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  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Movie, Movie Review, Movies

    A Review of “Mona Lisa Smile”

    Mona Lisa Smile

    The Run Down

    “Mona Lisa Smile” is a movie starring Julia Roberts as a professor at a women’s college. It is set right after World War II when women were still seen as housewives. The college is very traditional and conservative in view, while Julia Roberts plays a more liberal woman who wants to teach the girls that they can break tradition, get an education and get married, and other newer ideas of the time.

    My thoughts

    It is a great movie to watch, even though some of the issues do not apply in today’s world. The various girls at the school represent different types of characters and their lives address different issues. Despite the women going to college, the school teaches them how to be a proper wife, marriage takes priority over their education. One of the women has to choose between going to law school or marrying her boyfriend. Another simply marries the man her family wants her to, and her life becomes a disaster. Julia Roberts’ character, Katherine Watson, guides them through different ideas of women empowerment through her art history class.

    It is a great movie to watch with friends or on your own. It is interesting to consider the different roles that were expected of women and how far we have come. The setting combined with the different characters truly makes an amazing movie that urges you to think along with the women at the college. It is also just a feel-good movie as it has an inspiring and happy ending. It leaves you feeling good, so if you need a happy movie that also addresses some interesting topics, you should watch “Mona Lisa Smile.”

    You can see the movie on Netflix and watch the trailer below:

  • GirlSpring.com, Movie Review

    Reviewing the Netflix Original Documentary – Period. End of Sentence.

    period end of sentence

    Period. End of Sentence.

    A Review of the Netflix Original Documentary by Suneeti Chambers

    As I was browsing Netflix one day, I saw the preview of a documentary called Period. End of Sentence.

    Since I have a passion and an interest in women’s health, I felt that this was a documentary I would learn a lot from and enjoy.

    After watching it, I discovered that I was right!

    The documentary takes place in India and talks about a significant topic that is considered ‘taboo’ in India: menstruation.

    As you watch the documentary, you can see the awkwardness and uncomfortableness that the women and girls show when asked about the topic of menstruation. You can immediately tell how little attention this health topic is given, despite its extreme importance. Even men are asked about periods and menstruation, and they express a lack of knowledge concerning the subject.

    Furthermore, many women India resort to unhygienic ways to take care of their period, as seen in the documentary.

    To combat this problem, an Indian man by the name of Arunachalam Muruganantham has created a machine which creates pads. It is a relatively simple machine but it is able to create pads that are abundant in quality and quantity. Then, he got people to teach women from certain villages how to work the machines and create their own pads.

    From there on, the documentary shows women with an entrepreneurial spirit, selling their own pads and getting their own money. The pride and happiness seen in these women’s faces prove that nothing can get in the way of the perseverance and power of women. The documentary has reminded me to be proud to be part Indian and to be a woman.

    Most of all, it has reminded me that we should never hesitate to change the status quo!

  • Movie Review

    Netflix Series Review: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

    If you have not seen the Netflix original series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, then I recommend doing so. It is Netflix gold with its sense of humor and relation to real-time problems with society. I would like to note that there is a decent amount of cursing, and the rating for the show is TV 14.

    The show follows Kimmy, a recently rescued young woman who spent 15 years of her life underground as part of a perverted male’s religious cult. The plot of the show is that she is trying to move on from the past and make a name for herself without the pity of being what is commonly referred to in the show as a “mole woman.”

    She packs her bag and moves to New York City where she finds herself living in an apartment with a seemingly talented, gay, black man, with a delusional, older, white lady as the landlord. The mix of the protagonist’s personality and the other cast members help bring this slightly musical series to life.

    One of the lead writers for the show, Tina Fey, is a known comedian from Saturday Night Live. She is one of my favorite female role models in television, and she continues to create healthy female characters for people to look up to. Kimmy Schmidt not only wants to do what is right all the time, but she wants to make sure that she is helping those around her through her actions.

    The series boasts positivity in speaking up for yourself and trying hard to achieve your dreams. Sometimes life gets us down, and we feel the need to give up. This is where Kimmy Schmidt and Titus Andromedas—her roommate—would tell us to keep trying.

    So, if you’re in the mood for some feel-good comedy about a “mole woman,” then you should check out The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

    Here are some comparable series:

    Superstore

                Modern Family

                American Housewife

                Don’t Trust the B— in Apt. 23

                Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

                The Mindy Project

  • Movie Review, Movies

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II Movie Review by Jana

    The Incredibles II is finally back after a fourteen year wait! I’m going to be talking about my general thoughts on the movie, and give it a score out of ten. Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for The Incredibles and The Incredibles II.

    –SPOILERS AHEAD–

    WHY I LIKED THE FIRST MOVIE
    The thing I loved about the first movie was the politicized nature of the supers, and the way the movie subverted common superhero tropes. I think it’s fair to say that The Incredibles subverted tropes similar to the way Watchmen had subversive politicized superhero tropes, but certainly not to the same extent as Watchmen. Instead of existing in a society that fully embraced them, the heros in The Incredibles faced backlash for civilian casualties / property damage they caused while performing saves. Another thing I loved about the first movie was the excellent score, which I’m happy to report is not absent in The Incredibles II.

    THE VILLAIN PROBLEM IN THE INCREDIBLES II
    The second movie had an interesting villain who I would have loved to have been more fleshed out. Evelyn/ Screenslaver is a fascinating character whose motivations felt poorly explained and even lacking in important details in her big villain monologue to Elastigirl.

    Her distrust of supers goes back to her father’s love of them, and his reluctance to use the family’s safe room while they were getting robbed. He instead opted to try and use his direct line to supers who arrived too late, and he was thus killed for his over reliance on supers. Evelyn’s father was shown to be an important political figure to supers and advocated for their rights.

    Basically, Evelyn dislikes the way the general public overly relies on the actions of the supers and wants the public to go back to distrusting them. Also, her hatred of supers ties into the way she uses them to try and give the supers a bad name: screens. Her villain identity is called Screenslaver, and she used screens to hypnotize people into following her orders. Screenslaver delivers a monologue regarding the way people are overly reliant on technology, and seems to make this point very well by demonstrating her ability to hypnotize anyone looking at a screen. She fashions screens into goggles for the supers, and forces them to act in a way that makes the general public distrust them.

    This is such a fascinating character with commentary about people’s reliance on technology, and I would have liked it if we got more backstory and explanation about this character. It’s worth acknowledging that she might have gotten more fleshed out in scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.

    THE FAMILY FOCUS
    Like the first movie, The Incredibles II was as much about superheros as it was about the Parr family dynamic. I loved the way Bob and Violet’s father / daughter relationship evolved, and gave Bob room to make mistakes as a parent. Additionally, Helen’s move to front and center superhero for a short period of the movie was excellent. Bob’s jealousy when Helen was selected to carry out a mission instead of him wasn’t condemned or painted as a negative aspect of Bob’s character. Rather, his jealousy was understandable, and he made a visibly painful effort to demonstrate his happiness for her success.

    This tied into how he grew as a parent for all of his children. While Helen was out on the mission, he had be the sole caregiver for his children, something he clearly wasn’t used to. His jealousy seemed to make him resent this work at first, but as he got better at these parental duties, he began to enjoy carrying them out more. His frustration over not being able to understand Dash’s homework led to him pulling an all nighter to learn the math so he could help his son do well on the test. His comically botched plan to save Violet’s relationship with her love interest backfired and led to a heartfelt apology where he admitted to some degree of fault for the relationship’s undoing. As a quick aside, the way the family weaponized Jack Jack’s powers was hilarious; holding Jack Jack like a gun and saying, “pew pew” to make lasers shoot out of his eyes was comedy gold. Another brilliant moment I enjoyed was at the very end of the movie when Evelyn/ Screenslaver was arrested. Violent makes the comment, “Yeah but she’s rich, so she’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist.”

    Overall, I’d give The Incredibles II a 7/10 simply due to how enjoyable it was, but wish it could have offered a more fleshed out villain.

    Catch a sneak peek here:

    https://youtu.be/i5qOzqD9Rms

  • Movie Review, Movies

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II Movie Review

    The Incredibles II is finally back after a fourteen year wait! I’m going to be talking about my general thoughts on the movie, and give it a score out of ten. Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for The Incredibles and The Incredibles II.

    –SPOILERS AHEAD–

    WHY I LIKED THE FIRST MOVIE
    The thing I loved about the first movie was the politicized nature of the supers, and the way the movie subverted common superhero tropes. I think it’s fair to say that The Incredibles subverted tropes similar to the way Watchmen had subversive politicized superhero tropes, but certainly not to the same extent as Watchmen. Instead of existing in a society that fully embraced them, the heros in The Incredibles faced backlash for civilian casualties / property damage they caused while performing saves. Another thing I loved about the first movie was the excellent score, which I’m happy to report is not absent in The Incredibles II.

    THE VILLAIN PROBLEM IN THE INCREDIBLES II
    The second movie had an interesting villain who I would have loved to have been more fleshed out. Evelyn/ Screenslaver is a fascinating character whose motivations felt poorly explained and even lacking in important details in her big villain monologue to Elastigirl.

    Her distrust of supers goes back to her father’s love of them, and his reluctance to use the family’s safe room while they were getting robbed. He instead opted to try and use his direct line to supers who arrived too late, and he was thus killed for his over reliance on supers. Evelyn’s father was shown to be an important political figure to supers and advocated for their rights.

    Basically, Evelyn dislikes the way the general public overly relies on the actions of the supers and wants the public to go back to distrusting them. Also, her hatred of supers ties into the way she uses them to try and give the supers a bad name: screens. Her villain identity is called Screenslaver, and she used screens to hypnotize people into following her orders. Screenslaver delivers a monologue regarding the way people are overly reliant on technology, and seems to make this point very well by demonstrating her ability to hypnotize anyone looking at a screen. She fashions screens into goggles for the supers, and forces them to act in a way that makes the general public distrust them.

    This is such a fascinating character with commentary about people’s reliance on technology, and I would have liked it if we got more backstory and explanation about this character. It’s worth acknowledging that she might have gotten more fleshed out in scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut.

    THE FAMILY FOCUS
    Like the first movie, The Incredibles II was as much about superheros as it was about the Parr family dynamic. I loved the way Bob and Violet’s father / daughter relationship evolved, and gave Bob room to make mistakes as a parent. Additionally, Helen’s move to front and center superhero for a short period of the movie was excellent. Bob’s jealousy when Helen was selected to carry out a mission instead of him wasn’t condemned or painted as a negative aspect of Bob’s character. Rather, his jealousy was understandable, and he made a visibly painful effort to demonstrate his happiness for her success.

    This tied into how he grew as a parent for all of his children. While Helen was out on the mission, he had be the sole caregiver for his children, something he clearly wasn’t used to. His jealousy seemed to make him resent this work at first, but as he got better at these parental duties, he began to enjoy carrying them out more. His frustration over not being able to understand Dash’s homework led to him pulling an all nighter to learn the math so he could help his son do well on the test. His comically botched plan to save Violet’s relationship with her love interest backfired and led to a heartfelt apology where he admitted to some degree of fault for the relationship’s undoing. As a quick aside, the way the family weaponized Jack Jack’s powers was hilarious; holding Jack Jack like a gun and saying, “pew pew” to make lasers shoot out of his eyes was comedy gold. Another brilliant moment I enjoyed was at the very end of the movie when Evelyn/ Screenslaver was arrested. Violent makes the comment, “Yeah but she’s rich, so she’ll probably get away with a slap on the wrist.”

    Overall, I’d give The Incredibles II a 7/10 simply due to how enjoyable it was, but wish it could have offered a more fleshed out villain.

    Catch a sneak peek here:

    https://youtu.be/i5qOzqD9Rms

  • Movie Review

    “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”

    Recently, I was scrolling through Netflix late at night looking for something to watch. I have always been interested in watching the documentaries on Netflix, from Girl Rising to Miss. Representation, there was has been an abundance of feminist inspired films that are ruthless and inspiring. The most recent jewel on my queue was “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”, a look into the Women’s Liberation movement in the 1960’s.

    First Wave Feminism started in the 1800’s, with the meeting at Seneca Falls and the fight for women’s suffrage. The leaders of this first stance for women’s rights were Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Second Wave Feminism was a polar opposite from the First Wave, this movement was powered by the momentum from the Civil Rights Movement, and most importantly rage. Modern feminists are a part of Third Wave Feminism, and it was amazing to see how these women provided the foundation for the feminism we know today.

    This documentary went through multiple aspects of the movement, from the bra burnings at the Miss. America Pageant, to the formation of women liberation groups throughout the country. It focused on the social inequality of the sexes, how women were seen as objects to be owned by men without any question. It also shed light on intersectional feminism, and how feminism could be applied to racial issues along with LGBTQ rights. There were also clips from men, and how the majority of both men and women felt like the Women’s Liberation movement was unneeded and a waste of time. It portrayed the contrast between those who fought for equal rights, and those who were content with living in ignorance.

    The women who were interviewed for the documentary talked about problems that still apply to women and girls today, from the double standard between a woman’s and man’s sexuality to pay inequality. It was inspiring to see how the women in the 1960’s dealt with these social issues, and how girls today can deal with these problems that still plague society.

    The film itself was very beautiful, the bulk of the movie was footage collected from the 1960’s and 1970’s. There was also multiple women who were interviewed to speak about how they contributed to the movement, from those who worked in the Civil Rights Movement then moved into the Women’s Liberation movement to leaders of the Black Women’s Liberation movement. The spirits of these women were strong, quirky, and defiant which defined the movement itself.

    I highly recommend this documentary to women of all ages, though be warned there is some crude language in a few scenes. It was a beautiful film, one that gives me inspiration in how to explain my feminism to other people and how my feminism was built off of the work of those who fought for it 50 years beforehand. While there were parts in which might have been a point of controversy, even today, there is one statement that every person can agree with: “All women are beautiful”.

  • Articles, Movie Review, Movies

    Victoria and Abdul: A Review

    Victoria and Abdul: A Review

    I have always had a fond heart for movies, particularly those that possess the power to transpose a person by shedding a light on a new perspective. This month I had the absolute privilege of getting the opportunity to view the film Victoria and Abdul. The film, unlike any other film I have viewed in the past, contained a sense of undeniable passion and was able to fuse the austerity of racial discrimination with tale as old as time idea of following your heart to do what is right. This harmonious pairing makes this film inviting, uplifting, and allows views to watch from an unbiased standpoint and fully experience the beauty that defines this movie both aesthetically and in depth.

    The movie follows the progression of a friendship shared between Queen Victoria and a young clerk. The human’s ability to see past the superficial or to not see past the superficial is evident in this film along with other themes of loyalty, trust, knowledge and doing only what your heart deems to be fit and right. Not only is the film informative concerning an event that took place in history, but the film also highlights themes that are very relevant to our modern day society.

    See the trailer below.

    http://focusfeatures.com/victoriaandabdul

    For more info on the real story of Victoria and Abdul, visit Victoria and Abdul the Real Story