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Angelina Jolie. Twists and turns. Spy thriller. Salt is no game changer, but this one-woman show still delivers the thrills.
By Anne John
Phillip Noyce’s Salt starring Angelina Jolie in the title role of Evelyn Salt is a power-packed movie to satisfy your thirst for action thrillers. The story revolves around an undercover CIA operative whose already dangerous double-life gets even more treacherous, when she is accused of being a Russian agent on a mission to destroy America.
Though Salt initially denies the charges, an element of mystery is added when she suddenly goes on the run, contributing to the law enforcers’ (and our) worst suspicions. On the other hand, there are some pieces which do not exactly fall into place in this jig-saw puzzle, thereby adding to the confusion.
‘Who Is Salt?’ the movie’s tagline asks and the storyline plays a guessing game, keeping us at the edge of our seats.
There are intriguing twists and turns, and the suspense is well-maintained till the climax when all questions are answered. Playing a stylish and tough, no-nonsense woman who is willing to fight and bull-doze her way through, is nothing new to Jolie and she slips into this role with ease, looking superbly fit, as always. She receives ample support from the rest of the cast which includes notably, August Diehl as Salt’s arachnologist husband, Liev Schreiber as her friend and colleague Ted Winter and Chiwetel Ejiofer as Peabody the officer in hot pursuit of Salt.
The screenplay is fast and well-paced, complimented by a racy and upbeat soundtrack. Energetic chases, well-executed stunt sequences and explosive gunfights are strewn around generously and here Jolie’s dynamism and vigour comes to the fore.
Of course, the basic story itself is only a variation of the innumerable espionage movies that Hollywood has produced so far. Don’t probe too deeply or reason too much and don’t expect anything radically different or amazingly innovative here. The focus seems to have been on developing a fun, entertaining and exciting flick, while not dwelling too much on moral dilemmas, rational loopholes or practical arguments. On that count, Salt delivers. It is a strong, all-out one-woman show which Jolie pulls off effectively, with her signature flair and panache.
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It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
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