Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Danish Girl

I had my first movie session at the cinema for 2016 today, or maybe yesterday since it's passed midnight.  I went with some friends from Royal Welsh.  It was a last minute thing, not really planned.  We went to watch The Danish Girl, a story based on a real transexual person.  Eddie Redmayne played the lead role, which was Einar Wegener and Lili Elbe.  Fun fact, back in 2015, my first movie session at the cinema of that year was The Theory of Everything, also with Eddie Redmayne playing the lead role.  Damn, this man knows how to kick off a good year for my addiction to watch movies at the cinema.  I wasn't really planning on watching this movie at first even though my heart was screaming to watch it, mainly because I'm on a tight budget.  But, after getting a text from a friend who invited me (which rarely happens to be quite honest, lol), I just decided to compromise, follow my heart, and cut off budget from other area of my daily life so that I can spend £3 to watch that brilliant movie.  Thank goodness for student price!!  

Can I stay a student forever?  Seriously though, £3 for a movie is the best!
Anyway, back to the experience of watching this movie.  It was emotionally intense.  That is the simplest way to describe the movie.  From the moment Lili starts to grow from within Einar, it was just a roller coaster ride emotionally.  I cannot say that I understand people who are experiencing transsexuality because I don't know any transsexuals personally and I can never put myself to understand the pain and struggle they have to go through on a daily basis.  I don't judge them, and I definitely respect them as another human being and I believe in finding your own happiness, but at the same time it is always difficult for me to put myself in a position of a transsexual because no matter how much I try, what I see is just on the surface.  The Danish Girl somehow opens up my eyes about how difficult it is to be a transsexual especially in those time where it is just not accepted by the community and also there's no medical skills and understanding to help transsexual people.  It was heartbreaking to see Einar trying to be a husband to his wife, Gerda, after realizing that he cannot be her husband any longer.  It was also equally heartbreaking to see Gerda, having to accept that her husband is no longer there, it might look like he (or she) is physically there, but at the same time knowing that it's not the same person any longer.  I admire the amount of courage, love and support Gerda gave to Lili and Einar.  She was indeed a wonderful and strong woman.  I'm not entirely sure if this movie will have the same impact on everyone, but to me, it shows me the pain of being a transsexual, and also being someone who is associated with a transsexual because you can see that they go through their own pain as well, it's a different kind of pain, but pain nonetheless, and I do think it's a very difficult situation to be in especially if you don't have a good support system.

Eddie Redmayne's performance to play a transsexual person was brilliant.  The LGBT community should be proud of him to take up such role.  What I like about this movie is its simplicity.  It is already very emotionally intense, so Tom Hooper's decision to not exaggerate on other elements of the movie is a really good move.  The performance of the entire cast were amazing, not just Eddie, all of them were great.  The scoring, suits the movie perfectly.  It's so simple, and minimal that it just blends with the movie nicely.  This is the perfect time where the term "less is more" fits nicely to describe the scoring.  Nothing too over the top, nothing too overly dramatic, just simple and rather transparent.  I like at one of the scenes towards the end, it was a very emotional scene of Lili crying, and there were no music....no music at all.  Absolute silence and you just see her crying.  For me, that is one of the strongest point of the movie, because music usually helps to strengthen the emotion of each scenes, but sometimes too much of it can backfire.  The fact that there was no music in that particular scene, it just creates a stronger emotion and make you feel like you are there in that room with her.  It was intense, seriously intense.

Will I recommend this?  Yes, I do.  However, if you are not supporting the transsexual people, but are interested to watch this movie, or someone drag you to watch it, I will urge you to watch this with an open mind.  I will not say that this movie will change your mind, because that is entirely up to you, but it is important to watch this movie without having a mindset of hatred or judgement.  Just go and watch the movie as an art and just see it as an art and do your best to understand the art.  You might have a change of heart after watching that, or you might not, but whatever it is, be open minded.  If I am to rate this movie from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, I will give this movie 8/10.  That's all from me for now, until next time.  Thank you for reading.  Toodles~ 

*taken from Google Image

Thursday, December 31, 2015

So Long and Farewell

It is the last day of 2015.  Wow, how time just flies.  It's been a good year for me, I moved on in many aspects of my life.  There are some highlights in my year, and let me just briefly share some of my highlights of 2015.  I might miss some important moments but I'll do my best.

ED SHEERAN CONCERT

This year I got the chance to watch Ed Sheeran performed live in Kuala Lumpur.  The most unusual part about this moment is that it is my first time attending such concert because I usually watch orchestral performance.  I went alone, not a surprising thing because I tend to do everything by myself.  It was a nice experience, it was really nice to see Ed Sheeran performed live.  There are of course a few things that annoyed me and one of them being how people rather watch the concert through the screen of their phones to record the entire show and blocked other people's view rather than just be in the moment and enjoy the performance.



PENTATONIX CONCERT

Another highlight concert that I went to this year will be Pentatonix's concert in Kuala Lumpur.  I always enjoy watching videos of this acapella group and to see them live was just unbelievable.  Their performance was just amazing and their covers as well as original songs are so nice to listen to.  Now that's a good quality performance and I enjoyed it so much.  Worth every penny.

again, I don't get why people pay so much money to watch the concert through the screen of their phones.
It's fine to take a picture but to record the whole thing?  Come on...wake up a little.

MEETING SARAH CHANG & JANINE JANSEN IN PERSON

As a violinist, I can't live out the moment when I went to watch performance of violin virtuosos.  I watched Sarah Chang performed Dvorak's Violin Concerto and on a different concert, I watched Janine Jansen performed the famous Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.  It's just one of those moment in life where I thought I will never get that kind of chance because I don't know if they will ever come to Malaysia, but they did and I couldn't let the opportunity go!

with Sarah Chang
with Janine Jansen

MOVING TO UNITED KINGDOM

Of course, how can I leave out the highlight of the year which is moving to UK to further my studies in postgraduate here in Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.  It's been a journey full with ups and downs and even though I've only been here less than four months, I already learn so much and I am looking forward to what 2016 has in store for me while I'm here in UK.

Cardiff on Christmas 

Of course there are a lot of other things that happened to me this year, I was involved with Sand the Musical production and I met so many lovely people.  I went to watch a performance of Danny Elfman music from Tim Burton's films, which I love so much!  I lost my grandmother, may she rest in peace.  I started doing yoga for the first time back in January 2015.  I got to try Alexander Technique here in UK, I got to improve my cooking, and so many more.  Not to forget I watched so many movies...and it is only fair for me to name best movie of 2015.  I'm sure everyone will have their own "best movie of 2015" and I have one of my own.  My best movie of 2015 is.... 

*drum roll*


Yes people, my choice for best movie of 2015 is Kingsman:  The Secret Service.  I love it so much and I heard  there will be a sequel in the future.  I'm nervous about sequels but at the same time, look forward to it very much.  This movie is probably the only movie that I gave 10/10 because how impressed I was with it.  Other highlight in the film industry for me will be Eddie Redmayne won an oscar for his performance in The Theory of Everything.  I was so happy, I don't think I ever rooted for an actor that much before, mainly because his performance in that movie was amazing.

So, tomorrow is a new beginning for everyone.  New year, new hopes and many more.  It's a little weird to know that my friends and family back home will enter 2016 a few hours earlier than me, but nevertheless, wherever you are, I wish you all a marvellous and fabulous 2016 ahead.  May all of you will be blessed with more happiness and success in this coming new year.  Have a great year ahead everyone.  I will see you next year!  ;)