Tag Archives: Ethan Hawke

#Predestination – The Spierig Brothers

Predestination documents the life of a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke). His primary mission is to stop a serial bomber named Fizzle bomber, by going back in time. It appears that the criminal has managed to dodge the Agent from time to time with great ease. And that results in greater frustration and some strange obsession in his work.

Suspense builds up as soon as the film opens, with a clash of the Agent and the Bomber. And the film manages to tighten its grip as it progresses. The Agent, masquerading as a bartender in the 1970s meets Jane who calls herself the Unmarried Mother (Sarah Snook). She promises him a story which would be the best story he has ever heard and tells him about her mysterious life. After listening to her story, the Agent promises her that he can take her back in time and give her a chance to kill the man who devastated her life. And that’s how it all begins.

The film, is about in how many ways the Australian newcomer Sarah Snook. And how ridiculously stunning she is on screen. Not in terms of her gorgeous looks. But in pure performance. After watching the film, I Googled her and I couldn’t believe what she looks like in real life. At the age of 26, pulling off such a brilliant character is commendable. Her co-star Ethan Hawke agrees with me.

When I searched for the word on the Internet, what showed up pretty much sums up the film, without spoiling it for those who are yet to watch it:

Predestination is the Divine foreordaining or foreknowledge of all that will happen; with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of John Calvin.


 

Spoilers ahead

The film is based on a short story written by Robert A.Heinlein who is considered by many, the most influential as well as controversial author of his time. The story is called All You Zombies. The lead character of the film, just like a zombie makes no decision on his own. He is mindlessly following his own footsteps. And in a way, as he kills himself, he is a dead man walking.

The story brings some really good ideas (although not completely new) in picture.

The time travel paradox: One might be able to figure out that the film is about a paradox when he/she first notices the song “I’m my own Grandpa”. What if you invent a time machine and go back in time to kill your grandpa before your father was conceived? That’s a paradox. In the film, the protagonist travels back and forth in time, causing his own birth and his own death, himself.

Ouroboros: The film mentions the Greek symbol Ouroboros which is essentially a snake eating his own tail. The protagonist’s story has no beginning and it has no end, just like a closed loop.

The greatest achievement of the film is that it involves you into the life of Jane. You feel connected to her and as she leaves her old self and accepts her personality as John, you too become emotionally detached from her life. It is really difficult to manage this.

The film successfully twists your brain and touches your heart at appropriate times. I like films with some sense of redemption. This one has none. This has one of the best anticlimaxes I’ve seen in a while.

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#1 Richard Linklater – Before Sunrise

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
– Aristotle 

Isn’t romance the most common, yet strikingly difficult way to connect with people? The common misconception is linking romance with love. Well, in most cases, it is true. But romance is much more than just love. It is the excitement and mystery, the sudden urge of pushing yourself beyond reason and indulging outside the boundaries of your body. And I feel romantic these days.

Before Sunrise takes place as an American youngster meets a French girl on a train, and they decide to spend the evening together in Vienna. Jesse (Ethan Hawke), asks Céline (Julie Delpy) to get down with him at Vienna, just after a few minutes of conversation. And she agrees. And they explore the city, as they share a few of their random and intimate thoughts about, everything. They fall in love with each other. And in the end, promise to meet at the same place after 6 months and resume their respective lives. That’s all.

The basic idea of having just a few hours with someone interesting is extremely fascinating. You see, all of our friends, love interests are interesting people. We like something about them, that’s why we choose to interact with them. But over the period of time, we run out of interest in them. The freshness fades away. But what if we had only about 12 hours with them. Wouldn’t we talk about absolutely everything? And the best part is, even if we screw up, even if our honest opinions contradict with their opinions, it is alright. Because after some time, we don’t have to bear the burden of being with them.

As our characters explore, the camera moves with them. Literally moves with them. The idea of the film is being realistic, without the drama of choppy editing. We indulge into simple, tracking shots, only adding subtle highlights when required with a close up. The whole film is a conversation. Contradicts to the convention that a film is a visual medium and dialogue must be kept to its minimum. If it is interesting and well crafted, anything goes.

Our life is a reflection of ourselves. We see others, but we can never see how we look like, what we are. The movie revolves around the discovery of one’s self through a significant other. The characters converse with each other, which essentially creates an impact on their own lives. The film refers to someone you might know. Someone whose name will suffice and add more meaning to the unique writing style the film has adopted. The film takes place on Bloomsday and the person I am talking about is James Joyce. 

#9 Excerpts – Years Shall Run Like Rabbits

But all the clocks in the city

Began to whirr and chime:

O let not Time deceive you,

You cannot conquer Time.

In headaches and in worry

Vaguely life leaks away,

And Time will have his fancy

To-morrow or to-day.

From Before Sunrise, an excerpt of the W H Auden poem, “As I Walked Out One Evening

#1 Excerpts – Delusion angel

Daydream delusion, limousine eyelash
Oh baby with your pretty face
Drop a tear in my wineglass
Look at those big eyes
See what you mean to me
Sweet-cakes and milkshakes
I’m a delusion angel
I’m a fantasy parade
I want you to know what I think
Don’t want you to guess anymore
You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we’re going
Lodged in life
Like branches in a river
Flowing downstream
Caught in the current
I carry you, you’ll carry me
That’s how it could be…
Don’t you know me..?
Don’t you know me by now?

Street poet: Instead of asking you for money, I’ll ask you for a word. You give me a word and I make a poem, with the word in it. And if it adds something to your life, you can pay me whatever you want.

Celine: Milkshake

(From Before Sunrise, Dir. Richard Linklater)