant to be kept secret in the end and knowing all the peace that is out there which cannot be enjoyed without your work. Knowing that you have the ability to control other people’s fate, yet cannot breathe a word about it until you hit your grave.

I also especially love the love story between him and Joan Elisabeth. I thought it was just a cheesy love story added in a subplot, but turns out it’s a true story too! My favourite scene was when Alan proposed to her hahha. And the last scene when she was comforting him really broke my heart.

“Sometimes its the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”

 

Patrick Melrose Review

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Hi guys! Haven’t been chatting in this space for quite some time now. I’m finally done with the semester and assignments, and I’ve had the time to just catch up with some books and movies! I just plan to spend this weekend chilling. My newfound love to films and fiction material is crazy. More to getting drunk in books and movies, haha.

Enough about personal life!

I just want to talk about a TV series I’ve just finished today. It’s a TV series about a dark show skewering the drug-addled, abusive upper classes. Patrick Melrose is a 5-episode TV series played by Benedict Cumberbatch, which is just about a man seeking journey from brokenness to redemption.

It starts off featuring the main character, Patrick, who grows up with the horrors of a twisted, abusive father and an alcoholic mother who seems powerless and isn’t there to help him at times. To put it simply, it is really just a heart-wrenching story about what the implications of a broken home does to a child. A child haunted by his past. The poison dripping down from generation to generation. To see how these things can crush a child and affect his growth is almost unbearable to watch. I’m not usually a fan of childhood trauma storylines, but I got into this one because Benedict Cumberbatch plays the grown-up, damaged Patrick Melrose, 5/5 stars with fucking amazing acting. The hallucinations, the seizures from drug withdrawals, the sudden bursts of anger….it was so amazing that I was angry the series was so short, why are Benedict’s dramas always so short??!??!

The first two episodes I watched last month, in the middle of my school’s hell week period, and ugh, the themes were really dark and heavy. Drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, infidelity, drinking, smoking…the amount of cigs Cumberbatch smoked in the series is enough to give him lung cancer man. He swears every 5 minutes too. The amount of immorality there is astonishing, the brokenness apparent, but yet this series managed a good balance between light-heartedness and heaviness. I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to sneak a dose of wit and humour beneath the dark themes to make it somehow bearable for the audience. Even though there are sexual abuse and stuff, it’s implied, but not shown with actual explicit, graphic scenes, so don’t worry. But even so, the storyline alone is enough to make it horrifying to watch.

I think it’s so powerful because it’s a story about a man living in his past, and in order to walk out of his past, no one can help him except himself. I especially enjoy stories about good character development so I would say this is a top pick. Patrick was trying very hard and seeking some sort of salvation, and his recovering journey is just so accurately portrayed.

“Sometimes, those who deserve the most blame also deserve the most compassion.”

Besides talking about brokenness and redemption, it also talks about forgiveness and compassion. To forgive is to let go of his past. There are a lot of funeral scenes in the show, haha, and this tingling feeling of seeking…closure. The end of a chapter. Beginning of a new one. Things like that, all done in 5 episodes.

“poison dripping down from generation to generation”— to see Patrick treat his children poorly because of his own brokenness passed on from his dad, is quite crazy to watch because of the highly personal experience for me. The broken husband, shouting and nagging wife, and deeply troubled children. Child overhears the mum shouting at the dad, exposing all his dad’s faults, which leads to an utter disrespect and despise for the dad.

I don’t really wish to air any family dirty laundry here on my blog but I grew up in this type of family: where my mum constantly points out my dad’s flaws in front of me by shouting and nagging. I never consciously knew it had such an effect on me until I started watching Patrick Melrose. All too familiar, that I found my mum such a turn-off that I promised myself I would never take on the role of a shouting or nagging wife when I grow up. I wouldn’t say I disrespect my dad, I will still honour him and respect him, but I admit it was pretty hard looking up to him as a father figure with awe and admiration. I had wanted more than anything to be a daddy’s girl.

BRILLANT, BRILLANT, SHOW.

Not to mention the amazing cinematography and the colours used! Goshhh I love the aesthetics. Cumberbatch also got a few sex scenes in this show! He usually plays asexual, highly intellectual, gay, arrogant characters so this is a bit different hhahha.

 

 

On the fly

The time when Grace first told Godfrey she is moving again.

“You’ve got your assignments, then you’ve got your internship, then you still need to find a house? That’s a lot on your plate right now. You’re always on the fly!” with that, he also said something along the lines of “you’re so unfortunate”, implying that it is really undesirable to be in her current situation, having the move again and again and again.

Now Grace was trying to stay optimistic, and moving forward slowly but surely. Godfrey is just being annoying.

“A lot on your plate” is a term used to describe a situation where a person has a lot of things to manage at the same time and is therefore likely to be overwhelmed by all these issues.

Now as Godfrey drove and Grace sat in the passenger seat of the car, she thought, “never mind Exchange program arrangements,” because Godfrey didn’t even add it to his list yet. The comment was discouraging, but it pointed out something—she never realized she had a lot on her plate until now, and she wondered how is she going to survive the lot on her plate.

Maybe you could gobble it up, you say?

No, knowing you’re sad VS. somebody actually pointing out you are sad is a completely different thing. So, knowing you have a lot on your plate VS. somebody pointing out you have a lot on your plate is a different thing.

It’s a different thing to be told, to verbalise those words.