Shades Of Words


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Liked: Gone Girl aka Marriages can be hard

What would happen to your life if one day you come home and your wife has disappeared? Would you worry yourself to death? Or would you send a little prayer of thanks?

What would happen if your wife disappeared and it looks like you killed her?  I bet you would be pretty desperate for her to be found.

 

Poster courtesy contactmusic.com

That’s where Nick Dunne finds himself one day when he returns home to find his wife gone. (If you haven’t watched the movie, then I suggest you stop reading now and rent the DVD!). The cops are called in and find proof of foul play. While surprised by the careless attitude towards his wife’s disappearance, due to lack of evidence they hesitate to bring him in.

Meanwhile -where is Amy? More importantly, who is Amy? Through a series of flashbacks, narrated by Amy as parts of her journal, we get a peek into the Amy’s childhood that overshadowed by her fictional version, Amy and Nick’s early years of romance followed by a crumbling marriage.

In the present, police find holes in Nick’s stories and a trail of clues that convinces them that Amy’s disappearance was an inside job – as in the husband did it. Smiling Instagram pictures with a volunteer, having a mistress and generally not giving a shit about his wife don’t help his case.

Then the police find the golden ticket –Amy’s journal with the last sentence that literally states- ‘He is going to kill me’. A little convenient, don’t you think? I thought so too.

Seriously, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, stop reading now.

Amy was no ordinary mid-west house wife. She was a pretty, highly educated and accomplished city girl. She wasn’t going to stick around in an unhappy marriage that used up all her money. She wasn’t going to get cheated on. She was going to get even and how!

I wasn’t surprised that the elaborate set up was to frame Nick for the murder. What surprised me how Amy chose to punish Nick, or the other men before him. It was as if she was fighting thousands and thousands years of subjugation of wives all over the world. She also chose to punish men by falsely implying them in criminal acts that are most often true against women. She was beating them at their own game. In the end, sure she was a psycho bitch, but all those men, maybe deserved just a little bit of it. To call her a nut job would be over simplification.

Based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, director’s David Fincher’s Gone Girl is a fascinating movie at so many levels. Of the bat, it’s a great who-dun-it. On the next it’s a fascinating psychological thriller with an extremely intriguing cast of characters. At a deeper level, it’s a commentary on mental, sexual and physical abuse in marriages presented through a distorting looking glass. There is no justifying the crimes that Amy commits but what’s horrific is that how easily true all her claims could have been. Gone Girl is also a commentary of the invasion of media into our lives and how critical it can be in determining one’s fate. Nick’s concern is not limited proving his innocence to the system, but also to the public. His wife is missing and he has to come on talk shows to explain himself.

Rosamund Pike has the right mix of vulnerability and steely determination to be Amy. She clearly overshadows the rest of the cast. Ben Affleck is ideal for the role of stone faced Nick. The tone of the movie is dark, even the early happy days in New York are shot in the cold winter. It’s not a happy movie, but it is extremely entertaining.


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Loved: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Courtesy: ABC

This Australian period drama is an example of perfect escapist television. It has great production quality, good acting and mostly engaging script.
The show is set in 1929 -10 years after the end of the Great War. The tone of the show is light and funny. The shadow of the war is subtle and adds to the dark corners of the show. No character passing through this world is left untouched by it. Feminism, gay rights and religion are also touched upon frequently – the show clearly leaning towards the liberal left. Almost all episodes pass the Bechdel test. The mysteries themselves are a hit and miss, though Season 2 has stronger plot lines.
Our incorrigible heroine is The Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher, Lady Detective. A single wealthy lady determined to pursue her passion for solving mysteries with a formidable team of domestic help and companions. Every good detective needs a little inside help from the police. DI Jack Robinson is Phryne’s friend, confidante and potential romantic interest.
Essie Davis does a pitch perfect job of portraying Phryne Fisher. She brings sass, style and intelligence to the role. She does look much older than the 29-something Miss Fisher of the books, on which the TV show is based, but I think that brings more credibility and gravitas to her character. Nathan Page does a fantastic job of an exasperated yet amused police inspector who works hard to keep Miss Fisher off his cases. His character, like Miss Fisher’s, is extremely modern for his time, and their mutual respect for each other contributes greatly in the actual solving of crimes. It’s also a relief to have a police inspector who is actually as intelligent as the main private eye. He is not a blundering idiot and adds valuable insight to the ‘detecting’ process.
The costumes of the show deserve a special mention as they help build the essence of the characters (also give Downton Abby a series run for the money!). Phryne has the silk and chiffon gowns, the fur hats and coats, which are just like her – flamboyant, stylish and fun. DI Robinson and Constable Collins possess the respectable working man brown suits and hats. Dorothy, Phryne’s companion and lady-in-waiting, has the chaste Catholic girl clothes of long skirts and oversized cardigans.
The show was cancelled after Season2 but due to the ruckus created by its loyal fans, it was brought back. Season 3 returns in 2015 – I will be waiting for it.