Thursday, 23 November 2017

My Cousin Rachel - The Film Review

I pre-ordered the DVD of My Cousin Rachel months ago because the film is based on one of my favourite stories ever that I had read way before the new film (because there are two old ones too for the same story) came into being. In order not to lengthen this post and keep it confined to criticism, I am attaching a link to another article of mine about this same film and corresponding book for those that would like a brief intro to the story in question.

My copy of the DVD arrived recently and despite my rough timetable managed to fit it in to watch in the same month that it arrived, which is a first for this past year or so!!

Imagine my disbelief then when I sat down to watch the first half and was quite disappointed! Though it really is unfair of me to judge the film by the book when I last read the book long years ago. And yet I get the feeling that the very idea that I would still find Rachel Weisz' interpretation of Cousin Rachel lacking means that her book counterpart was all the more strong. Then again, I will say right now that when I watched the second half of the film on a subsequent day the interpretation was much more spot on so I can only assume that it was a character build-up happening. By the end Weisz made a convincing contrary Rachel just like the personality in the book.

Seeing as we are talking about the character analysis let me go on to the character of Philip, which I believe was delightedly played by the ever-impressive Sam Claflin. Yes, I do know that as a fan I will always be more prejudiced towards singing his praises than pointing him out as lacking. However in this film he truly leaves no room to comment negatively. For those who might have seen this film and hated him without having read the book, may I say that he is as nauseatingly childish and ever-changing in the text as Claflin makes him out to be. He might turn twenty-five in the course of the story, but a very childish twenty-five-year-old he makes. Maybe he was right and needed the love of a woman to really grow up.

One thing else I must commend about this film is the colour scheme - contrasting as it is between Philip's 'dusty' pale and warmly coloured scenes and Rachel's own dark and bold blues and black, including her clothes and rooms. Surely for dramatic effect, when Rachel invites a companion to keep her company, she turns up in bright pink that strongly clashes with Rachel's world, probably to show just how out of place even Rachel believed her to be, pointing out the obvious that Rachel did not really want her around other than to make Philip back off.

A last point I will make for today is that the ending is, despite similar to the original story, slightly changed. In a way a film should always have some differences in order to stand out, as well as that some scenes might be simpler to set up and shoot than ones mentioned in a book. After all, a writer has poetic license even in conjuring up places that do not exist and which might be difficult to find or set up in real life. Therefore I will mention more amusingly than pityingly that for those of us who have read the book before viewing this masterpiece (for a masterpiece it turns out to be by the time the credits roll up), the sunken garden mentioned more than once in the course of the book has been changed to a cliffside. It still works wonderfully for the final scene and in the trailer I quite thought they had left this detail unchanged in fact.

I am not yet done with my thoughts on the film and the story in general. However I do not want to ramble on unnecessarily and would rather dedicate another future entry on here to another facet of my analysis - the very famous Did she, or did she not?

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Management at Home
For quite a while when I was still young, I dreamt of becoming a hotel manager. Strategy games are the only ones I ever played when it comes to the digital world. I started my own magazine when I was just fourteen years old with the help of a partner before she opted out and eventually in Upper Sixth I became the editor for the Sixth Form chart newspaper.

For me, it was always about Management.

I never did become a hotel manager and I barely ever play The Sims any more and no other strategy game apart from that. I still have my own blog and write professionally but I cannot pretend to be the editor of anything but my own works at this point in time. However, I still seem to be a manager of sorts in my life.

We usually associate management with our workplace, with suits and ties or skirts and heels, with meetings and long hours. Although I do aspire to reach that level on a professional level and know I have the necessary leadership skills to possibly someday make it that far, for now I am a different kind of manager.

I have lived away from either parent's home since I was 21. I started out my independent life not knowing how to light a match (seriously!) and my cooking knowledge extended only to boiling rice and eggs. I also started out with bad money management skills and no clue to organising my stuff.

I always believed that necessity is the mother of invention, as some say, and I also believe that in all facets of life it is experience over anything else that helps us move in any path we may be on.
So whilst in no way do I perceive myself to be the perfect housewife (long way to go!) and I often find myself making mistakes along the way, I do believe that I have learnt a lot over the years and can see the difference in my budgeting skills, organisational tricks and home management in general. Yes, a household requires a great deal of management and even though a yearly balance sheet is unnecessary and we do not actively calculate the depreciation value of our items, we nonetheless are required to keep restocking the wardrobes after laundry and the kitchen cupboard after a trip to the supermarket. Failure to doing either of these two might actually result in chaos. Likewise, everyone must, perhaps at times unknowingly, keep some kind of budget or at least accounting system going, if only one that keeps track of whether the pay for the month has finished and from which account can you move funds into the VISA account you used in an emergency.

Regardless that it is a 24/7 job without a pay, household management is a very real situation that at least one adult in every house must take upon themselves to see to. So I think it would be of interest to some of my readers if I started blogging about Household Management now and again. Therefore with this post I am starting a new label on this blog. Keep tuned for my tips, tricks and musings about keeping a household happy, sane and on track. Goodbye for now, till next time.

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Chain Reaction

My son calls it The Chain Reaction. He uses this name to describe any domino effect such as when, say, you hit something by mistake that in turn topples over onto something else, causing that thing to move and cause yet another reaction.

In my mind, I prefer to associate this with The Butterfly Effect. Not only is this the name of a film but also the name of a scientific theory that suggests that one small movement or event can, in a chain reaction, cause greater consequences, so to speak.
I believe in Destiny. I am unsure whether I believe that anything in the future can ever be prevented and changed but I do believe that Destiny is there, written down. I also understand that anything in our present can cause ripples that could affect it in a big way. So I know for a fact that all the things that have happened to me these past few months, since February the 28th of this year to be exact, have all caused their own direct consequences that led to my current present and hopeful future.

There were some events that happened that were totally beyond my control. There were others caused by myself and my decisions, be they good or bad ones that I made. Each small action, development and predicament as well as each mistake, led to what is now my life. However as I have just stated, it is sometimes the work of others and not ourselves, that moulds our future in ways good and bad. Through time we also might change idea about whether a particular situation led to good or bad things. So whilst one day I could be thanking a friend for being late meeting me as something wonderful happened to me in those few minutes that I was waiting outside a café, at a later stage I would wonder could I have been spared some heartache if only she had been on time. In the same way, sometimes I plead with those stars under which happened one of the most marvellous experiences in my life to tell me just why someone I don't even know managed to thwart all my future plans with their power over someone else that in turn meant something to me.

I've heard the word Destiny used too loosely and resignedly. We blame it for our unhappiness and for what happens that we believe is beyond our control when sometimes it isn't really. That is the very reason that believing in Destiny can, after all, be a negative thing. For only when we believe that what's written in the stars is beyond control, is when we stops making the effort to change what we do not want our life to be like.