Submarine (2010) Movie Review

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A trippy navigation to the world of heartbreak, this time set in a rural English village, with an adolescent boy who discovered his first love. It starts with a Polaroid. From there, his adventure in the fuzziness begins.

The color blue, the ocean, the bubbles dipping up to the surface of the aquarium, the stack of printed pictures on a room, all the palettes are the perfect mix of a realized desire. The sceneries are mood, the weather a part of instrument, and the sudden strings a shock in scenes that meant, shocking for Oliver Tate.

Jordana his muse, a weird good for nothing girl, almost a caricature but her redcoat a palette too. Trippy Jordana, snapping and twirling around the small village, looking endlessly off the post-sunset beach.

Tonight, no moon. Tomorrow, no sun.

Love-hate connection. Unearthly kisses. Letters of heartbreak. Circumstances.

Transformative failure?

My mind twirled too when I had this. It went tango, but then came the dream of Oliver, who got told to enter the black hole, occurring in the ocean. I twirled again. But this time, I knew the whole movie was a trip. To somewhere even far away than Never Land. It’s surreal, but it’s there. The recollection of similar or distant impression of one of the scenes, and what is contained beyond. The fear and insecurities, the need to gift your longing stare for the borderless horizon of the beach, just because, you had to.

Something in this movie’s magnetism, must have enticed me of sort.

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What Kind of K-Drama Watcher Are You?

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Hello to anyone who read this post! :B

This morning, I read Dramabeans’ latest Premiere Watch post, and three dramas caught my attention:

When Camellia Blooms
Pegasus Market
Running Investigators
Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency

(The bold stuffs are the ones I’m most likely to check out)

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As I scroll through the post, I barely made eye contact with the posters. Not even the synopsis. Inside of me, an invincible brake turned on every time my eyes wandered through those deliciously looking description paragraphs. So in the end of the post, I have 98% vague idea about the dramas, and it has always, more and so been the same for the past few years of my watching voyage.

My question is, does that happen to you as well?

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No matter how much a drama has lured me to check its trailer/synopsis; I’ve always had a reason not to. I just don’t want to know. Maybe a part of me wants to dip in into the story as it plays out without having a single clear idea of what it wants to be. Perhaps, I want to be surprised by the show. I want to be plot twist’d, because reading the synopsis or seeing the casts list beforehand could get my brain routing all the possible scenarios this particular drama might leads to.

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In my case, it also applies to other storytelling medium. Be it a book, a movie, a comic, a visual novel, or anything you can think of, I’ve often avoided the description box. The cover or poster is usually what affects my decision, and it’s been a Russian Roulette situation at times.

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You can call me anti-spoiler, since I could know just from the corner of my friend’s lip when he/she’s about spoil about the shows I’m watching. It would ruin me bad, and I’m really jealous impressed with people who needs to be spoiled of the ending or the major twists before watching the show, like my friend. We both watch K-Drama in our spare times, but she always asked me when I recommended a new show that’s out of her radar,

‘So who ends up with who?’

‘Spoil me the ending and I’ll consider watching the show!’

‘Tell me what happened to him in the past?’

‘Who’s the bad guy?’

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And those questions are just a tiny bit of the bigger scope of what she could have asked after I gave her new titles to binged in. The only reason I could get along with her in our K-Drama watching is because she never spoils me stuff unless I asked her to. Sometimes I got so frustrated of a part in a drama and I want someone to told me so I’d be less anxious, but even this only went in special cases.

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On a different note, I’ve now realized this new tendency of mine: Confusing the pleasure received from watching a masterpiece drama and an enjoyable drama. Here’s how I see the two categories.

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Masterpiece belongs to drama that is rock-solid. It has a full-round message, and despite its unique nature, it speaks to you regardless of your culture/background/personality. To me, that’s just how powerful a masterpiece drama is. I think this definition will also fit for any other art medium, but since I’m talking about K-Drama in particular, I’ll use the tag ‘drama’. Now, by masterpiece, it doesn’t have to be something you specifically enjoy. A drama can be a masterpiece even if you don’t enjoy it. (I’ll elaborate further on the enjoyable part).

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Enjoyable could either be something that’s objectively bad but you love it anyway, or it could also be genuinely great and almost everyone love it, and even deemed as a masterpiece. Mostly, the characters are relateable, or the plot moved at ease. It fluttered one’s heart, heal the others, and will be remembered for a long time. Or, it simply gift a good-feel effect to your mind.

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But the most striking difference between Masterpiece and Enjoyable is, that Masterpiece paved something in your perspective, like imprints. You don’t have to relate to the characters, but the drama as a whole will carved something in your perspective, a lasting impression at reign.

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I began this confusion when I started to track the dramas I’ve watched using Mydramalist. At first, it was simply about rating a drama I like better, and a drama I like less. But then I went through the numbers, realizing that I wanted there to be an objective difference in the higher number and the lower number. If I gave 8, it must have been better than 7, and so on. I also started categorizing the list of drama I’ve watched into what I would call with masterpiece, the ones close to it, or the mediocre ones. Turns out, it only complicates me even further.

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The truth is, there are simply feelings, for the lack of better word, that made me hesitate of putting a drama into a certain category. Sometimes when I remember it, I’d feel, ‘Nah, I don’t remember being particularly fond it’, but there goes a part of me that remember some of the scenes and I’d started thinking, ‘Oh, that’s quite memorable!’. It’s the lack of sync between how I feel about the drama and how the drama actually is, perhaps.

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It’s becoming even more blatant after My Mister. I watched one episode of it when it aired, and then I put it on-hold for a long time. When I continued again from episode 2 to end (binge-watched), I didn’t expect myself to feel less enthralled than I thought I would be. I know this show is amazing, I love every seconds of it, but why I hesitate on giving a 9? This is my number for the masterpiece ones. I ended up giving an 8.5, and my reason was, I enjoyed it less than I expected. So you can see how I prohibited myself from rating a show as a masterpiece just because I found it to be less enjoyable.

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Perhaps our mood also played an important role. But to me, when a drama is a masterpiece, it could actually upturn your mood in ways you couldn’t imagine. That’s why it’s a masterpiece, right?

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On ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral (2019)’, I have Something To Tell You

Okay, before I start my rant about Four Weddings And A Funeral (2019), I did finish this show to its end, though I have mixed feelings about it.

These are what kept me going on despite my consistent urge to drop it at any episode:

  • Kash and Maya first meet. It’s cute and simple, and I like that they bonded over Mamma Mia!.
  • The family dynamic of Kash, Baba, and Asif.
  • His friendship with Bash.
  • Kash and Craig as office buddies.
  • Bash and Fatima’s granny casual exchanges, and how she quickly found her footings on Bash. It’s a cute little plot twist.
  • Gemma and her husband’s understated affection for each other. I love seeing how he consoled her when she felt out of the picture during her friendship with Ainsley. But sadly, that was also the last time he did that. I can’t tell you further without spoiling it, though.
  • Gemma and Giles, her son, bonding after what happened. She’s always anxious and cathartic. It’s only after Giles went home that she started to feel conscious of herself as a mother, and that she wanted to do better for the sake of Giles.
  • On earlier episodes, Craig revealed to Maya his biggest secret and he opted not to tell Zara, his fiancé, because he thought she wouldn’t understand. During these moments, I really adore Craig and Maya’s friendship and would love to see more of them trying to figure out things like this. And well of course, I get very little of that.
  • Maya and her friend or foe dynamic with Marcus, her co-worker, is the only ‘fun’ things about the show. Marcus always wanted to get to the good end of Andrew, a member of the UK parliament and both of their boss, and he always kicks her aside in order to achieve this. I could see a potential romance blossoming since they got the chemistry, as pointed by Ainsley, but they’re just as good as frenemies too.
  • And of course, what could it be without including Andrew, Maya, and Marcus hijinks in the office. I love it when they debate, how Maya was always on the other side about any issue, and how Marcus always kissed up to Andrew, or how when placed in the same room, the three of them, most of the time, would get at each other’s throats.

 

Now I’m gonna talk about some of the potentials this show has, which didn’t bounce there.

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I knew from day 1 that Kash and Maya were meant for each other. From his scoffs when hearing her complaints about her switched baggage to Baba (Kash’s dad, works on the airport), and how she responded to his scoffs with a snarky remark, I could already see the sparks on the air. Seeing them interacting with each other gave me sweets, and when they have to parted after she found her bag (he helped too, ofc), I felt that as a viewer, I already parted too fast with their on-screen relationship.

After this is a series of unrequited feelings, as what wouldn’t be a drama, if the boyfriend Ainsley happened to date is Kash, and that Maya is already infatuated with him as well.

I understand that the show wants to establish the American guys friendship as rock strong and unbreakable at all cost, but it felt superficial more than anything. I can say this, because most of the time when they talk, I couldn’t believe their connection at all. So when Maya chose her friendship over her growing feelings for Kash, I just couldn’t quite process it.

If they’re going to sell me the Kash-Maya couple, they shouldn’t have shown the two giving up before even trying, or Maya being undecided and said yes to Duffy’s advances, because she just comes off as cheap to me. I don’t know, maybe because I saw her a determined person, but when she chose this route instead of facing her doubts, which is, Kash, obviously, it just felt out of character of her. She came as two different characters, one that was a strong and fierce person, and the other is of a weak and submissive friend who couldn’t even voice her own thoughts and concerns just because she loves Ainsley. I found that to be unbelievable, because Ainsley forced all her friends to strike Kash off from their lives. Ainsley’s act is of that a ‘sabotaging’, and I can’t stand a character like her, ever. Just because you hate a person, does that mean everyone else should also hate that person? Well, that’s your problem, not anyone else. I hate the fact that no one ever calls her on this bs… Except for the last episode, I think?

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I was looking forward to their friendship, but it doomed on me as soon as the four of them hangs out together. It’s built on a series of misunderstanding and quick assumptions (that are, 90%, FUXKING WRONGS), and it sickens me every time one says something and the other party felt hurt, leaving the convo. This had happened so many times, and I’m not sure I only dreaded over this because I’ve long been an absentee of UK and US TV shows that it’s a common trope and I’m just not used to it anymore, since I mainly go over to KDramas for now.

I thought I should approach this in mind that because they know each other too much, it only makes sense for them to leave the running conversation every time they’re triggered. I found their friendship to be weird and unconvincing? And if there is one character I felt fully out of the equation, it’s Duffy. I don’t know if it’s the actor or the script, I just don’t like him at all. His presence, or when he talked to Maya, or whatever, I just don’t want to see him anywhere near my screen. Sucks because the more the merrier, right?

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I don’t have much about the couples in general, as to me, they’re fine on their own, I guess. But, because Maya is the central character here, I found her relationship with the male contenders to be the most unsatisfying.

Kash reasoning of calling off his wedding with Ainsley also felt less honest than it would be? He didn’t seem to be happy with Ainsley, and when he first met Maya, he already felt ‘something’ for her. I think Maya is the trigger, but he use the excuse of ‘not being on the same ground’ when apologizing to Ainsley weeks later after the tragedy. There comes one last moment where Ainsley asked him again, and his answer sounded like a lie. At that moment, I thought to myself, ‘Wait, did you just lie to me? Did you think I was stupid not to know that the reason you did this, is because you already felt attracted to her the moment you saw her, and it only further fuels your decision to end your marriage?’. He instead told Ainsley that all his life, he always did what other people wanted him to do. In that sense, his musings for Maya just felt artificial because he didn’t completely brought that up when asked about his feelings, despite the bad blood the three of them had because of this affair.

I just wanted him to go upfront and tells Ainsley,

“You want to hear my honest reason? Well, here it is. My meeting with Maya is what awakens me from this long dream, that she might be just the one. Sorry if this comes as rude, like REALLY rude, but I just can’t. I already owed so much to myself for at least, just once, do what I WANT to do, not what others dictate me so. For the first time after I called off our marriage, I felt free. For the first time ever, you made me genuinely happy. I know, I should have been clean with you from day 1. But I thought, ‘hey, maybe it would get better? Maybe I will get to love her more with time’, which of course, never happen. This is my dirty, and honest secret. Yes, I’m a irresponsible man and a jerk you can curse all your life, but I’m doing what I can with what I got. And never, have I regret this decision, not even once.

You are a great person, with lovely personality, and no one would ever reject your company. I just happen to be the kind of man who are not ready for you. For your wholesomeness. You spread happiness, wherever you go, and you even got a man who’s very much into you, a zillion times better companion than me. You being hateful of me is not weak, you trying to keep me off your circle isn’t petty, it’s just you, being humane.

But I ask you this. Never have I, at once, started my relationship with Maya behind your back. We only got close recently, and Maya truly respect you as a person, and a great friend. So don’t do this to her. She deserved all the happiness she could get, but me- well, hate me all you want. You can even curse me in my funeral. But don’t burn your friendship with her.”

Well it’s fxking wordy, and there are better ways to address his stand, but this is the best I can do.

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Okay, that’s the end of my rant!

I gave this show a petty 6.9/10, because it could be better. And as I watched the 4th episode, I was curious about the original movie this was based on, and of course, I have a clashing impression of the two. I love the movie, a classic, but this show is on a whole different vibe.

The original is amazing for its believable portrayal of the friendship and the comedy, with an endearing casts, but the show is the contrary, though it has a few elements I found endearing as well as I’ve noted in my bullet list. I don’t sense Hugh Grant and Andie Macdowell’s chemistry and I found their romance to be lackluster, but I do enjoy what the movie offered in general, the merriness of marriage celebration, and what happens you met the right person. It’s lovely, and I wish this show could capture the warmth and beauty of the movie’s portrayal of friendship, because I could ignore the romance as long as the main casts have strong emotional bonds with each other, which I found to be hardly convincing in the show’s case.

Regardless, I do recommend this show if you want to watch a story about friendship, family, and romance. On a side note, I would recommend it less if you want a genuine and warm portrayal of friendship, family, and romance. Ha, see what I did there? 😉