Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Eeshani Kharshikar - The Great Gatsby Film Review


The Great Gatsby (2013) is a movie based on the eponymous novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, detailing the wild lives of rich people in the Roaring Twenties of Eastern America, and inevitable consequences carried out after their reckless actions. It stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, and Elizabeth Debicki. I found the casting of the movie to be one of the best parts. I was worried that for all the ways Fitzgerald described Tom as a physically formidable man, they were going to cast someone untrue to the character, a la Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. I was really glad to see they cast someone who had the physical stature that Buchanan’s character commanded, since it was really important to the story. Along that vein, I also appreciated the casting of Dicaprio as Gatsby, because he has that charm about him, and Debicki as Jordan, for the youthful but edging on corrupt golf player, who she played very well.

As someone who has read the book, I recommend the film because it takes what the book has and translates it to film very well. Even when details are changed or omitted, they are done so carefully, so the story is not lost in the details. Additionally, the film brings across a few things exceedingly well: the symbolism Fitzgerald uses in images, like Dr. TJ Eckleburg’s eyes, and the madness and chaos of the Twenties themselves, both through carefully crafted imagery and filmwork. The movie also takes Fitzgerald’s idea a bit further by turning the story into a flashback from Nick’s perspective in a rehab facility. All of these points contribute to my recommendation of the film, both to the initiated and those who have read the book and are looking for an elaboration.


Eeshani Kharshikar - The Crucible Film Review


The Crucible, a 1996 film based on the homonymous play from the sixties, provides a clear and useful visual representation of Arthur Miller’s vision for his play. The Crucible stars Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor, Wynona Ryder as Abigail Williams, Joan Allen as Elizabeth Proctor, and a slew of other actors as supporting characters in a small Salem village struck by suspicions of witchcraft in the late seventeenth century. One interesting aspect of the movie was the portrayal of John Proctor. John Proctor is purposefully likened to the physical characteristics of Jesus, as an implication of his martyrdom and undeserved killing. He wears brown robes and has shoulder-length hair, center-parted, reminiscent of how Jesus dressed. When he is executed at the end of the movie, he is placed in the center of the gallows, similar to how Jesus was crucified. This imagery by the filmmakers is to symbolize the role of John Proctor as the village martyr and exemplify how he is wrongfully killed.

            Yes, I recommend the film for both people who have and haven't read the Crucible. The film provides a good visual of often-times confusing language and scene changes when reading the play. For example, in the beginning of the play, while the writing is focused on one scene only, the movie allows the viewer to understand events happening in parallel throughout the village. Additionally, the symbolism in the movie, such as the long table between John and Elizabeth Proctor, help convey to the viewer the strain in their relationship, a subtle undercurrent that often goes unnoticed in the play. Overall, the movie is a fresh view on the Salem witch trials and the hysteria and suspicion rippling through many communities as a result, and how the words of others can be stronger than we think.

Eeshani Kharshikar - Of Mice and Men Film Review


The film Of Mice and Men (1992), adapted from the eponymous novella by John Steinbeck, stars Gary Sinise, John Malkovich, Sherilyn Fenn, and other actors, and provides a great amount of information and details about the struggles of migrant workers during the Great Depression. While all the actors do a remarkable job of portraying characters from a novel written over 50 years prior, Gary Sinise, who plays George, does the best job at playing a conflicted character and elaborating on his character more than the novel does. Throughout the movie, especially in the added scenes, Sinise shows his skill at becoming George, personifying his actions perfectly. His best performance proves to be at the climax of the film, when he is faced with the decision to either kill Lennie, his only companion for basically his whole life, or let him go and face the other men in the search party. The audience can absolutely see the conflict play out in Sinise’s body language and face, something that is deeply missed in the novel. Through this expansion and detailedness of George’s character, the audience is able to understand the full weight of what George has to do, something that can come across as blunt in the book.

            As someone who has both watched the film and read the book, I would recommended the film only after reading the book. While the film is a good summary/wrap-up of the sequence of events in the book, the book provides more imagery and relates to the Great Depression more accurately than the film does. Additionally, the film proves to be a bit slow at times, attempting to fill the points that Steinbeck originally filled with eloquent imagery of landscape. Unfortunately, these gaps don’t translate to the screen as well as the filmmakers would have hoped, leading to someone who hadn’t read the book to feel that the story is slow and unnecessarily boring, thus taking away from the meaning of the story. The film alone will feel slow and disjointed, but the book alone misses the crucial point of the actor’s tonal and emotional portrayals of the characters. 


Sunday, November 27, 2022

We Need to Start Taking Our Mental Health Seriously, A Think Piece By Noorhan Desouky

 We Need to Start Taking Our Mental Health Seriously

Think Piece By Noorhan Desouky

Oftentimes, many of us get so caught up in the vicious cycle of hustle culture that we forget to take care of ourselves. In a world where your value is dependent on your productivity, it is hard not to fall victim to this idea– but I need to tell you that nothing is ever more important than your mental health. 

This is a crazy time for high school juniors and seniors right now. Many of us are incredibly stressed and at our limits with studying for the SAT/ACT and filing college applications. Yet, on top of that, we are still meant to keep up with schoolwork and have a social life. It is simply unrealistic to think that students can be challenging themselves academically with AP classes and the SAT/ACT, yet sleep a solid eight hours a night. 

As a result of school, many of us have abandoned our mental health and developed unhealthy habits. We are sleeping too late because of schoolwork, ghosting our friends from stress, and having caffeine addictions by the age of sixteen. 

I’m here to tell you that you need to take it easy. We are not robots, we are humans who need social interaction and a life away from all of the studying and homework. 

Go do something relaxing: paint your nails, do a face mask, and make plans to go out with your friends. Start developing better habits, like doing your homework as soon as you get home so you don’t stay up late doing it. Go to sleep by 11PM and drink only one cup of coffee a day. If your mental health will be harmed because of something, then it is never worth it. Take care of yourself, and take it easy. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Magic, a poem by Seher Kaur

 life is like magic.

it’s fun to forget for a while

and bask in the oblivion and joy

but soon enough 

you have to remember 

that magic

is just a colorful trick

and no matter how dull real life may seem

that is what you need to return to.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Seasons by Elijah Cordero

 It was a bright, sunny day as the colorful leaves of the tree began to fall while the cool wind swept against the blooming flowers.

Tree leaves in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The ground is full of them, it’s almost like a colorful painting. It starts to get a little colder as days go on. 

Then, every tree has lost its leaves; it has become empty. Snowflakes begin to fall, and snow starts to gather, covering the whole ground heavily.

Next, The temperature finally begins to rise and flowers slowly bloom. More plants and tree leaves grow

Once again, the sun is brightly shining. Daylight hours are longer.

This is all continuously repeated throughout the year, the four seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.

By: Elijah Cordero

Mockingjay, a book review by Difan Li


Book Review by Difan Li

Mockingjay is the final book of the Hunger Games Trilogy, and is every bit as thrilling as its predecessors. Rather than marking the quiet end of an incredibly successful and already action-packed series, this book builds up the conflict to its peak, providing readers with the most conflict and dynamic plot by far. Katniss Everdeen has finally escaped the clutches of the Capitol by her ‘rescue’ to District 13, a district that was seemingly obliterated by the government but had gone into hiding and was now plotting the rebellion. Katniss, the mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion to each of the districts, is faced with the pressure and danger of her role. Struggling to cope with her own past as well as the loss of those she loves, she channels her hatred of the Capitol into fighting for the rebel cause, despite not fully trusting those she works with. With each blunder, she risks more and more, and finds herself unable to protect all those she holds dear. While the readers are to be devastated with the losses of many well-loved characters, it is almost impossible to not want to continue reading and silently hoping that Katniss pulls through to the very end, though whether that end be of peace and success remains uncertain for the entirety of the story. I would highly recommend reading the final story of this series along with all of the previous books. While this book concludes the thrilling tale, Katniss’ story continues to live on, both in the fictional world and in our own world today. The dystopian genre of the book marks the warning that the story entails to our future, showing the danger of such a fate and the destructive ends that some paths may lead us down.