Summer Review: Mr. Robot

I think this might just be my last review for new summer shows 2015 (even though there’s still Significant Mother coming in August) and I purposely waited the longest to talk about Mr. Robot. It took me forever to make up my mind about the show, but here we go. Mild Spoilers ahead!

Mr. Robot was created by Sam Esmail, who’s already proven his talent to me with the movie Comet. It’s a show about cyber security engineer and hacker Elliot who gets sucked into the world of the mysterious hacker group fsociety.

Elliot suffers from social anxiety disorder which makes his point of view very emotionally detached most of the time. While I usually am not too fond of such characters, it somehow works with him. In general, Elliott is pretty complex. He’s some sort of cyber-vigilante by night and quiet and socially awkward computer programmer by day. When he gets approached by Mr. Robot to join in on the destruction of E(vil) Corp, he hesitates, but soon it’s too late for him to get out. I like to watch him struggle and Rami Malek is exactly the right guy to portray Elliot. I also enjoy the way he often talks to us directly, which makes the show feel a lot more engaging.

As for the other characters, they sure are a bright bunch of individuals. We have almost “normal” people like Angela and Gideon, contrasted with characters you barely know anything about and therefore have a hard time understanding such as Mr. Robot and his team. I hope that we get to know more about each member as the story continues, because right now I can’t really connect with any of them and don’t necessarily feel like it’s a good thing that Elliot is helping them. One of the most notable people for me is Martin Wallström as Tyrell Wellick though. He just captures me with his performance, while his character also remains a total enigma to me!

Mr. Robot is, just like Cometvisually very intriguing. There is always a certain tension that comes with the positioning of the characters and it makes everything a lot more intense and interesting. From what I hear, the show has also done their research and portrays the IT business and hacker security issues fairly accurate – so, definitely plus points for that! Yet still, I cannot help but feel like the show is … just odd. It’s something I can’t quite put my finger on, but it always makes me feel strange. I can’t see it having a mass appeal, but it definitely has something! It is thrilling and intriguing and surprising – definitely worth a watch!

What are your thoughts?

P.S. You should totally check out the official page! The design is just so cool! Here’s the link:

How I Live Now – Book vs. Movie

How I Live Now by Meg Rossoff definitely isn’t a universally appealing story, but it somehow managed to fascinate me – which not a lot of stories have been capable of as of late. I have read the book and watched the movie and I wanted have finally decided to share my feelings about it with you.

First off, a little summary: Daisy, a fifteen-year-old girl from Manhatten gets sent to England to visit her family there. The only thing is, she never met her aunt and cousins before, because her father didn’t want to talk about anything related to her deceased mother. So, naturally, Daisy feels quite uncomfortable, rejected by her father and now having to live with perfect strangers. It doesn’t take long, until her aunt has to go away for a business trip and leaves the kids by themselves. Now the real storyline begins, because the next day World War III breaks out.

I don’t want to say more than that about the plot, because it will totally spoil the experience, but you are probably wondering why I categorized the book as not universally appealing. Well, one of the problems a lot of the readers complained about is Meg Rossoff‘s style of writing, which is very stream-of-consciousness, and there are no quotation marks around the dialogue parts. This might seem strange to some people, but it isn’t actually something that bothered me very much. Now on to the second point. Very early on in the story, Daisy falls in love with one of her cousins. I mean she’s a teenager and they’ve never met before and it really seems like they are in love, but some people complained that it would encourage incest. Now, I am not into incest stories, but somehow I didn’t mind that part either. I guess, that those are points that could turn people off from reading the book, but I don’t think it should.

From the more problematic parts on to what I really liked about the book. I thought that it was extremely interesting to see how Meg Rossoff would envision a worldwide war in modern-day civilzed countries. Mostly, when I read about war it is either about WWI or WWII or in some sort of dystopian novel, but this one actually took place in the here and now in a country like Great Britain. That’s also what I would like to have read or in case of the movie seen more about. The build-up and the resolution concering the war could have been way longer in my opinion. And I was extremely sad at the ending … I dread endings, so they are never really my thing.

Now, I’ve talked a lot about the book, but I think I enjoyed the movie even more! It is drastically different from the book, not so much in what happens (although there were some changes involved as well), but concerning the characters. A lot of people just didn’t exist in the movie or were portrayed completely different and usually that would annoy me, but in case of How I Live Now it weirdly enough didn’t. It was shot beautifully, it has a great soundtrack and I adore the main actors Saoirse Ronan and George MacKay. It really was heartbreaking! Other than that, there’s only to say that it was directed by Kevin Macdonald and stars (next to the people I mentioned before) Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, Corey Johnso, Harley Bird and many others.

What did you think of the movie or book? Would you watch it after seeing the trailer? I think it is definitely a story that should be checked out even though you might hear a lot of negative things about it.