Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades Freed is a 2018 American erotic romantic drama film directed by James Foley and written by Niall Leonard, and based on the novel of the same name by E. L. James. It is the third and final installment in the Fifty Shades film series, following Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Fifty Shades Darker (2017). The film stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively, and follows the couple as they marry, and must deal with Ana’s former boss (Eric Johnson), who begins to stalk them. It grossed $368 million worldwide, making it the¬†eighth highest-grossing film of 2018, but, like its two predecessors, received negative reviews, with criticism aimed at its screenplay and performances.

The first film was better than the sequels and it also had that aura of eroticism and intrigue as it was heavily anticipated. Over the last two films, I think I have spent more time staring at the screen and partly looking at my smartphone – it’s boring. This film is also dumb! They got married and now it’s all the same. They fuck, Christian does something that upsets Ana, they argue and sulk and then they fuck. Repeat! Meanwhile Jack breaks into Grey’s offices and steals some data while causing a fire. Ana is introduced to her new personal security team. Christian surprises Ana with a new house and has hired an attractive architect, Gia Matteo, to rebuild it. Ana is annoyed when Gia openly flirts with Christian in Ana’s presence. Ana privately threatens to fire Gia if she continues her flirting, forcing her to stop. Seriously! That is a shit script!

Kate, who is dating Christian’s older brother, Elliot, confides that she suspects Elliot may be having an affair with Gia, who is also his business associate. When Ana returns home, she encounters Jack Hyde, who attempts to kidnap her. Ana’s security team subdue him and he is arrested. After an argument with Christian about her night out with Kate, Ana berates Christian for being overly controlling and possessive and demands more freedom.¬†Soon after, Christian surprises Ana with a trip to Aspen, bringing along Kate, Elliot, Mia, and Jos√©. Elliott proposes to Kate, who accepts. It is revealed that Gia was only helping Elliott choose the ring. Things however get complicated when Ana finds out she is pregnant and let’s Christian know and he acts like the jackass asshole that he is!

He leaves, going on a night-long drunken bender. The next day, Ana discovers that Christian had texted and met his ex-lover and former¬†BDSM¬†dominant, Elena Lincoln. Jack Hyde, released on a $500,000 bond, phones Ana demanding a ransom for Mia, Christian’s abducted sister. Hyde demands $5,000,000 in cash in two hours or Mia will be killed. As she is told not to tell anyone, Ana goes to the bank and asks for the money, which the manager does after speaking to Christian. He thinks Ana is leaving him but then notices the coincidence of Hyde’s recent release, Mia’s unknown whereabouts, and Ana’s sudden large cash withdrawal. It turns out Jack is blackmailing Liz, a co-worker of Ana, into helping him.

Ana arrives at the drop-off site with the money. Hyde, psychotic and vengeful, attacks Ana, kicking her abdomen. Liz tries to stop Jack as Ana pulls out the revolver and shoots Hyde in the leg. Christian and his security team, who electronically tracked Ana’s cell phone, arrive and apprehend Hyde and Liz. Ana blacks out as she hears Christian’s voice. They both reconcile and are joined by the family.

Christian’s private investigator, Welch, has left a report showing that Christian and Hyde had shared the same foster family, though Christian has no memory of this. Hyde was vengeful over Christian being adopted by the wealthy Grey family instead of him. It is also learned that Hyde blackmailed Liz into being his accomplice. Christian and Ana also learn where Christian’s birth mother is buried. They visit her grave and Christian lays flowers on it. Two years later, Christian and Ana have a son named Theodore, and Ana is pregnant with their second child.

What a pile of garbage! This is what had women wetting their panties for in the novel. So boring and repetitive. 5 outta 10!

Musical Wishes

Do you play a musical instrument? If not, what musical instrument would you love to learn to play?

I wish I had stuck to lessons on how to play the guitar. I picked up the music bug, the rock music bug in particular when I was 10 and really started getting to bands and musicians when I was 11. At age 12 I asked my dad and mum if I could go and get some guitar lessons. My elder sister also wanted to learn how to play an instrument and she picked the keyboards and guitar, which she had already started to learn a couple of years ago.

So we had two acoustic guitars and enrolled in Kalabhavan, an institute known for teaching singing, some musical instruments like guitar, piano/keyboards and violin, and mimicry (which was a big thing in Kerala until very recently) among other things. So 3 days a week my sister and I would go to Kalabhavan and joining us were two of my sister’s friends. I would sit with the guy and we would try and learn guitar as well as we could. The tutor was a tyrant and rude and obnoxious and we couldn’t wait to get out of there after the hour was up.

I therefore quit wanting to learn as I hated the guy who taught us. A bad teacher can sour things up for you, even your passion. I wish I had stuck through with it or gone elsewhere. But that’s what happened.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR MAY at The SitsGirls

Fever Is In The Air

This is the life, I guess. But then it’s not all that good. I’m talking about working a general work shift of 9:30 am to 6:30 pm and reaching home by 7:30 pm.

However, not everything is going good. Viral fever and chicken pox season is upon us. We already have a few folks down with chicken pox and several more people having caught viral fever. Including two from my team. Both down for a few days. So I had to go in for the day shift for one of them and now I am feeling down. My joints ached so badly starting around 11 am, just like it is before the onset of a fever.

I struggled throughout the day and I was glad when it was 6:20 pm and I could tell the new joinees to sign out and go home for the day after they filled a form which would take them about 10 minutes. By 6:45 pm I was outta there and on m way home. I feel better now but will take it easy and go to bed early.

Quick Day At Work

I am back home, quicker than a jiffy. Left at 5:30 pm for my 6:30 pm shift and reached home by 10:30 pm. So why did I leave so quickly from work instead of staying around till my 3:30 am end of shift? Well, one of my colleagues who is conducting a new hire training for some new recruits in the morning shift is out with a high fever and hence I have to fill in for her. She is running a fever of a 102!

So that means, after some work and a couple of reports, I went down to have dinner with some other colleagues and then sent out some mails. By then I was checking the time as I wanted to leave the office by 10pm. I did and I was lucky enough to get a cab in 5 minutes and reached home in just 25 minutes or so.

Getting to sleep will be a problem – I am used to the 3:30 am shift and so have had no time to adjust. As will getting up in the morning. Damn! I am not a morning person and this quick and sudden change in shift is gonna be killing me.

Transfer Rumours Continue

RB Leipzig midfielder¬†Emil Forsberg¬†could become Arsenal‚Äôs first signing since the appointment of Unai Emery as manager. Valued at ¬£47m, the Swedish ‚Äúanti-Zlatan‚ÄĚ has also got antennae twitching at Atl√©tico Madrid and Juventus. Freiburg‚Äôs Turkish defender¬†Caglar¬†Soyuncu¬†has revealed that Arsenal are after him too and has said he‚Äôll hold talks with the club in the coming weeks. Soyoncu will cost around ¬£35m, while the Gunners also have Juventus full-back¬†Stephan¬†Lichtsteiner¬†lined up in their cross-hairs. The Swiss international is available on a free transfer from 1 July and Arsenal are reported to have a deal in place to sign him.

Arsenal expect to make Borussia Dortmund star Sokratis Papastathopoulos their first signing of the summer. The Daily Mail claim a deal looks set to be done for around £15m. It is said the Gunners have also held talks with Freiburg over Caglar Soyuncu but his £30m price tag has put the north Londoners off. West Brom’s Jonny Evans is another option that Arsenal are looking into. Arsenal will face stiff competition for Nice star and top target Jean Michael Seri. A host of Premier League clubs have been linked with the French midfielder recently. And now The Sun claim Napoli and Borussia Dortmund have entered the fray. Seri Рwho has a tantalising £35m release clause Рstill reportedly fancies a move to Arsenal though.

Former Gunner Martin Keown insists Unai Emery must first focus on improving Arsenal’s defence Рeither in the transfer market or on the training ground. Keown told the Daily Mail: “He has to assess whether Arsenal’s central defenders are good enough for him. “Laurent Koscielny is out for six months, Per Mertesacker has retired, Shkodran Mustafi has had a difficult season and he also has two young defenders in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers. “There will have to be a different message with more emphasis on defence than attack.

Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country is a Netflix documentary series about the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known as Osho Rajneesh), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon. It was released on Netflix on March 16, 2018, after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

I knew some things about Osho but apparently that was just the more recent stuff. I knew he was a controversial figure and guru but didn’t know much else. I knew he talked about sex and sexuality and that most religious people in India were not too comfortable with it. But I did not know anything about this scandal. When I saw the trailer/ad for this Netflix documentary series on Facebook, I knew I wanted to check it out. It is fascinating and makes for a compelling semi-binge if you will. It’s just 8 episodes long but each episode is over 60 minutes long. The Rajneesh movement that began in earnest in India, was hounded out off India because of their controversial practices and tension between the ruling¬†Janata Party¬†government of¬†Morarji Desai¬†and the movement led to a curbing of the ashram’s development.

With a lot of his followers being mostly white foreigners (I can remember seeing only less than 10 Indians in the whole documentary) the community decided to move abroad. In 1981, efforts refocused on activities in the United States and Rajneesh relocated to a facility known as Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. Rajneesh’s personal secretary, the megalomaniacal Ma Anand Sheela, orchestrated the commune’s construction. They called their new home Rajneeshpuram, and its 64,000 acres were quickly occupied by thousands of sannyasins seeking proximity to their leader and a life of meditative bliss. However things began to take a turn for the worse when the Rajneeshs clashed with the conservative Christian community of Antelope, population of just 70.

Directed by brothers Chapman Way and Maclain Way,details Rajneeshpuram‚Äôs downward spiral; the scandals that plague the community include immigration fraud, biochemical attacks, arson, assassination attempts, the recruitment of homeless individuals to sway an election and the drugging of those same folks after their presence threatens the commune‚Äôs peace. ¬†There are extensive interviews with key former members of Rajneeshpuram, including Sheela herself. Finally – what seems to me atleast – it all came down to a rage of jealousy; Sheela was pushed away from her influence as Rajneesh’s succumbed to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as among his more rich and affluent followers were Ma Prem Hasya (a.k.a. Francoise Ruddy) – the ex-spouse of Godfather producer Albert S. Ruddy who eventually supplanted Sheela as Bhagwan‚Äôs secretary and fled with him to India following his 1985 conviction – who along with the others showered Rajneesh with expensive gifts.

Rajneesh himself said so in an interview after Sheela left. It certainly comes off that way. I can still not understand or believe that so many people just showered their love, devotion, money and Rolls Royces his way. What the heck? But then I never really understood religions or cults – both are the same, one just has a lot more followers, power and influence in politics – but still found it compelling. A 9.5 outta 10!

The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin is a 2017 political satire comedy film directed and co-written by Armando Iannucci. It stars Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough and Jeffrey Tambor. Based on the French graphic novel La mort de Staline, the film depicts the Soviet power struggles following the death of Soviet revolutionary and politician Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) in 1953.

The movie depicts the events that happen after Stalin’s death; which occurs after he is paralysed by a¬†cerebral haemorrhage. At the time he was listening to the recording to a concerto music that Stalin had wanted to get a copy off and reading a note from pianist¬†Maria Yudina¬†hides a note in the recording for¬†Joseph Stalin, saying he has ruined the country. The members of the¬†Central Committee¬†are alerted. The first to arrive are NKVD head¬†Lavrentiy Beria, who discovers Maria’s note, and¬†Deputy General Secretary¬†Georgy Malenkov. As Malenkov panics, Beria guides him to take leadership, hoping to use him as a puppet.

Moscow Party Head¬†Nikita Khrushchev¬†arrives with the rest of the Committee, except for¬†Foreign Minister¬†Vyacheslav Molotov, whom Stalin added to one of his¬†lists of enemies¬†the night previously. Beria closes off Moscow, has the NKVD take over city security duties from the¬†Red Army, and replaces Stalin’s enemy lists with his own, reprieving Molotov. Khrushchev and Beria struggle for symbolic victories such as control over Stalin’s unstable son¬†Vasily¬†and daughter¬†Svetlana. Stalin dies, despite initially recovering briefly Khrushchev goes to Molotov’s home and attempts to enlist his support, but Molotov, a true believer in¬†Stalinism, opposes any¬†factionalism¬†within the¬†Party. Beria buys his loyalty by releasing his wife¬†Polina Molotova¬†from confinement. There is then a struggle for power as the funeral preparations begin.

On the day of¬†Stalin’s funeral, Khrushchev lies to the Committee and Zhukov that he has Malenkov’s support. The Red Army overwhelms the NKVD and takes up positions outside the conference room. Zhukov and his men arrest Beria, and Khrushchev coerces Malenkov into signing the papers for Beria’s trial. Khrushchev and his allies find Beria guilty of treason and of sexual assault in a¬†kangaroo court¬†and execute him. As Beria’s body is burnt, Khrushchev gives Svetlana a ticket to Vienna and assures her that her brother will be cared for. Several years later, Khrushchev, now Supreme Leader of the Soviet Union after removing his co-conspirators, attends a concert given by Maria, while future leader¬†Leonid Brezhnev¬†watches him.

A very light-heartened look at the events of communist Russia with some absurd humour, what I was also stricken by was the American and British accents for the Russian characters. That detracted from what was a really good movie but it also lags in places and I was droning off. The best performances are by Buscemi, Friend, Tambor & Issacs. 7.5 outta 10 for me!

Arsenal’s Transfer Targets

Jean Michael Seri, Jonny Evans and Ousmane Dembele are all on Arsenal’s radar this summer but Gunners must sell to supplement their ¬£50m budget. Unai Emery will have a transfer budget of around ¬£50million for this summer and wants to strengthen in midfield and defence primarily. Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and his scouting staff have watched a number of players but the budget dictates some¬†Arsenal players¬†will need to be sold. Here Sportsmail identifies some of the players under discussion and examines which players could be heading out the Emirates exit door.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund is valued at ¬£15million and is expected to be the first arrival for Emery, the Greek centre back adds experience. Arsenal have also asked about Freiburg’s Caglar Soyuncu but his ¬£30m price is an obstacle. Emery wanted Jean Michael Seri from Nice, now valued at ¬£35million while at PSG and is keen to bring him to Arsenal but will face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United, who have greater budgets to play with.¬†Dennis Praet at Sampdoria for ¬£18m and Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini for ¬£26m would represent cheaper alternatives.

Jonny Evans is available from West Brom at ¬£3million. Evans has a bargain price but it’s widely known that his agent wants a large commission of ¬£4m, which has put off the likes of Manchester City and made Leicester re-think. Arsenal need a goalkeeper and Leno is ready to leave Bayer Leverkusen after they brought in Lukas Hradecky from Eintracht Frankfurt. He has turned down Napoli and wants regular first-team football. Bayer is asking ¬£22million but it should be worth it.

Blast From The Past – Revisited Post

Write about a first kiss.

I studied in Carmel school, Kuwait at the time and they had a strict policy about the ratio of girls to guys. I remember that it was about 11 of us jokers against 35 or so girls! I was in the 4th grade. I sat next to, what I thought much later to be, two of the most cutest girls I have ever met. On my right sat Asma, who was this sweet but naughty Gujarathi girl. And on my left sat Michelle.

Michelle was Filipino and she was so cute. Thick curly hair, doll like fair skinned face and she had eyes that made you want to cry. Now, I am basing this mostly on the photos I saw of her much later, the ones I found about 10 years ago, long after I last saw her in person. Anyways, Michelle was the quietest girl in the school. She pretty much kept to herself and was so quite that sometimes the teachers forgot that she was even there.

Well, once she was ill and had to stay at home on a day that we were given a big homework to do. I remember that it was in Arts & Crafts (why did they have such a subject in school like that, I will never know). So Michelle didn‚Äôt do the work since she wasn‚Äôt there when it was assigned. The next day, our teacher was coming to each kid and checking the homework and when it came to Michelle ‚Äď ofcourse she couldn‚Äôt submit it since she hadn‚Äôt done it.

Now Michelle was so silent & scared that she couldn‚Äôt even tell the teacher that she had been absent the previous day. The teacher scolded her loudly and gave her extra homework to present the next day. I wanted to say something in defense of Michelle but‚Ķyou know how boys are at that age. So Michelle started crying, very quietly I might add, and it was getting to me. I must have said something like ‚Äústop crying or I‚Äôm getting drenched over here‚ÄĚ or something. But she kept on crying. The bell rang and we all headed back to our buses.

Suddenly I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle and I rushed back to get it from the classroom. There sat Michelle, all alone, crying her little heart out. I was sad to see that and worried that she would miss her bus. So I went to her and pleaded with her to stop crying and get into her bus. She kept on sobbing. So I….picked her up, wiped her tears and told her that I would walk her to her bus if she only would stop bawling away.

That stopped her and she said ‚Äėok‚Äô and off we went. We go onto our respective buses and went home. The next day, she smiled at me and gave me a small toy (I can‚Äôt remember what it was). And when no one was around, she said ‚ÄėI love you‚Äô and kissed me! On the lips. One big smack! And I said ‚Äėok‚Äô!

I sat next to her for another two months and then it was summer vacations. The next school year, I had to move to another school (since boys were only allowed till the 4th grade in Carmel school) and I never saw Michelle again. But she is a part of my childhood no matter what else I will ever do in my life.

Prompt from 365 Blog Post Ideas and Writing Prompts at See Jane Write

Arsenal Announce Unai As New Manager

Unai Emery is to become our new head coach. He joins the club after completing a two-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain, where he recently landed the treble of Ligue 1, Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue.  Unai, 46, previously spent three seasons with Sevilla, leading them to an unprecedented three consecutive Europa League titles, establishing the club as a major force in the Spanish league.

Announcing the appointment, chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: ‚ÄúUnai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has developed some of the best young talent in Europe and plays an exciting,¬†progressive¬†style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly. His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him¬†the ideal person to take us forward.¬† ‚ÄúWe conducted a confidential, wide-ranging and rigorous search involving¬†extensive¬†background references,¬†data and video analysis,¬†and¬†personal meetings with all the candidates we shortlisted. All were interested in the position and we were unanimous in our choice of Unai to drive the next chapter of our history.‚ÄĚ

Unai said: ‚ÄúI am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game. Arsenal is known and loved throughout the world for its style of play, its commitment to young players, the fantastic stadium, the way the club is run. I‚Äôm very excited to be given the responsibility to start this important new chapter in Arsenal‚Äôs history. I have met Stan and Josh Kroenke and it‚Äôs clear they have great ambitions for the club and are committed to bringing future success. I‚Äôm excited about what we can do together and I look forward to giving everyone who loves Arsenal some special moments and memories.‚ÄĚ

Unai started his coaching career at Lorca Deportiva in 2005 after playing mostly in the Spanish second division. He went on to coach Almeria, Valencia and Spartak Moscow before joining Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain.

The Pool It Is

Would you rather swim in the ocean, lake, or swimming pool?

I have never swum in the ocean or a lake. I have swum mostly in swimming pools, mostly during a 2-3 month stint when I went to a club. And a few times I have taken a swim in a river. The Periyar river mostly.

I haven’t been swimming since my early 20s. Being a fat obese guy might have a lot to do with it. Actually, the only thing that is stopping me from doing it. When I was 18-19 I went to Abad Plaza where they had a sauna, steam room (a doctor told my parents that steam rooms with eucalyptus oil on a cloth tied against the steam blower is good for people with asthma and breathing issues). While there, I learned swimming in their pool on the open air roof.

Have you gone swimming in a pool in the night when it is raining heavily? It’s like you are in a storm in the sea/ocean. Or rather it feels like what I have seen on tv or movies. Especially when you are under water. As a mediocre swimmer and never haven been in almost 2 decades, I would prefer a pool.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR MAY at The SitsGirls

Santi To Leave Arsenal

Arsenal have announced¬†Santi Cazorla¬†will leave the club this summer, with his contract coming to an end next month. The Spaniard joined from Malaga in 2012 but had his time at the Emirates hampered by injuries, causing him to not have a first-team appearance to his name since October 2016, due to an Achilles‚Äô injury, which needed a skin graft. Cazorla has had surgery on his injury several times and in November 2017 doctors¬†told him he should be “satisfied” to walk again¬†after contracting gangrene in his right ankle.

Chief executive¬†Ivan Gazidis¬†said: ‚ÄúSanti is always one of my favourite players to watch. His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years. He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare. We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club.‚ÄĚ

The Independent reported last week that Cazorla was in line for a place in Mikel Arteta’s coaching staff should he have been given the job of replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, but it talks have broken down and Unai Emery is expected to be announced as the club’s new manager. In total, Cazorla scored 29 goals in 180 appearances, helping the Gunners win two FA Cups in the process. Cazorla joined Arsenal from Malaga in 2012 for £17 million and emerged as one of their most influential players on the pitch in his role as a deeper-lying playmaker. Arsenal struggled mightily to make up for his absence, with their lack of a dominant central midfielder one of the reasons for two consecutive Premier League finishes outside the top four.

‚ÄúI am very sad to be leaving after so many great times,‚ÄĚ Cazorla said. ‚ÄúI have loved my time with the club. I will always remember the special moments we had together. The FA Cup in 2014 is something we will never forget. ‚ÄúI am very proud to be part of this club‚Äôs history.‚ÄĚ