Sunday, 12 January 2014

Life Lessons by Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Wow. What a movie.

There are three wows about this. Firstly, it's the first proper movie I've watched in a long time (since The Dark Knight Rises, which wasn't exactly great either compared to The Dark Knight). The recent Hobbit movie and Wolverine were terrible. This one was a good hit.

Secondly, wow Ben Stiller. You've done good, really good, compared to your comedy counterparts.

Thirdly, there are so many feels about this movie.

Where to start? (There are potentially spoilers here, so don't read on if you don't want to know before you've watched the show)

There's the theme of taking the leap. Just going on a limb, listening to your heart, and taking the plunge. What's there to lose? We spend so much time nowadays letting our soul decay, as our bodies that were designed to totally take in the vastness of the world are left wanting.

I wonder if this movie benefits eHarmony. In some ways, it's publicity, but in other ways, it's such a dig at the whole concept of online virtual (read: unrealistic) dating. By actually going out there and really doing things, one becomes a valuable person. Very often, we hear of people complaining and whining about that crush who did not reciprocate his or her feelings. Look inside. Build yourself up as a person, and be someone that people want to know better. Have goals in life, and pursue them wholeheartedly. Be attractive not because you're hot, but because you can offer something of value to others. Your confidence will grow with your self-worth.

"Beautiful things don't ask for attention." What a quote. To seek it, you've lost it. True beauty radiates naturally.

When Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) refuses to take the picture of the snow leopard immediately, that's it right there. That we as an audience can be surprised at this act underlies the fact that many of us have forgotten how to enjoy the moment for what it is. This is one of my favorite scenes from the movie.

In our technologically advanced modern world, we are obsessed with certainty. It's true that uncertainty generally sucks, but with our modern technology, we are getting better at quantifying everything. It's fucking obsessive. We can increase precision to unfathomable lengths, we have numbers for everything, we want to know what time the bus is coming. There was a time when most of these things were unimportant, except for specialists whose jobs to ensure accuracy and precision we depend on if necessary. Technology enables us to do more things, but at the same time makes us crave for certainty. It's a mindfuck. The moment we know we can put a number to things, we will want to do it, even if we don't have to or were doing fine without quantifying things. Weighing scales telling us our weight to two decimal places make us obsess about how heavy we are. Prices on things make us count what people owe us. All this obsessive photography of all the most inane things as if we are afraid we will forget what we saw is craziness. We forget how to view life without lenses that will capture every goddamned moment, when instead we should be in the moment - the feelings that come along with that moment last a life time. The details - How did this food look? How did the singer look? How did the fucking giraffe look? - are far less important. And we kill feelings when we are overwhelmingly obsessed with capturing every single minute detail.

Embrace uncertainty. Let the numbers go. Be in control by letting go of certainty. Have meaningful pursuits, and don't be afraid to go for them.

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