Joy

White blouse and long pants. Like a high-wire walker, Joy balances femininity and professionalism, family and business, logic and love.

As an advocate for equal pay, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence truly embraced her character as an unexpected but steadfast matriarch of a crazy family. To name a few, she has to deal with an ex-husband (Edgar Ramirez) who lives in their basement, a father (Robert de Niro) who was returned by his second wife, a mother (Virginia Madsen) obsessed with watching soap operas and the only saving grace, a grandmother (Diane Ladd) who fiercely instilled ambition in her.

The film has tantalizing visuals, clever use of dreams and TV scenes and inspiring musical scores. The story is scattered with flashbacks and fast-forwards, chaotic in nature, like mixing business with family. As messy as business can be, the trials and tribulations create an opportunity for Joy. It gives a reason to pursue her dream or rather, demands her to go back to the one thing where she felt most herself – creating through her hands.

Time passes and challenges become victories when she take matters to her own hands, her ingenious idea materialized into a product that becomes a business and this business becomes an empire. Through her innate creativity and incessant stubbornness, Joy shows  anyone can rise from the depths of the earth with grace even when it’s muddy down there.

 

 

 

After Earth

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Source: G4TV

Visuals are commendable as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller yet even Will Smith’s convincing portrayal cannot save the general dryness of a cliché-filled drama set in a futuristic world.

Inhabitants of a once people-friendly Earth have evolved to kill humans as they hunt them down through their ability to literally sense fear. Sailing through the ebb and flow of a father-son relationship, Cypher (Will Smith) navigates his son Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) through an illusive forest with a silence brimming of menace. A frustrated cadet whose only aim is to be promoted as ranger, Kitai is eager to prove himself to the prime commander – his father.

As Kitai faces each predator, he is re-acquainted with a fear more potent than terror of the wilderness. Will Smith cast a spell once again because it’s difficult to see a sunny goody two shoes actor play an estranged father. However, the robotic personality in this film showed Smith’s versatility and grace.

One of the rare highlights comes in a central theme explored throughout the film. It questions the conventional notion of fear and unravels its true nature as a conscious choice taken every second of the day much like picking an apple from an orange; fear is an illusion we succumb to if we let it.

Director M. Night Shyamalan seemed to have taken no risks for the film has a predictable plot and forgettable music mashed up with a script that is melodramatic at best and tawdry at worst. Visually sumptuous on occasion and a dash of humour here and there keeps the viewer awake but just barely.

Overheard: Reality TV? That’s nothing.

Combine Home and Away (If you’re Aussie, you will understand this) and Keeping up with the Kardashians, not that I’ve ever watched a single episode. I’m simply basing this on annoying promos during commercial breaks. But I am almost completely certain that my real-life characters (without them knowing) are way more interesting and the storyline is much more entertaining. Read on and find out why!

People in their forties were talking loudly on the train, as though no one was there:

It started like this…

How often do you see your daughter?

None of your bloody business!

Well, my father gave me pearls and opals. They’re beautiful.

Ah, probably ‘cause he said to himself: Here’s jewellery, go away. Yes, finally! She’s gone!

Then the woman started to open up…

A Soliloquy

Look at me. I look like shit. I cried and cried. And he treated me like a thief. He broke my heart. All the lies. And shit.

I don’t know what I do. I should just be happy with my own little life. There was Perry who comes and we’re all in love then he leaves for five days. Doesn’t call, just a couple of texts saying don’t call me, I’m with my partner. Ah, it’s just shit. Then there was Matthew, oh don’t get me started on him.

I just need to get my confidence back but Robin took all my confidence.

The things I do to make myself happy.

If I was a bitch from hell, why didn’t he just tell me? Nobody reads minds.

(This one is worthy to be quoted, I think)

You listen to four or five stories of the same event. It’s amazing how people have such different perceptions and versions of what happened.

[Silence.]

How are those relatives of yours?

They have this mentality that it’s what you do – steal and lie. That life is all about you. And the whole world owes you.

 They touch on a particular Auntie…

I thought she was getting good money from the house.

Everyday is a different story. One day there’s a renter, one day she’s given up on it.

She’s in another world. She must have a carer or someone to look after her.

She needs to but she doesn’t want to.

The next topic is one of their nieces…

She said she wants to jump off the balcony then I say: Hang on, hang on.

She’s definitely bipolar. Has she got medication?

Yes, she does but she probably doesn’t take them. I said one time, “Are you popping pills?” She said, “Do you want speed?”

(laughs)

 And ended the lively conversation with a random thought…

(Pointing to the building)

There’s a hole in the middle of the building.

That’s most unusual.

That’s certainly unusual but I’m not quite sure if I like it.

Juicy gossip, insightful musings and dramatic monologues  straight from the mouth of lovely strangers who just happen to be comfortable sharing their life stories to everyone on the train. People are people. We love them anyway.

I was listening, accidentally on purpose. I know you would too if you were me.

Care to share any stories you “overheard”? (I know you want to. Come on, don’t be a pussy.)