Tag Archives: Associated Press

The Imposter – When Real Life is more Riveting than Reel

The Imposter – When Real Life is more Riveting than Reel
The ImposterWhen Real Life is more Riveting than Reel

What does it take to be someone else in hope of living your dream life? What does it take to welcome a loved in your life, who was taken from you, years back? What does it take to live a lie?

A lie of being someone else. A lie to see your son, in the face of a total stranger.

After watching this documentary movie, it took me an hour going through all the articles and interviews of the persons involved, to convince myself, that this was really a true authentic story and not a fiction.

Imposter, directed by Bart Layton, is a documentary based on the 1997 case of Frederic Bourdin, french national, who impersonated a missing American boy, Nicholas Barclay. Why this case is special, I will tell you later, but why this documentary is special, because it is so far being treated like a documentary.

Bart Layton has shown this story with both main protagonists sharing their views, and at the end this makes you wonder, if the victim is really a victim here?

Story is so riveting and thrilling that you will not believe it even when at the back of your mind, you always knew that this is based on a real life event.

Nicholas Barclay, a 13-year-old Texas boy went missing in 1994, never to be found, until one day a phone call from Spain says otherwise.

The Imposter – When Real Life is more Riveting than Reel
Frederic Bourdin

 

Bourdin is a 23-year-old man, who makes his way through life by impersonating teenage boys and living in child shelters. His life of lies is going on too well, until one day Judge asked him for his identity or go through finger print identification system. Fearing that he may get caught and imprisoned for life, he soon blurt out a new story that he is actually American and got kidnapped from there to Spain.

Through his ultra sharp mind and super cunning convincing skills he manage to strike gold when a missing boy from Texas, America, Nicholas Barclay seems to have the same description as Bourdin. Authorities now took control and lie is now so out of control that now even the creator of these lies, Bourdin has no power over it.

He tries to go with the flow, changing his color blonde, tattooing his hands, covering his eyes with big dark goggles and hiding himself in layers of clothing. But, are these enough, to fool a loving sister who has not seen his brother for last three years?

Looks like it is.

Nicholas’s sister didn’t even flinch seeing Bourdin for the first time. Infact she shows him all the family photographs detailing on every family member possible. It was enough for Bourdin to pass the authorities and acquire a US passport and citizenship.

His so-called mother, uncle, cousins…. everyone is convinced that he is Nicholas. Is he that good an actor/impersonator? Maybe.

Gaining confidence like never before, Bourdin’s tales now encompassed torture and sexual abuse by military personnel and child traffickers, raising alarms through every section of community from media, to private investigators and FBI too.

A private investigator suspecting story of Nicholas’s escape take special interest in this case and soon share his doubt to FBI agent Nancy Fisher, that this Nicholas has different ears than the one who went missing 3 years before. Nancy took this investigation further and take Nicholas to a forensic scientist, who also confirms that this Nicholas is a fake and is not raised by an American family. Only thing now needed to do was check his DNA and confirm all the allegations.

But, Barclay family denied. Nicholas’s mother refused to give DNA samples saying, “We know who he was”.

Why?

Why would you keep a total stranger in your home, when everyone including government is saying that he could be dangerous, in fact a spy or a terrorist?

The Imposter – When Real Life is more Riveting than Reel
The Imposter – When Real Life is more Riveting than Reel

 

A mother/sister no matter how desperate they are to get reunited with their long-lost family member, can ignore drastic differences of physical appearances of impersonator.

Nicholas had blue eyes, Bourdin had brown.

Nicholas had blonde hairs, Bourdin had black dyed blonde. Within their 3 months of stay they couldn’t see the color of his roots.

Nicholas would have been 16 if alive, and Bourdin was a 23-year-old man.

Nicholas had tattoos when he was 13, Bourdin had them fresh.

Most importantly, Bourdin didn’t recall anything from his past life. His school, his friends, his memories all lost. His accent totally different. Everything was different.

This documentary leaves you with so many questions. Most revolting is the one who Bourdin himself raised to authorities after being imprisoned for his deeds. He told them, that Barclay family has killed real Nicholas and they accepted him in their family to hide this gruesome killing.

Who is a victim here? Who to believe?

We may not know all the answers, but this story is far more thrilling than any other film story.

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Tuesday Talkies – ‘Frida’, based on Frida Kahlo

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo

I am easily drawn towards artistic films, but with ‘Frida‘, there was something equally mesmerizing in its poster of a unibrow woman who looked somewhat like Salma Hayek; and then there was a beautiful painting lurking behind in one of the stills.

It was more than enough.

‘Frida’ movie is based on the life of Mexican painter ‘Frida Kahlo‘, famous for her surrealists self portraits. I have seen her paintings before (watching movie), but they didn’t spoke to me much at that time. Infact I find them too surreal and somewhat brutal in terms of execution, but, after watching her life story and then reading about her in a lot of articles, I find every painting of her as a masterpiece in its own.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo
‘Frida’, based on Frida Kahlo

It seems like she is one of those artists whose paintings you can understand without first dwelling in their lives, and, their life’s pain and depth can only be understood by imbibing their paintings.

Let’s talk about movie Frida, and in the process explore a great artist life story.

‘Frida’, movie is adapted from the book ‘Frida – A Biography of Frida Kahlo‘, and directed by Julie Taymor. It stars Salma Hayek, who was nominated for academy award for portraying the character of Frida in this movie; and Alfred Molina as Diego Rivera, Frida’s husband. Geoffrey Rush, Mia Maestro, Ashley Judd and Antonio Banderas have also played pivotal role in the movie.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo

Story starts with an unapologetic young Frida who is close to her father and treats herself as his son than his daughter. She prefers wearing suit in a family portrait despite of her mother’s discomfort. She is rebellious, in love, and has a fiery personality, which she also gave a taste to famous artist Diego Rivera. Life was fast and running in full speed until one tragic trolley accident halt her speed and changing the direction of rest of her life. By the way this particular accident scene is filmed so beautifully and exotically that it is in itself a painting. It was astounding.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo
‘Frida’, based on Frida Kahlo

Coming back, she is bedridden and has only one thing to do to pass her time; that is, to paint the canvas gifted by her parents. She starts to paint and then there is no turning back. She paints her pain, her stillness in her bed, her agony, her hopes, everything. With her will power she resumes her legs and starts to walk, leaving her bed for good. First thing that she do, is to go to Diego Rivera once again, this time not to make fun of him, but to showcase her work. She asked for an honest opinion about her paintings and she did get one with a dumbfounded Diego seeing her marvelous work.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo

Frida and Diego both speaks and understands only one language – art; and this joins them in more ways than expected. They fall in love and get married, despite Frida knowing about his sordid married life and numerous affairs. They have a very honest relationship with Diego saying, he loves Frida, but he can never be faithful to her only. In return, Frida tells him, that she expects loyalty, if not fidelity.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo

She does deals with his infidelity without flinching twice, and also did some deeds of her on with her other partners of same-sex. At one time both of them have had sexual encounter with the same woman. But, throughout the film, you will notice that they are in love with other, despite of them sleeping with other men and women; what they long for is company of each other. There is a soul-mate connection somewhere which is never broken, till death.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo
Once Diego did break his promise towards Frida by sleeping with her sister. She didn’t took it well and break herself from his shadow, only to fall in depths of alcoholism and adultery.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo
‘Frida’, based on Frida Kahlo

They reunite as she succumb to her ill-health with her past injuries now refusing to go away with her sheer will power. She is again forced to bed ridden painful days, with only her husband and her canvas, by her side to amuse her. She dies after having her paintings solo exhibition in her motherland Mexico. Her last wish fulfilled.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo
Her paintings reflecting her life, from her new york visit to her differences with Diego, and most impacting of all, her miscarriages. Everything, changing her, and her paintings. If you look at her paintings now, you will see a female who is born to break free but still struggling to express herself trying to make sense of her reality in dream world.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo

Frida is a masterpiece just like its protagonist’s paintings. More so because of Salma Hayek’s never seen or felt before, kind of performance. Molina and Hayek shared something so beautiful in this movie that are etched as Diego and Kahlo, forever in my mind.

'Frida', based on Frida Kahlo

Thursday Treat – Crocheted Lion Hoodie

 Crochet Lion Hoodie
Crochet Lion Hoodie for Tisha Singh
 Crochet Lion Hoodie
Crochet Lion Hoodie for Tisha Singh

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Live your life. Make your dreams come true. Turn your dreams int reality. Live your dreams.

Sounds familiar?

Too familiar?

You must have seen/heard these lines in so many motivational/inspirational posters and speeches. For 10 seconds or a minute, while you are reading that motivational line; you will feel a positive boost to your life and then, either you will sulk knowing your reality is different from your dreams, or you will feel good about living your dream life.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

If you are living your dream then you must be elated about your life; and must be dreaming some new dreams. Carry on!!!

But, if you are not living your dream; have you ever given a thought, whose dream are you living actually?

 

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

If you are an Indian, there is a very good chance, that your life is a manifestation of your parents dreams. You may be a doctor, or an engineer, or a civil servant, or even can be a sports person; but there is a high probability, that you are, what your parents wanted you to be. Infact they must have decided it the moment you were born, or went to your first school, or college.

 

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Every parent in the world, wants their children to do good, but it is not enough for Indian Parents. They want you to do better than their neighbors kids. So good, that they can boast of it later in front of whole social circle and relatives.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

How they do it?

They will fill your brain with only one thing – that is – to be that someone, who they aspire you to be. If they want you to be doctor; they will make no conversation end without pointing it out to you, that how disappointing it would be, if you don’t become a doctor. You can be a total disgrace to family, if you choose to become something else. You became a Manager in a company, not good enough, your parents wanted you to be a Doctor. What a disappointment you are. Slap!!! 

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

God forbid, you are an Indian girl; your parents are more worried about your marriage than your career. I remember the time when I had to fight my own parents, just to get education of my choice, and not do B.A. and get married. You have to fight so you do not get married, You have to fight for education, for career, for marriage, for everything in your life; irony being, you are fighting not with society but with your own parents and close relatives.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

How many of us has the courage to speak up and fight for our dreams? It’s hard to stand up and fight your own parents, but it is worth it, when you achieve your dreams, and live life of your choice.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

I respect those who live life on their own terms, regardless of what their parents, or relatives, or society, think of them.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

Your dreams can be the same what your parents have dreamt for you. You may also want to be a Doctor, like your parents want of you; but what matters is have you dreamt of being a Doctor?

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

Remember ultimately you are living your life, and no one else can do it for you. So, better start living your own dreams, than following others.

Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?
Are you living your dreams; or, of your Parents?

 

 

Weird Things Americans Are Passionate About

Weird Things Americans Are Passionate About

If you want to know things that fascinate me about Americans, specially coming from an Indian background then read on my article Weird Things Americans Are Passionate About.

 

Do share your opinion. Would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂