Review: Netflix “Elite”

Review: Netflix “Elite”

Who’d have thought that yet another teen murder mystery would garner so many fans worldwide? It took me the longest time in history to finish Netflix’s hottest new WILD teen-drama, Elite. There are only twenty four episodes – eight episodes per season, spread across three seasons. And you’ll see a lot of familiar faces if you’ve already seen Money Heist.

From Elite Fandom Wiki:

At some point, Pablo Ruiz and Marina Nunier began a relationship that led to Marina contracting HIV. Enraged, Marina’s brother, Guzman, along with Polo and Ander, beat him up. This led to the scholarship program in the school to be suspended, until  San Esteban collapsed, leading to three former students to gain admittance to the school through scholarships provided by the construction company. 

For a short time, Rebeca and Valerio began selling drugs on school premises in order to finance themselves. Valerio needed money to study abroad with Polo and Cayetana, whilst Rebeca needed to feed herself after her mother was arrested. They were eventually found out, and Rebeca, Valerio, Guzman, and Samuel are expelled for being involved.

Did I enjoy watching Elite? The third season, yes. It’s been kind of a slow-burn frankly, so it took time to grow on me. The storyline is just okay, and the makeup is great. But that’s just about it. You’ll see a lot of Gossip Girl and a lot of American Horror Story happening, but it ends with a twist. Again. The show seems to be full of those.

The few things that I did like, though, were:

1. That a Spanish show is doing so great. This is the second one after Money Heist that seems to be getting a lot of attention, and it’s good.

2. The plot twists. It starts off with something and before you know it, something else has happened altogether.

3. The cinematography and location. Beautiful shots.

4. Female friendships. Two of the main characters, Lucrecia and Nadia, start off on the wrong foot but become good friends sometime well into season three. Also, I love Lu’s hair and hair accessories to death.

Unfortunately, the list of things that I didn’t like actually trumps the other list. Here’s what GOT my goat:

1. TOO MANY CHARACTERS. You can do a show with basically two, and even four, protagonists. But here you’ve got a million – Samuel, Nadia, Christian, Guzmán, Polo, Ander, Omar, Carla, Lucrecia, Valerio, Rebeca, Cayetana, Yeray, Malik… oh man, that list is endless and the show is only three seasons long. So far.

2. Unrealistic storylines. Like which high-school student goes to so many parties?

3. Drugs and sex. Everyone seems to be having too much sex – (and of course the nudity is crazy) – with every random person, and the drugs that they’re doing are out of control. Netflix is accessible to everyone and the audience is often young and impressionable. Yikes.

4. Incest. As if Game of Thrones wasn’t enough.

5. Strong language. Everyone seems to be swearing, all the time, even in their parents’ faces. Like, what? And if you’ve grown up in an Asian family, you know that’s the cue for the rolling pin from your mum to hit you on the head.

If I were to rate the show, I’d give it a three out of five. And since we’re all quarantined with nothing much to do, maybe you can give it a go.

What are you binge watching this week?

This Show Touched My Heart

This Show Touched My Heart

“You’re a wish come true I never knew I was making,” – Marilla, Anne With An E

I’ve watched more Netflix shows than I’d care to admit. At this point, I’ve developed a pounding headache and pink eye and 2020 isn’t looking too sparkly for me. Also, the news isn’t helping. There’s far too much terror in India at this point. Between Christmas and New Year’s, I’d binge-watched Don’t F*ck With Cats, You, Unbelievable and gotten overwhelmed by all the murder and other forms of bloodshed and chanced upon Anne With an E.

I’m not someone that watches a lot of dramas but Anne with an E is based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, and it was one of my childhood favorites and Anne Shirley-Cuthbert, with her fiery red hair and her romantic ways, is actually pretty iconic.

The show drew me in. Based in the fictional town of Avonlea, the cinematography is stunning. There’s a bunch of glorious shots of Prince Edward Island.

AmyBeth McNulty, who plays the titular Anne, is perfect. She actually beat almost two thousand other people that auditioned and got the role. Anne with an E follows the story of an orphaned thirteen-year-old, severely bullied and shuffled from home to home, in her quest to belong to someone.

Anne is accidentally sent to the Cuthberts, a pair of elderly siblings called Matthew and Marilla, in place of a farm hand they originally requested for, from the orphanage. Anne meets Matthew at the train station and talks all the way to the Cuthbert residence, the Green Gables. Initially disapproving of Anne, Marilla eventually warms up to her, and she and her brother go ahead and adopt Anne formally. Anne adjusts comfortably, and although often she creates trouble, she does a lot of good too, thanks to her quick-thinking. She also becomes good friends with the neighbors’ older daughter, Diana Barry.

The first season was a tad too slow and flowery for my liking, but if you’ve loved Ms Montgomery as much as I have, you’re probably going to stick to it too. Season two picks up pace that season one lacks and the writers put their own twist to the plot, with Aunt Josephine “Jo”, Diana’s aunt, being revealed as lesbian and Anne’s classmate, artist Cole, as gay. The coming-of-age bits are brilliant and beautifully done. You also witness a lot of focus on the LGBTQ community as a whole, with Jo’s companionship with Geraldine shocking Diana initially till the time she learns to accept it. Gilbert Blythe, another classmate of Anne’s, goes off on a ship and meets Trinidadian Sebastian “Bash” after the death of the former’s father. An unlikely friendship forms and the two boys return to Avonlea.

The new teacher, widowed Ms. Muriel Stacy, who wears pants and forgoes wearing the corset obstinately, much to the chagrin of Rachel Lynde, while also riding her motorcycle, is like a breath of fresh air. Anne realizes that she and Ms Stacy are kindred spirits and I almost whooped when they go to the town hall in season three to protest against the ministers burning down the school and taking away the printing press because Anne dares to post an article about consent and what’s fair, and what isn’t.

While the other girls aim to be good brides and wives to some man, with Ruby cherishing a burning passion for Gilbert, Anne wants to become a bride of adventure.

That is, until she realizes that she’s loved Gilbert since forever and while Ruby finds a new object of adoration in another classmate, Moody, Anne and Gilbert try to communicate with each other via notes. These notes never reach the concerned parties and a lot of confusion ensues, and I almost wanted to shake Gilbert and go, AAAAARRGGGGHHH, when he keeps courting Winnie and doesn’t get anywhere. Season three has to be my favorite. Anne searches for her legacy and finds love and Marilla and Matthew send her off to college and Gilbert comes to meet her before going off to the University of Toronto, and I’ve never sighed so much in my life. That too, as dreamily.

Anne blossoming into a young woman in the last episode, running to meet Gilbert with her fiery red hair flowing behind her, contrasting perfectly with her blue dress and freckles, is the best thing on Netflix right now. Oh, sigh.

Honorable mentions:

• Rachel Lynde, Marilla’s best friend – the character’s transition from the narrow-minded mean woman in the first two seasons to someone who’s all for women’s rights, is brilliant.

• Ka’kwet, a twelve year old belonging to the indigenous people who sell hockey sticks and make baskets – the way she escapes the clutches of the whites trying to “convert savages” by locking children up in schools and forcing them to learn English and rechristening them, had me on the edge of my seat.

• The Cuthberts – I had to talk about them twice. They’re super adorable. Matthew is sweet and Marilla, stern start first. I kind of bawled my eyes out when she yells that she loves Anne in the third season and therefore, wants her to be safe. Talk about tough love mellowing into mushy and selfless love, I love how Marilla makes a detour and takes the ferry with Matthew to retrieve memoirs of Anne’s long dead parents from the first home Anne lived in. WHOOP DE DOOP!

• Aunt Josephine Barry – she’s got to be my favorite. Full of life and new ideas and open-mindedness and the fact that she’s fiercely supportive of Anne, is amazing.

The show focuses on so much, there’s so much you can take from it. The diversity is incredible. The most important thing, I’ve learned, is to give people, and things, chances. Because who knows what you might be pleasantly surprised with, right?

Feminism: An Essay.

Feminism: An Essay.

Science has a no-nonsense way of conducting experiments as we were taught in school. Make observations, draw an inference from said observations and the experiments and then supply a conclusion based on the results. Have no bias whatsoever and stay true to facts. That is what I will attempt to do here, be as objective as possible as to determine the cause and effects of lack of equality among human beings.

Before we talk about things like feminism, misogyny, benefit of doubt and subtle changes in the gender hierarchy, we need to talk about human beings as a whole. Dynamics between men and women and how our minds work is of essential importance while trying to understand the existence of complicated issues such as sexism, racism, casteism etc. Let’s observe ancient history, where men and women were barbarians. There was this inexplicable need the males felt when they saw the females, they couldn’t explain it but they NEEDED it. So they used objects to hit women on the head till they were unconscious and drag them into their cave to procreate. Sometimes the females would die, so they adapted & started using blunt objects to only maim and not kill their target. The females, tried to defend themselves but more often than not were physically overpowered. That’s how the seven billion people of today came to be.

“When the chips are down and rules don’t matter these civilized people will eat each other if they have to”, quoting Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight here.

Might seem out of place, but this is very relevant. It speaks about how everything humans do is conditional. And that only the condition matters.

Fast forward to the era between the 1500s to the 1900‘s, humans became much more aware not only of themselves but also of the things around them. Education and art flourished during that period, equal human rights started to seem possible and not just a far-fetched dream. That change came – not without reason – as science advanced scientists found that human bodies were all more or less alike irrespective of gender (excluding reproductive systems, obviously), caste or creed. That shattered the dominant male’s world view, in their opinion they were physically stronger & mentally sharper so they had to be superior, how could they then be considered equal to women? Like every change it not only took a while to implement but also wasn’t accepted by everyone, still isn’t till this day. Seems kind of weird for the mighty human species, the apex predators as we call ourselves, civilized human beings to not be able to make the change in themselves based on reason when barbarians made the change in themselves based on wanting to simply get off. The key point is the change suited the barbarians and their priorities, it did not suit the civilized human males’ priorities. “Kind of weird” is putting it mildly, it’s actually insane. What else would you call someone who completely ignores obvious evidence?

“Insanity is like gravity, all it needs is a push”, second quote I mention from The Dark Knight by Joker which speaks about the condition from the first one, and how that condition just needs a trigger and it can turn into an irrational compulsion, a force that drives you from within to take/not take actions based on facts. In the barbarians that condition was being horny, which drove them to make the change in their style of weaponry. For the civilized men the condition was power, which drove men to deny that the power dynamics were not in their favor, at least based on empirical evidence it wasn’t. I firmly believe this is the reason for feminism to even exist, it’s the incapacity of people to accept change since they weren’t able to place facts over personal priorities.

Feminism proposes the liberation of women from the patriarchal society we have created, & change it into an equal one regarding matters of social, civil & personal rights. A society where people aren’t judged by their gender, but by their abilities. Atleast, that’s what the originators of the ideology imagined.

It took a while for the world to catch on, but the various social media movements such as #metoo and #timesup gripped the world in horror, when people realized how women’s rights are still lacking in majority of the world. Shouldn’t that have been enough to make people realize how messed up our priorities are? Human beings can send machines beyond our own solar system, we can send humans on the moon but we simply cannot accept men & women as equals? That is where another kind of trigger happens where not unlike an auto immune disease the protectors attack what they want to protect.

When a person/people propose a revolutionary theory in any particular matter, the immediate reflex of the human species is to ignore it, to laugh and ridicule it and finally to destroy it. Again, let’s look through history from peace & unity promoters like Mahatma Gandhi & Martin Luther King junior to scientists like Hypatia & Archimedes all of them were murdered. Feminism met with the same ridicule,it wasn’t a person though but an ideology so it couldn’t be killed off. With people taking sides according to their own opinions, a divide came into place which wasn’t much different from the divide caused by race or religion. And that is precisely what brings me to my third and final quote from The Dark Knight, again by the Joker “You either die a hero, or live long enough to watch yourself become the villain.” The hatred spewed in each direction between pro-feminists and anti-feminists, began to blur the lines & before people could know what was happening the victim became the aggressor in the form of feminazi’s and male-bashing. Is that a fair statement?  Women were denied equal rights for centuries, still are in many places and yet they are being held accountable for being overzealous and ending up violating what they claimed to believe in. Are they both the same magnitudes of offence? Definitely not. Does that make it right? Definitely not, but it surely gives men the excuse to stereotype all feminists as feminazi’s and try and draw attention away from the underlying issue.

So what now? Are we doomed to ignoring what the other side is saying and yell our own opinions louder? Will humanity get compartmentalized on the basis of difference of opinion to the extent that people will just stop trusting each other? Depends on what you believe, if you believe the need to prove yourself right exceeds the need to question & analyse what’s right then the Joker would be proud of you.

The reason I keep mentioning the Joker and his lines is because one of the few great things DC comics ever did was to create the character of The Joker. He had no superpowers, but he also didn’t have any delusions about people. He saw the world for what it was and not what he’d like it to be. He had no motives of his own, and that is precisely why he was so dangerous, he knew people. How their minds worked, and that is specifically why this fictional character’s quotes from a somewhat old Hollywood film hits home a little too hard. 

But he wasn’t right in the end of the movie, was he? The people in the bomb-rigged ships carrying the trigger for the other ship didn’t blow each other up. From that I’d like to believe in humanity, I would sleep better knowing that maybe, just maybe at the brink of destruction humanity will do what it does best- evolve. Because that’s all any of us can do really, do our best to learn and listen, and have faith in the people around us.

© Suyash Upadhay, 2019.

Why THIS Could be THE Women-Empowerment Anthem The World Needs Right Now

Why THIS Could be THE Women-Empowerment Anthem The World Needs Right Now

Let’s cut to the chase, and ignore the title that was a mouthful. Halsey just dropped the video of her newest single, Nightmare, and it hits all the right spots.

The angry girl vibe is something we all needed right now. As a woman, how many times have you been victimized and then victim-shamed? When you’d gotten hate and lewd comments and told your people about it, how many had been supportive? I’ll tell you how many had been supportive – zero. If a man says something derogatory, it’s always the woman’s fault. The photo you posted was too inviting, that you were asking for it. And then they expect you to roll with it. Not anymore. Halsey’s lyrics echo every woman’s sentiments in 2019. How do you even smile when you’ve got nothing to smile for? Halsey gives off total Valerie Solanas vibes, channeling strong female rage, and I’m living for it. Plus, just how cool and well-shot is the whole thing? Take your GOT-obsessed heart and make some room in there for this masterpiece instead.

The symbolism is on point, and the lyrics are so powerful, they could potentially pierce your soul. “I’ve tasted blood, and it is sweet,” she says – If you’ve ever given your all to a cause, you would know exactly what she’s talking about. Again, there isn’t anything offensive and the message is clear, and it’s almost biblical.

In a world where a certain population of men still expect women to just be pretty, to just be seen, to only be decor, and to never be heard, this is a strong slap in the face for all those men. People still complain if you don’t smile enough, they tear you down for being bitchy, and they take you apart for being too perpetually pessimistic, and it stops here. You’re going to smile, but you need to be given a reason first. “I’m tired and angry, but somebody should be,” she says, because killing people with kindness isn’t cutting it anymore. She also talks about sexual freedom, body-shaming and finally, self acceptance.

The music video, directed by Hannah Lux Davis, features an all-women cast, including Cara Delevingne. Which is totally epic. This gives me a ton of happiness because it’s actually doing so well, and is going to become an anthem for the trodden, once more people listen to the song. She also draws a lot of inspiration from other female giants in the music industry, like old-school Lady Gaga, Rihanna and T.A.T.U.

I love the outfits too. Just LOOK at Miss Halsey. Swoon.

She’s been killing it lately, too. Collab with BTS. Collab with YungBlud. Which goes to show that if someone kicks you down, you can always get back up. The monster out there doesn’t have to win.

Have you heard Nightmare yet? Or seen the video? Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

HUMOR Has It

HUMOR Has It

I once had a roommate in college that refused to get her mustache done. She was proud of it, she said, because it reminded her of a Harry Potter character. And this conversation happened on a Women’s Day.

I didn’t understand what she meant – at that point I couldn’t place where a mustachioed female character even showed up in the series.

Then she cared to elaborate. “Marjorie Dursley.” Wait, what?! “Marjorie Dursley. Aunt Marge. She’s the reason Harry ACTUALLY gets to have an amazing holiday that year. If she hadn’t gotten blown up by Harry, this story would never have happened. I’m never gonna get rid of my mustache because she gave us such an amazing plot.”

!!!!

Why the mustache?

“‘Cause Marge has a mustache to rival Uncle Vernon’s! Rival! It’s a woman matching up to a man! Could you be any stupider?”

So all through college, she wore her mustache like a proud Vietnam War survivor’s badge. And also because she said she was a feminist. She refused to shave her legs either.

I admire her guts.

Happy women’s day, folks. Do y’all have any funny feminist stories to share? Please do tell.

Objectification of Venus

Objectification of Venus

Naked pictures on social media, really? And you crib about blokes hitting on you? *applause*

It amazes me how women objectify themselves and then have the gall to complain about men acting like wolves. I thought these stupid social media sites had crap detectors but, dear God, I had the nastiest surprise ever when I got a video of a couple making out – in my feed. Very, very and I will use that word – gross.

It’s funny how feminism has turned into total and utter rubbish, it’s more like whore-ism. Don’t get me wrong, there are actual feminists out there. These women, who epitomize every bit “Women are from Venus”, do not feel the need to pose suggestively on social media.

It’s kinda sad how guys get all the blame when many girls are the ones who make it look like every other girl is as easy as they are. And no, I am not supporting men, I just feel that this whole perverse and naked bandwagon needs to stop.

(About time I stopped following people back.)

The Truth About Bengali Women.

The Truth About Bengali Women.

No. We are not promiscuous. How ever you may think. We are not slutbunnies. We are not b*tchwhores.

Dear Indian men, stop categorizing!

Whatever your jerktastic friends have told you, was a lie. Is a lie. Bengali women are awesomesauce. They’re loyal as eff. If they like you, they’ll always like you. They’ll treat you like family. Best friends. And if they fall in love with you, they’ll love you to the moon. Never back. You’ll have to stay up there. Maybe heights make you dizzy, and you blame her for being too clingy?

Whatever. Nothing is her fault. Okay?

Sometimes she needs space; no, she is not giving her boss head in his office. She’s probably smoking ciggies in the loo. Contrary to what you may think, she is definitely not a prostitute. If she’s gotten far in life, it’s because she’s worked hard, and that does not mean lying on many, many desks, spread-eagled and sweaty, no. She certainly has not screwed her way to the top. No.

If she’s being friendly with men, it does not mean she enjoys talking about certain parts of the human anatomy, no. When she does not send you a good morning text, it means she’s passed out, drooling over her textbooks, not because she’s spent the night with another man. If she’s not interested in some coochie-cooing with you at the moment, it does not mean she’s getting some elsewhere. It’s just that she’s stressed and the last thing on her mind is your batteries. Okay? Okay.

Moving on.

When she says she wants a life and a future with you, she most certainly is not kidding. She’s actually serious as eff. She does want your babies. She’s also impatient, and if you keep postponing your dates, um, Houston, we’ve got a major problem.

And lastly, what was that you said about her language and her parents? Bloody EFFING language and bloody effing parents with new money?

Well, goodbye.

Love xx