Review: The Big Sick

 

 

 

My brother was super kind to get me The Big Sick a few days after my birthday. I want to share some of my thoughts on this film, because it hit close to home.

Finding your voice

While the story is centered on love, I do think it is also dependent on Kumail finding his own voice as a comedian and as a Pakistani American. He has to come to terms with his place in the middle of two seemingly different cultures.

He finds the balance between comedy and boring exposition. I remember the whole “this is your name in *insert native language here*” tricks just to get people to see that I won’t be scary. And, in some ways, I understand the struggle to place oneself in the grand conversation of the world.

romance

So, obviously, I’ll have to talk about the romance. Ultimately, Emily is this nice white girl, who is cool and unique. She is clever and funny, sweet and strange at times. The big sickness she deals with is terrifying and harrowing.

Her family show a sense of belonging and acceptance of her and her history. It’s sweet to see them welcome Kumail after hesitating at first. I think the love story in this film is also between the two parents and their grappling with infidelity.

universal family problems

I suppose it was a nice depiction of universal familial tensions when faced with accepting new members and significant others. I like that this is portrayed without being too preachy or idealistic.

Honestly though

I am literally sighing. Look, I love the story, please don’t get me wrong. However, I want to say a few things here. First, being American doesn’t mean you erase your culture. There can be Muslim Americans. I deeply dislike this apologetic view of faith, like you can’t be a modern person and still practice a religion that is old like Islam.

Like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the assumption that marrying a white person would allow for integration into western society is shallow and woefully untrue. I wished Kumail would embrace his culture, introduce it to Emily, and uncover the mystery of how to marry both cultures into his life.

Believe it or not, we are capable of multitasking and containing multitudes in general. There is no need to reduce oneself to a single pill with no complicated ingredients.

Yet, I respect his story and I appreciate it. Maybe if there’s more interaction and overlap between different cultures and races, people would be more tolerant.  I do wish there was a more nuanced discussion of culture and identity, though. In addition, I wish there was more variety in our stories on immigrants and the quest to come to terms with identity.

 

  I have been trying to write a post for the past five days, and
    Hey there! Today, I'm sharing a film review of the new Power Rangers
  You may not know this about me, but I had disordered eating all my

Cinderella: To Be Seen As We Truly Are

 

I have been trying to write a post for the past five days, and I just couldn’t. You see, my life had taken an ugly turn. One minute I was in control, the next, I’d turned into an anxious person. Lots of sobbing and anxiety. So, I went back and watched Cinderella (the live action version). Now, I have things to say about the inspiring messages/themes of the film.

Be Kind

The beauty of the Cinderella movie lays in its themes of kindness and bravery. Watching Cinderella being kind to animals touched my heart as a vegan. I think of kindness toward those who were put on this earth as a testament to our humanity; I personally think it’s our job to take care of animals, the environment, our fellow humans.

I’d like to suggest that Cinderella’s kindness extended beyond the mice and Mr. Goose, though. She was kind to her stepsisters and stepmother, a challenging feat. Perhaps the biggest act of kindness is twofold: being kind to those who dislike you and also being gentle with your own heart.

 

Be Brave

Part of the story’s charm is that Cinderella was not a sword-fighting woman. Bravery is not always attached to some sort of violence or physicality in general. The nice thing is that even bravery has nuance and relativity to the persons involved.

Cinderella’s most brave action was shielding Kit from her stepmother as well as maintaining a strong sense of self. I think that was even harder to keep alive for her, given her losses.

Even more brave is the gentle and loving approach to others. Cinderella was loving toward her stepsisters, stepmother, her fun animal friends, even towards Kit.

The bravery extends to also belief. It’s the way Ella believed in true love, in fairy godmothers, and in the possibility of a happy ending.

Finally

I personally connect with this story repeatedly, continuously, like a looped soundtrack. And, yes, I know that there are complicated portrayals in this story in regards to agency. More specifically, I wish there was a narrative from the stepmother and/or stepsisters’ perspectives. While they make me upset, I do want to see a more fleshed out exploration of these women and their reasons for acting the way they do. To some extent, I am unsure of this “needlessly evil” (mustache twirling evil) portrayal of these characters.

Your Turn:

What is your favorite fairy-tale? Why do you connect to it? Share your experiences in the comments. I’d love to hear all about them.

 

 

      My brother was super kind to get me The Big Sick a
    Hey there! Today, I'm sharing a film review of the new Power Rangers
  You may not know this about me, but I had disordered eating all my

Film Review: Power Rangers 2017

 

 

Hey there! Today, I’m sharing a film review of the new Power Rangers film. Growing up in the nineties, Power Rangers were an entertainment staple. I was often getting beat up in play fights. Now much older, I’d gotten the new Power Rangers movie on DVD.

Tarnishing the Spotless Original

I don’t mean this in a  bad way at all. The original Power Rangers cast was presented as a perfect group of people. If anything, I found them unmemorable and interchangeable over the years. Aside from name changes and costume design variations, there was no way for me to notice the characters had changed in the original versions of the show.

This film, however, presents troubled teens as our heroes. In doing so, they are humanized as characters. Each one of them is then given a redemption arc through their relationships with each other.

Diversity

There’s certainly much more diversity in this Power Rangers story. Trini, our first queer ranger, is struggling with revealing her sexual orientation to her family. (Oh, and did I mention that she’s a woman of color?). Kimberly Hart is played by a bi-racial woman.

Zachary Taylor is played by a man of color, and Billy Cranston as well! Billy’s on the autism spectrum and he nothing but pure love.

Training Sequences

My favorite aspect of this film is the coming of age as heroes theme that runs through it. The best training sequence I have ever seen is in this film. And, I love that the characters are not perfect or even good at fighting. I love the friendship budding through their training, through their attempts at connecting to the morphing grid to get into the Power Ranger suits.

Alpha 5 is hilarious and he punches Billy in the nuts, which is very funny for some reason. This movie brings Power Rangers to a less dated setting, and character depictions that are more relevant to a wider audience.

That villain though

The one part that is very cringe-worthy is (aside from the bull thing at the beginning) Rita Repulsa. I never liked Rita, even as a kid. So, I wasn’t really surprised that I didn’t like her in this one. I understand what she’s like, but I found her upsetting because she’s terrifyingly scary to the rangers.

Still, the humor is great. “Did you just slap her?” “Yeah. Weird, right?” Ah, perfection. I love this cast, and I do hope they make more movies together. Also the whole Krispy Kreme thing was hilarious, too.

 

      My brother was super kind to get me The Big Sick a
  I have been trying to write a post for the past five days, and
  You may not know this about me, but I had disordered eating all my

Film Review: To The Bone

 

You may not know this about me, but I had disordered eating all my life. When I heard of To The Bone, a story of a girl with anorexia nervosa, I knew it’d hit a nerve. Below are some of my thoughts regarding this depiction of eating disorders, based on my experience. TW: discussions of eating disorders and disordered behaviors/thinking.

Rituals and Eating Disorders

Most depictions of eating disorders tend to reduce it to stubborn behavior. But, eating disorders are maintained by rituals. Eating, spitting out the food, repeat. I remember seeing relatives cut the food really small, and I learned that trick ever since. Counting the bites. Sit ups.

It’s weird seeing other people do it, because then you realize how destructive these rituals can be. Of course, the story’s premise is beyond the rituals, though.

Social Media and the Glorification of Eating Disorders

Look, we don’t talk about these things enough in a realistic way. Missing periods. Failed pregnancies. Body hair growing heavily. This movie is a bit more honest about how eating disorders look and feel. Measuring your body, counting calories obsessively.

But, what this story also does is show the reality of eating disorders in how they impact different people. For example, I like that there was a plus size girl also in the home Dr. Beckham set up. She talked about binging (something I relate to).

In addition, the premise of the story is that Eli posted something triggering on Tumblr, which resulted in someone’s death. In doing this, the film is self-aware and draws a thin line between providing some detail while cautiously hiding some things that could give people ideas.

As Eli’s sister says, some people look at those with eating disorders as though they are role models or heroes. They try to copy them, because we live in such a thin-idolized world.

The Breaking Point

The whole “mom feeding child” thing feels very specific to this particular story, and so I can’t actually be too mad about it. I actually found it rather healing. Just reconnecting Eli with her mother and therefore back to her origins. Even showing her going home back to her stepmother and half-sister was a gentle way of showing that the stakes are high. Eli recognizes her importance, I think.

I also like that she’s not magically healed. If anything, I find that eating disorders are a life-long battle. Or perhaps this is the case for me at this point in my life. Maybe one day I can talk about it more openly. But, I can simply say that I related to this film so much.

If you’re curious about anorexia, bulimia, eating disorders, or disordered thinking and/or eating, check out this movie. It could be a painful experience for you, though. I have to caution you to steer clear if you can be triggered by discussions of eating disorders, disordered thinking, disordered rituals/habits. We need to have this conversation, though. Awareness levels when it comes to these topics are low. Just go on Tumblr. Look at the Fitness inspo blogs. Look at Instagram feeds. Take a look at advertisements, movies, families shaming people for eating things, guilt-tripping folks about what and how they eat. So much of this film resonates because it taps into how these pressures can affect a person.

Overall, stories like this need to be told. They are not “fun,” I know. And, they can be upsetting, but this is the reality for so many people. Again, all I can say is that I have had an eating disorder and disordered thinking/habits for a long time. This movie felt truthful to my experience. It’s on Netflix, if you’re up to seeing this journey unfold.

 

      My brother was super kind to get me The Big Sick a
  I have been trying to write a post for the past five days, and
    Hey there! Today, I'm sharing a film review of the new Power Rangers