Posts Tagged Love
Such as standing by when horrible things like this happen. Not just standing by but having front row seats and doing nothing.
It really is good to know that without a god and religion, people would have no morals and no way to tell right from wrong.
With this episode, it becomes clear that Shane’s mask of sanity is lowly slipping and that he has turned almost delusional with regard to Lori and the baby that he thinks is his. Delusional in the Fatal Attraction sort of way. He is starting to think that he and Lori really had something deep and meaningful going on during those couple of weeks where they thought Rick was dead and it looks like confrontation with Rick is going to be inevitable as Shane is slowly losing it. In fact, it looks like Shane is going to mix it up with someone soon and pull the trigger again.
Maybe it is the trauma that ensues from living in a world post apocalypse where everything you have ever known is gone or maybe it is because Shane has always been kind of an unstable, violent asshole and it is all surfacing just now that this thin veneer we call civilization has vanished. Whatever it is, Shane is “falling down” and it becomes increasingly more clear to everyone that they’re gonna have to worry about him just as they have to worry about Walkers. I used to root for Shane because what he said made sense and he had guts, but he has pretty much crossed the line into instability and psychosis and he will be dangerous.
As I write this, I realize how truly ridiculous and boring this show has turned otherwise. I mean, the main point of contention seems to be the love triangle and the otherwise petty quarrels of a bunch of people who seem to have missed the memo that the world has come to an end. As a result, the show has taken on a whiny, cranky soapy tone with zombies thrown in to appear original as soap operas are generally associated with a negative stigma of lameness and chick flick. The apocalypse and asking the tough questions have become secondary, if they haven’t disappeared altogether, to accommodate the Rick, Lori, Shane, Maggie and Glenn’s relationship problems.
At the same time, the remaining characters and their personalities have been moved to the background as we hardly ever hear anything from them anymore. At this point they all seem to be serving in a merely ornamental capacity or to move the storyline along, such as Dale who every now and then serves as a voice of caution to warn others against Shane, just so he can go back to what he was doing (whatever that might be), or T-Dog whose role has been reduced to that of scene filler at this point. Or Andrea whose character and its agony, which had been so beautifully initiated, have been reduced to some one dimensional “extra” almost, loading dead bodies into trucks or running errands.
Carol and Darrell also always seem to be having the same “conversation” – and with that I mean Darrell throwing a hissy fit like a child who lost his puppy after a week’s search and don’t want loving nobody no more, calling everyone a “bitch” – while Carol gives him teary eyed looks or throws a line at him and walks away, just so they can resume where they left off the next time.
Yes I understand Darrell is hurt that the search for Sofia ended so tragically, but he’s been just grunting into the camera for the past three episodes. There is no development in his character.
Carol lost her husband and her daughter and is still seen just lurking around the camp, washing clothes and tidying up or alternately taking Darrell’s abuse. I mean we just saw her daughter turn into a Walker and have her brains blown out in front of her by Rick, and she is going about her business as usual. For whatever reason, she now has made Darrell her project and I still can’t figure out if she is after him in a motherly or romantic way.
“Triggerfinger” is 2 stars tops, mainly because it no longer really seems to be about the undead and a world ravaged by illness and thus the apocalypse. It is about peoples’ petty interpersonal quarrels; short sighted people who fight each other even after the world has gone down, over concepts that don’t mean anything anymore in this new world order (maybe that is the point?). I mean what happened to being worried about survival and finding some answers; what happened to driving through desolate landscapes marred from the apocalypse, encountering the destitution and horror in the aftermath of days gone by?
Whereas season 1 and even the beginning of season 2 (i.e. before they landed on the “Farm of our Discontent”) were looking at the problem of a world ravaged by disease and having come to an end (note the flashbacks they had about how it all started), most of season 2 has unfortunately been about the marital problems of Rick and Lori and Shane’s insanity. How the apocalypse began, what Jenner said, the discussions they had about the human soul vis a vis such a horrific disaster, wondering whether this is even a world worth living in or whether there are any last outposts left and just the setting, which after all is one of zombies, have been muted. The show has lost its sinister, mysterious tone and zombie encounters are thrown in in a strategic manner, as if they were fulfilling a requirement and had to run down a checklist of necessary genre elements to put in before they can resume with their melodrama.
Where is the journey, the adventure, the terror, where is the desolate landscape or walking into other people (such as Vatos in season 1), human interaction, tragedy (Amy’s death, leaving Jim behind, Dale talking about his wife), finding abandoned buildings and landmarks.; making a connection with people and each other. I am interested in looking into this disease, asking the tough questions (see Jenner and CDC), not watch people engage in petty personal quarrels amid the damn fucking apocalypse. It’s like these people just don’t get that the world is over and that it really doesn’t matter anymore who is doing whom or who said what and when.
This show was phenomenal in the beginning, because it looked at the theme of the zombie apocalypse in a smart way that was never done before. It balanced drama with action, originality with believable writing and multi dimensional characters; it was tragic but without venturing into soap territory. It was great during season 1 because it struck the perfect balance between the interpersonal (i.e. the characters) and the bigger picture (i.e zombie apocalypse), thus illuminating the grander canvas if their tragedy, instead of looking st it from this narrow lens of interpersonal struggles of the characters. Now it is all just about these people and their feelings. At this point you could easily replace zombies with the ebola virus or WWIII or a natural disaster or hey, even Melrose Place and nothing would change.
When you reach a point in your story where one of its main premises (i.e. zombie apocalypse) can be easily exchanged with something else (like viral outbreak or flood or nuclear blast) and nothing about the story and the characters within would change, you know you have met a dead end in terms of originality.
People who enjoy this kind of thematic of the Days of our Zombie Lives kind will be just fine and really like where the show has gone. But if you are looking for more depth and originality instead of cliches and predictable story lines, I am afraid you will be disappointed. I don’t care for Lifetime Television for women.
I doubt that this movie will do much for most people. It is drawn out, windy and stagnant. Yes, the critics are correct in their assessment: it was well crafted, well written and greatly acted – the characters were believable, multidimensional, and understood their parts intimately; it was a technically great movie, adhering beautifully to meter, rhyme and figure of speech – as Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D. from Dead Poet’s Society in his book “Understanding Poetry” would say. But the movie left sort of a blah aftertaste in my mouth. I think that’s the case because it doesnt really have a plot or moves along, or even carries some kind of a meaningful message that would make up for its otherwise overly dramatic, whiny tone. For two hours you sit through this movie and really don’t understand what the bottom line is; what the commotion is all about and what these characters actually want.
Blue Valentine is a micro-dissection of a failing marriage that is filled with a lot of pain, tears and melodrama, which at some point felt exaggerated because the characters never express any other emotions. They are sad and gloomy all the time and no one knows why it has to be so darn difficult. The movie follows Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) falling in and out of love over a short period of courtship and childbirth, flashing back and forth from present to when they met.
While the illogical nature of love is one of my favorite topics, here it feels pointless on the screen. Many weighty elements dont seem to be meditated on by the filmmaker, and one of the question that inevitably arises is Why are they Fighting? So ok, these two people got married young for the wrong reasons and now it is not working out for one of them. Why is that such a big deal and the end of the world and grounds for so much drama and gut-wrenching pain? It is not like they were the greatest, most profound lovers to begin with, so why should we care?
After two hours of tedious back and forth, tears and drama, you still can’t see point.
The folly with Blue Valentine is that it never answers the most important question: Why? Why are these people fighting and why did they fall in love? Have they simply grown apart? Did Cindy finally realize she married him to get out of the house and not because she was in love with him? Or maybe they’re just insufferable people who have no business trying to love another person. None of these questions are really answered or even eluded to really. It just shows you they are sad and suffering, and sad and suffering.
Sure you can make intuitive guesses as to the source of the conflict, of growing apart, of the alienation, but there is no evidence for it in the story. There is just a severe disconnect between the flashbacks of a supposedly happier time between the two lovers and the dreary present.
This movie would have us believe that there existed some kind of a truly passionate, loving relationship between the two which, in turn, is making their separation from one another even more painful.
But the reality looked different. No passion, love and sincere feelings between the two are exhibited. All throughout the movie I kept wondering what one saw in the other and why anyone would think that they really loved each other as clearly Cindy didn’t love Dean. In fact, she is selfish, cold and unlikable and throughout the movie she seems kind of insincere toward Dean; like she was merely putting up with him and their child until the life she really wanted came along.
The two time periods shown in the film seem drastically far apart. There aren’t any scenes of the genesis of their relationship that point to the present turmoil, connecting the two disparate worlds. How, why, did they change so much and why did they fall in love in the first place?
These people got together for the same reason millions of other young people get together: boredom, the need for companionship, destitution or a desire to “get out of your parents’ house” under the belief that married live somehow holds the secret to happiness. Cindy and Dean are one of those people. They aren’t special, they didnt have a great love, nothing earth shaking that would make it to the “biggest love stories of all time” list. We simply have no reason to root for these two or care that their (mostly phony) marriage ended. In fact, I would be surprised if it hadn’t ended.
It’s crucial to good storytelling that there’s some explanation of what went wrong or the motives and driving forces behind the characters’ actions — and if not, it at least should be made clear that this is a story about how – in spite of no specific reason – sometimes these things happen. But not so in Blue Valentine.
If crucial narrative pivots are left too open-ended, a story is destined to lose its voice. While Gosling and Williams inhabit their roles fully, one quickly realizes that the failure to connect leads to the audience feeling lost, unable to empathize or fully understand why any of this is happening or why the characters are behaving the way they do.
I must also mention that Goseling was miscast He is being made to act and behave older than he can pull off and that beard of his looked like one of those glued on beards in school plays. Michelle Williams’ character was not very likable and in fact so selfish that it was hard to sympathize with her from the beginning – which is not the movie’s intention obviously. If a character portrayal evokes the exact opposite feeling in the audience than originally intended, you know something is off.
In summary, while well crafted, this movie did feel like slowly pulling hairs for no apparent reason. They stretched out a simple story and artificially created an elaborate drama for two hours over a subject that could have been resolved in twenty minutes of film time. In the end this movie was just as pointless as Dean’s and Cindy’s courtship, and eventual marriage.