Wife M, Daughter L and I watched Under the Shadow last night. On the surface level, it was a scary movie (although not too over-the-top scary) that got scarier and creepier. But on a deeper level, like “Moonlight” and “Get Out” and “Babadook” I loved its message. We have a mother who was an aspiring medical student before leaving school to join her revolution; because of that she can’t pursue her dream (ostracized) later. Her husband, instead of fighting for her, says “maybe it is for the best.” As the movie goes on, and the Djinni take over the buliding, she becomes more isolated as a mother. Her husband is gone, her community slowly leaves, her workout tape is gone, her medical book is locked away then sacrificed for her daughter’s doll, she is told by her husband she is incapable of making her own decision (to stay) then when she decides to leave rather than leave she must stay (“if you love me”) and help her daughter find her beloved doll. When she escapes all this at last by breaking down the wall with her daughter, the book and the doll stay behind, indicating you can run but you can’t ever escape.
Oh my goodness, what a message this is to be a woman in a man’s world. What a powerful (but entertaining) movie.
Brilliant. Why wasn’t this nominated for an Oscar??
On Friday we went to the movie Moonlight, and saw it at the Sundance theater, where we can have a cocktail and a pizza with our movie. I loved that movie, and here is why:
- The performances. From top to bottom, amazing. All were great, but I really loved the performance of the grown up Shyrell(?, the main character), who did a great job of being street tough and hardened one moment then seeming vulnerable and that lost little boy again the next minute, mostly in his expressions and mannerisms.
- The characters. I loved them all, including the character Blue, the best friend and even the drug addict mom and her speech at the end.
- The symbolism. There is a great line, where the drug dealer tells the boy how when he was younger an old woman started calling him “Blue” because he looked blue in the moonlight. “Do you still go by Blue?” the boy asked. “You can’t let anyone else tell you who you are,” the man said. The rest of the movie, I was noticing the spots of blue everywhere. My favorite was when the mom was bathed in red light as she yelled, then that red light turned to blue when she closed the door – wow!
- The feelings. I felt sadness when I realized the drug dealer had died. I was touched by the way he’d reached out to the boy, and so was touched when I realized he was dead. The whole movie was touching.
- The subtle way the movie was pulled together. When the drug dealer told the boy you can’t let anyone tell you who you are when the boy asked if the drug dealer went by “Blue,” then when the boy asked the drug dealer if he (the boy) was gay and the drug dealer said the boy would just know one day if he were or weren’t, then when the grown up friend came out putting on the blue sweater – I was amazed at the subtle way the director put that all together without putting it in our face. Amazing.
It was a wonderful movie. One that I continue to think about two days later.