Links: Now You See Me review and surrogacy

There is absolutely no link between these two posts beyond the fact that I wrote both of them. The reason I’m putting them in one post is because it gives you some idea of how insane a day can be for a writer like me. You begin the day writing about a perfectly enjoyable, escapist film and the next thing you know, you’re researching laws surrounding surrogacy.

Now_You_See_MeHere’s my review of Now You See Me, which incidentally is as flawed and as fun on second viewing as the first. And  according to a 10-year-old, the huge flaw in my review is that I didn’t say anything about Dave Franco (who plays Jack Wilder, one of the magicians) because “he’s the coolest one.” Fair point.

In comparison to Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, which is still the finest film made on the world of magicians, Now You See Me is flimsy. But Leterrier’s aim seems to have been the precise opposite of what Nolan achieved with The Prestige. In contrast to Nolan’s trademark darkness, Now You See Me is light-hearted and spectacle-driven. Ironically for a script in which characters repeatedly urge you to look past the flamboyance, the film is far more fascinated by the distractions than the trick itself.

Ultimately, the loose ends of the story don’t add up convincingly and the characters are lamentably uni-dimensional, but Leterrier and his team of five writers do manage to keep the suspense going for most of Now You See Me. The final climax, however, is terribly dissatisfying. After all the technical wizardry in the build-up, the magicians and the audience land up at a merry-go-round. Seeing the magicians stare at the revolving wooden horses as though these are the eighth wonder of the world, you can’t help but wonder if this is the creative equivalent of writers sticking their tongues out at us.

On to the entirely un-fun topic of sex offenders and their surrogate children. The details of this case are few but here’s what we do know: an Israeli man found guilty of sexually abusing minors hired a surrogate mother in India to have a child. The child is now a four-year-old girl who is now legally his daughter. This is why she’s being referred to as his adopted daughter by some even though this isn’t technically an adoption because it’s not like he just adopted her. He’s probably had her for the past four years, since she was an infant. Indian regulations demand foreign parties claim the babies they’ve hired surrogate mothers for within a month of the baby’s birth. What has come to light now — four years after the surrogacy — is that he is a father of a young girl despite being a paedophile. It’s an absolutely horrifying case. My article is here. An excerpt:

According to The Jewish Chronicle, the Israeli paedophile “legally gained custody of the child through an agreement with a surrogate mother in India”. The most obvious question is how he got custody because the legal status of such children in India is extremely vague. The Registration of the Births and Deaths Act, 1969, has no provision for children born out of surrogacy. The ART (Regulation) Bill of 2008 only says, “the party seeking the surrogacy must ensure and establish to the ART clinic through proper documentation that the  party would be able to take the child / children born through surrogacy, including where the embryo was a consequence of donation of an oocyte or sperm, outside of India to the country of the party’s origin or residence as the case may be.”

Say a prayer for this little girl that she’s safe and happy. It seems that’s all we can do at present.


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