“Who Am I”

In one of the scenes in” The Amazing Spider Man“, we find Peter Parker and Gwen in class with the teacher discussing plot. She tells her students that someone once said there were only 10 different types of plots, but she disagreed. In her opinion, there was only one plot line–who am I?

What do you think? Consider all of the works you’ve seen or read and all of those that you’ve created. Do any or all of them answer, or seek to answer, the question “who am I”?

who-am-i_nametagI don’t know if it’s true for every work of the world that’s ever been or will be written, but I think there’s  a possibility that it could be.

If I think of all the works of fiction that I’ve written and am working on, you could easily say that each of the main characters are, in some way, on a quest to discover themselves. And isn’t that essentially what we, as people, are trying to to with our lives? Aren’t we all trying to figure out who we are and and we’ve been put here?

Take Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, fir example. From the first day that we meet Harry, he’s trying to find himself. If you haven’t read these books, then

  1. you must read them–now. Go!
  2. I’ll explain what I’m talking about. The first time that we meet Harry, he’s living (if you can call it that) with his aunt, uncle, and cousin–all of whom hate him. Naturally, a boy of almost 10, who finds himself in this particular situation, does a lot of questioning why he’s in these circumstances along with wishing that his parents hadn’t left him to this part of their family. Then, one day, a letter comes in the mail addressed to Harry. Though they won’t admit, his aunt and uncle know exactly what this means and burn the letter and the subsequent letters that follow until (in ways that you’ll have to find out by reading the books), Harry finally gets to read one of the letters. He finds out that he’s a wizard. But this doesn’t exactly answer his “who am I” question, it just open a whole new box of questions.

Another example is Disney’s Frozen. Both of the main characters–Anna and Elsa–spend the movie trying to figure out who they are. If you haven’t seen this movie,

  1. go watch it now!
  2. read the review that I wrote of it so you can get a better grasp of what I’m talking about.

My last example is the TV show, The Blacklist. Throughout the show, the main character, Liz Keen, just wants to know who she is. It seems that she can’t pin down her past or even the true identities of the people around her. Again, if you’ve never seen this show,

  1. this is definitely a crime show worth getting in to. Go see it!
  2. I’ve written a review of this one as well.

All three of these are good examples of the plot line “who am I”. Tell me, what do you think of all this? Agree? Disagree? Examples of why for either response?

The Croods

Rating: 5

This DreamWorks movie came out in March of 2013, and, in case I haven’t told you yet, I adore animated movies. My boyfriend bought me this movie on DVD for Christmas and we watched it last night since there was a freakish snow/ice/cold storm coming to KY. And, I promise that I will one day review something other than a movie.

The Croods is a movie set in a fantastical world whose trailers instantly had me intrigued. Besides the story and world of this movie, the fact that Emma Stone was the voice of the main character, Eep, had me wanting to see this movie. The first movie I saw her in was Easy A, and I’ve been a fan since then. This movie didn’t disappoint me.

This movie focuses on a family, The Croods, who have only survived the harsh environment they live in because the leader of their family, Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage), has created strict rules for all of them to follow. His number one rule–“Always be afraid.” As his daughter, Eep, has gotten older, she’s grown to resent these rules as her curiosity finds her stretching her limits around the confines of the cave. The rest of her family, Ugga (her mother, voiced by Catherine Keener), Gran (her grandma, voiced by Cloris Leachman), Thunk (her brother, voiced by Clark Duke), and Sandy (her baby sister, voiced by Randy Thom), all follow Grug’s rules without a second thought.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS

But, one night, Eve sees something strange outside the cave and risks her Grug’s anger by going out to investigate. She discovers a boy her age, Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), and the strange thing he has created–fire. After some slightly awkward conversation in which she acts like a caveman because she is and he tells her that the world is ending, Guy heads off on his mission for the mountains while Eep goes back to the cave. But, the family has discovered her escape and meet her half way in their search for her. Her father confronts her and she attempts to explain to them what has happened, making them more and more alarmed because Eep is telling them about things that are new and different. Then, the world starts to shake, just as Guy said it would.

Their instant reaction is to flee for the cave, but it’s destroyed in an avalanche of rocks. In the clearing dust, the family is confronted by a lush land full of dangerous and wondrous creatures and so many possibilities. Naturally, Grug wants to do anything but explore this new world, but a predator at their rear forces them to literally dive into it. As they attempt to survive the new terrors that face them, they discover that Guy might be the one thing that will keep them alive and their family bonds are tested.

I loved this movie for both the story and the beautiful animation. The artists and voice actors did a wonderful job of bringing this spellbinding world to life. The animals that they came up with and created are We didn’t see it in 3D because, well, we never see movies in 3D, but I’m sure that this would be a movie fitted to it.

What’s really important in this movie is the bonds of family, specifically the lack of bonding between Eep and Grug. The family seems to loose respect for Grug as they semi-quickly adapt to their new lives and he sticks to what he knows. Grug is deeply hurt by this, but he doesn’t quite know how to fix it. Will he and his family survive this ordeal the way that they started, one unconventional but loving family?

Watch the movie yourself and find out!

The Words (2012)

Rating: 4.5

I remember that I was really excited when I started seeing trailers for this movie, which was released in September of 2012. This was a movie whose main character was a writer. Naturally, my boyfriend and I had to see it when it came out in theaters last year.

Now, why did I randomly pick this one for this week? Because it was on TV last night, so we watched it again on ShowTime, which was great because there weren’t any commercials. Although, that did make doing laundry rather difficult. It’s hard not to fall under the spell that this characters cast in this movie. The director/writers, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, have created a beautifully complex story with a story within a story. One of the most amazing things about this story weaving is that it’s impossible not to become invested in all three of them and they’ve made it so easy to follow each of them. To me, that’s master storytelling.

words_ver2_xlgThe Words is about a man named Clay Hammond (played by Dennis Quaid) who has written a book called The Words. He is reading two large sections from his book, in which we meet a young man named Rory Jansen (played by Bradley Cooper) and the love of his life, Dora (played by Zoe Saldana). Rory is an aspiring novelist who has been living off of his dad’s (played by J.K. Simmons) generosity for a couple of years in order to make writing his profession. But, as he a Dora move in together, he comes to realize that he needs money in order to support the two of them. He gets a job with a publishing agency and, with their new funds, Rory and Dora get married and honeymoon in Paris. While there, Rory does some research for his novel and, while the two are shopping one day, they come across an old, leather briefcase that’s perfect for Rory to carry his manuscript and other writerly things with him. Little do they know that the contents of this briefcase will change their world.

When they return to America, Rory finishes his book and tries to get it published. All he receives is rejection and after rejection. The only positive response he gets is that his novel is beautiful, but can’t be published in the literary market. Rory is, understandably, crushed by the lack of success he has with the novel that he spent years creating and begins to doubt himself as a both a writer and a person. But, when he finally opens that leather briefcase from Paris to transfer his things from plastic portfolio he’s been using, he finds that it’s filled with the most wonderful words he’s ever read–the manuscript of another writer’s masterpiece. In a desperate attempt to connect with the words and this writer of long ago, Rory types up these words on his laptop and setting himself on a journey of deception. He submits the book as his own because of Dora’s encouragement, who thinks that it really is his own work. This book, “The Window Tears,” is wildly successful and Rory enters a world of literary fame. But, then we meet the actual author (played by Jeremy Irons) of the book Rory found in that briefcase from Paris, and he shares his story of war, love, and heartbreak–the very story contained in “The Window Tears.”

I adore this movie, and I highly recommend it. But I didn’t give it a full five rating because the end left me wanting. I have a love/hate relationship with stories that leave their reader/viewer’s brains grasping for answers that can’t be answered except by their own minds.