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Friday Night Movie

atonement_ver6I received this little baby in my Valentine stash, so we decided to give it a whirl this Friday night. Umm, let’s see…where to begin? Maybe at the snore-ometer. You know, that’s the point in the movie my boyfriend seems to begin snoring. It was about 40 minutes into it, to be perfectly accurate. Had he been awake, I’m sure he might not have given it high marks. You figure, 7 award nominations? Wow, it must be great. Not entirely true. However, maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for their shenanigans tonight.

Writing a book…(small tangent, I promise)…writing a book, you learn that there has to be a reason of “care” in the first couple of pages. I have to write a character that someone is going to give two hoots as to what happens to them. Therefore, carrying your reader through the chapter, thus moving forward to the problem, the climax, and the happily ever after. Not so much care found here. I looked over (before he fell asleep) and remarked, “I don’t really care”. I was very detached from all the characters from the onset. It wasn’t until the last quarter of the movie that I began to care. It sort of came at the point they played a piece of music by Debussy. Que the swoon. Clair de lune is my all-time favorite. And the scene the music came from made entirely no sense at all. None. Period. It was thrown in there just to muster up some care, I felt.

And then there was the war scenes. Are you kidding me? I hate war scenes. Double hate, in fact. It’s depressing, makes me feel bad, and I know someone is not going to make it out alive. Hate, hate, hate the war scenes. I get exhausted and worked up just lying in my bed watching them!

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Perhaps I should’ve began my post with quick synopsis: (which by the way, is like the movie–the scenes are done in reverse) A girl sees her sister in a precarious position with a fellow she likes, and does something to change the fate of all their lives. And to make up for it, she writes a book in which she alters the ending in a way to atone for her behavior. A auto-biography, to be exact.

Maybe I just wasn’t feelin’ it. Maybe I needed some skittles. Seems we’re all out, and popcorn just isn’t the same without those fruity pieces in the bowl to counteract the salt. Or perhaps I’m older, and I don’t see the fun and entertainment in putting forth effort to make a tragedy. Did I like Romeo and Juliet? I thought I did. I found the romanticism in it all. Of course that was many years ago, but I could empathize. This movie I watched, although it claimed wildly romantic on the cover, fell completely short of the advertisement. There was no point. No point at all. It, in my opinion, was a whole bunch of hoopla to try and evoke a feeling of passion and despair, and it could have done so much more, had it had a happy ending. We really didn’t have to go there with the tragedy, now did we? The real world is packed with tragedy as it is.

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I had high hopes for this one. I really like Keira Knightley. I liked her in Begin Again, and I certainly loved her in Pride and Prejudice. Now that was a tidy romance. It made you bleed a bit for the injustice of love in the dark, but in the end, there was light!!! Where was my light in Atonement? Huh? Where was the light?

Cheated on a Friday night. Either way, I own it. Maybe I’ll let the dust settle of my first impression, plop it in a year from now, make sure I have a bag of skittles, and try it again. I might’ve missed something. 🙂 Yeah, I doubt it.

 

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Just the Right Words

power-of-wordsNot only should you be careful of what you say, but be careful of what you write.

This could go so many ways. My mother taught me at a very young age to never write down what you don’t want someone to read…anyone to read. Did I heed her advice? The advice that usually only comes from getting burned in order to deal it out to the naive masses, in hopes they don’t make the same mistake? Yes, I listened, but only after someone read what I didn’t want them to. What can I say? We are creatures that cannot simply be told, we must experience for ourselves. Lesson learned.

I had a conversation in the car this week with my 8 and 10 year old boys. One was teasing the other about something. I interrupted and told them that words should be for building someone up, not tearing them down. They have great power, and once unleashed, they can never be swallowed, lassoed back, or drowned. They are out there to be pondered, over-thought, and for many, to be destroyed. So choose words wisely.

So I have the privilege to write words this weekend. Well, I sort of am ignoring other chores and burying myself in a hole with my laptop. I come out occasionally, but for the most part you can hear pecking coming from the first room on the right, at the top of the stairs. Sometimes I’ll be typing along and I stop and wonder how I got down this street. Where are my characters again? Where did I need them to go? How is it that I’m five miles off course? And how do I get back to the pacing it needs to be?

Words are crucial. They either insight a reader to read ‘just more chapter’ at two in the morning, or close the book, fifty pages in. A writer has to always be mindful of where the words are going. What words should be used. It’s so funny how I’ll keep traveling, stop, look around, and wonder how I’m going to transition from this dead end. Patiently I put the car in reverse, back out (delete) the last ten pages and mindfully try again. It’s a job I love the most. Formulating just the right words. 🙂