Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Girl Within

A take on the film The Danish Girl
by Love Esios

I have always been an enthusiast of visual and performance arts ever since I was in elementary. Though I was not gifted with the ability to draw straight lines and create accurate curves, I've always wondered what could have been in the mind of an artist while he/she was creating his/her masterpiece. Such vivid and powerful imagination behind that small ball of tissue.

In the movie The Danish Girl, that vivid and highly creative imagination would be found lingering inside the brain of Einar Wegener (portrayed by Eddie Redmayne). Einar used to be a highly respected and talented painters of his time until he found something else inside him -- Lily. His wife, Gerda (portrayed by Alicia Vikander) treated the whole circumstance as a role play until his husband couldn't hide his true identity anymore. And so, the painful process of losing her husband began... and it ended with Einar becoming Lily who underwent one of the first sex-change operations in history.

It's a beauty and a struggle seeing Eddie Redmayne portray Einar and Lily respectively. At the beginning of the movie, you would immediately observe the tenderness in his demeanor. I can imagine Einar being lost in his own world while working on his canvass. You can see in his eyes the love that he has for his wife. And the struggle from within him when he first realized that there is something wrong with him. The conflicting and inconvenient truth that he is Lily and that Einar is just a tiny figment of his own self. When he began the process of transforming to Lily, I found him really beautiful. It's hard to imagine that almost two years ago, Redmayne portrayed a character with motor neuron disease. His flexibility to give life to two different characters had earned him a nod to the Oscars.

Alicia Vikander was also amazing as Gerda. She was fierce, determined and her love for Einar -- unconditional. It made me think how sick and tragic it was to love someone who couldn't love you back. That she has lost her husband to a character that she had just imagined. If that was what really happened, you could also argue that perhaps Gerda also have that homosexual tendency because most of her art work were a reflection of what was also going through her mind.

Shot in the backdrop of 1920s Copenhagen, this riveting story of Einar and Gerda and the liberation of their own personalities would make you think of the real meaning of love, life and freedom that goes beyond one's gender preference.

As powerful as the message that director Tom Hooper wants to convey through this film, I'll give this a film a shot of 8 espressos.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Child called it ~Book Review

by: Uel Ceballos

This one really got me. As I flipped through the first few pages, I couldn’t take the ripping emotion. I couldn’t imagine a child being tortured like that. However along the pages, something hits me as well – could it all be as true as it was marketed? At some point, the child must have been really abused. But abused like that at such young age, he must have been really strong at heart and mind to survive the pain. “A Child called it” is a biographical novel of Dave Pelzer about his childhood. As a child he was being abused by his emotionally unstable mother. There was even a time when he was stabbed but never brought to the hospital. I haven’t witnessed that kind of horrible event thus it made me doubt. What kind of mother was that? What kind of father, who after seeing his child stabbed just stayed calm and unaffected? Or did the child was just in his illusion of being stabbed?

Dave Pelzer wrote the book in the point of view of a child. It was effective, though some events might have gone beyond reality, only the author knew. It took a lot of courage for someone to recount the dark days of his past. Much painful was to remember every single detail; to transform it into words and write into paper. I don’t know. Perhaps Pelzer was crying while typing each word in his manuscript. “A Child Called it” was an awakening force, a reminder to everyone that in some dark basements of a house that we passed through, a child might be suffering in verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. Way back in Pelzer’s days, there wasn’t any law passed about children abuse. Issues on children’s matter are left to their parents’ concern. In this case, the things that Pelzer experienced might all be true, even the stabbing part; and there must have been other children who experienced the worst. My heart was dying just having to think of it. I couldn’t even starve my pet dog, what more a human? But the book reminded me as well that in this planet we called Earth, there were heartless creature who lived among us. Such the like of Pelzer's parents. 

“A Child called it” was a torture read but it would worth your time. It introduced you to the days that you wouldn’t want to be in; to a journey that you wouldn’t want to take. Dave Pelzer and all the others who experienced the same thing were extraordinary, strong people. God would not give them these challenges if He knew they wouldn’t make it. My heart goes out to them. God bless them.