I love watching movies that have me thinking about life, death, and relationships long after it finished. This movie, this situation, these people, all of it can be real.
Well, I guess the aliens in The Arrival can theoretically be real and just not be here yet, but the chances that actual aliens will be that cool are probably in the negative digits. (Can probability be negative? I don't know. I'm not a statistician, or one who gambles.)
In between watching the Arrival and The Fundamentals Of Caring, I recall the last movie that had this kind of impact on me was Seeking A Friend For the End Of The World. It was a bittersweet ending, as you can imagine with a title like that. I would categorize it as dark humor, or depressing humor. It made me think about life and the vast universe, the void, total darkness, the possibility of the human race in complete non-existence... Yeah, I lost a lot of sleep on that one.
But you know what? I like this. I like encountering books like Wonder by R. J. Palacio or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, that make you appreciate all that you have and forget about all that you have not. They are painful to read, your heart breaks, you might even have dreams or nightmares because of them, but we need that. We need to experience these negatives in order to appreciate the positives. I've met people who don't read the news and are always watching trivial things like Housewives of Who Knows Where, people that never read profound books like Angela's Ashes because they don't like feeling sad. I don't get that. For some people, who have actually been through real suffering, I get, but these are average people living a charmed life. It's like they're taking a spiritual acid that numbs the soul.
Pain is a part of life, and we need it to love the good. These are all fictitious characters with very realistic heartaches. I cried for these books. I recommend them to everyone.
The White Helmets about a real group of heroes smack in the middle of the whole mess put it into perspective for me. I am paraphrasing the caption, but one of those heroes said something to the effect of, "With the Russians in the air and ISIS on the ground, we are trapped. There is no one to help us."
That one line left an impression on me. What started out as a cause (the rebellion) ended up corrupted with ISIS. There are people in the White Helmets that left the rebellion because of this. Some of them teared up, which made me tear up. Watching the documentary got me angry at our president's choices and lack of action. But, I was more angry that I didn't hear much about this in the last 2 years. After I watched the documentary, I read up on Aleppo as if I had to write a thesis on it.
Now, I don't want to knock off all sci-fi movies. The Arrival left me wondering what I would do if I was in Amy Adams' shoes. Would I make the same choices knowing what I know? Would I choose family and pain, or would I choose to be blissfully alone?
I can't go into too much analysis of the movie without spoiling it for some of you, so I will leave you with this thought... what if we encounter an alien species that wants to exterminate the human race and farm our planet's resources for their own, do you think today's world would come together in a Kumbaya moment, or will we offer each other up as sacrifice in the hopes of saving our individual societies? Scary thought, huh?
That was Independence Day for those of you who didn't get the movie reference - the 1996 original, not the 2016 flop. Fist bump if you're a big fan of it. If not, SHUSH! I don't want to hear about it. I'll give The Arrival some props for touching upon this phenomena. Who knows what the human race will do...
What movies or books have had an emotional impact on you, be it sadness, rage, or bliss? Let me know, I'm always open to be shaken up!
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