Rush (2013) : Movie Review

Bt The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

My Rating: 4/5

Surprisingly, I find myself liking this film. Why is it so surprising? That’s because I don’t like F1, Racing and all those expensive cars. It is similar to some people who don’t get Football or (In US, it is called Soccer), I just don’t get the hype about spinning in one track all over again. Don’t hate me for saying so; people said the same thing about football. What is the point of chasing one ball in a given time? When my one of my closest friends told me that she enjoyed rush, I was surprised. Let me be a brutally honest in this review, when I saw the film poster, I don’t even have a slight urge to watch this film. It’s just not there. I am practically live for a good, mediocre and bad movie. I love spending my money at cinema. Maybe, the promotion of the film using Chris Hemsworth’s face as the official film poster kind of killing the mood to watch it. I assure you I am not Chris Hemsworth’s hater. That man is insanely gorgeous and has a body that you wish you could go all the way with him. Talent wise, he’s pretty much a good actor. The thing that kills my mood to go watch this film is my assumption on this film could be about the driver, the car, the race and the driver again. I have one habit for not reading the synopsis of the movie before I watch any film. I hate spoiler. I really hate it. I love it when there is an element of surprise in the movie. Of course, my assumption is right, it is about the F1 driver, the race, the car and again the driver. However, telling the story of a person from a perspective of someone who’s known as your enemy or competition, that is quite new and fresh actually.

Daniel Bruhl as 'Niki Lauda'
Daniel Bruhl as ‘Niki Lauda’
Officially fan of James Bruhl after watching this film ;)
Officially fan of Daniel Bruhl after watching this film 😉

This film belongs to Niki Lauda all the way from the beginning. Yes, it is about James Hunt but the guy who acted as Niki Lauda owns the film. This film revolved around the rivalry of Niki Lauda and James Hunt during the 1976 Formula One racing season. I knew Daniel Bruhl (the one who acted as Niki Lauda) in the fifth estate. I know that film failed to garner the attention of audiences and critics seem to hate it. Strange as it may sound, I love the fifth estate. I thought Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl are both fantastic actors and the way they carried the role as Julian Assange and the former spokesperson of Julian Assange, Daniel Domscheit-Berg is flawless and brilliant. You may hear the phrase of even with mediocre script but if the director and actors managed to steer the script in the right direction, it will turn to be a good movie. That could sum it up on what I love about the fifth estate. When I saw Daniel Bruhl in this film, I was like ‘wait a minute, I recognized this guy!’ I did recognize him. I watch the fifth estate first before I watch this film.  I was not disappointed. He did a good job as Niki Lauda and truth be told; he did overshadow hemsworth in some scene.

Chris Hemsworth as 'James Hunt'
Chris Hemsworth as ‘James Hunt’

The intensified F1 competition, the boast of ego between 2 drivers and the chase of being champion in the race track in the themes of the film. There are some additional fiction to exaggerate the enmity between Lauda and Hunt but it’s not much. Until Now, the real Lauda (who is still alive) admitted that Hunt remains the one person that he envied. They might not be friend but they push each other to the limit in order to win. Hunt and Lauda is 2 souls that totally different but found the same love on the race track. James Hunt is the epitome of Alpha Male. He is arrogant (because he knows he’s good), He loves racing too much until it did jeopardize his marriage and he lives his life to the fullest (he knows how to have fun).  Niki Lauda is opposite of James Hunt. He came from the background of overachiever’s family. His relatives all involved in the politics and business field making him an outcast in his family. He lost to Hunt when they met on Formula 3 Track. He then bought his way in into the Formula 1 while Hunt still struggled to enter it at that time. I think he is brilliant. He played the game to his advantage. He took a loan and paid the company to enter the competition. He may bought his way to enter the competition but boy, when he won the 1975 championship, he dismissed all the gibberish talk. Compare to Hunt, Lauda is not so likeable among other racers. Maybe he is too blunt and everytime he talk, he sounds like an asshole. I like his character but dude, if I was other racer, I may like Hunt too. I guess nobody like being confronted with the truth.

Niki Lauda: [voice over] “Of course he didn’t listen to me. For James, one world title was enough. He had proved what he needed to prove. To himself and anyone who doubted him. And two years later, he retired. When I saw him next in London, seven years later, me as a champion again, him as broadcaster, he was barefoot on a bicycle with a flat tire, still living each day like his last. When I heard he died age 45 of a heart attack, I wasn’t surprised. I was just sad. People always think of us as rivals but he was among the very few I liked and even fewer that I respected. He remains the only person I envied”.

Overall, this film earned various nominations from many awards. On acting category, of course Daniel Bruhl is in the spotlight for his portrayal as Niki Lauda. I told you guys already that this guy is brilliant. If you wanted to watch something exhilarating, exciting and full of intense emotion, this is the right film for you.

The real picture of James Hunt and Niki Lauda:

Formula One World Championship James-Hunt-and-Niki-Lauda_2998429

Niki Lauda's face was reconstructed after the  accident.
Niki Lauda’s face was reconstructed after the accident.

12 Years A Slave : Movie Review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

12 years a slave
My Rating: 4.5/5

(I am wiping my tears off my eyes and blowing my nose simultaneously after the credit scene of this film)

Solomot Northup/ Platt
Solomot Northup/ Platt (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

Where should I begin? First of all, the guy who portrayed Solomon Northup is fucking AMAZING. The word AMAZING wouldn’t suffice to praise Chiwetel Ejiofor for his depiction of Solomon. Forgive me for not watching any of his film before but I swear I got him under my radar now. Maybe I did watch his films but I can’t remember. All the overwhelming of hype and buzz of this film is credible. I mean, the film is fantastic and brilliant. they did win 1 award for golden globe awards and they also receive numerous nominations in Academy Award.  12 Years a slave film is based on the memoir of ‘12 Years a Slave’ written by Solomon Northup who is a free Negro born in New York State. In 1841, He’s been kidnapped in Washington D.C after being tricked by 2 guys who claimed to have a job in circus for him. He then, sold into slavery and being shipped off to New Orleans.  The plantation owner, William Ford (portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch) bought him and his name has been changed from Solomon to Platt. He stayed as good slave to Master Ford and even suggested to his master the idea to transport logs effectively using the lake. However, situation arose as the one of the managers at the plantation disliked Platt and always picked on him. He failed to remain calm and in the spur of the moment, he had beaten the manager. Fear for Platt might be killed as an act of retaliation by that manager; Master Ford sold Platt to Edwin Epps, the cotton plantation owner. Platt did try to tell Master Ford that he is a free man but Ford can’t help him because he had a debt to pay.

Platt & Master William Ford
Platt & Master William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Let me be frank with you guys, that I watched this film solely because of Michael Fassbender. After Shame, X-men: First class, Prometheus, Fish Tank and so many films of him that I watched, I have became a big fan of Bender (and a bit obsessed too). Ruby and I called him ‘Abang Bender’. Michael Fassbender in this film is nothing like his previous characters in the films I listed above (nothing at all). When Ruby and Ika first told me about this film and they were pretty much excited about Fassbender going to play some evil role, I was like ‘okay’, not that I don’t look forward to it but in Xmen First Class, he’s pretty much covered the definition of evil. The role he played in this film, unfortunately is much more twisted, sadistic, brutal and vicious slave owner. Evil could not even begin to justify what he has done to all of his slaves. He whipped his slaves for not being able to pick an average amount of cotton per day, he raped his slave whenever he pleased to do so, and he called them up in the middle of the night and asked them to dance just for sake of his entertainment. I seriously don’t like his character in this film. I hated it because his acting was excellent and I did see him as inhuman slave owner in the film. At that time, having and owning slaves is not a sin and legal by law.  Master Epps frequently read to his slaves the bible verses that supported slavery act. He planted the idea that they have to accept that they are his property and he can do whatever he likes to them.

Platt & Master Edwin Epps
Platt & Master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender)

Platt attempted twice times to contact his friends and family. The first attempt failed as he sought help from the wrong person. Afraid of being caught again by Master Epps, he burned all the stolen paper and destroyed the ink and pen that he made. Later, He met Samuel Bass (portrayed by Brad Pitt) a Canadian carpenter who constructed the gazebo for Master Epps’s house. Bass is a simple man who believes that men no matter what color he was, is equal before god. He expressed his opinion to Master Epps but Epps dismissed his point by saying that the slaves are rightfully obtained by him. They are his property. Platt felt Bass’s sincerity and confided in him, his story from beginning until he ended up as one of Master Epps’s slaves. Bass agreed to help after a moment of reluctance to write a letter for him and will bring it to Saratoga Springs. One day, a sheriff appeared with his friend who is a shopkeeper from the place he used to live, Saratoga Springs. Platt fitted the description of Solomon Northup from his previous life at New York and is freed right away. Epps refused to let Platt go and threatened to pursue the matter to the court. The final scene of this film is the reconciliation of Solomon Northup with his family. 12 years of absent in the family showed that his daughter already got married and have a child named after him. That scene was so touching and full of emotions of sad and happiness. He then begged his wife for forgiveness of not being able to return soon and missing in her life for 12 years.

Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt)
Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt)

Unforgettable Scenes:

I would like to state that every single scene in the film is haunting my mind. This movie is not something you can repeat twice and watched it all over again. This is about subjugation and suppression of black-skinned people by white people who they called ‘Master’. However, I would like to highlight some of the unbearable scenes that I don’t want to watch EVER again.

1. Every single scene that has a singing moment or a song in it. It is excruciating. They used songs as an entertainment, encouragement, and some of it even as reminder to realize who they really are. Some of those songs had catchy tune but was sung in the solemn and grave environment and time. among all of the songs featured in the film, Roll Jordan Roll really stuck in my head and i kept humming the song.

Patsy (Lupita Nyong'o) , Master Epps & Platt
Patsy (Lupita Nyong’o) , Master Epps & Platt

2. When Master Epps chained and whipped his favorite slave patsy in front of other slaves. He told Platt to do on his behalf but Platt didn’t go all the way as he ordered. He then took the belt and whipped patsy until he felt satisfied. This film then showed how badly patsy has been injured.

The Disturbing Hang Scene
The Disturbing Hang Scene

3. When Solomon was hanged at the tree and fighting for his life as his feet only an inch away from the tree. There is some slave who did give him water but nobody dared to remove the rope. It was agonizing seeing a man fighting to catch his breath while all the slaves continued their works as usual at the background like nothing happened. He was freed from the rope by Master Ford when he returned from work. I mean like what the fuck you didn’t send any of your messenger to release him right away. He was tied by a bad people but somehow the manager of the plantation couldn’t care less. He did chase away the bad guy but he walked away without releasing him. The wife of Master Ford also turned away from the scene.

Patsy begged Platt to kill her.
Patsy begged Platt to kill her so that she can end her suffering.

4. The rape and assault scene of Patsey by Master Epps is cruel and pitiless. Patsey endured it even she didn’t like it. However, she’s finally break down in front of Platt asking him to kill her. She admitted that she does not have enough courage to take her own life. However, Platt refused to do so.

5. When Solomon realized he’s been kidnapped and beseeched his kidnapper to release him. He tried to convince them that he is a free man from New York. However, he failed to provide any legal document as a proof. He was beaten using a wood stick until that stick is broken. The kidnapper then used a belt to flog his back until it bled. I cried, dude. I really cried my heart out. How could you treat another human being like animal?

Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007)

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu


Where do I start is the question that come across my mind first after watching this film. There’s a mixed reaction on this film that i felt and I somehow couldn’t get it off my head. I was angry, betrayed, sad and depressed all at once. I felt it all right in my chest.

Tom Hardy as Stuart Shorter

Stuart is a homeless person. He met Alexander in one of the meeting for the homeless person. Let’s just say that meeting created the friendship between them. I was not convinced how Tom Hardy can pull off the homeless look. I mean, He’s a stud. He’s charming in his own way. That’s where he proved me wrong. He portrayed the character so effortlessly. You can feel the emotion, you feel empathy and somehow, you could blame the world for turning him into who he is in this movie. I wasn’t planning to watch this film any time soon. Believe me, last thing I want was tears on my face and post-effect after watching this kind of film.

Stuart has been abused by his own brother for 3 years. His brother sometimes brought friend to join him in the act. At the age of 9, Stuart lost his innocence. I can’t stand the abuse especially when it involves kids. I don’t like kids personally, but nobody deserved to be treated like Stuart had for 3 years. It was inhumane, cruel and evil. The most shocking truth is that his own brother, to whom Stuart put his trust, was the one who violated him. There are a series of awfully unspeakable thing that happened to him. He finally lost it and went on rampage, demanding that his mother put him in the children’s care.

download (1)
Alexander and stuart

I always wonder when this thing occurred to kids, what did they do to deserve this? Sure, they can be annoying as hell and sometimes could be irritating, but a few punishments are more than adequate. Being sexually abused for years really flipped people in a way that ordinary people can’t fathom. After being put into the children’s care, he was not exactly saved either. He was abused (once again) by the pedophile in the care. I cried. I really cried my heart out when Stuart confessed in the tape that he was abused when he was 9 years old and stated that he never understand how could people inflicted harm on him.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alexander Masters

Alexander, on the other hand, has no interest in working for homeless shelter. He told Stuart he only did it because the pay was good. However, the more he spends time with Stuart, the more he wanted to know about him. He told Stuart he wanted to write about Stuart and it was Stuart’s idea to write a biography about him but in backwards style. It was to appeal the readers. Benedict Cumberbatch was never a disappointing actor. He played as Alexander Masters, the one who wrote the biography of Stuart shorter. He discovered what really happened to Stuart after listening to the recording tapes that given by Stuart and a series of interview by his own family’s members. In the beginning of the film, you can see how Alexander felt disgusted and even felt uncomfortable to be around Stuart. What can you expect? I bet we all would feel the same way. He changed afterwards. He’s accompanied Stuart everywhere and so used to his present around him.

However, right after the draft of book finished, Stuart committed suicide in front of the train. Alexander told that he was not sure why Stuart did it. I don’t blame him for taking away his life. Sure, there a lot of people can say that they can help, gives support and everything but in the end, the one who felt it is the victim. How can you take the misery, pain, hatred that they felt right after they experienced the abuse? Nobody can. The only comfort I had after watching this film was the perpetrator; the Stuart brother’s committed suicide. I don’t know why he did it, but I’m glad he did.

The book written by Alexander Masters:

download (2)