In My Mind: Gifted Review

Back with another movie review here! This time with Gifted. Obvious spoilers ahead as usual. I’ll try to make it as concise as possible and not as long as Logan given the big wall of text to read.



To give off a little bit of detail of what the movie is about, Gifted tells a story about a man, Frank played by Chris Evans, who has taken the ‘father’ role of a young female prodigy named Mary. Frank is supposedly the uncle of Mary whose mother passed away when Mary was young. And the movie goes through the struggles of a parent whether to let Mary do what she loves or let her have a normal childhood.

The scene begins with Frank sending Mary off to a school after being home-schooled for the past few years. Their next door neighbour and bus driver, Roberta, tells Frank that this is a bad idea but Frank goes with the plan anyway. Mary reluctantly goes off to school and shows disinterest in class. She particularly gets displeased when the teacher, Bonnie Stevenson, asks a very simple math question to the class. As a result, Mary is asked by Bonnie to answer a few ‘complicated’ math questions for a 1st grade such as double digits multiplication. Bonnie thought she had proven a point to Mary but finds out that she actually is gifted. When Bonnie tries to confront with Frank, Frank denies any attempt of discussion about Mary being gifted.

In the downtime, Bonnie tries to search up any information about the Adler family. She manages to find that Frank was a lecturer on Philosophy and Diane, his sister and Mary’s mom, was a math prodigy who came close to solving one of the Millenium Prize Problems. Later that night, Bonnie confronts Frank at a bar, a place he usually goes every week. She then confirms the fact that Mary is a child genius with Frank while he expresses his fear that Mary would turn out like Diane and ruin her life.

The next day, Mary got into a fight with a boy from her class and Frank is called in to the principal’s office. On the verge of being suspended, the principal offers a scholarship to Mary to enter a school for the gifted with the help of Bonnie. Frank declines, stating that she deserves to have a normal childhood. With that, the principal decides to contact the grandmother, Evelyn. She comes to Frank’s house and prepared gifts for Mary such as a Macbook and some books regarding Math theories and problems. Mary instantly gets interested into them and start reading.

Frank offers to talk to Evelyn at a private place and proceed to argue about the future of Mary. Frank wants her to have a happy and normal childhood while Evelyn hopes she could surpass Diane and maximise her potential. They both stand firm with their decisions which results in Evelyn seeking to gain custody.

Now, here comes one of my favourite scenes in the movie, where Frank brings Mary to the beach and talk about life in general. One quote from Frank sticked with me most: ‘Faith is good to have but it is about what you feel and think, not what you know.’ It was a great line that stroked deeply within my heart.

Along the custody battle, we find out the identity of Mary’s father who said that he always wanted to see Mary but lied about it. Mary gets emotionally upset about it and Frank decides to show her the moment she was born in a hospital. Mary also mentions that she wants to stay with Frank because he wanted her before she was smart. And that’s another one liner which also stroke deeply within my heart. The custody battle gets really furious and intense which made both parties to think that they will lose. Frank’s lawyer proposes a compromises where she will live in a foster home which is 15 minutes away from Frank and get to study in a college. Mary will be able to decide where she lives when she reaches 12 years old. Frank reluctantly agrees.

Mary feels upset and disappointed because Frank said they will be together until the end. Frank leaves Mary and her cat, Fred over at the foster home with a bittersweet goodbye. Later that night, Bonnie tries to comfort him but Frank just leaves. The next day, Frank tries to deliver gifts for Mary but was politely told to leave because Mary doesn’t want to see him.

A few days later, Bonnie sees an advertisment for adoption of a cat that seems to look like Fred. She sends the message to Frank. Being surprised, Frank rushes to the pet adoption centre where he was told that someone was allergic to the cat and it was about to be euthanised. This means that Evelyn is at the foster home. Frank rushes home to grab a folder and tells Roberta to tag along. They barge into the room as what seems to be a math tutorial for Mary. Frank tells Mary that she’s coming back home but she runs away in which Frank responds by throwing the folder onto the desk and chases after Mary. Evelyn tries to give chase but is blocked off by Roberta. Roberta says that it is more important that she sees the folder.

Frank caught up to Mary and realizes that he means a lot to her and that he left her at the foster home because he was scared of ruining her life. Mary said that he didn’t and that’s he’s the best ‘father’ she’ll ever have. They rejoice, hug each other and went back into the room. Roberta takes Mary back into the car and Frank confronts Evelyn. He reveals that Diane had completed the Problem but didn’t want to reveal it until the death of Evelyn. With the choice of earning the honor or nurturing Mary, Evelyn decides to let the world know the problem was solved as she breaks down. In the end, it can be seen that Mary attends college lessons in the afternoon and goes back to the playground, looking happily as ever while pursuing her passion.

Overall, this movie was a great drama. Plot was decent. However, some parts didn’t make sense; the whole hospital scene of showing the birth of babies and the undeniably questionable use of the ‘Diane solved the problem but decide not to reveal’. I mean it didn’t make sense for the former and why didn’t Frank use it in the first place for the latter. Chris Evans did a great job portraying the father and Mckenna Grace was fantastic. Either way, it was quite a tearjerker at least for me and definitely a movie worth watching. It won’t waste your time.

Honestly, I believe that parents should let children decided what they want to do but with rules added to them. Restricting or forcing them to do follow one thing is a bad idea. I would definitely agree with Frank’s philosophy there. Let a child have a normal childhood. That’s what they should be. Happily growing up, having friends and just messing around. If I had a child, I would definitely let him/her have a proper childhood.

‘He wanted me before I was smart’ – Mary.



In My Mind: Logan Review

Hey guys! I’m back with a new blog post! This time, I’ll be reviewing the recently released movie Logan! As always, all comments are my own opinions so feel free to disagree. Obviously, there will be spoilers ahead. So, if you haven’t seen it, please step away now because it really ruins it for you. And also, if you haven’t seen it, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING? It’s seriously a great movie so go and watch it!




To start off, I’ve always been a huge fan of Wolverine. He is actually my favourite superhero. Tough. Mean looking. Not giving a damn about the laws. But deep down inside, he still loves the people he cares about although it may not seem that way on the outside. Wolverine always had a huge impact on my life. I think it was also partially due to Hugh Jackman’s acting. You see this matured, buff guy on the screen and see the way he portrays the character. It is just amazing. I cant remember the first time I actually seen or knew of Wolverine but I do know that he’s one badass superhero.

Moving on to the actual movie, the beginning of the movie was a classic Wolverine brawl with some thugs. Some stuff just don’t get old. But Wolverine’s face does. He looks intensely more physically worn out when compared to his previous appearances. Mind you, I have seen the trailers and knew what was sort of going on. And Wolverine’s aging was definitely one of them. His aging power has deteriorated due to the adamantium poisoning in his body. Wounds don’t recover as fast as they would.

He now works as a chauffeur and he meets a woman, Gabriella that desperately needs his help but he refuses as usual. He then meets Donald who asks him for a deal and Donald seems to know that Logan has meet Gabriella. And again, Logan refuses. He then meets up with Caliban and Professor X who seems to be unable to control his powers and can only be stopped by giving him some sort of drug via injection.

Logan decides to meet up with Gabriella to find out what the deal is. Turns out that she has a ‘daughter’ called Laura which is a mutant. Gabriella begs Logan to take her to a place near North Dakota and he agrees but would only come by the next morning. Next morning, he finds Gabriella dead and finds the money as reward and the phone Gabriella was using to get help from Logan. With that, he quickly goes back to Professor X and suddenly finds Laura at the trunk.

Laura appears seems aloof and silent when they met. She seems disinterested in the world around her, very much like old Wolverine. Logan instantly has a disgusting taste towards her and is not interested at her at all. Shortly after, Donald and his troops arrive. Logan tries to escape with Professor X but is cornered. Donald asks for Laura but Logan lies and tries to retaliate but fails.

The troops go in to retrieve Laura but this is where she shines. I particularly love this entrance from Dafne Keen, it was so badass and great. She murdered most of the troops and Logan left the place along with Professor X and Laura in his limo. Unfortunately, Caliban was held hostage and used by Donald to track Logan down.

So, the trio goes on a road trip to North Dakota. They stop by different places including a casino and a hotel where they get changed. Along the way, Logan finds out that Laura is actually his daughter and named X-23. They were new mutants made as weapons. The project was initiated by Professor Zander Rice. Also, they were being chased by Donald and crew. Professor X’s seizures acted up again and caused horrible consequences. It was also mentioned that the seizures was what killed most of the X-Men.

Later in the movie, the trio helped a family. The dinner scene was a great scene. It was a break from all the chaos that had happened in the movie. And it felt nice to see them have a proper dinner for once especially for Logan. He experienced so much agony and pain that I don’t think he has ever had a proper dinner meal with people.

Unfortunately, their pleasant times with the family was met with demise. Donald and his troops caught up and released X-24, an almost exact replica of Logan. Professor X mistaken him for the real Logan and remorses of the tragedy that happened long time ago; the one where he killed the X-Men members. He gets impaled by X-24. Logan arrives back into the house and told Professor X it wasn’t him. He dies in the process and Laura is captured by X-24. Logan gets filled with anger and proceeds to fight X-24. However, he is severely outclassed. Suddenly, the father of the family comes out and rams X-24 onto a tractor. Since the rest of the family is dead because of Logan, he tries to kill Logan with a shotgun but fails to do as he faints and dies. Caliban detonates a hand grenade in the van, proceeding to kill himself in hopes of giving Logan and Laura a chance to escape.

After the fight, Logan and Laura escapes and buries Professor X. Logan feels deeply regretful for not protecting him and angry at Laura because the place does not exist since it was adapted from the X-Men comic book. Logan feels super exhausted due to his deteriorating healing powers and falls asleep. Laura then takes over the car and drives to North Dakota. Logan wakes up to see that a bunch of small mutant kids with Laura and learns of their plan to cross the border. Laura asks Logan where is he going next and he adamantly tells her to leave him alone and will wander on his own.

As Logan falls asleep again, Rictor leaves a vial that gives mutants superhuman strength if taken at small doses. The vial depletes the mutant of their power if taken at high doses. Logan notices that helicopters are going to the forest that mutant children are heading to. He quickly heads towards there but is still exhausted from the fights earlier. He takes the whole vial and heads for the troops. The troops capture all of the children except Laura. Laura and Logan then work together to defeat the troops and confront Zander Rice and Donald. Logan immediately kills Zander Rice with a revolver and while the troops are distracted, Laura kills them and releases her friends. Donald then releases X-24, fully reformed with more strength. X-24 then fights Logan while the rest of the mutants kill Donald. In the end, Logan and the mutant children manage to subdue X-24 by collapsing a truck onto him. Logan tells them to run away. As he says that, X-24 comes out of the truck and impales Logan onto a wooden tree. Laura comes back and shoots X-24 in the head with the adamantium bullet Logan has been carrying with him all along.

As Logan inevitably dies, Laura and Logan starts talking about their relationship as father and daughter. Logan finally realizes how it feels to have a family and tells Laura to not be like him. The movies end with Laura burying Logan and the group of children walking into the forest.

Honestly, this whole movie made me feel intense all the time. You didn’t know whether they will be safe and it felt real because they could actually die, unlike in most superhero movies where most of the protagonists stay alive. It was also an emotional roller coaster. The movie itself had so much excellent small details that I couldn’t mention all of it unless you want to read a blog post worth 10 pages of words. Professor X and Logan’s small boat to the island, the family dinner scene, the bonding between Laura and Logan at the end especially when Laura says ‘Daddy..’, Laura changing the tombstone into an X to represent X-Men. Man that pulls the heartstrings. Also, the movie felt so much more different than other superhero movies because the action was the subplot. The storytelling and the emotions were the real stars. Honestly, the acting was so good that even though there were some plot holes in the movie (when Logan tells Laura to save the children, how does Donald see Logan but not Laura?), the acting completely outshines them. I’m honestly really sad that the Wolverine saga is finally over. I don’t get to see Hugh Jackman play him anymore. He’s truly a legend and will forever be the best Wolverine in my heart. Huge props to Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen for their performance as well. All of the actors did the movie justice and put a great ending to the Wolverine saga.

Rating: 9.5/10. Would definitely watch it again. And goodbye Wolverine. You will be missed. </3


In My Mind: A Heartfelt Message To My Best Friend

When I first met you at a friend’s house, I thought you were silly, funny and a joker. A personality that I see a lot and am familiar with within my group of friends. We didn’t know each other well back then. And I thought we could probably at most just be friends. We didn’t talk much and hardly exchanged any words other than ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’.

A month later, I flew to Melbourne to start off my journey in pharmacy. We still barely interacted with each other even though we were both in the same Whatsapp group. My memories are hazy but we probably exchanged a few insults/memes here and there but nothing worthy of the term ‘best friend’.

Fast forward to November, I came back to Brunei for my holidays. Very few of my close friends were back in Brunei. So naturally, I contacted you to hang out with a few other people. From there, we started to get to know each other more. I help celebrate your birthday with a couple of friends. We met each other at a friend’s potluck. And we had a bunch of fun drinking and talking about deep, personal lives.

I think to myself what was the turning point. How did we suddenly became so close and comfortable with each other. And now I remember. It was the day after an event I missed out on, you texted me to go play pool with you and I was relatively shocked. I was still sad about the fact that I wasn’t invited to the event. I agreed to go out anyway. I asked you: ‘Why did you personally call me out?’. You said you felt bad for me cause I wasn’t at the event.

That was the first time someone has actually done something really thoughtful for me even though we just barely knew each other. From that night onwards, we just became closer with each other. I would always overthink and tell you that I’m scared of the past and future. I would cry in front of you. But you told me not to worry about it. You told me that to go with the flow and don’t force anything.

And then I flew back to Melbourne again. We had skype calls together, personally and with other good friends. I would always find you for help and advice. I would always find you because you were someone that would actually listen to me and not always be there ‘just to reply’. You even told me that I was your ‘brother’ even though you never liked that kind of relationship between friends. I would always see you as an older sibling. Someone that I could count on. And that has always been what I thought of until recently.

I came back to Brunei in November again. I lied to you so that I could surprise you on your birthday. I asked 2 friends to help me with it. It felt nice to do it and see you happy. You’d pick me up for hangouts because I couldn’t drive at that time. You’d always do so much for me. Till the point, I felt like I was depending on you. I was envy; I was clingy; I was expecting too much. I felt bitter when I see you having fun with other friends without me. I would always expect you to be there for me when I couldn’t cope with my emotions.

You have your own priorities and I know that. You were always the type of person who would rarely get cues or hints. You were the type of person who thinks that most things are fine. But at some point, I thought clearly and ranted to you. I was disappointed. I was disappointed not at the fact that you hung out with other people, but it was the fact that you never gave me a chance to help you when you had a problem. Whenever you were suffering, you would find someone else to help you although I was there. I offered you car rides when I could drive and you declined. Yet, you accept a car ride from someone who was 10km away from you while I was only 3km away from your house. In the end, it felt like you didn’t trust me. And it seemed to me that you never cared as much as I thought.

In a way, I realize that these aren’t important because you did so much for me. But the emotions are real. They’re never fake. But I know it was all my undoing. I expected too much. It was never your fault to begin with.

I cried furiously about it. We almost broke our friendship. I was scared of losing someone important in my life again. I’ve had similar experiences before. And I promised myself to not let my emotions get the better of me. To not let another important person walk out my life. I almost did it again. I was fearful.

But you told me. You told me what was wrong with me. You told me what I should to myself. You told me that not everything will go my way. And I am forever thankful for that. Perhaps it made me realize that I should be independent. I should not rely on you.

In a way, I guess the series of events made our friendship stronger. Maybe it became more distant. Who knows? But one thing I know for sure is I shall become independent and be happy for myself. So that you would be happy knowing that I am happy.

Lastly, maybe you’re reading this, maybe you’re not. And I know you have heard of these sentences a lot. But I am sorry for what I have done. I appreciate having you in my life. Because, you are one of the greatest friend I have ever met. And that nothing will change how I think about you as a friend.


In My Mind: Envy

Envy. Envy is one of the seven sins alongside with Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Wrath and Greed. It is also said to be the second most dangerous sin with the first place going to Pride. You might wonder why am I talking about the seven sins since it’s Chinese New Year and it’s such a heavy topic. Well, as all humans, we have our own ‘sins’ and for me, it’s the ‘sin’ of envy and recently I had something happened to me.

I spent my childhood in an environment where ‘competitiveness’ is a huge thing especially in education. Hence, the quotation marks. I was always told I had to get first in my class. I was always told to get 100. I was always told someone out there will be better than me if I don’t work hard to earn my place. As a result, I became jealous of other people. If they did better than me in a test, I would get bitter and get really sad.

As time goes on, I guess the jealousy of other people turned into envy and applied to other situations other than education such as family, relationships and lifestyle. If I see someone have great friendships/relationships or have a great family time, I immediately get envious of them. I want what they have. Therefore, I get emotionally frustrated and sad about my current situation.

Now, I only realized I have this ‘sin’ of envy only 3 years ago and I have been trying to fix it ever since. It has been going good for most parts but the only situation where I haven’t been able to fix my enviousness is friendship.

For me, I longed for a great friendship. Someone who I could have a deep talk to but also someone who could laugh and chill with me. Someone who I trust 100% in and someone who is honest with me. No lies and no BS. So whenever I see 2 or 3 people with that kind of friendship, it makes me envy them. ‘Why can’t I be like that? Why can’t I have a friendship like that? Did I do something wrong? Maybe I’m just not good enough.’ All these thoughts start flowing in me. Maybe the friendship I have with my friends isn’t what I thought it would be. It feels like a virus. It plagues my mind and thought process.

And you know, it turns out to be true. Story of my life. People just don’t see me the same way I see them. And it hurts really bad. Like a knife stabbed through the heart. I value friendship so much till the point where I cried a lot and can barely say anything. Why does my enviousness have to do this to me?

But you know what? I appreciate that they were honest with me instead of letting me live behind a wall of lies. Sure it may be bittersweet. But that’s life. You learn to accept it. If not, how else are you going to move on. Even then, at least we’re still friends. The worst part is only letting go of what I think the friendship should be. For that, I’m grateful to whoever that pulls me back into reality. The friends that puts the ‘realist’ perspective into my ‘idealist’ mindset. They’re the true heroes and friends.

As mentioned before, envy is the second most dangerous sin. And rightfully so. It weighs down on the human soul, making you relentlessly emotionally unstable and tired. Wishing you always had something better when you’re already well of with what you have.Without envy, you appreciate all the good things that happen in your life and make you feel content with what you have.

To end this post, I will promise myself that I will try to not allow my enviousness of other people get ahead of me. Because I do not want to experience the same suffering as I did last time. CYC out.



In My Mind: Hospital Attachment

Apologies for the inactivity on my blog last week.

I was doing an attachment at my local hospital in the pharmacy department, mostly the outpatient department. It was a blast having an experience of what it’s like to work in a hospital pharmacy. I’ve met wonderful colleagues and people during my short 1 week time there. They’ve taught me so much that I would not forget. So, here am I making an appreciation post for them!

Thank you to:

Afi, for being friendly and lenient on me whenever I make mistakes. Heh.
Shelli, for being a really chill person even though we only met for 2/3 days.
Mr Theepan and Mr Saman, for being great mentors as to what I should do in a hospital pharmacy.
Pey Siaw, for showing me around the workings of inpatient pharmacy and how important it is to take care of ward stock.
Mos, for being a cool and friendly person. You always seem like you’re overworking. Hope you have a good rest some time soon!
Fara, for being a joker all the time. Seriously, making me and the others laugh. HAHA
Amy, for always being happy go lucky. Seriously, it takes a lot of effort to be cheerful and be organised while talking to tens of patients everyday. I really don’t know how you do it nor how you never get angry or frustrated.
Boss Zarinah, for being nice but also strict at the same time; enforcing rules and making sure everything I did was correct. Thank you for setting an example for upcoming young pharmacists like me.
Mr Mok, for being such a wonderful person and mentor. Seriously, I still remember that one time where you made tea for me. It was really a nice gesture. Also, the speed of picking and packing is something I want to achieve in the future.
Mr Lim, for being a friend and teacher in life. Thanks for all the wise words on how to approach pharmacy careers and how to make the most out of my life. You always commit yourself to working hard and ensuring everything is right. Hope you have a good retirement, you deserve it!
Daniel, for being an excellent and chill teacher. Really taught me how to take things in life one step at a time.
Huan Yee, for being my senior and official mentor for the week. Won’t forget the laughs and all the tips you told me for my internship in Melbourne.

Also, special shoutout to the other staff members that help with storage and pre-packing items! Thanks Uncle Salleh, you the man! And also Dayangku Sal along with Lina even though we never really communicated much. But thank you for what you do.

This whole week has been an eye-opening experience for me and it’s great to meet such great people. I hope we have the fate to meet each other in the future (especially Mr Lim). Thank you, from a young boy who dreams big.



In My Mind: ‘Gifted’ Movie Trailer

So I came across this movie trailer while browsing through Facebook and I gotta say, my first impression was this movie looks pretty good. Featuring Chris Evans of Captain America, I think the plot of the movie is great; touching the adult perspective of smart/gifted child and the child’s perspective of being gifted.

Some adults wants their gifted children to progress quickly in education, skipping year levels and attending tertiary education classes. Some adults wants their gifted children to go through a normal childhood; go to the playground, make friends with other children etc. What about the gifted children themselves? Well, some might be ambitious and become the next child prodigy or some might be laid back and just want to slowly cruise through life.

Now I realize on the internet, many people have commented on how the movie looks very similar to Matilda, how the plot of ‘going from mental calculation to advanced calculus’ is a very big flaw of the movie or even how the plot of being a gifted child has been explored before. Granted, I have never watched Matilda or any other related films before nor how I understand how being gifted actually works, I think this still can be a good movie. I think it has the potential to be great with the acting and lines especially showing the very human side of being a ‘father’ and a gifted child. Normally, in films, fathers are portrayed as ‘neglecting’ or showing not enough care compared to mothers and I think this is a great film to showcase ‘fathers’.

This is all my opinion though and who knows? Maybe the movie will turn out bad or be a success. We’ll find out as it gets released on April 12 in the US next year.

‘He wanted me before I was smart.’ – Mary



In My Mind: Competitiveness and Perfectionist

Anyone that is close with me knows that I love playing video games and badminton.

For video games, I love the competitive aspect of it and the community of esports such as Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch and CS:GO. I love watching the ‘Majors’. I love theorycrafting and strategizing. I love participating in competitions where I can display my skills and strategies. My first ever competitive video gaming tournament was in 2011 and the main event was Warcraft 3 DotA (the very first version of Dota). At that time, I had formed a team with 4 friends and it was genuinely our first time ever playing in a proper tournament. We were very young, if not the youngest out of all of the teams on an average. We were just a bunch of players that get along well together and have good team synergy in games. We probably weren’t the most skilled but I always wanted to make up for that lack in skill with good strategy. That tournament went kind of well for us. We got 4th place and we felt that it was a great tournament for us even though we could’ve done better.

However, things didn’t go the way as we thought after that. One of our players left the team and we just never practiced anymore. We were playing a few games here and there but never seriously. Moreover, we could never find a suitable 5th player that would have good synergy with us. As a result, our next tournament was really bad. We got last place. I never really strategize much anymore and our teamwork just wasn’t there anymore. Our skills deteriorated and we just couldn’t keep up with the other players even though we know we could win against them.

Fast forward to the present, I’m still playing the same game. Sometimes when I watch tournaments, I strategize and give opinions on what is the optimal option. In a way, I kinda miss that. The joy of theorycrafting, the happiness of planning and the success of the implementation. Whenever I play ranked ladder for Dota 2, I guess it brings out the competitiveness in me. I just want to win so bad because of how I used to play the game in the past. It’s kind of a negative thing because I then become toxic. I’m very critical of my own mistakes and others as well. Whenever I do bad in a game, I always take the blame on me; whether it was the draft or a misplay from me. In a way, I didn’t want to be a burden to my team. I want to contribute to the team.

And this kind manifested in real life situations. One of them would be playing badminton. Whenever I come back to Brunei to play badminton with my friends, we play doubles a lot and the same concept of ‘competitiveness’ applies here. I want to be hitting my shots. I want to be able to go cross court and catch the shuttlecock. I don’t want to be a burden to my partner. Sometimes, I just want to smash my racket against the wall and just break down. Because really, I really want to do my best.

I don’t know how to feel. I’m just feeling quite emotionless whenever I think about doing my best; whether it’s badminton or playing video games. And that sucks. Really, really sucks. Not even sadness or happiness is felt. Just empty. People say there are always going to be bad days. But what if I wanted every day to be a great day for playing video games/badminton? I guess I am a perfectionist and a competitor.