Here’s just a spot for me to dump my reviews of the various movies, and books.
29/11/15: Monsieur Lazhar
An award winning foreign language film, it talks about a substitute teacher who is actually a refugee, the movie describes the power of the thoughts of the child’s mind. One of the interesting insights brought up by the kids was “Everyone thinks we’re traumatised. It’s the adults who are.” which I believe it is true sometimes. As parents, they want their children to be safe. In certain extreme cases, when parents get overly paranoid, it leads to a weird case where the problem revolves round and round, left unsolved, because the child does not have a chance to speak. In the movie, the psychologist tells M. Lazhar not to remain in the session as she felt that the students will speak more freely without the presence of their teacher. What she fails to recognise is that the students themselves, since they already knew that she was a psychologe they had the impression that she was trying to cure them, which made them all the more not want to explain anything. When M. Lazhar finally decided to let them to talk about the suicide in class, that was when everything fell to pieces. Everyone spoke freely, Alice who had previously done a really mature piece of writing about suicide, and also everyone started to understand the reason behind it and slowly came to an understanding. This is how children are stimulated to communicate, not held down by bars. And one more powerful quote “The dead stay in our heads because we love them.”
A dark movie about a substitute teacher who enters a rowdy and chaotic society, or school, and teaches the students about life. He starts off by giving them the simple rule that if anyone did not want to be in that class, they did not have to be = they can leave. He wants the students to understand that they cannot be forced to do what they want, and if they are, they can leave, if they can bear to live with the consequences. Also, Meredith, a girl in the class is constantly picked on for her large size, and at home she faces large criticism from her father/parents for her art projects as they seem to take on a very dark image, most of them are in B & W and they are sad, gloomy, dark. Mr Barthes tells her that “It doesn’t take strength Meredith, you’ve gotta understand that, unfortunately, most people lack self awareness.“when she starts to get afraid and sad ‘cos the people in class keep on hurting her. He even emphasises what was wrong with a mindset of people with the example from 1984, “Doublethink. To deliberately believe in lies, while knowing they’re false.” which is very true. Unfortunately, Meredith goes on with her sole thought “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” and kills herself. Another person Mr Barthes takes care of is Erica a prostitute who starts to get a liking for him for saving her and telling her to be better in life. A wonderful and sad movie.
29/11/15: Stand and Deliver
This about a teacher, Jaime Escalantes, who originally wanted to teach computer science but ended up taking over Maths because the school didn’t have the funds for computers. He turns the class around, and even gives them the motivation to learn AP Calculus. He prepares them well, with interesting methods, thanks to his great passion and liking for teaching, and eventually signs them up for the AP Calculus test. All of this was very much objected by the chairwoman of the department as she felt that there was absolutely no way for such a class to even pass basic maths. But he proves them wrong when the whole class passes, a feat that no school has done before. However, due to likely discrimination since on average no one would be able to finish the AP test, and in top schools like Beverly Hills, the students get an average of 14 wrong, but those in his class get only 4. The education inspector decides to revoke the certification and deems that the students have cheated for the test, claiming that they all had placed the exact same wrong answers — countered by Mr Esclantes who said that “If they were taught step by step by the same teacher, obviously they would make the same mistakes, after all they have the same teacher!”. which I have to agree makes perfect sense.
03/10/16: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
This movie is set within present time, featuring the Peculiar, Jake, who does not believe his peculiarity until being shown into the home of Miss Peregrine, where he takes over from her and protects the Peculiar Children with his peculiarity, being able to see the Hollows. Miss Peregrine’s loop was set in 1940, 3 September, the day of the Cardiff Blitz by the Nazis, where there was an air raid on Wales. I don’t know if this serves much significance from the movie as the Masked Ballerina’s had Warsaw labelled together with them, which I found odd, linking it to the Warsaw Uprising, but that happened only in 1944. But anyway, I believe this movie had some meaning towards it, call me for thinking too much but yes. So understand that the loops are reset by the Ymbrynes, which are important so that the day starts off again afresh and anew for the Peculiar Children. I believe that this is like the lives of misfits, people who don’t fit well in society, constantly bullied for being weird. They face this turmoil everyday, their safe havens constantly raided by others. When Jake finally brought them out and left to fight the Hollows and save Miss Peregrine, they were given courage and strength to face each new day, without the fear of being judged as they know that one day, they are able to fight and brave through the day. A great movie 🙂
Student of the Year
Kapoor and Sons
Yeh Jewaani Hai Deewani
Hasee Toh Phasee
11/12/16: Entre Les Murs
Was watching this on my Paris-Singapore flight and it was a movie that caught my eye.
Les Malheurs de Sophie