So the following was written whilst I was on the plane here, but due to a lack of internet I’m only getting the chance to upload it now. But hey, it’s written in present tense, so you can pretend it’s all happening at this very moment if that’s your kind of thing:
It’s the 23rd of June, and I’m currently writing this on a plane. I’m officially Thailand bound!
I feel like I’ve had little time to get excited about it in the last few weeks, as I’ve had so much to stress about. Mainly this is due to sorting out visas, DBS applications and working out what I actually need to bring, but I’ve also had to pack all my stuff up to move out of our uni house. This kind of sucks (in 7 Wokingham Road slang, it’s a 19 on the village scale), since it’s been a fantastic year and it also means we’ve had to see off my housemate who’s spending the next year abroad in France, but I can at least take some comfort in the fact that all of the stress-inducing factors are, mostly, sorted by now.
Back to today though. I was weirdly nervous about going through airport security by myself for the first time ever, less due to having any incriminating material and more due to the fact that I thought I’d do something wrong and would have a nervous breakdown and cry. Luckily, none of that happened, although I did nearly go to the completely wrong lane for my flight. Apparently when the flight board says that your plane is arriving at gate C, it actually means you have to get a bus from gate A to your plane, despite no mention of this anywhere. Thanks BA, you guys are super helpful.
But whatever, the point is I’m currently flying to Thailand and I boarded without dying on the way or anything, so yay! I’m staying at the D&D Inn in Bangkok for the first few nights when I land- apparently this is right in the middle of the tourist area and is ‘crazy’ according to some of my friends back at home who have been here. Hopefully I’ll have time to check it out, but I imagine my first priority when I get there will involve sleep, and lots of it. Hooray for jetlag.
Anyway, because I obviously know the real reason why you’ve all come to read a blog about my experiences in Thailand, here are some reviews of films I watched on the plane:
Muppets Most Wanted
I won’t lie, as soon as I’d booked my Thailand plane tickets I was holding out hope that this would be one of the in-flight films, since it’s fairly recent and I hadn’t seen it yet. This resulted in me doing a victorious fist punch in the air when I saw it was on the list of movies, which I’m pretty sure people saw me do. But, you know, it’s The Muppets. They’re cool.
Anyway, Most Wanted pales in comparison to the previous Muppets film a bit, largely because it doesn’t have the emotional centre that movie succeeded with so well. The songs are also bit more hit and miss, and none of them stuck out in my memory particularly. That said, it’s still funny, and I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout it (which, again, I think people heard. I’m gaining such a good reputation for myself on this plane). Plus it’s crammed full of celebrity cameos, including a brilliant turn from Danny Trejo, which is more than enough to justify it’s existence.
The day before I left, my friend and I were discussing how the benefit of watching films on planes is that you end up seeing things that you’ve either completely missed and never thought about catching up on, or films that you’ve only ever had a brief passing interest in. For me, ‘Her’ lands somewhere between those boundaries. On the one hand, it’s got an interesting concept and a lot of hype surrounding it, even considering that anything released around Oscar season gets hyped to stupid, often exaggerated proportions. On the other hand, the only other Spike Jonze film I’ve seen is Where The Wild Things Are, a film that received similar hype despite being numbingly, pointlessly boring.
Set in the near future, Her’s concept can be described as ‘a guy falls in love with his computer’, so going into it I expected some sort of satire/critique of how technology affects relationships. I was completely wrong- if anything, this serves as the film’s context rather than it’s premise, serving as the formation and the dissolution of the relationship between Joaquin Phoenix and his newly installed operating system voiced by Scarlet Johansen (This makes sense much more in the film by the way, I’m just terrible at explaining it). Her therefore feels more of a deconstruction of what a relationship between two ‘people’ is, and manages to convey something that feels so much more real than it has any right to be. Not only did it completely defy any expectations I had of it, but it’s also really, really fantastic.
Oh, and my next post will actually be about what Thailand is like. Promise.