Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Movies V. Morality

I've had similar debates to this one before, but I feel like discussing it now because I'm pretty passionate about movies -especially some of the ones being openly criticized right now. 

#1 Fight Club

So this movie isn't being debated right now, but it was when it first came out and will serve as a good basis for my argument.

Critics = Most people said this movie was immoral/wrong/bad/negative because it "supported and glorified violence and fighting in gangs". 

Me = I learned several important lessons from this movie -none of which included the point the critics seemed to get from it. 

Lesson 1: Edward Norton's character was highly displeased with his life because he worked non-stop and spent most of his money on furnishing his apartment which he said "was his life". In other words, WORK won't necessarily make you happy and neither will SPENDING MONEY on material possessions.

Lesson 2: In an attempt to find greater meaning/purpose Edward then comes across Brad Pitt's character who argues in favor of Self-Destruction. "Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives." What started out as senseless violence in an attempt to forget feelings of disappointed and emptiness became a movement towards numbing yourself internally by destroying yourself externally. Fighting may as well have been drugs. They lost themselves to it because they were lost people. 

Lesson 3: Don't let yourself be carried away into destruction/self-abuse because in the end you will still see things worth living for (like love or the well-being of others). You can only fray so far from grace before your soul acknowledges the pain of being apart from it. Which is why Edward Norton "killed" Brad Pitt in the end to save people/society. 

#2 American Hustle

Critics = They've been quiet but you can say the "bad guys got away in the end" and the movie had no real point/moral lesson. 

Me = First off it's a TRUE STORY which shows TRUTH and REALITY.  

Lesson 1 = One life lesson that can be learned from this movie is then that people CAN CHANGE. 2 cons changed from stealing people's money to being a "normal" couple raising a son in the end. 

Lesson 2 = The real "bad guy" then became Bradley Cooper's character who was trying to punish people and trap them into getting arrested to make a name for himself -not to uphold justice. Bradley was punished more in the end by getting a taste of his own medicine than the 2 cons. 

#3 Wolf of Wall Street

Critics = They're being particularly rambunctious over this movie right now because they say it glamorizes a guy who stole money from people and was not punished harshly enough. They say it celebrates the villain more than it does condemn him. 

Me = This is yet another TRUE STORY which shows TRUTH and REALITY. 

Lesson 1 = First off, if you're going to argue morality then you should remind yourself that FORGIVENESS is more important than CONDEMNATION. After all the 2 cons in American Hustle changed for the better -why can't the guy from Wolf do the same? 

Lesson 2 = As Martin Scorsese put it, the movie shows what happens when a man has NO bounds and CAN do whatever he wants. He loses himself to excess and selfishness and others get hurt because of it. 

Lesson 3 = Sometimes in life the bad guy DOES get away. The murderer goes free on legal technicalities or (in this case) the Con man only gets 22 months in a nice prison because he's really really rich and our justice systems tends to lack JUSTICE when it comes to punishing the wealthy. 

Lesson 4 = God is the only one who can serve a truly just punishment and it's more important for people then to focus on doing good in their own lives instead of focusing on others doing wrong in theirs. 

Lesson 5 = Why would you invest in the Penny Saver when you're a millionaire? A little common sense and not blindly trusting someone just because they claim to be a stock broker could have saved a lot of people a lot of money. If you really want to make money -don't blindly hand it off to other people to invest. 

Lesson #6 The ultimate lesson is that the further people stray from God the messier and more self-centered the world tends to become. You can't watch the life of someone who doesn't want or care about God and then say watching that person's life is immoral. There's truth in it and there's a lesson in it.  

The main point I'm trying to make is that people who avoid "secular" music or movies due to religious, prudish reasons annoy me. Life isn't Secular OR Religious. Life is life. It's unfiltered. You can't say that as a Christian or a person of faith you're going to hide in a tower and avoid all uncleanly, messy parts of life because you don't want to get dirt on your shoes. God exists in people's lives so that when they inevitably fall in the mud, they can be purified again and be made clean. 

Life exists outside of a nice, shiny box. Sheltering yourself from tragedy and danger and sin cuts you off from the parts of life that need you and God most. Instead of fearing and avoiding life, if you are truly spiritually inspired you should embrace all aspects of life knowing they cannot make you any less because God always adds more to life.  

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