Going to the movies is our national pastime. And who can blame us? The lives we see in films are exciting and we’d be crazy not to want something like that for ourselves. This year hasn’t been the best for films, but it’s still managed to throw up a few gems with characters that will stay long in the memory.
The problem I have with this, however, stems from the fact that I empathize greatly with film characters. Pair that up with my rather morbid imagination and you have a recipe for misery. Especially when I consider a film’s lesser-known characters – the ones that most people don’t really think about again after the hero gets the girl. And maybe it’s because I have too much free time on my hands, but I like to think about what happened with them once the credits have rolled and they’ve had to return to life as usual in their parallel movie-verse.
Just FYI, this article contains SPOILERS. So, if you haven’t seen the movie in question already, be sure to watch it because these were amongst the year’s best films.
Boobly, Kapoor and Sons
This charming modern family drama had a host of characters that won you over with little effort. However, despite the fact that I love Alia Bhatt as much as the next guy, I couldn’t take my mind off the tragedy unfolding in the background. I’m talking about Boobly.
Can’t recall him? Okay, how about this – he’s the bodybuilder from the film. You remember him now? Of course you do. Because that’s pretty much all that he has going for him in this movie. In fact, if his name had been Ali or Shyam or anything else, we’d just be calling him “the bodybuilder” whenever we discuss the movie. Instead, the filmmakers decided to give him a funny-sounding name, so now he will now be known as Boobly until the end of time. Not a future I envy.
“My eyes are up here, Alia”
Despite all these hurdles, Boobly seems to have a good heart and he always goes out of his way to help whenever he can. Unfortunately for him, however, he lacks social skills altogether and was often on the receiving end of much ridicule. If this is what happens to him on an everyday basis, his life must be a living hell – an infernal cycle of trying to help and then being treated like a bumbling idiot for trying.
Smiling masks his existential anguish
Boobly is a well-meaning man who’s been unlucky at the genetic lottery. Fully aware that he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, he has since chosen to focus all his energies on the one thing he’s good at – bodybuilding. His body is the one thing left to him that he can have perfect control over, sculpting and moulding it little by little until he’s happy with how he looks. Maybe he does this to make himself happy, or perhaps it’s to win other people’s approval. The real tragedy of Boobly is that he’s blissfully unaware of his circumstances; he doesn’t understand that nothing matters when it comes to what he does to change how other people look at him.
Despite his many attempts to make some friends on his way through life, he will be forced to endure the daily condescension of men who feel threatened by his physique and the constant patronisation from women who see him as little more than a muscular child. For the rest of his life. But that’s all okay because Alia Bhatt’s character called him hot that one time, right? Right?
Percival Graves, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The latest in the JK Rowling movieverse had pretty much everything fans had been waiting for – magic, wondrous creatures, interesting and sympathetic characters we can relate to, and the abandonment of a senior government official to starve to death while imprisoned.
In case you missed that part of the movie, we’re talking about Percival Graves, the Director of Magical Security and head of MACUSA’s Department of Magical Law Enforcement. You might remember him as the guy who’s constantly tussling with our hero, Newt Scamander, and manipulating the Obscurial.
Just like a young Joseph Stalin, Graves proves that the handsome ones are always trouble
At the end of the film, it is revealed that Grindelwald assumed Graves’ identity at some earlier point and has spent a long time undercover hatching his evil plan. So when he’s finally defeated, everyone is massively relieved and they all live happily ever after. Except for the real Percival Graves, of course. Whatever happened to him?
If our past experience with Polyjuice potion – which is what Grindelwald used to keep up his disguise as Graves – is anything to go by, Graves is probably still out there. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Crouch keeps Moody imprisoned and slowly learns his habits and mannerisms so that he can impersonate him to perfection while on the Polyjuice.
How else do you learn about his passion for starting raves?
This is most likely what Grindelwald did with Graves since his impersonation of him was so perfect that nobody suspected a thing during the entire time he spent infiltrating MACUSA. What this means is that Graves is most likely in a magical prison of some sort; alone, starving, trapped. And judging by how nobody questioned Grindelwald about Graves’ whereabouts, instead choosing to celebrate and walk into the figurative sunset together, we can only assume that nobody cares. Or maybe they just assume that Grindelwald killed him just to make sure that he couldn’t somehow escape and derail his plans. Either way, more tears were shed for the magical creatures in the film than for Graves, which makes me wonder how awful he must have been to all these people. I guess even the most potent magic can’t grant some people a likeable personality.
Franklin Portman, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
It’s important to remember that despite being somewhat neglectful Franklin is never an abusive or cruel father to the protagonist, Jake. When his son is struggling to cope with his grandfather’s death, he ensures that he gets the psychiatric care that he needs. He even takes him to Cairnholm Island, where Jake eventually finds Miss Peregrine and the rest of the Peculiars, in the hope of having his son recover from the mental issues Franklin suspects he suffers from.
“But Jake told him about the Hollows and Peculiars! All he had to do was listen to him!” Please. If your 16-year-old son came home spouting all kinds of nonsense about mutant children caught in a time loop from the past, while being hunted by invisible eyeball-eating monsters, you’d probably check them into the nearest psychiatric care facility yourself.
Life sucks when you can only take your kid to public spaces because they can’t make a scene there
Like so many parents, Franklin makes mistakes along the way, but he does his best to do right by his son. Which is why he must have lost his mind when his son just disappears at the end of the movie.
That’s right; when Jake returns to the Peculiars through a series of time loops, he does so without informing his parents about his plan. Not that they’d believe him, of course, but any explanation is better than just vanishing without a trace. Now Franklin is on an island, freaking out because he thinks he’s lost his son. He has to return home and break this news to a wife who already doesn’t think too highly of him and he has to deal with the guilt of not paying attention to the signs of what he believes to be the signs of his son’s rapidly deteriorating mental health. I don’t care how bad a father Jake thought he was – nobody deserves this. No parent wants to outlive their child.
“Sorry, dad, but you know what they say – human kites before parents’ rights”
All Franklin knows is that he was entrusted with the care of his mentally-disturbed son and that he lost him while on vacation. For all he knows, his son is dead. Now he has to return home and tell his wife what happened. And, as studies have shown us in the past, the loss of a child isn’t exactly an aphrodisiac to marriage. Franklin’s life will never be the same again and he’ll most likely sink into depression and die alone.
Good job, Jake, you selfish scumbag, I hope you’re happy now.
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Images Courtesy: Kapoor and Sons, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.