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I just finished watching Milk.

For the uninformed, Milk is a biopic about the assassination of Harvey Milk, the first open homosexual to be elected into public office in California. The movie highlighted the trials and hardships Milk endured to fight for gay rights but was later gunned down by Dan White an opposing city supervisor.

When I started watching the movie, I was about to write it off as another one of Hollywood’s method of cashing in on the gay movement—what with all the hoopla with movies containing gay content i.e. Brokeback Mountain and The Midnight Cowboy.

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But as I continued watching, I realized that instead of it being a movie about a gay politician standing for the rights of homosexuals; it was a tribute to a man who saw the need for a change in the way society looked at people who were different.

Director GUS VAN SANT didn’t just create a movie. He created a setting for a group of actors to pay homage to a great politician who fought hard to break the prejudice that people in that time had for homosexuals and helped pave the way for equal rights for the community, regardless of their sexual preference.

I thought that SEAN PENN was enlightening and effective in his delivery of Harvey Milk though his facial movements and manner of speech reminded me of his performance in I Am Sam. He does however strike an uncanny resemblance to his on screen counterpart.

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A mural by John Baden of Harvey Milk at 575 Castro Street, the former site of Milk’s store, Castro Camera. Emerging from the gun at left is a quote from Milk: “If a bullet should enter my brain, let the bullet destroy every closet door.” Image taken from wikipedia.

Over 30,000 people marched from the Castro City Hall to honor slain Supervisor Harvey Milk and George Moscone, Mayor of San Francisco who also shot by White. To have that kind of affect on people is just astounding.

There were many things about the movie that made me think about the way society look at the gay community.

No doubt it has become a lot less of an issue though there are many who still oppose the very idea of homosexuality. Proposition 8 is merely an example of that. And as a Christian, I know that God’s view on the gay community is obvious. The words of ANITA BRYANT, a prominent campaigner who is against homosexuality echoes in my mind. She said:

“I believe that more than ever before there are evil forces round about us. And they are lurking among us. Maybe even disguised as something good,”

The very nature of her speech was nothing but contempt and hatred for what she believes is something of an unnatural phenomenon. She did however get pied in the face by a gay activist.

I for one prefer to keep an open mind—and a pie free face—when it comes to homosexuality. I always say this: my only problem with homosexuality is that God has a problem with it.

I appreciate people who have the guts for standing up for what they believe is right and have hope to confidently say that he or she can make a change.

To have that kind of determination and faith takes a lot of balls and courage.

If only more people could achieve something half as great as that then this suckfest of a world would definitely be a better place.

For a full review on Milk, click

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Long before women had equal rights, there was one who saw the need for a change within society’s stance on the female population.

Her outspoken and guileless nature not only made her an object of discontentment and disdain among her peers but also instigated others to question her role as both a daughter and a woman.

Nevertheless, she stood fearlessly.

Unshaken and driven, she paved the way for women to bring out their inner voice and played a pivotal role in the lives of many strong women who came after her. She is one of the most celebrated female authors of all time and is the epitome of women empowerment.

She is Jane Austen.

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Unlike most biopics produced in Hollywood, Becoming Jane is a refreshing take on an autobiographical piece which steers clear from the usual overly-exaggerated mix. Aside from Austen’s slightly overplayed (factual) fling with Tom Lefroy, the writers and producers of this film remained true to most of the authoress’ life history, most accurately referenced by Austen’s original letters to her sister Cassandra.

In my opinion, ANNE HATHAWAY did a fantastic portrayal of Austen, proving most critics wrong of her inability to play a British women in the 1700s. I’ve always believed that a true actor is able to convey a clear depiction of any character, regardless of its background and nationality. Although Hathaway’s accent was a little grating on the ears and had a tendency to revert to its natural tongue, what she lacked orally, she more than made up for it by giving an exceptionally convincing performance. Her engaging chemistry with co-star  JAMES McAVOY deserves an honourable mention.

Overall, the movie was a remarkable portrayal of Austen’s life, backed by an amazing cast, a dazzling set, brilliant writing, and most importantly, a precise account on her life’s many inspiring points.

It gave an insight to the novelist’s life and explored the many hardships faced by the lady folks of her time which in turn serves as a reminder for young women in this day and age to not take for granted the freedom and power she possesses as it comes from a legacy of many strong women who sacrificed a lot to have their voice heard.