The Spider Cave

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. It is a general blog about the things of my interest which are quite a lot. You will see a mix of posts here ranging my interests. I like cycling, nature, landscape, photography, reading novels and comics, watching decent movies, music and stuff. Beware some of the content are for mature readers and there will be spoilers too.

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Film: Mom

Posted on: July 9, 2017

31) Film: Mom (2017) (Review + breakdown analysis) 

Seriously, at first I thought it was mom as in candle wax and I didn’t fully get it until the end when a character actually says mom then it hit me in the face that it is actually mom as in mother. How stupid of me. Just because we, here in the UK, aren’t used to the word mom. It’s normally mum. 

But anyway, I knew a Sridevi movie is out and that’s it. I caught a small glimpse of her on TV and that was it. I’m a fan of Sridevi and have been watching her from the age of four (remember Mr. India? We watched the shit out of that VHS over and over again). We didn’t plan to watch this movie. My other half wanted to go out and I was reluctant but finally agreed. Our children refused to go (son wanted to play lego and daughter just sided with her brother. Bless them) so me and my other half went and it was like a spontaneous date and I asked her if she wanted to watch this movie called mom. And to my surprise, she knew a lot about the movie than I did. Two Pakistani actors starred in this. Brilliant. I did took a peek at the reviews but didn’t really mind them much because my favourite actors were playing in the movie. Nawazuddin, Akshay Khanna, Sridevi and Sajal Ali (the Pakistani girl). 

The opening scene was superb. It set the whole story and told me a lot about the direction it was going to take. Sridevi’s character, Devki, is a feisty one, determined and bold. She is stepmother to Arya, played by Sajal Ali. The story is about rape and revenge, even though the critics say it is not about a typical revenge. I felt it was. It just shows how people can manipulate and beat the system to show themselves innocent and roam free. That’s what happened in this movie and the mother decided to take revenge. The movie is as realistic as it can get. As a woman, Devki is still the woman in that country, fearful and cautious. Still, her hands shake when plotting a revenge. Still she makes mistakes. It shows how helpless a man or a woman can get. 

The music was almost none but good. The camera was just too good. I loved every bit of it. The shots were taken in such creative ways that every camera angle was an addition to the plot and the characters. The acting is good overall. Loved Nawazuddin and Akshay. Sajal deserves a standing ovation for her performance. There was a scene where she just screams and screams and it cut through my heart like a dagger. Seriously, good acting. 

The only downside to the movie was the editing. The editor didn’t do a good job. The film could be 20 minutes shorter and shone like a diamond. I felt that scenes were dragging too much. Like for example, Devki’s crying scene when she first sees Arya in the hospital just kept going on and on. It very much needed a cut and be tightened. Too long and it felt like Sridevi was trying too hard. Her acting is excellent but the editing could make it perfect. Same with the rape scene and other scenes. Good editing is always gold. 

I really enjoyed the first half of the movie so I’m going to give it 8/10. The second half can get 6/10 because of loose tension and editing. 

Read on if you have already watched the movie and are interesting in analysis. 

Breakdown and Analysis (spoiler alert) 

So the first scene starts off with Devki entering her classroom to teach her students some biology. Her personality is shown very friendly (she even demonstrates body muscle groups by showing a buff picture of Salman Khan). Her step daughter is the student in the class and she receives a dirty video by this boy sitting two desks away from her. Devki handles the situation aggressively by throwing the phone out of the window. That shows that she can be bold and can do anything. That sets the tone of the whole movie and also her personality. 

The family is very organised. Devki has a husband (who is also a Pakistani actor) who runs a business. The only tension in the family is in between Arya (Devki’s step daughter) and Devki. It is a one sided tension from Arya’s side. This thing hasn’t been clearly explained. Why Arya isn’t still comfortable with her step mother when there is nothing wrong with her. You see Arya complaining to her father that he has forgotten his first wife and stuff like that. There’s a moment when Arya is literally dying and unable to move in a hospital bed and Devki advances towards to help her by putting a bed pan under her sheets so she can relieve herself. What Arya does is pulls the curtain between her and Devki. I found that to be very extreme. Why does Devki deserve this kind of treatment? And that heart stopping screams of Arya when she sees Devki in her room. That could be the best scene of the entire movie. It is only at the end when Arya finds out that it was actually Devki who was taking revenge, she utters the word ‘mom’. Before that, she always called her ma’am. 

So the next big act is the rape itself. This scene itself is genius. Love the way the tension was built. Valentine’s party. Arya is there. The guy who sent her the dirty video from the first scene is there (Mohit) and other guys are there too. Mohit goes up and talks to her but gets rejected. Then this other guy goes up to her with a drugged drink. Arya’s friend ends up having the drink. Then a criminal minded guy just grabs her outside and they all throw her in the jeep. The jeep drives slowly through the deserted night streets and you have the aerial top down view of it with a strange menacing music. The jeep stops, two guys come out, switch driving positions and it continues. The scene is dragging too long. It should be edited. But she was thrown on a roadside finally. Arya was gangraped. 

She is discovered and transferred to a hospital. Devki breakdowns giving her performance but the scene is again dragging in my opinion. I hate to see and think that she over acted in that scene. I don’t want to say that but the poor editing is making me think like that. I adore Sridevi’s acting. 

The next minutes, we are shown the court case where the boys are able to beat the justice system and come innocent. Even crime branch specialist Mathew (Akshay Khanna) couldn’t do anything. Devki is just disappointed and hires a detective called DK (Nawazuddin) who gives her information about the gang of boys. 

Nawazuddin is like the master of acting. He brings the humour out of nowhere and it makes you smile. He plays his humorous witty detective very well. His ending scene is brilliantly done where he stares at his heart then looks up as if saying ‘kiya boss? Bas issi baat pe jaan le li? Kiya itni sasti hai zindagi?’ 

So Devki murders the gang one by one until one guy remains. Same guy who actually abducted Arya. The criminal. Right at the end, when the criminal had beaten Devki and gone outside to search for Arya, I wished Devki would just turn into this NH10’s Anushka and just beat the crap out of that criminal. But then I thought realistically. This is an everyday woman. Even plotting revenge, sneaking into someone’s house and then tripping there and not freaking out needed courage. But that courage came with fear also. You can see her hands shaking with fear throughout the movie. So right at the end, she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t get up, grab an axe and split the guy’s head in half. In fact right at the end, when Arya uttered the word mom after she came to know that it was actually her step mother all along who had been plotting revenge, only then Devki shot the guy with Matthew’s pistol. Yes, the police man gave Devki his weapon to shoot the criminal. Then the scene of the re-uniting and hugging was dragged for ages and we left. 

The first scene, the rape scene and the scream scene were the back bone of this movie. But hats off to Sridevi. It was her movie through and through. 

We were kind of planning to watch this movie. I wasn’t bothered with it anyway. I’m not a great fan of Wolverine though I did enjoy the second Wolverine movie (the one with the Japanese girl). The Origin movie was a terrible mess I do not want to recall right now. Let’s just focus on Logan please. So I had no prep for this movie. I didn’t know the plot, the director or what kind of movie this was. The only thing I knew was that it had Hugh Jackman as Logan and there was Laura X-23 in it (and of course Charles Xavier). 

The first jolt we experienced was when the adult themed adverts started playing. My brother who was sitting next to me started to wonder if we were in the right screen. He actually went out and check. It was kinda hilarious but even I wasn’t sure. The movie was actually 15 or 18. The second jolt was the superb opening sequence. OK, the movie is definitely 15 with bloody violence. I feel like watching the real Wolverine. Justice has been done. 

Logan is a limousine driver trying to live his life as normal as he can in the year 2029 or something. He has a sick Charles Xavier to take care of and everything is fine until a nurse approaches him with a young girl and terrible things happen resulting in a chain of events.

The pace of the story is really good. So are the action scenes (very bloody). Laura, the girl X-23, is violent like she is supposed to be. I’ve read a lot of X-23 in the comics and it does justice. The movie isn’t dragging and there are really good moments. The moment of the true Wolverine brought all the classic memories back and that made the movie ‘whole’ for me. I have to say Hugh Jackman has delivered a final life time performance of him portraying The Wolverine. Hats off to him and I bid him farewell. 

I give this movie a 10/10. Seriously, I fail to criticise a single bad thing out of this movie and I have been growing very critical of movies. 

The only thing I wished that at the start of the credits they played hurt from Johnny Cash (I haven’t watched the full credits). 

983) Anari by Ahmed Iqbal (Part 8 of 9)

Pages: 288

Date read: Feb 2017

Date published: 2013

Part 8 is here and I read it. Sad to say this but the story declines. This part had a lot of action and that’s about it. The story does not progress at all. It is mainly about Rafeeq’s cousin Rabia. And it is full of action, if you’re a fan of action. Rafeeq has made enemies and they are attacking from left, right and centre and the whole part is spent them running around dealing with this attacks. Something tells me the next part, which will also be the last part, will be the same. There’s nothing much to be added on. Well, there is. Rafeeq could go in the politics and really make an impact on the society. We know in Pakistan if you want to do some good for the community, you get harassed. We get that. Now let’s just see if a person with so much money and power can actually do it. 

I’m gonna leave the next part till some time. I’m not abandoning it. I’m going to hopefully start ready Shikari by the same author. I did start it before but couldn’t get into it as it was a slow start but hey, I paid money for it and I’m gonna read it. 

A lot of fun facts about this movie. The ones I know are that this very low budget film was shot in 16 days, Nawazuddin Siddiquie charged 1 rupees for this and Shweta Tripathi who plays a school girl of 14 was 30 years old in real life. 

Haraamkhor is a strange and dark movie but at the same time, it is fun because the point of view from it is told is of two young kids of about 13. The movie touches the subjects of the forbidden relationship of teacher and student, spoiling the innocence of a student and that is what happens in this movie. 

Shyam played by Nawaz corrupts Sindhiya who is 14 and his student. He attacks her innocence and then leaves her because he has a wife also to look after. Basically he uses her and she, as a 14 year old, has no option but to cry about it. Luckily, she has a very nice step mother who has been through the same and there is some comfort there. On the other hand, you have Kamal and his friend, who always keep an eye on Shyam and Sindhiya. It’s like the film is being told through their eyes and perception. They also do a lot of childhood shenanigans which reminded me of my childhood, though I wasn’t that naughty. (we did, however, put our trousers down and compare our small manhoods. I’m sorry if that is too much information haha). 

Acting wise, both actors were perfect. Nawaz is just genius and Shweta is a beauty to be looked at. Sound in the film is non existent. What I love about this movie is the camera angles. They are so creative and raw. Also, you need to keep your mind awake throughout the movie because the editor has done a bit ‘too good’ of a job. Some places it felt like parts of the movie were missing. You keep wondering where was the build up to this particular scene. You just need to imagine the build up yourself. The climax was a bit shocking and hurried up. There wasn’t enough explanation but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

Overall, I would give this movie a 7/10 for being so nature like and raw. I surely loved it. Oh, and haramkhor means someone who does something forbidden constantly.

982) Dolly by Susan Hill

Date read: Feb 2017

Me and my wife decided to take the kids to the library and I just wanted something small to read. So I looked around the fiction section while the kids looked at their own books. I didn’t find any. The kids had already picked their books so I went for a final desperate quick search and grabbed this small 153 page novella. My son already called the cover dreadful. It looks pretty scary. 

The story is about two nine year old cousins who spend holidays at their Aunt’s mansion during a summer. The girl cousin, a spoilt brat, wanted a doll for her birthday and she got one. A haunted doll. 

To be honest, there is not much to the story. There are only two main characters and it is the story of their lifetime around the mansion of their Aunt. The supernatural didn’t come for a 100 page. Only a couple of instances were scary. 

I’m going to give this one a 4/10. Mainly I liked the dark and gothic writing. 

981) Anari Part 7 of 9

Author: Ahmed Iqbal

Pages: 270 pages (digest) 

Date read: July 2016


There comes a moment when you are writing a long story when the writer wants to take a break. So what he does is he gives the characters in the story a break. He separates his main character from other usual supporting characters and takes him on a different journey in a different location. It happened in Sarkash when Mehmood Ahmed Moodi took Afzal to Sindh in Part 6. It was amazing. Of course you have to write it good, otherwise the reader will lose interest. 

Like I lost interest reading this. It was too much for Rafeeq. He was getting attacked by Rana (directly or indirectly) from left right and centre so he had to escape to London with Noor. About half of the pages of this part, he spent in London when Elisha kidnaps Noor and then attacks Rafeeq and goes mental. Finally Lord Ernest ended up giving Rafeeq his estate and business. 

All that is fine. The story was irrelevant and the author just kept dragging the story line on and on. The pacing was slow. He just made a mess. And another thing he was trying to give the impression that everyone is desperate to earn some pounds legally or illegally. He would make the characters go to random people and asking them if they wanna do something for five or ten pounds. The dialogues were robotic and repetitive. 

I just can’t wait to finish this story and start Shikari. 

980) Anari Part 6 of 9


Author: Ahmed Iqbal

Read: June/July 2016

Length: 267 pages
The cold war between Rafeeq and Rana continues. A lot of character development in this part. Rafeeq’s parents have been passed away. Sultan is targeting Faryal (she is back in the scene). Noor Jahan’s baby is lost during her accident and she is forced to withdraw from Rafeeq (they are still together but she lives elsewhere) and she has changed her look. She got plastic surgery done because she is a wanted criminal for murdering her husband, Akbar Khan. 

The new lawyer Shahzad betrayed Rabia because they found out he had a wife and a kid. The wife and the kid started living in Sat Badhai while he disappears. Then Rana’s son Zohaib started chatting Rabia up. Then he got captured in Sat Badhai and Rana had to come and release him. 

Chief Minister paid a visit to Sat Badhai for the official opening ceremony of the school and the hospital but the real purpose was to forgive Shami and his gang (the daku in the area) who was going to put his weapons and give in for a peaceful life. But something happens and allegedly the police killed them all but Shamis wife escaped and she says Shami is still alive. 
The story is going down. As I said I have already read this when it was coming out in 2010. Another three or four episodes then new stuff will come. 

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