Paper & Ink

Stargirl Teaches You to Be Yourself- A Review

The lockdown has been exciting so far because of the streaming networks like Hotstar, Prime and Netflix. Now that Hotstar has been taken over by Disney +, my joy knows no bounds. I am quite literally living the life of Riley! Recently I watched Stargirl by Disney+ and I was left amazed. It is an adaptation of a book by the same name written by Jerry Spinelli.

Stargirl is about a girl who likes to do things that others find awkward. She loves dancing in the rain, shouting out to the universe so that she can be heard, petting a rat, walking alone to her home and singing without any inhibitions. She is careful and attentive- no, not in the class- but towards others. She tries to understand others. She tries to share kindness and offer compassion. She is so much ‘invested in learning everything about everything’ that she puts an extra effort to find out about people’s sorrow stories. Bizarrely dressed, Stargirl carries her ukelele with her wherever she goes. She sings birthday songs for strangers, uplifts the morale of a losing football team and makes the audience realize that they should be ‘true to their school’. She calls herself ‘Stargirl’ because she believes that all of us are made up of the dust of the dead stars. Thus, she tries to spread the stardust in the hope that happiness and peace will be transferred as well.

Being like everyone else is an easy way to fit in. Laying low is another alternative. But in this process, you fail to realize how much attention of others you need to confirm your own presence. When Leo Borlock, a shy and introverted young lad of 16, meets Stargirl for the first time, he falls head over heels in love with her persona. Gradually, he realizes that she is different. In the journey of figuring out himself, he learns the vicissitudes that come along with being yourself! Do not expect a happy ending, for there is none. Stargirl is ambiguous. She is like that one moment in our lives when we are thrilled to discover something about ourselves and let the whole world know about it. Yes, she is just a moment- a moment of realization.

Stargirl is inspirational. The movie highlights the importance of accepting yourself and being your true self. People might laugh, people might shout or people might just not talk to you- but all will be worth if you begin taking pleasure in doing what you love. The movie might be a little slow but once you engage enough you will realize that all the dialogues are endearing and eloquent. This is not a usual love story. This is a magical love story where the protagonist induces love for what one is afraid to do. Leo is afraid to wear his dead father’s tie to school because he has been bullied in the past. But Stargirl teaches him to be himself and take a stand for what he believes is right.

The movie misses a beat when compared with the book. It is just the tip of the iceberg. Nevertheless, if such poignant novellas are not your cup of tea, this movie is worth your time. Grace Vanderwaal as Stargirl is perfect in her role. Graham Verchere as Leo Borlock fits well in the role of a soft-spoken and calm kid. Kara Brar as Kevin Singh is sardonic yet the most adorable character because of his comic timing. The cinematic shots of Mica, Arizona will take your breath away. The town is peaceful and you will wish that you were there away from the chaos of life!

Overall, Stargirl is a movie that every growing child and especially adults should watch, for, in this rat race, we often tend to forget who we really are!

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