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    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
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    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Barrymore’s directorial debut results in pure bliss for viewers

The contact sport of roller derby has been outcast from American popular culture ever since the 70s went out of style.

Having once been associated with the enormous popularity of roller rinks, roller derby had a place in respected sporting events and Hollywood movies. Now with a new generation of young fans reviving it in the form of an underground sport, actress Drew Barrymore saw it as the perfect vehicle for her directorial filmmaking debut.

With roller derby simply being used as a catalyst for a central theme, ‘Whip It’ tells the story of how young Bliss Cavendar discovers her true identity in the mundane surroundings of small-town Texas. While finding it hard to enjoy her mother’s predetermined life of beauty pageantry, Bliss lives in a world where nothing seems to be made for her offbeat personality. That all ends when she joins a rag-tag womens roller derby team out of inspiration from the eccentric members. Having a new passion that conflicts with the interests of her parents, Bliss rebels to grasp what little self esteem she has left.

To give Bliss that teenage spirit, Ellen Page extends upon that rebellious attitude that solidified her existence as an actress in the film ‘Juno.’ Rather than simply reiterating those troubles, Barrymore thankfully steers clear of a childish high school nature for a more mature inclusion of the problems within a family household. Marcia Gay Harden, Daniel Stern and Page wonderfully portray the family units that challenge values just as much as they respect them. Because of this, ‘Whip It’ holds characterizations that are both endearing and judgmental as Barrymore clearly speaks to her assumed audience.

Having grown up in front of the camera, Barrymore has learned well from her beginnings as a child-star and Hollywood actress. Through her breezy approach to humor and cuteness, ‘Whip It’ achieves a unique charm to help its story about female empowerment and self expression feel so genuine. Much like her main character, Barrymore is on the cusp of a newfound passion that can only become more rewarding with a perfection of style.

To say that Barrymore crafted ‘Whip It’ without flaws is entirely untrue. However, by shaping a clich’eacute; ridden story around challenging characters, ‘Whip It’ emerges as an intelligent crowd pleaser with some important lessons for its cherished audience.

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