Lessons Learned from the Movie “the Upside”
My friend has provided me with many insightful & inspiring personal experiences, on a variety of topics. He said that the lessons learned from the movie “the Upside” certainly equaled anything that he had experienced. Obviously, he insisted that I see the move. The world would be a better place if everyone saw the movie.
Not to ruin my movie experience, he didn’t reveal the plot sequence. He was bursting to talk about some of the themes. The rags to riches theme, by sheer hard work, talent, courage, vision, perseverance, and passion, a man amassed a fortune beyond wildest dreams. The personal growth theme through the appreciation of beauty in art & opera, the revelations of poetry & literature, and the limitless love of a wonderful woman.
The lessons learned of risk & reward of venturing into areas that most minds can’t imagine, well beyond the road less traveled. It was that fearless spirit that provided his immense fortune, to do whatever he wanted, like paragliding on a stormy day. But he didn’t assess the risks that day. So, his chute failed and he plunged to the ground, leaving him a quadriplegic.
Powerless below his neck, he required hospitalized rehab for the next two years. Concurrently, his wife was dying from cancer, also hospitalized during those same two years. His recklessness prevented him from caring for her, from even visiting her for any length of time. He was left to relive the agony of his arrogance, every moment, of every day. He wished that he had died that day. But, people with hindsight, die of remorse.
He learned the lessons of humility & acceptance, to rely on others for assistance, to provide the most basic human functions. One care provider was a con man/convict, out on parole, whose wife & son abandoned him. The con man had to learn the lessons of caring for someone other than himself, in a world so foreign & mysterious. He was a 24-hour, live-in caregiver, in a penthouse, surrounded by countless, priceless treasures, begging to be stolen. No one could possibly know if a thing or two were missing. So, he stole a priceless, first-edition book.
The lessons learned from watching those two opposite worlds on a collision course with explosive force, and equal resistance to change direction, (but must in order to survive) are precious beyond measure:
- Like an ox, learning to appreciate the “Swings of Pleiades”, or the “reddening of a rose”.
- Like a King, disguised as a peasant, going into a local pub, drinking beer, smoking a “joint”, and rubbing his face in a barmaid’s ample bosom.
- Like a thief, returning stolen goods, confessing his crime, willing to accept the consequences.
- Like a heart, shattered by the loss of irreplaceable love, piecing together the courage to be vulnerable once again, only to be painfully shattered into more pieces, by rejection, then, accepting intervention, to love again.
- Like a convict’s reformation, similar to “Les Misérables” Jean Val Jean, only to be crushed by hatred greater than “Javert’s”, to be open to love, and become a better man.
- Like a bright, beautiful woman, scrupulously faithful to her tasks to eschew companionship at all levels, at all costs, by building insurmountable walls of enormous emotional defense, then, succumbing to the slightest beam of warm light, seeping through a crack, into her heart.
- Like a child, so corrupted by his father’s criminal influence, that his own inevitable life of crime, resulted in being jailed in the same prison with his father, who said, “Welcome Home”. Yet, he broke out of those personal prison bars, with the strength of others’ confidence in him, which allowed him to abandon his past, and live with hope for a rewarding future.
My friend laughed & cried, throughout this entire comedic/drama (or dramatic/comedy), and left the theatre with a smile on his lips, tears in his eyes, and hope in his heart. Everyone should see the movie “the Upside”. There’s no downside.
Movie review published in the local newspaper; submitted by: P. Julian Malison, from his website: www.messagesfrommyfriend.com