Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Abbie's Reel Reviews: Gimme Shelter (2014)

The movie is based on a true story which makes it even more gripping. Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) is a sixteen-year-old who runs away from her drug addict, abusive mother, June, after a tortured life lived in various foster homes and back. Her only hope is her Wall Street big shot father, Tom (Branden Fraser), who abandoned Apple and June to start college and put past the "mistake" of getting a casually dated woman pregnant. His perfect household of a wife Joanna and two kids rejects Apple who is an aggressive street stray - and unexpectedly pregnant. Apple runs away again as Tom and Joanna try to convince her into having an abortion. The life on the streets is about sleeping on the roads in the rain, hiding in unlocked cabs for the night, fleeing from stray men who lurk the night streets looking for a prey, eating from garbage cans to keep her baby alive, and trying to save her dignity every step of the way. 

A pimp forces Apple to get into his car and to escape being kidnapped she carjacks the vehicle and slams it into an oncoming truck, and then a wall. She runs into a priest at the hospital where she recovers and breaks down about having no faith in God. He offers a shattered teenager a referral to a pregnant women's shelter run by Kathy. Apple refuses to go back to her abusive mother who follows her back to the shelter to drag her out. Her motive is to get the welfare money for the baby from Tom and waste away on drugs. Kathy calls the police and shows June out but she attacks again, this time to cut Apple's face with a razor blade.

Every other moment in the movie made me cry. It's blasphemous how there is such incredible amount of rejection in the world, and people who are actually victims get to suffer. The suffering makes them lose their faith in God as the Ultimate Wellwisher. And, it is also incredible how there are people who can heal these broken hearts and renew their belief in the fact that miracles can happen. Unfortunately, there are very few of such angelic people and many, many more of the others. 
It is a soul-shaking movie that grips you powerfully and makes you think. If only people would own their mistakes, own the babies they make in sheer carelessness, there won't be so much suffering. 

Apple's life changes as she begins to live and make choices for her baby girl. There are moments in this movie where you begin to feel that being a woman is the most powerful gift God can give to a life. A woman may not be able to fight a sexual predator on the streets, she may not be physically strong to combat abuse, but she can stick around like a rock when she begins to live for the one she loves. 

As much as the story is about Apple, it is also about Kathy the owner of the shelter who operates the facility in her own home - having been homeless herself at a point. Once you are in a better place, it takes a supersized heart and soul to think back about the dark times and decide that you want to pull others out of it too.

This true story has a happy ending, but not everybody gets that in real life. Rejection, hurt, depression, they make people sink. How I wish each soul on this earth would develop a heart as big as Kathy's to save the many Apples who live abandoned lives.

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