Love and Gelato: Critique

Most binge watchers would have guessed it right. Yes, it is the latest movie released on Netflix all about Lina a socially awkward and a control freak who travels to Italy all alone to fulfill her mother’s last wish as she wished her daughter to retrace her roman holiday.

Lina (Susanna Skaggs), the main character of the romantic drama “Love & Gelato,” recently lost her mother to cancer. She is required to carry out her mother’s final desire before enrolling in her first year of university at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her mother’s journey to Italy in her childhood had a profound impact on her, and she asks Lina to do the same. Although conservative Lina is capable of worrying about everything. She graciously accepts to devote her summer in Rome.

Unavoidably, Lina is captivated by the city’s beauty—its cuisine, its landscapes, and—most importantly—its attractively enticing boys. Alessandro (Saul Nanni), a blue-eyed rich boy headed for a Boston fall, captures her attention. A kind and hospitable chef named Lorenzo (Tobia De Angelis) shows interest in her square peg in round hole and Alessandro turns out to be too worth a try. Lina discovers motivation in Italy with the help of her mother’s old friends and Lorenzo, even daring to look for her Italian father, the man her mother left behind.

The film is filmed in an unremarkable manner to match the story’s depiction of the actors’ uncreative naiveté courtship. Brandon Camp, the film’s writer and director, chooses brightly oversaturated colors, a humorous approach. It’s the type of movie that is more concerned with the allure of an excellent Italian dialect than it is with coming up with creative—or even very beautiful—ways to capture Rome on screen.


PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen – Book review

Jane Austen (December 1775 – July 1817) was an English novelist. The plots of her novel were often based on the situation of women; how their social and economic status totally depended on the family they are married to. She used social commentary, humor and realism to express her thoughts. Her works were approximately based on her social background. The books that she wrote were highly influenced by moral issues.

Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, is one of the most recognized works of Jane Austen. The story revolves around Elizabeth Bennet (Lizzy) and how her character changes and develops through. It is a romantic comedy about how a man and woman surrender their pride and prejudice and come to realize their feelings for each other. It also shows how in the 1800, the only way to lead a decent and content life a woman had to marry in a rich house.

 Elizabeth is the second oldest daughter out of five of the Bennet family. The Bennet family is a combination of both silly and wise personalities. Mrs. Bennet is a lady of uncertain temper and mean understanding. Jane, the oldest daughter, was very beautiful comparatively among the five. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was quick-minded, cultured and wise. Mary was fond of reading while Catharine and Lydia spent their time flirting with youngmen, especially militia. Mr. Bennet, was the owner of Longbourn state, but he had no son but five daughters. Accordingly, the property would be inherited by a cousin of his leaving the daughters economically unstable. Mrs. Bennet was always keen to find a suitable and wealthy gentleman to marry at least one of her daughters off. It was a matter of great importance as at least one of the five needs to be economically stable to help the others. Elizabeth, considered the wisest, is often ashamed of her mother’s sheepish behavior.  

The events take place when the Bingley’s arrive in Hertfordshire where the Bennets reside. The daughter of Bennets and Mr. Bingley were introduced at a ball dance party. Mr. Bingley is attracted to Jane at their first meeting. While Mr. Darcy is a close friend of Mr. Bingley who is also present in the party. Darcy is usually an attractive person but is full of pride and haughtiness. Elizabeth gets provoked by Darcy’s comment on her claiming that she wasn’t pretty enough to dance with him. However, he falls for her wisdom and quick mindedness. Mr. Bingley begins to fall in love with Jane and Jane too. However, Mr. Darcy is logical and believes that Jane is after his money and so plays a role in separating them. The Bennets give up the hope of Jane’s marriage to Mr. Bingley and are disappointed, especially Mrs. Bennet whose aim in life is to marry her daughters. 

Mr. Collins and Mr. Wickham can be considered the antagonists who have created more toil in Elizabeth’s life. The Bingley sisters are no less; they carried a superior behavior towards Elizabeth. Mr. Wickham first shows interest towards Lizzy filling her up with hatred towards Darcy but then engages someone else. Wickham later elopes with Lydia, the youngest daughter of Bennets.  Later demands money to marry her and they have to do the same to save their reputation. Among these events Elizabeth is proposed to by Mr. Darcy and she, ignorant of the truth and full of hatred towards him, refuses him coldly. However, she later comes to know the true character of Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy, and regrets her past actions and prejudices.

The novel provides the reader cognizance through the chapters. It is a piece of reading which is more meaningful and worthy of learning than just entertainment. We learn more while reading it instead of getting a lesson at the end. It shows how even a sharp minded woman is dependent on her spouse to lead a good life. Not only this, but it gives us some life lessons and a new view to someone’s personality.

But to expose the former faults of any person without knowing what their present feelings were, seemed unjustifiable.
– Jane

Doing things we don’t mean to and ending up hurting others. We can never judge a person by what we hear from others.

It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us.
– Jane

One can never be perfect. There is always room to improve. Too much pride may make us blind at times. There are times we skip the options that are right for us by underestimating them.

The novel contains a not rushed story with tons of valuable lessons.


“Veronika Decides to Die” gives you an impression the book is depressing, right? I can assure you it isn’t.

Paulo Coelho, the best selling Brazillian author brings another beautifully woven story. It is bound to make you sad and leave you happy by the end. The story does begin with a depressing tone but takes a twist no one expects.

The story revolves around a 24- year-old girl, Veronika. Veronika lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia and has everything one asks for in life. She is beautiful, has loving parents, a lover and a job. But a feeling of fear that everything will go downhill for her after 24 takes over her mind. So, one evening she sits near her window with a bottle of painkillers. As she starts talking one pill at a time, she takes a look at all the things outside which she sees every day. Slowly, she started getting sleepy but death had not yet come.

The plan to kill herself fails and she woke up to find herself in a mental hospital, Villette. The doctor tells her that her attempt at suicide had failed and her heart had taken the toll of it. She finds out that she has a week only to live. Her world had taken an unexpected turn.

Coelho then goes on to explain how he came to know about Veronika’s story. He relates to her story because his parents also admitted him into a mental institution for his “unusual behaviour”. But Coelho appears in the story for a brief moment only.

Coming back to Veronika, shocked and resistant to live in Villette she tries to find a way out of there. But she fails at this too. Reluctantly she becomes friend with Mari, who suffers from panic attacks. Later she claims that she might have fallen in love with Eduard, a schizophrenic. Somehow she slowly gave in and accepted her reality. She decided to live the last few days of her life to the fullest.

Dr Igor, one of the main characters of the stories gives Veronika series of shocks to test his medical theory. He wants to prove through his experiment that he can shock someone into wanting to live again by convincing them that their death is around the corner. That is exactly what he did with Veronika.

Veronika finds herself on a journey to discover herself before she dies. She rediscovers her passion for piano. She played the piano every evening that lifted the spirits of many at Villette. She suffered a heart-attacks throughout the week, she found her desire to live again.

Coelho, makes you rethink your decisions and your routines. Just like all his other books, this book also successfully connects with its readers. Like Veronika, all of us have had moments in our life where we thought the only way out is to die. Paulo gives his readers a new hope to live. You will reevaluate your reasons to continue living. He leaves a hidden message that there a number of reasons in this world to live and suicide is not an option. A moment can change your life.

I recommend this book to everyone especially the people who have been suicidal some time in life. Veronika decides to Die is not a long read. The stories winds up in around 200 pages. By the end of the book, it will leave its readers happy to be alive. Paulo focuses on the fact that even the slightest of change in perspective can make a broken person stronger.