Movie Review on “Gandhi”

Gandhi (1982)

The story of Mahatma Gandhi was a very inspiring story to me. Gandhi is a personal all time favorite to me. The way he sees the world and his teaching is very unique in the sense that many of the great leaders had applied his concept. Gandhi was the father of India. He free India from the hands of the British but unfortunately was assassinated at the age of 78 on 30 January 1948.

From the movie, a theory from the social psychology had attract me which is the theory of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as a process of consciously attempting to change a person’s attitude through the transmission of messages (Franzoi, 2009). There are three factors that increase the success rate to persuade others which is:
(i) Likability
(ii) Similarity to the audience
(iii) Physical attractiveness

Based on the following factors, Gandhi who acquired at least two of the traits. Firstly, he acquired the traits of similarity to the audience. Gandhi is a Muslim and also a Hindu which makes him easily be accepted by the people of India. Besides, he came from a rich background but he give up his wealth and get down to the earth to be part of the poverty people. His act had gain the trust of many people and also the support of the people of India that lived in poverty. Try to imagine that if he did not give up his wealth, it will be harder for him to gain the trust of the people. People will not conform to your persuasion if they think that you can’t feel them.

Secondly, the similarity with audience had give an advantage to Gandhi to gain the likability by the public. he usually praise people on what they had done even they did bad things. In one of the scene where Muslims and Hindus are fighting, a man confess to Gandhi that he had take revenge on a Muslim child by killing the child. However, Gandhi did not curse him or disgrace him instead he give a solution to the man by asking him to adopt an Muslim orphan as compensate. From here you can see that this is also one of the reason that his order was obey by the public.

Another concept that I want to share is the weapon effect. In order to show to Gandhi that they had stop the fight between the Muslims and the Hindus, a group of Muslims people had drop their weapon in front of Gandhi. Mostly when people see weapon, people will tend to link it to aggression and this is the weapon effect. When the weapon is being drop which means that they willing to stay peace by stopping all aggression act. In most of the movies, they tend to show that people dropping their weapon to indicate that they are willing to stop fighting.

A quote that I find it very meaningful from the movie : “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” this is a wonderful quote by Mahatma Gandhi.


Movie Review on “Departures”

Departures (2008)— 礼仪师之奏鸣曲

This movie has a very good storyline and it is also quite touching. In this movie the main character — Daigo was a cellist in the starting of the movie. He was force to quit his job as cellist when his orchestra band was being disband and he decide to go back to his hometown to start a new life while searching for a job. Coincidentally, he found himself a job that he thought will be cool at first but then realized that he fall into the deception of the advertisement. The advertisement sounds like a traveling company but in the end he end up working as a corpse make-up artist. Throughout his work, he had a completely different view towards his job and he manage to proved to his friend and wife that the career he choosen is not something that need to be ashame of in an Asian context. He also forgives his father who abandoned him since he was young which was found dead at his room.

Why do they choose an cellist as the character?
I think that the reason they choose a cellist as the character because as a musician you will need to put a lot of feelings when you are performing your song. As a musician you will need to feel the song first before you can convey the message in the song to the audience. When in comes to the movie, making-up for the dead person can be something very easy. All you need to do is just put some color on the body to make it looks fresh then everything will just be fine. However, Daigo who first thought of this way too but was slowly melt into the true purpose of his career soon. As time goes by, he started to feel the perception of the dead person family and how does this person being viewed in the eyes of their family member. The concept behind this is that a musician can feel the spirit of the music and express it out beautifully to the audience. Similarly, when making-up for the dead body Daigo can feel how the family view on the dead person to help the dead person to make-up so that it matches the good memory that the person left for them. In the movie, the family member thanked Daigo for his make-up because he help them to retrieved many good memories of the dead person.

In the Asian context, people view the career that involve death as dirty and ashame. In the movie, Daigo’s friend prevent his wife and daughter to even greet Daigo because of his job. Daigo’s wife left him because he refuses to change his career where his wife thinks that the job is very shamful to her. I think that these people are great. They willing to sacrifice themselves to work in those career that people look down onto. Try to imagine the world without them. Who will handle the dead people?

Movie Review on Sybil

Sybil (1976)

This is a movie about a girl who was diagnosed of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) which means she have many different personality inside her body. From what the movie had film out, I personally think that this movie did a great job on showing the public on how a DID patient behaved. The symptoms that the movie portray is as accurate as what is found in the DSM-IV. It is said that what the movie showed is accurate because:

i) The main character Sybil will experience amnesia and do not remember what she did when the appearance of the ‘alter’ (the other personalities) take over from the host (the original personality).

ii) Sybil had more than 2 personality states . She had 13 personality states including 2 personality that belongs to two young boys in the movie.

iii) The switching of personality had been shown in a very clear way to let audience understand which personality state is Sybil experiencing.

The movie also points out 2 important causes of DID which is:

i) Traumatic childhood- Sybil was being abuse by her mother when she was young. As she was growing up, she developed many personality states to protect herself. Based on Putnam (1997), a survey found that only 3 out of 100 patient who suffered DID who did not report of traumatic childhood.83% patient reported being sexually abused. When linking it back to the movie, Sybil was sexually abused by her mother when she was young and her mother even hang her with a hook and store her in a box.

ii) Genetic inheritance- Her mother was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Family member with mental disorder might increase the chance of the future generation to suffer from mental disorder (Alloy, Riskin d & Manos, 2005). A family member who suffered from mental disorder might lead to the inheritance of future generation on mental disorder also.

As for the treatment of DID, in the movie the psychiatrist used the hypnosis technique which is useful and realistic to help Sybil. In real life example, hypnosis can be a good choice to help a DID patient.

Review on the movie “Parenthood”

Parenthood (1989)

I personally think that this is a great movie and Steve Martin is one of my favorite actor as well. This story portray all four types of parenting styles well. The four types of parenting styles are (i) Authoritarian (ii) Authoritative (iii) Permissive (iv) Neglect. Among all four types of parenting style, it is said that the authoritative parenting style is the most ideal way of shaping your child. However, I personally agree that using authoritative parenting style is a better way to educate your child. Although I am from a traditional Chinese family but the way my parents used to shape us as a kid is said to be special to my siblings and I. When I was little, my parents used different way of parenting styles to guide us through our childhood. My father tend to use more authoritarian while my mom is a more authoritative person. My dad was strict with us when we were little. Whenever our behavior is inappropriate, he will first warn us to behave ourselves but when we cross his boundaries, we will end up beaten up by his ‘rotan’. After the negative punishment given, he will then explain to us why did he punish us to make us realize what is right and what is wrong. My dad use to set rules for us to follow to train us to be an obedient person. As for my authoritative mom, she is a very supportive mom.She always listen to us when we voice out what we think. When we are doing something wrong she will explain softly to us that we are wrong and try to lead us to the correct path. Yet, she will also spank us if we take her for granted by crossing her boundaries. I love my parents so much as they shape me into a well person. Thank you mom and dad…..

My family photo (1998) in a Christmas Celebration

Movie Review on ” The Fisher King”

The Fisher King (1991)

In this movie, Robbin Williams actually won the Best Actor for this movie. He portrays a schizophrenic person in this movie. His acting was fantastic and he portray as a schizophrenic patient so well.


As for the symptoms of Schizophrenia, there is a list of characteristics symptoms. Based on the DSM-IV-TR, the symptoms are: DELUSIONS, HALLUCINATIONS, DISORGANIZED SPEECH, DISORGANIZED or CATATONIC BEHAVIOR and “NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS” as in reduction or loss of normal function like language and goal-directed behavior. A person who shown 2 or more of those symptoms for at least a month and be noticeably for at least 6 months is being diagnosed as Schizophrenia. In the movie, Parry (played by Robbin Williams) had shown a some symptoms of it. Parry had hallucination, catatonic behavior, delusions, and disorganized speech. He had been acting in this way since his wife were murdered 3 years ago. As a result, he can said to be diagnose as Schizophrenia. 

The Knight that is on a quest for the Holy Grail


The hallucination image of the Red Knight is symbolize the trauma that Parry experience.


Before the movie ended, I actually find something interesting from this movie is the strange friendship between Jack and Parry. I think that friendship is sometimes unexplainable in the way that you can be friend with anyone even he or she is a psychotic person. When Jack first met Parry, he tried to ran away from him because he knew that Parry was a crazy guy. Throughout the movie, Jack guilty made him to feel guilt and try to help Parry out especially when he found out that Parry’s wife was murdered by the “insane radio fan”  which Jack had the responsibility for him. At end of the story, Jack became Parry’s best friend by helping Parry to date his crush and he even help him to complete his quest of the Holy Grail. When I reflect back, I feel glad and fortunate because I have alot of friends that lay out their hands for me when I need help. Although I don’t have a psychological abnormal friend but I really appreciate the friends that I had even they are just “Hi,Bye” friends. When Jack tried to break into the mansion to get the Holy Grail, the scene reminds me of a friend who always help me now when I need help. I believe that every person will have an important friend in their life, I had found mine, have you found yours?

“In the story of our life, friends are like the pages that fill with colors to fill our life with beautiful colors and memory no matter they are being kind or bad to us.”