Destiny Arrived With Avengers: Inifinity War And This Is How I Felt

First of all, this is not really a movie review. It is merely a documentation of my feelings.

I had passed the opportunity to review Avengers: Infinity War because I did not want to watch it under pressure as I did Black Panther.

I was extremely excited to watch this assemblage of super people wherein the events of the last 10 years, that began with Iron Man, would add up to reach this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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I repeatedly watched the trailers of Infinity War and rewatched certain films that led to it, and I yapped and yapped about how excited I was to watch the coming together of remarkable people to fight the battles that no one ever could.

Heck, I even spent two days making a video of my love for Marvel Cinematic Universe masquerading as a dedication to every Marvel fan before the release of Infinity War with the help of my colleagues, of course.

And yet… I ran late into the film and the reason for that is as usual as anything could ever be: the reluctant autowallahs of Mumbai.

‘Dread it, run from it… Destiny still arrives’ never stood truer for me than that long moment of despair of not finding a single auto driver who’d say yes, I will take you to watch the film you have been dying to see.

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After having been rejected by about 40 auto drivers who didn’t care that a world was crumbling, and with it, my favourite super people, my friend and I finally found an angel who agreed to drop us to the theatre.

There it stood, right before our eyes across the road. And, the signal turned red. Enough, I decided and ran for it and my friend, behind me, swearing he’d never see a film with me ever again.

As we entered – spoilers begin now, so, if you haven’t watched Infinity War, you might want to leave – Thanos was conversing with Loki, who wished death upon himself by playing one of his countless tricks on the Mad Titan.

The first thing I saw in Infinity War was Loki dying. And, as contemptible things as Loki has done in the past, I felt bad for him. Did he just have these rough three minutes in the film? I couldn’t believe it.

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But, this time, no resurrection, asserted Thanos and left to wreak havoc on, correct me if I’m wrong because it was all a lot to process, Knowhere.

So, Loki wasn’t coming back, and Thor watched his naughty brother die a most dishonorable death.

As events unfolded simultaneously on different planets rapidly, I, along with a lot of other people in the theatre, hooted, cheered and said, f*ck, NO!

Watching Steve Rogers enter with his overflowing charm and Black Widow kick ass like no one ever does and them stepping over the crack, that Civil War had caused, to come to Vision’s rescue and Wanda’s help, was exhilarating.

They had put their differences aside to fight for a bigger cause: the battle that no one else could fight.

And even amid this tension, the way the filmmakers – especially the dialogue writers – brought hints of humor in the narrative, was beautiful to watch. It wasn’t forced; it was needed.

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Besides the humor, the hint of human-like feelings in Thanos — be it that of love for Gamora, his estranged daughter, or his agony of having to kill her — was unmissable. Even this mad guy isn’t free of the price that destiny carries with it.

And while we’re talking about a father’s love for his daughter, no matter how twisted it was in its way, not mentioning a glimpse of a similar fatherly love in Tony for Peter would be an injustice.

How extraordinary it was to look at a man, who is so full of himself, care so deeply about a teenager to whom he is not really related!

All of these little things were required for us to wade through this war without realizing the brutal end of it.

Nothing could have prepared us for the end.

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Even though the end was heart-shattering for multiple reasons, the events that led to it – especially the battle in Wakanda where Black Panther, Bucky Barnes, Rogers, Wanda, Okoye, Black Widow, M’Baku, Bruce Banner, who was simultaneously fighting an inner battle with the Hulk, and Thor with his spectacular entry into the battlefield with a shiny new axe that Groot unselfishly packaged with love, pinning Thanos’ dog aliens and Black Order to the ground – was a spectacle like no other.

The battle in Wakanda was just one among the many, many spectacular scenes in Infinity War. Who’d think that a face-off between a power-hungry, depraved Thanos and anyone could look pretty? But it was indeed spellbinding, thanks to the wizard, Dr. Strange’s tricks.

And as sad as the culmination of these events was, it was beautiful with Rogers bedazzling Thanos with the show of strength of his bare hands against the former’s infinity gauntlet, which, btw, at the time of this hand-to-hand fight was short of just one of the six most powerful stones in the universe.

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Then, the crumbling of some of earth’s mightiest heroes – among them, the saddest being that of a young boy who had just been baptized an Avenger, Peter Parker — along with all the guardians of the galaxy, except one, to dust was unsettling beyond words can ever describe.

The expressions of confusion, apprehension, and fear that these mighty people left the world with, evoked deep sorrow in me. These are just fictional characters, right? But this truth didn’t hit me while watching them die just like that as a mad being snapped his fingers.

The end had come. It was beautiful and ugly, and unfortunately, it was supposed to be that way. The end (and everything in between) is what makes this film as good as it is. It left me yearning to know more, to see more. What next? Well, thankfully for Marvel’s custom of post-credits scenes, we all got a hint.

All I know now is that I cannot wait for 2019, where we all get our answers, and hopefully, pleasant ones this time.

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La La Land Is Three-Quarters The Beauty Of Whiplash

La La Land is three-quarters the beauty of Whiplash.

Coming across “From the makers of Whiplash” was more than enough for me to look forward to La La Land. The beauteous screenplay, gripping direction and impeccable performances are all the things that I eagerly looked forward to.

As soon as La La Land got over, I insisted that my friend, who had accompanied me for the movie, watch Whiplash right away. And as we sat in front of her laptop, my revisit to Whiplash began. As the movie continued, I noticed a  lot of similarities between it and La La Land.

The biggest similarity was the addressing of the issue of jazz dying. Both the films depicted intense passion; passion for one’s dreams. Both had love being placed below aspirations. Both had the mention of Summer, for some reason. Both had the cameras zoom into edibles and drinks (coffee, etc in La La Land and soft drinks and popcorn in Whiplash) which essentially brings out the peculiarity of the director. Both had JK Simmons being an ass hole.

 

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Most importantly, both kept reality intact.

However, the dissimilarities between the two led Whiplash to secure the top position for me. Whiplash had the intensity which LLL lacked. Whiplash made me cringe everytime Andrew (Miles Teller) picked up the drumsticks. Every time that he bled his fingers to perform his best, I felt it. Really! One has to see it to feel it.

LLL had more colours and brightness than Whiplash. The usage of light was more nuanced in LLL. For instance, the way only the character that sang or spoke was spotlighted totally captivated me. I knew I had to pay attention; I had to look into the eyes of the character, just like, I felt the building nervousness with every manoeuvre of Fletcher’s hand in Whiplash.

As for the performances, Emma Stone’s matches the intensity of Miles Teller’s while Ryan Gosling is good in his own way. It’s Teller’s performance that outshines the other two’s for me any day, though.

 

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Another person who needs a mention is Damien Chazelle, the director. Man, is he amazing! TBH, I was sort of astonished to discover his age (32) since I’d thought such intricate handiwork would belong to some aged, experienced person.

Both films undoubtedly had outstanding performances; LLL had more dreamy sequences and more filmy drama while Whiplash had all its seriousness taking me for a ride.

Music, which is a significant part of both the films, was peppier in LLL, of course, but the way it intensifies in Whiplash is noteworthy. Still, it’s the songs of LLL that find a better place in my heart than the drums of Whiplash. The way Andrew bashes his drums and Mia puts life into verses is abso-frikking-lutely commendable.

Coming to my conclusion and that of both the films, that of Whiplash wins hands down.

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I know it was great to see Mia and Sebastian resolutely move on in their lives, which was a very realistic thing to do. However, Andrew’s unflinching perseverance and taking an extremely good control of the situation, which takes Fletcher (and us) for a hell of a ride, is one that leaves a stronger impact.

Although LLL ended on an unexpected yet fair note, the ending of Whiplash was stronger. All in all, La La Land is three-quarters the beauty of Whiplash.

And that is all for now, folks!