There’s nothing like a good movie.
Characters you wanna grow up and be. Mystical tales of heroism. Love stories that transcend language and technology, that reside intimately in our soul the way creatures of the deep ocean hide in the dark.
Like a meal with great friends, a meaningful movie is so much more than the big screen or tickets or popcorn or CGI. It’s an experience. Like your first time in the ocean; all-consuming, vast, unforgettable. One, that I believe, can permanently change a man if he lets it. Rocky for instance. Tell me you didn’t watch Rocky and immediately believe in the story of the underdog. That because of Rocky fighting against impossible odds, you don’t, to this day believe, a nobody can become a somebody. Or forest Gump; no matter what skill set you’re born with, the blockbuster teaches, you can live a remarkable life. And no list would be complete without Gladiator. Because of a single bit of dialogue — “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” — I will always believe that no matter how much a tyrant prospers, he will eventually be beaten. Bullies WILL NOT live forever. But hero’s will. In tales on the screen and in books, heroes and the battles they’ve won will also cross the barrier of time and gap of generations. Names change, so do settings, but the story lives on.
I imagine my life as a movie. The people I meet; characters on a set. I wonder what character this one will turn out to be, I think when I meet people for the first time. The abnormally nice guy who gets killed first? The love that doesn’t last? The love that does? The trickster who makes life a little more dangerous, or the demon who makes it hell on earth? Will they be friend or foe, and will I confuse the two and only learn later that I, too, am just another actor playing a part in their film.
Does my movie inspire? What sort of awards will it get? Can I count on best actor, or will I be straight to DVD, lost in the labyrinth of some forgotten red bin at Walmart?
Or maybe I’m a cult classic. I can get behind that. A real philosophical piece of art that not everyone gets, but those that do, will watch me over and over again, framing their very lives around me. Will I be Batman? Will I be Joker? Will I be Tyler Durden? Will I deserve a sequel?
It all depends on the ending, of course. Not that the ending is the most important part — all acts have their say — but the ending to any film fixes a lot the rest of the flick forgot, ignored, or waited to unveil. How will my movie end, I ask myself before big decisions. If I rip this actress apart, will I become the villain? Am I already? Or will I be justified before the credits? If I refuse to act now, if I just wait and see; what will critics say? Does anyone remember the hero who just “waits and sees?” More importantly, will I be judged a hero at all, or will I just be an extra, waiting somewhere in the background for my chance at a better part?
Bunch's work can also be found at joshbunch.com and other rousing websites that focus on fitness, human overengineering and general awesomeness. If you want him to write something just as stunning for your crowd, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org