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Category Archives: movies

There should be an appreciation for movies that set out to be different. Watching something purely character-driven instead of being guided by plot is a gamble.

And such is the case when watching Funny Ha Ha, a story revolving around Marnie, a girl who just left college and trying to integrate into her new life, finding temp jobs and a permanent boyfriend. Post-education limbo.


The movie practically encapsulated the mannerisms of a generation with how they talk, how they act. Watching how Marnie and Rachel talk about her feelings for Alex at the balcony, it feels like a path I’ve been down before, with the expressive glances and remarks that ‘its not like that’ and hints at otherwise. The embarassingly cold jokes we try to pass off to friends. The inexplicable insanity we go through as when we throw a bottle out a balcony. The nonsensical phonecall to a potential love interest in a sad attempt to prod our way in the metaphorical darkness of someone else’s mind.

Its a movie with parallels to things in life that I know I’ve done before. That it gives such clarity of vision to events that we ourselves have experienced. That it gives us what is a perceivable realism, an indie effort that produces a movie that feels like a home made video that you haven’t watched since you were little. There is no flash or extraneous effects. And there really shouldn’t need to be when its not about anything else but a character. Watching actress Kate Dollenmayer play Marnie is a marvel at realism.

It would be hard to pigeonhole this movie into a genre, as it isn’t comedy of slapstick variety, or any variety for that matter, but you laugh at the events that happen, the mimicry of real life and how life sometimes throws us into a funny position. It would be hard to call it a drama as there is no plot to dramatize, but just characters of immense likeability stuck in a mundane setting.


Does a good movie polarize its viewers? Because while sitting in the theater a good number of people left half way through the movie. The two I sat with thought it was utterly boring with no plot. For a while I imagined the title was mocking sarcasm directed at the viewers. But as I continued to chew on the idea of the movie, there was enlightenment. I actually enjoyed the movie. I and a few others who I presume thought it was a fine movie that showcased fantastic character-centric filmmaking. Everytime I tried justifying why it was so good to the other two, it was difficult selling the idea that it was good not because nothing particularly exciting happened, but because as it focused on Marnie, we feel endeared to her experiences with awkward relationships and temp jobs, all the while providing us a glimpse into the mirror that reflects what its like to be in post-education limbo. The believability of the situations, with the messy rooms, the late night parties, the feeling of being lost in temporary jobs, its an understanding of life.

The movie is great not because its immediately likeable. The movie is great because long after you’ve left the cinema the whole movie just continues playing in your head as you think about the scenes that remind us of the awkward randomness of entering adult life.