Things I Learned From The Movie: The Discovery

The Discovery is a 2017 British-American romantic science fiction film, directed by Charlie McDowell from a screenplay by himself and Justin Lader. It stars Rooney MaraJason SegelRobert RedfordJesse PlemonsRiley Keough, and Ron Canada.

The premise of the movie is simple, yet profound. The story was not too intricate, but is potent enough to sink those existential questions, the ones that matter most, deeper if not too deep, to keep many of us from sleeping.

The movie begins with an interviewer questions Thomas Harbor, the man who scientifically proved the existence of an afterlife, a discovery that led to an extremely high suicide rate. The interviewer asks Harbor if he feels responsible, and he says no. Directly after, a film crew member kills himself on air*.

The movie in my humble opinion breaks the commonly accepted fact of what happens to us after death. In a way, in its twisted, depressing and somber way it sheds a ray of hope, that maybe death is not that bad after all. That perhaps, as my dear friend, would normally quote, that the Dead know one thing, that it is better to be alive, is not entirely true and perhaps they truly are in a better place than we are. For all we know, maybe, Jesus really did mean it after all, when he told the dying man beside him, at the moment of death, that he was going to be with him, that day, in Paradise. I can only say #Jesusknewsomadvancedthings

The progression of the story, was slow, yet fast and dynamic in subtle ways that neither makes you anticipate but not bored or left speculating endings and it ends with perhaps the most heartbreaking and promising ways at the same time.

It took me some time to write about this–death and life, are topics that worry friends, family and those close to you. Not to mention, you would probably start receiving invitations to some wellness session from your Human Resource department. This topic, while undeniably true and inescapable, somehow had been pushed to taboo if not to the cognitive horizon. So, after a couple of months, here are a few of those things I had managed to distill as lessons from the movie.

The Beauty Of Life Lies In The Fact That It Ends

The start of the movie was slow, yet paced just right to create a crescendo that overshadowed the outcome of two of the four most interesting, if not focal characters in the movie. Will Harbor (Jason Segel) meets Isla (Rooney Mara) in a ferry ride going to an island. Same destinatioN. Same purpose. Different goal.

Will is the son of the man, who discovers, that death is not the end of all, that is it actually a destination that is perhaps, only in speculation better than this plane of existence. Unwilling to accept that his father’s Eureka moment was inspired by an experience Will had in childhood, he lives his accomplished life trying to run away from it, if not ignore it. Isla, on the other hand, is someone who had everything one wanted to hold on to and lost, who at that point, just wanted to move on to what is next.

Headed towards the same path, different roads and yet crossing to meet each other halfway, only to find themselves separated between planes of existence reminds us of one thing. That love is a germ that grows even in the coldest of hearts (a line from the X Files I shall never forget). That one of the most beautiful things in man’s life, is that it ends, that there is terminality in it. That this moment, right here and now, while it can be recreated can never happen again, that sunset, that smile, that kiss, that hug and all acts of human kindness, are but encapsulated in one moment and can never happen again.

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man

Heraclitus

Our Choices Make Our Life And Our Decisions Define Death

Life never came with a manual. My dad who happens to be a pastor, will object, saying that the good book is the manual and yet none in any of the good books, can we ever find a similar manual as we would any furniture assembly instruction; nowhere do we find what we used to on new devices and gadgets and nowhere are things clearly stated enough for us to not be clueless.

Our lives are made of the decisions we make. The decisions we make are formed by our experiences, self-images, perspectives and many other things in the real of psychology and yet at times, we also know that for some reason the soul intervenes in these choices. Like those moments, that neither reason nor logic can explain only our gut.

So our lives are then made of choices to be made and our decisions are those that define it. As we make these decisions we progress in life, inching closer to our terminal ends, that beautiful moment, when the summation of who we were, what we are, and how we we lived are all accounted for in our minds, hearts and souls.

A scene from the movie, shows, Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford), pushing forward the fringes of his discovery–an actual video footage of the afterlife. Initialy thinking that it failed, then learning that Will sabotaged it and seeing that it does, Thomas, decides to destroy the whole experiment and keep it hidden. That decision, though, relatively simple, to the scientific and academic mind he had communicated, was totally does not follow. Yet, he made that choice. Yes, those moments when we decide over the choices presented to us, are what defines our lives and who we are at our deaths.

We Look For Reason, But Yearn For Purpose

Just a month ago, as the government of my country of residence had started to feel was just all a scare, well, rather it seemst that way and people got bored to pay the price of safety, I was tasked to communicate a government mandate to have business operations be completed in offices. While the wisdom behind it is hinged on reviving industry, it still did not match as industry was quite alive (now I am digressing).

So there I was communicating what many would think so simple, of course it should be, it was meant to be done for compliance and yet, deep inside I know that sometimes answers are not what people need, at times, more often than we ntoice, our humanity needs some purpose, some greater wisdom that makes our lives have sense and meaning.

 Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved? 

Troy, Movie

We want to know that our lives have meaning, that there is purpose in all this chaos, that somehow, we are part of a greater something, is what primarily moves us at times, if not now, or later, at the twilight of our days.

The movie shows us how people perceive purpose and with some varied complexity. Thomas, impelled with some inspiration from Will’s childhood experience. Will denying his accidental role in the Discovery, had made himself and accomplished fellow of the science, while his younger brother, understanding that he neither has the smarts nor the tenacity as his father and older brother have was all too happy to be the forager, Toby (Jess Plem), to watch over and create structure in the community his father had made for those who can never seem to move to the next plane via the suicide express.

While that small circle knew, the question, only God should now know, the movie shows that it had not changed their nature, that they are playing the same roles they had identified and perceived themselves to take part in. They are part of the inherent play orchestrated by the spirit of the world, the wisdom of the collective and the power of imagination that had continually pushed man to limits that define the horizon.

This should all make us pause, in think deeply, perhaps, deeper than we have. What ripple had we left for eternity, will the next plane be an answer to those questions whose answers are within our grasp and yet unable to take for fear?

What shall be your verse?

John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Things I Learned From The Movie : Memoirs Of A Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha is a 2005 American epicperioddrama film directed by Rob Marshall and adapted by Robin Swicord from the 1997 novel of the same name by Arthur Golden.[2][3] It tells the story of a young Japanese girl, Chiyo Sakamoto, who is sold by her impoverished family to a geisha house (okiya) to support them by training as and eventually becoming a geisha under the pseudonym “Sayuri Nitta.” The film centers around the sacrifices and hardship faced by pre-World War II geisha, and the challenges posed by the war and a modernizing world to geisha society. It stars Zhang Ziyi in the lead role, with Ken WatanabeGong LiMichelle YeohYouki KudohSuzuka Ohgo, and Samantha Futerman.

While the book arguably, will be as piercing as the movie, if not even more, it is one of those that I had always wanted to read, but am yet to. Letting a spectacular movie, such as this, on the other hand, be simply looked at as a piece of entertainment, is such a crime. So, here we are with our tradition of finding three life lessons from the movies

Life Takes Us To A Path Of Surprises, We Make The Most Out Of It

Life has a will of its own. For some reason, in the most peculiar and uncanny of ways, it frequently takes us to a reality far removed from what we, in childhood, envision, had been told or pretty much reared for. How many of us look back at life and say in our most silent and vulnerable of moments that this was not where we wanted to be, that this was not the life we envisioned or simply this was not how we imagined life?

Perhaps, it is merely an assumption that even the most successful, in the deepest inclination of their imagination, has their hearts knocking on their wills, gently whispering, unsettling reminders of a childhood vision, desire or dream, far removed from the current. But who is courageous enough to admit in this generation of make-believe? If you are truly, in your most sincerest of consciences, are where you had always wanted to be, please be grateful, savour it, live it and pay it forward. For many, if not most of us, wallow through the years of life, coursing through it and all the while, travelling the path of the lost.

The opening scenes was truly heartbreaking for me. How life robs us of our dreams, when we least expect it. Of how, at times, with varying speeds, slowly, yet surely, life dims the bright shining star we had always held out as landmark for our individual futures.

There in a small fishing town, two young girls, glanced by their evidently depressed father, just across their acutely sick mother, will unknowingly be sold to an unknown man who will whisk them away from everything they are used to, far from all that they had dreamed of or anything familiar, to a life of high art, music, poetry, ceremony and mysticism. The life of a Geisha.

I can only imagine the dreams those girls had. What did they think they would be when they grow up. Did they have the chance to scheme of great things for themselves in their minds or where they simply waiting for life to take them to the same fate they found their mother in. Whatever the case, none of those certainly mattered then. As they, abruptly, had to navigate life, away from the comfort and hope of even having the leisure to dream.

Separated from her sister and enduring the life she was totally unprepared for, the misdirected girl grew to be a woman, who reluctant about her place in life, strove and rose to the heights of sophistication, glamour, decadence and intrigue.

Saiyuri learning the high art of the Geisha from Mameha. A beautifully crafted moment that communicates how art, discipline and purpose can redefine almost anything.

Something about this metamorphosis felt close to me and should to many of us.
We probably do not have our dream jobs, we are not living in the houses we wanted to, the salary we were told we can have nor around the people we had excitedly imagined we will be. Yet, we push on, farther to the raging waves of life, pressing on, while relentlessly finding ourselves some meaning and making the most out of it.

I had in this career, met many individuals, who had taken up education to be in the field of medicine, art, music, engineering, architecture and many more. But similarly, the harsh truths of life, had pulled them, severed us, away from those trajectories and into some of the most inconceivable of functions and roles we are in. Then again, in a profoundly inspirational way, these people, continue to make a mark in what they do. They are unrelenting in making their case against life, the lot it had given them and they rationale they had maintained for their purpose and existence. Just like the young girl, who turned Geisha.

Purpose Is About Paying It Forward

Life blows us to places, it too, in with the same apathy, leaves us to chance, the choices we make and the resolve we have. In the same context, the success of the girl who turns out to be the top Geisha of the district, was not by mere chance alone. She was given a chance, she made her choices and took it with passionate determination.

There in the busy district of the opulent, the scenes take us a to a momentous moment, when the previously decorated Geisha of the same house that the girl belongs to, takes her to her wings and tutelage.

Whatever influences they were that moved, Mameha, the previously celebrated Geisha of the same house, Saiyuri, the little girl from that fishing village, it is in bad taste to not appreciate the beauty of the human soul to feel, share and be and be magnanimous simply because, one is in the position to.

It must truly be a rewarding feeling to be in a situation to help others and being able to do so without any consideration of future reward, recognition or anything in exchange. Again, this reminds me of some of the wonderful people that had been patient, kind and believed in me along the way. They were not my family, they had nothing to gain from helping a teenager bordering on the clueless to find himself amidst many and frequent shortcomings, yet they continued to be there, in their own fashion and thankfully, I have had the privilege to do the same for those whose current circumstances resonated with mine and experience what they had–and find it fulfilling.

Truly, the measure of any man, is what he does for another, notwithstanding any reward and without any other reason, other than, they did it, because either they had once been in the same situation or that they feel others would have done the same.

Love Moves People, Hope Gives Strength, But Purpose Gives Meaning

Saiyuri, Mameha and Hatsumomo. An almost Freudian or Jungian set of characters, each communicating powerful emotions, profound perspective and eternal lessons in an exciting backdrop of westernization of an ancient tradition.

One of the things that makes the movie beautiful, is how it weaves, Love in the backdrop of personal grief, societal change, war and the constant threat of change. Rewind to the first few scenes, when the little girl from the village, Sayuri, was merely a kid attending her lessons, we see, what we would initially count as a lovely encounter between a gentleman, who recognizes the pain of a girl and a girl who, for the first time, was visited by the soothing caress of love, of being loved and of perhaps loving back.

While I was watching, it struck me as an important meeting, one of those that you know would have a significant impact to the narrative. Little did I know that the same encounter, will demonstrate one of the most vivid expressions of love in the state of being forbidden, in the name of propriety. When it is unrequited, not for the lack thereof, but for the love of another. Then, when it was withheld, not due to fear of responsibility or any other hindrances, but for its multifaceted perspective and the intricate waltz it plays on the human soul. Truly, Love moves people.

Love was not the only thing intimated by the movie in a subtle, yet profound manner. A shameless plug to this serious journal, is the fact, that when I think of hope the closes I can remember are the Green Lanterns, I just had to say that. Anyway, moving back, the movie, beautifully, permeates to all of us the perspective of how the human heart and our soul, regardless, how the person is disposed, spring eternal.

While we see hope shown in the multiple attempts the young Saiyuri does to get to her sister and how amidst its failure she continues to hope to find her, we are also introduced to one of the primary characters of the plot. It is very easy to categorize Hatsumumo, the current primary Geisha of the house, as the antagonist, it is difficult to just simply box her in that. The movie had taught me that while many choose to be kind amidst the unforgiving circumstances life deals to us, some, give up on hope and end of the simply be the thorns in the rose that they are.

Hatsumumo, to me, was a rose, who continually choses to be the thorns. I will never understand why she deliberately wanted to inflict so much sadness on a young girl who had done nothing to her. The movie, will hint at it as her seeing Saiyuri as competition, but the more I think deeply about it, I come to the realization that at times, we want others to give up on things we had given up on, and Hatsumumo, to me, had given up on hope–thus, she her inner demons revolt at the site of a young girl who just seemed inherently filled with hope.

I could be wrong and what her reasons were, is for any one to say. Maybe I will understand it better as I get to read the book. I will definitely make the needed supplementary journal, once I complete it this March of 2022, but until then, to me, when we start to give up on hope, it becomes but an impulse that we want others to do so, too. For the more they strive, the more they hope, the more we feel regret, vulnerable and tortured by our conscience, because–hope, springs eternal.

From Love to Hope, this time and in the final minutes of the film, I think we were given a glimpse of the Japanese culture of Purpose. It is like in that file, the Last Samurai, where Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) says something about why the place was magical, that everyone, from the moment they wake up to the moment they sleep, focus on the mastery of their craft, that the determination, attributed meaning and purpose of the Geisha, made Saiyuri, Mameha and the rest of the women who had vested themselves of the fabled moniker, Geisha, truly remarkable.

I will always remember that scene, when Saiyuri gets to Mameha, to rekindle what it the Geisha truly stands for and why amidst the flamboyant, easy and convenient entertainment of the west, the Geisha still holds it allure, then, now and perhaps even until the future. Many of us live life in such routine that we forgivably simply go through the motions.

Mameha communicating life lessons to Saiyuri, of which she in turn, will have the opportunity to the same for and with her

The unbearableness of life has pushed many, if not most of us to simply go through life as a routine. It is easy to feel that a moment’s thought about the why we do what we do, why we wake up and our place in the grand scheme of things can easily feel cumbersome and unnecessary trivialities in the rat race many of us find ourselves in. Yet, what a sad excuse it is when we compare ourselves to magnificent women we come to find in the movie (the book, too, maybe, I have not read it, maybe there are some difference so just saying), who amidst the stringent confines, strict constraints and virtually never-ending charade of rituals, were able to gather the constitution to find their place in society, life and most importantly–purpose in the grand scheme of things.

This, I think, is what makes, the movie, its characters and it plot, not simply a story about the Saiyuri, the Geisha, but of all of us.

Leadership Hacks From The Movie : Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan is one of those movies that we can watch a couple times and still feel like the first time. I would tread lightly on discussing the gore of war, but it is more than just a war movie. The depth of emotions that came with each scene is just a few of the ingredients that made it amongst the greats.

I still remember the first time watching it. There were no online streaming sites, Netflix was not around and the internet was primarily for business or education, so we did what any movie fan would do in the early part of 2000’s–rent a VHS. If you are unfamiliar of what that is, well…, you missed a good chunk of your life so Google it now. I just remembered we still have the old player in my family home, it would be good to advise them to keep it, that piece of technology could become antique.

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic war film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is known for its graphic portrayal of war, especially its depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. The film follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and his squad (Tom SizemoreEdward BurnsBarry PepperGiovanni RibisiVin DieselAdam Goldberg, and Jeremy Davies) as they search for a paratrooperPrivate first class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), the last surviving brother of four, the three other brothers having been killed in action. (Wikipedia)

The internet has volumes to say about the film. From behind-the-scenes stories, to trivia, to how Spielberg played with paradoxes. This article, however, will focus on some simpler perspectives, which is finding coroporate lessons that we can take away from the movie.

War educates the senses, calls into action the will, perfects the physical constitution, brings men into such swift and close collision in critical moments that man measures man

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lesson 1 : Teams Need A Common Goal

In any organization, from the ground to the highest echelon of corporate structure, teams are seldom built by the leaders that will be at the helm. Frequently, leaders inherit teams. To have a part in building an entirely new team, collecting a preferred selection of talents, is a priviledge, not a lot of young leaders in today’s coporate context get the chance to (so if you have, count yourself lucky)

In the context that we will employing scenes from a war movie and relating it to coporate leadership, perhaps, it is safe to assume that just like in the military, especially in that of World War II; where units must be made and gathered to work seamless almost overnight, it is not unfair for organizations to ask their leaders to jive, mesh and integrate into their inherited or newly-built teams in the shortest time possible.

After all, the business world, would not have read Sun Tzu, if we cannot relate how they feel and think everyday to war (no pun intended).

The current challenge is, which is most likely a serious strain also since back then, is that teams need time to trust each other–which is fundemantal to any cooperation, collaboration and teamwork. Every team, is made up of diverse individuals with varying backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, personalities and preference. To expect them to simply be united in a matter of weeks or months, is a steep order indeed. Weirdly, how much time is needed, is yet to be fiured out–we just know, deep inside, that it needs time. Somewhere between a month, ideally, but no more than an eternity.

Team performance, unlike what most would think, is not simply a question of leadership. The success of any team goes far beyond education, experience and competency–of the individual members and the leader.

When a group of individuals are clustered together, may it be in a confined space or the proverbial boat, differences will arise. This is what we exactly see in the move as the unit received the order of going ahead to the frontlines, away from the from the action, to recover a Private named James Ryan. Yes, even a seasoned team that had been in many death-defying missions still disagree, argue and fight internally.

A compelling scene of how team dynamics really work and how leadership plays a crucial role in guiding talented individuals, is when the unit encounters a machine gun nest defended by an isolated crew of German soldiers.

Order, though, in his manner of communicating, proposing that the unit takes the machine gun nest down, Captain Miller was met with varied opinions and objections. The more prevalent ones being that, that it is needeless to take it down, that incoming forces can deal with them with the minority vote on taking it down so it will not be able to ambush others.

Saving Priate Ryan, Unit Huddle, Movie Scene
Unit discusses, then argues need to take down machine gun nest.

Imagine that! Battle-hardened soldiers, who earlier, had just been so frustrated to not see action, was now avoiding, what they considered to be needless conflict. We can only imagine, how peculiary frustrating it must have been for the Captain, but this is where leadership in the process of building teams come to life.

Seeing the hestitation and hearing the obviously selfish recommendations; Captain Miller demonstrates a lesson in what is right and leadership by initiating all preparations and even spearheading the attack.

In moments of hesitation, where teams break down as individuals, it is the leaders who cement trust, confidence and purpose. The best line ever said on the scene perhaps was the captain telling the boys, the objective has not changed, the objective is to win the war. A fine lesson in redireting teams towards something that will unite diversity in moments of discord–a relatable and sensibile goal.

Lesson 2 : The Burden Of Leadership Is Heavy

Someone said something about leaders being the ones to climb the tree to update everyone that we are in the wrong forest or something to that effect. For whatever its worth and the actual line is, whether it was Jack Welsch or John Maxwell who said it, it speaks true of the heavy burden of leadership.

Take for example the scene in the movie after the taking of the bunker. Neutralizing a dig fortified with machine guns and heavy artillery did not come easy nor without casualty. Their doctor died, in one of the most emotional scenes of the movies. It is easy to assume that after dealing death and seeing so much, people can just get used to it, but perhaps not. After seeing the soldier through his last moments, the Captain hides to shed tears of sorrow, regret and perhaps guilt. One can only imagine the feeling of losing someone in your command.

Just when you feel sorry for the Captain in the scene and you want to give him respite, he goes back to his unit and finds them arguing about what to do with the captured German soldiers. Do they kill them to ensure that they no longer participate in the war? Or should they let them go following the rules of the Geneva convention, and being that the nature of their mission cannot accomodate holding on to captives? Alot of viewers take this to be a discussion of morality, yet to this humble spectator, what struck me was how the Captain got everyone to harken togehter again as a team.

While everyone was almost pointing guns at each other due to the argument, the Captain takes on a bet that everyone had been having about what he did before joining the war. He asks how much the bet is on and shares that he used to be a teacher and how his decision is not entirely hinged now on what is right or wrong based on the articles of war, but on how he feels that every life he/they take, perhaps needelessly, makes him feel farther and farther away from home. It drove a point to everyone and what was just a heated argument a few seconds earlier, turned cold and everyone just had a reverberating resonance to the lines.

That is the burden of leadership; to cry and be unmoved; to suffer and stay calm, to be confused and yet confident, to be hope, when at times there seem to be none, and to be the epithet of what is right, ideal and good–because teams do not just look for success, much more than many care to admit, teams look for mearning in what they do.

Lesson 3 : Be Like Captain Miller

The movies starts with an elderly man kneeling at the resting place of who we are then introduced as Captain Miller. Miller and Ryan, did not know each other for long, they only spent weeks together in the most unlikely of situations. Yet, the effect Captain Miller had to Ryan was so profound that even after many years, up until his age of white hair, he still held the Captain in such high regard, enough that he would ask him if he had earned it (the last word’s the Captain uttered to him before dying, were, earn it)

Taken into such context, maybe, just maybe, the hallmark of leadership is to leave an indelible positive mark on the lives of others.

A tall and idealistic notion, which is absolutely easier said than done, but not impossible.

Just how did Captain Miller leave an mark on Private Ryan, though?

This article would like to claim that it was the Captain’s selflessness; his willingness to put the need of others before his, and his readiness to sacrifice so others can advance; be safe and progress–that made him unforgettable to the young Private.

Leaders of today juggle an extremely difficult role.

They are to ensure team efficiency in functioning for enteprise success and at the same time, accomodate the individual nuances and circumstances of each member. To leaders, young and old, who have people in their charge and care, these two must come first and second; to the expense of their own needs coming third (that is, if they are single, imagine where it lands if they have spouses, kids and other family members to care for).

It is absolutely exhausting, just imagining it, yet to a true leader, this is the source of fulfilment. True enough, Captain Miller dies in the movie, but knowing that he had ensured that safety of Private Ryan, he passed away, with the look of someone fulfilled. He had mentioned earlier, that every person he kills makes him feel farther away from home, this time, he helped someone get home and for whatever its worth; amidst everything–he felt closer to home.

Capt. Miller encourages Pvt. Ryan to live, tasking him to, “Earn It”.

If you are one of those leaders, who are selfless in helping their teams continually contribute to enterprise success while genuinely supporting the personal career advancement of those in you care–you deserve all the love and recognition!

Yes, the road must have been hard and will only get tougher. But your selfless attitude and fine behavior, amidst any and all circumstance, in every interaction with your team as whole and individually; will and is making ripples that improve human society, in its own little, but no less powerful way.

That time helped a new colleague finish his work, because he had just started at the expense of you staying longer in the office; that instance when you covered for a single mother who could not make it work to tend to her child even if you had to come in earlier to work on your items; that time when you genuinely thanked someone for their hard work; and most importantly that time when you made everyone feel that they are all valued, cared for and appreciated even if you had not been made to feel so yourself–is perhaps, how leaders can be like Captain Miller and leave an indelible positive effect on the lives of others.

Corporate Hacks From The Series : The Mandalorian

Star Wars undeniably, will eternally hold a special part in our hearts, minds and souls as a species (okay, I may have taken this a step romantic here, but forgive me, it just feels good to say it). If you are a fan, needless to explain, if you are yet to watch a movie or any of the series related to it, you are strongly encouraged to do so.

As a kid, what took my imagination the most is the conflict between Jedi and Sith. Later on, it was the mythos of the Force. Eventually, as age caught up with me, the interest shifted to the characters–their lives, history, struggles and personal take in the great divide between universal freedom or monocratic despotic rule.

This blog, however, is not about any of that. This is about the latest addition the great epic tale, that had been faciltated by Disney since its purchase of the franchise. This time, as interesting as it is to talk about the old accepted cannonical story line, we will digress to glean lessons, corporate lessons, to be exact, from the series, The Mandalorian.

The Mandalorian is an American space Western television series created by Jon Favreau for the streaming service Disney+. It is the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise, beginning five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983). It stars Pedro Pascal as the title character, a lone bounty hunter who goes on the run after being hired to retrieve “The Child“. The Mandalorian premiered with the launch of Disney+ on November 12, 2019. The eight-episode first season was met with positive reviews, was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, and won seven Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. A second season premiered on October 30, 2020, and a third season is in pre-production. (Wikipedia)

I have managed to find three corporate lessons from the series, that hopefully, will be helpful in a fun way.

Lesson 1 : Teamwork Needs A Just Cause

Bounty hunting is not a job that invites teamwork. It is dangerous business, and the level of risk goes ultrahazardous the more people are involved. While we can surmise, that Mandalorians, are not necessarily raised to be bounty hunters, their preference for solitude is evident,too. In the series, we see them operate alone, even when there are still a handful left of them after the destruction of Mandalore.

In Chapter 7, of Season 1, titled The Reckoning, however, we see that individuals, equally distrusting of each other, with differing agenda, experience, background and ethnicity/race can organically come together as a team.

This episode showed us how a rebel-fighter-turned-mercenary, Cara Dune and a former Imperialist, Kuiil living in solitude to enjoy his freedom and repay his faults from his association with the Galactic empire, enemies at best, work together in helping Mando and Grogu ( (the little Yoda-looking Padawan). This is revolutionary. Teams of today do not have to come from the same background as Cara and Kuiil, we do not have to be and will never be from opposing sides of an intergalactic war, but we face the same challenges of teamwork, trust, effectiveness, efficiency and fulfilment.

We have a skewed understanding of teamwork. The corporate world had misunderstood collaboration, cooperation and coordination as teamwork, whereas, these are all its component, teamwork is something more. Teamwork, is about people working for each other and together. It is about understanding our individual goals, perspective for success, difference and competencies acceptingly, compensating, adjusting in a safe environment of trust, mutual success and shared responsibility should the enterprise fail.

Leaders of today, must learn how Mando gathered his team–they must have something greater than financial goals, a task or an objective, they must have harken everyone to a just cause, an ideal, a sense of a terminal goal that will inspire, motivate and drive individuals to the pinnacle of human attainment–self-actualization.

In the case of Cara, Kuiil and Mando the just cause was not complicated. They gathered amidst their differences with the knowledge of certain doom, to protect Grogu and ensure his safety. Simple, yet potent enought to allow them to bridge wide divides of differences and for Quiil to give up his life.

Today, we do not have to protect anyone in our corporate settings, but we all have someone or something dear to us. Our families, dreams, aspirations and the search for meaning are seldom spoken, but are the actual motivating factors of our actions. These and many more that are actually unrelated to perks, salary and financial stability–should be the just cause, if the coporate setting is to create a team such as the motley crew of Cara, Quill and Mando.

Lesson 2 : People Can Suprise Us, If We Let Them

In the same Chapter, we see Mando vehemently protesting the company of the IG-11, that Kuiil had reprogrammed. Other than it was the same machine Mando downed to save Grogu, he has a particular prejudice over machines. Several times, he had doubted IG-11, only taking Kuiil’s word, that it has now changed.

More than we care to admit, we have similar predespositions with the people we work for. Not necessarily, that we had either a bad experience with them in the past, but perhaps, our collective experience had just trained us to take things with a grain of salt and people with mistrust.

It will do us well to remember, that after Kuiil died and the Cara, Mando and Karga where in no position to save Grogu, it was IG-11 who secured its safety. The most distrusted, turns out to be the most reliable. Ultimately, in a scene that was quite emotional, IG-11, made the ultimate sacrifice for Grogu and the team. In their attempt to escape the myriad of Empire troops and with no hope of fighting them successful, IG-11 did something, that only creatures with a heart and soul will do. He sacrificed his life, by detonating his self-destruct protocol, only after he had waded through thick lava and ensuring that Grogu, Mando, Cara and Greef were safe.

In coporate settings of today, where deadlines are always urgent, tasks oversimplified amidst its complications and challenges require upskill almost without preparation–it is too easy to judge the competency of a colleague, a teammate, based on how they adapt to the tides. A failure, miss or oversight, can easily be calculated as incompetence and lead to doubts. Leaders and teammates of today’s corporate world, can learn from the experience of Mando, who was disproven, in the most heartbreaking of ways by IG-11, by doing what he believed it can never do–change.

While IG-11 was repogrammed from a total package of destruction to a nurturing and protective robot, we too, have to believe that our colleagues, while not necessarily, reprogrammable by codes, can turn around by how collectively we make them feel safe, integrated, valued and a part of a greater purpose in the success of the team.

Lesson 3 : Leadership Is Influenced By The Culture Of Organizations

Today, Leadership comes together with the role and the title. Not, that this is wrong, a manager must have the leadership skills, if one is to help an enterprise succeed. A leader, likewise, will need to employ managerial techniques, for one to be effective and efficient. In the perfect balance of this is where the success of the team is hinged. Presumably, with the volumes of books written by experts, gurus and industry titans there should nothing more to be added on the recipe.

The Empire is not that different from any organizations. It has the infastructure, chain of command and employee network that make is operate exactly from how companies of today operate. Though, the financial capabilities of the Empire is not something we are privy to in the series of the movies, we can safely say that to employ such vast network or talent, manpower and technology will induce cost.

On the topic of leadership and using the Empire structure as an example, we are introduced to Moff Gideon, who also happens to be the main antagonist of the story. A ruthlessly effective, efficient and calculating task master, whose determination, drive and aim was solely to secure Grogu, for whatever reason it is that he has for the Padawan. All of those in corporate leadership roles would scream foul just thinking about what Moff had and is willing to do to complete his objective, as we all certainly would. It is not far, however, for any of the leaders of today to be like Moff, and perhaps, we all, at some point had operated like he did, outside the realm of our conscious–merely justified by some leadership or business dogma.

See, Moff, as portrayed in the series, was obviously a bad person. He was an Emperial officer and for all we know, the empire seeks to dominate the universe under the rule of Sith, which are a bunch of dark, despotic and cruel force-weilders. This is, however, a one-sided take on things, to dare say.

If it were, in the Star Wars universe, a truly general fact that the Sith and the Empire is awful, how could they have troops, line managers and supporters? Some of them even, willing to fight and give up their lives in battle for the Empire. The Mandalorian was set at a time after the fall of the Empire, it is like, when an organization went bankrupt, but people still choose to work for it scenario. Surely, the opinion around the Empire being the epitome of evil, was subject to debate and perspective in that universe. So, along the same argument, we can say, that Moff, was operating and leading his team, not in the mainstream idea of leadership, as so we see it, but around the culture of the organization he was employed or aligned to.

And so, we can condemn Moff for his evil deeds and claim, we shall never be like him, but truth be said, we had been Moff’s at some point, hopefully not too often. That employee who requested a leave for some family event that we talked out, becuase we need them, that vacation leave where we still called colleagues because we needed something, that wedding we never even gave the employee time to enjoy or that sick day, where the employee had to check a roster of possible ailments as an excuse, because they cannot tell us, they are just stressed and needed some sanity break because they obviously believe and think we will not allow it. These are, but a few of our Moff moments. How rewarded and fulfilled we must have felt, when we had to convince folks to be like us, operate in the same manner and think like us in these times, when we obviously truly do not understand their personal struggles and perhaps we do, only at a perspective of our own and aligned to the need of the enterpise. Yes, we had been Moff’s at some point.

Organizations of today have a choice. To mould immensely successfuly Moff Gideon’s based on the culture of the Galactic Empire ran by the Sith, or to have a heart and allow people to be people like the Bounty Hunter’s Guild of Greef Karga. Leaders have a responsibility to their people. Something, Moff Gideon, while definitely a leader in his own right, may have initially reluctantly chosen to overlook this responsibility, until eventually, slowly, yet surely, he had mastered the art of disregarding it for the high of the next mission, promotion of completion of task, objective and goal.

21st century leadership will continue, hopefully not, down the path of the Empire, lest leaders of today, consciously choose to veer away from operating under the same playbook for success and leadership as Moff Gideon. Leaders of today, are primarily leaders of the people in their care, before employees of the corporations, not the other way around. Until , this becomes the new playbook, we should all stop watching Star Wars in support of the Jedi and tattoo the Galactic Empire’s logo on our bodies.

May The Force Be With You!

Things I Learned From The Movie : Tenet

Tenet is a 2020 science fiction action thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who produced it with Emma Thomas. A co-production between the United Kingdom and United States, it stars John David WashingtonRobert PattinsonElizabeth DebickiDimple KapadiaMichael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. The film follows a secret agent who learns to manipulate the flow of time to prevent an attack from the future that threatens to annihilate the present world.

Nolan took more than five years to write the screenplay after deliberating about Tenet‘s central ideas for over a decade. Pre-production began in late 2018, casting took place in March 2019, and principal photography lasted six months, from May to November, in Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot on 65 mm film and IMAX. Scenes of time manipulation were filmed both backwards and forwards. Over one hundred vessels and thousands of extras were used.

Delayed three times because of the COVID-19 pandemicTenet was released in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2020, and United States on September 3, 2020, in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm. It was the first Hollywood tent-pole to open in theaters after the pandemic shutdown, and grossed $363 million worldwide, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2020. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and won Best Visual Effects at the 93rd Academy Awards; it was also nominated for Best Production Design. (source :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenet_(film) )

Nolan in this movie, proved to be a visionary. He will have to be so, to present something so spectacularly brain-draining, in such a beautiful combination of chaos, thrill and suspense. Personally, watching it once or twice, may not be enough to truly grasp what the message or event the plot is. Not to mention, the more recent fan theories that have enveloped it. This article, however, is not about that, so lucky break for us.

If you had not watched it, please, this is a warning, there may be some spoilers that would make you hate me and we do not want that. If you have not watched it and want to know about it, well, you will not also be getting a lot from this article, so feel free. Trying to do a smooth segue here, but if this is your first time reading an article from this blog site, you may want to read the previous articles which highlights why I am trying my best to find some practical lesson from movies (if you had, thank you for doing so!).

So, here are three things I learned from the movie.

Lesson 1: The Past, Present and Future are intertwined

Time, a concept, an experience or the progression of events from past to present into the future. We have learned how to measure it, but truly, it is hubris to claim that we have gained the mastery of understanding it. Should you like a more explicit detail of time, you may check this link and read more, but this is not about time per se, but how the movie uses the beautiful mystery of time to teach us some lessons about ourselves, others and the orchestra of life.

Tenet, in all its convoluted story lines, intimates that the past, affects the present, and it in turn, ultimately shapes the future, but most certainly, too, the future has implications reaching our past and even the present. (I think I just lost all of you there, I even feel nauseated myself).

The movie begins with a CIA agent. The Protagonist, who was tested and entrusted by an organization called Tenet, with a mission to follow the trail of inverted bullets, bullets that deviate from the physical laws of nature (the second law of thermodynamics), which the organization thinks, together with other similar items, come from the future and are remnants of some future war.

In the course of this investigation our Protagonist, gets to meet his handler, who points him to an arms dealer in Mumbai, who happens to be a member of Tenet and informs them that a Russian arms dealer has the device that can invert items.

Fairly straightforward, until, we start seeing multiple unexpected events that course the movement of the Protagonist and his handler, directly in contact with their future and ultimately, shaping the ending of the movie which is in the past.

If you are about to give up on this article, what I am pointing to, is that it may not be quite literal that the future us can collide with our present selves face to face, but the actions that we do every day in our lives will ripple through time and oblivious to it, we may be,we are not exempt from its consequences.

Yes, that elevator we did not hold for another person, the garbage we did not segregate, is unlikely to haunt our past, but will definitely affect the future, which then, technically, once we get to that future will make us regret the past, for how socially irresponsible we are for the present.

Our perspectives then ought to change and may we always think, that every other man’s life affect another.

That what we do today, even the tiniest, will ripple throughout the ages. So, may we, daily, strive to do what is right, to secure a better future, where we shall not feel ashamed looking back at our past (from that standpoint).

Lesson 2: The Mind perceives, but the Heart Knows

The movie quite distinctly, in its creative intricacy of violating known science did not leave the part of being human. We get introduced to an art curator and wife, who amidst, what most would see, befit a the description of a happy life is trapped in the present, while hoping to have made better choices in the past and fearing the future.

Though, many of us, do not really give it much thought, but such is our daily life, is it not?

We may not always feel a sense of regret at everything and sure we may have trained our minds to be more positive in letting go of things in the past, to make sure it never happens again, but emotions, on the other, the feelings, we leave them at the specific moment and can only truly recover them in nostalgia.

So, we may move on from past experience, feel confident that we have learned from it to take action in the present, but the present nor the future, can never undo the emotional breadcrumb we have left in the past. That feeling, yes, that emotional state, that only nostalgia can bring back, is something that will be left in the time frame for posterity.

This is what makes our short lives on Earth beautiful. To know that we can do the same thing over and over, but we will never feel that same way about it, as the first time, nor the consecutive instances, because each passing of time is an experience that is not imprinted in the sands of time. Such is, we should make the most out of every day, for life being short is not the problem, but time, the human soul and life are battling forces that we should make the most of.

Lesson 3: We experience Time by our Choices

It is amazing, how the movie, makes us accept all accept the fact of time-travel to be as casual as boarding a plane. If you had watched it, I bet you never had the time to even question the science behind it, well, if you did, two thumbs up, you are one of the intellectually gifted, able to keep up.

Yet for those, who had just simply missed to consider how the science works, please do not worry. It may have slipped past us because, no matter how everybody else was just disrespecting time–we all see, that the time has little consequences compared to the choices we make at the time given.

To me, the movie, required astute attention because of the plot, but it harkened our attention–because, even with the inverter, the capability to move back and forth time, with nonchalant casualty–it was the actions of everyone that dictated the outcomes. It was as if, and perhaps, in reality, very well be, that time is merely the stage we are all in, by which we are tested by the decisions and choices we make.


Then, too, with these decisions, with time as a witness, our mettle is tested, by how we stand by the consequences of them. Life can be many things–beautiful, sad, happy, fulfilled. Time can be defined philosophically, scientifically or spiritually.

But our decisions and our actions, can only be right, wrong or unknown.

100 Best Movies Of All Time Series: Lessons From The Deer Hunter

This is the story of how Farrah and I, as a couple, complete the IMBD list of 100 Best Movies Of All Time.

Farrah’s and my selection of movies are aligned in some yet varied in most. Thankfully, though, we agree on one critical junction. That The Lord Of The Rings is a stupendous movie, (and I am using stupendous to sound less of a nerd), worth watching many times!

Anyway, I made the call to start from anywhere on the list randomly and we got The Deer Hunter.

A 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of steelworkers whose lives were changed forever after fighting in the Vietnam War. The three soldiers are played by Robert De NiroChristopher Walken, and John Savage, with John Cazale (in his final role), Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza playing supporting roles. The story takes place in ClairtonPennsylvania, a working-class town on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh, and in Vietnam.–Wikipedia

Here are a few things we learned from the movie.

You Are Who You Decide You Will Be

The movie takes into the lives of three of five close friends, who had lived a careless life working together at a metal works factory and casually wallowing their days away with beer and deer hunting. There was Mike (Robert De Niro) the sensible one, then there was Nick (Christopher Walken) the boy-next door, Steve (John Savage) the adult who had not outgrown his teenage years.

It was truly masterful how the first few scenes that showed nothing but their partying, drinking, deer-hunting and juvenile shennanigans were abruptly given a striking halt by the horrors the three of the faced as they get deployed to Vietnam during the War.

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The friends, before three of these five get to see action in Vietnam

I have been definitively told that the movie was about the horrors of war, specifically, the most controversial at that time—Vietnam. However, I saw something different, like it impacted me on a different way than it did majority of the viewers.

As the scenes progress, it dawned on me that it may not entirely be the war that is being presented here, neither was it the outcomes of it, rather how a person either makes or breaks himself in moments of adversity.

In the film, Mike comes home rather normal. Of course, he was broken, but still able to adjust to move on with his life, compared to two of his other friends.

Maybe the movie is not about showing the horrors of war in the hopes of world peace, perhaps it was about how we can overcome the horrors we see as we close our eyes, the monster we let live inside us and the regrets we allow to fester in our conscience.

There is no telling, but Mike, being able to come home and managing to still be himself made me remember a lesson from late Dr Covey—that we are not a product of our experience/environment, but of our decisions.

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Yes, we can chose to live our lives every day like we had seen action in Vietnam and justify the injustice of life for our actions, but that truly is no excuse for not having a purpose, a sense of meaning and living our lives to the full.

If Mike did it, perhaps, we, too, can.

We Need To Make The Most Of The Time Given Us

The quote is actually taken from The Lord Of The Rings, or maybe someone important said it, but I just did not know who, then again the awful ending of the movie rang the bells that got me scouring for the quote.
The middle part of the film shows us how while held prisoner by the Vietcong, Mike and Nicky were forced to play Russian Roulette as their captors bet on the outcomes. It was a riveting scene really, I remember watching it as a kid and now as an adult, the amount of trepidation I felt did not diminish.

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Anyway, while Nicky was crying and being desponded, as anyone probably would. Mike, found hope amidst the hopelessness. He ups the game, by asking for two bullets to be loaded, instead of the occasional one. It added more spice for the game for the captors but increased the chances of either of Mike or Nick’s death in the process.

It was a smart move, however. As they are both dead anyway, having two bullets allows either of them to have one bullet after the other dies enough to shoot one of the five guards and hopefully take down the rest with the military training they had had.

Finally, with some luck, Mike feels his turn to be loaded and shoots at the enemy paving the way for the three of them to escape. Their reunion was to be cut-short, however, as they managed to get rescued but separated at the same time.

Before I get carried away and start writing an ugly synopsis of the movie, my point is—most of us see the situation for what it is and willfully play victim to it like Nick. Not that this makes any of us a lesser person if we have been so in the past, but if we keep on being so, we will never see the opportunities that present our way.

We should really be more like Mike (again, he is the cool guy in this movie), who regardless if he had lost hope or not, simply refused to let life win and took measures to play life’s game to his advantage.

All of us, do not have long on this earth and if we keep on playing victim to the circumstance, we will never make the most of the time that is given to us.

There are Friends, Then There Are True Friends

The scene that had the most profound effect on me was how Mike, decides to come bac to look for Nick. I mean, we all have friends, but going back to Vietnam as the US Military was pulling out and in chaotic times was hardly an easy decision.

Mike plays Russian Roulette to convince Nick to come home with him. The irony of surviving a game of chance when forced, only to be addicted to it

He was home, he has a chance to live his life, but he chooses to go back and search for his friend. Add to it that the search was not easy. He probably had to pull some strings to get there and he spent an awful lot of money just to have a table with Nick.

And man, the fine acting you see, as Mike grieves the death of Nick on that same night they met, cemented De Niro for me as one of the greatest actors of all time, but this is not my point. I just could not stop but segue.

The point is, if you call yourself a friend to someone, the measure by which you should think you are, is what Mike did for Nick. Anything less and you are just an acquaintance.

Things I Learned From The Movie : The Adjustment Bureau

Had a day off from work to celebrate the 4th of July and got the chance to skim Netflix for some movies. On top of the suggestion list was the movie The Adjustment Bureau.

I had watched snippets of this movie here and there, but never got to finish the entire film. I guess 2011 was just not my year for fiction romance.

The Adjustment Bureau is a 2011 American science fiction romantic thriller film written and directed by George Nolfi, based on the 1954 Philip K. Dick short story “Adjustment Team”.  It was premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre on February 14, 2011, and received positive reviews from critics, who praised Damon’s performance and his chemistry with Blunt. It grossed $127 million against a production budget of $50 million, according to Wikipedia.

To make a practice of watching movies, I have managed to get three lessons from the movie.

Lesson 1, You are your choices

For those who had not gotten the chance to watch the film, I will attempt to make a quick synopsis, but my feeble attempt at this may not necessarily give justice to the beauty of the movie.

The story begins with maverick congressman David Norris (Matt Damon), losing his senatorial bid over a scandal that spread over the news. Graciously accepting defeat, he goes to the men’s room to rehearse his final speech only to accidentally bump into a curious woman who later get introduced to as Elise (Emily Blunt).

That accidental meet eventually turns their lives upside down as forces outside of the human realm attempt to separate them.ab2

In more cases than we care to admit in our lives our decisions are made out of convenience. Sure, some of us still go through the logical process of thinking before you leap, but seldom do we apply this process to the little things we decide on.

What are we going to wear? Where to eat? How do we react to situations? How do we feel about things? How do we conduct ourselves? What do we put on social media?

In the movie, you see, Thompson (Terrence Stamp), one of the experienced officers of the Adjustment Bureau, have a word with David. He starts talking about how we really are making our choices, that we think we have free will, but in reality we only have the illusion of freewill.

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To some extent, Thompson has a point. The film maybe fiction, but how many decisions in life have we really made with serious consideration to how it impacts the world at large? Just how many instances did we go with the bandwagon and decided because it is what is normal, accepted and common choice?

It can be scary when we soon realize that many of the decisions, we make are not entirely out freedom to choose, but rather programming from social media, conditioning from parents, acceptance from our clicks and status from the society. More often than we care to admit our choices are really swayed not by our freewill, but a desire. Oftentimes, too, this process of decision making had proven faulty at best.

How many times did we chose to purchase things more than we can afford to fit for an event, or buy a gadget whose functions we never really get to use, because it was popular or how many elections did we vote for a candidate who we may not entirely like, but just seemed to be the best option over someone who does not share the same religious or popular views, or simply he/she was likeable?

If we have done the same in the past, maybe we can learn from David as he started making choices and not follow those that has been made for him.

Lesson 2, We Write Our Story

Just this week, the office had wellness and development sessions. This week was about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit 1, Be Proactive, which points to being a product of our decisions and not our circumstances resonated with this movie.

In many scenes, we see the hatted agents, angels, if we are to really equate them to popular reference, view a notebook that somehow looks like a tracking mechanism that allows them to see if the plan is unfolding or deviating. Then we see David fighting so hard to go against it.

abnotebookSure he failed three times and nearly lost the opportunity to be with Elise, but when it mattered the most, he was willing to risk everything to write his own story and not live the one that was made for him.

Are you living your own story or living that of which was made for you? Are you letting people tell you otherwise when you share to them your dreams and aspirations? Do you succumb to peer pressure or ridicule in the process of learning something new?

This may not necessarily apply to all, but how many of us lived behind the shadows of our parents as kids. Did we also let go of something to be the man our parents wanted us to be?

I remember a friend once, who quit the things he wanted to do the most, because his parents wanted him to be a preacher. He would tell me how a part of him is enjoying it, while some parts of him are dying to. He was faced with a tough choice.

To live the life they wanted for him or to live the life he wanted for himself.

You will be happy to know he chose to live a life that he wanted. Did he have regrets, we will never know, but the next lesson I learned from the movie may help us.

Lesson 3, We Make Choices, We Accept The Consequences

Perhaps, the most somber of the scenes in the film was when Thompson was talking to David about what the plan holds for his future.

Thompson was presenting David the outcomes of his decisions, the consequences of his choices. If he were to let go of loving Elise, he would have a sure seat at the Presidency.  Now, honestly, that is not something that is offered to you everyday.

Should he choose to go otherwise, he was bound to lead a normal life. Like a true salesman, not even hearing David’s choice just yet, Thompson takes David to Elise’ performance and emotionally blackmails the poor man.the_adjustment_bureau06

David’s choice to stay with Elise, according to Thompson, will rob her of her potential to be a world-famous ballerina to end up teaching ballet for sixth graders.

There is nothing wrong with teaching kid’s ballet, but honestly, it was an extremely precarious situation deciding the outcome of someone’s future for them.

The next scenes show David deciding to leave Elise so she could be what the Plan held out for her, only to find out that whatever it was that he wanted so badly before, seemed mundane to him—that there was nothing he could think of, but Elise.

With help from Harry (Anthonie Mackie), a peculiar agent who from the beginning of David’s discovery of the bureau offered assistance, David makes a daring move to defy the Plan and be with Elise.

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Fastforward, David gets Elise and in a final act of love and defiance againts the odds they go to the centre of the bureau to talk to “The Chairman” (perceivably God), to ask for whatever was the Plan for the both of them to be changed.

I am not here to tell you how it ends, you should watch the movie for that, but if there is anything we learn from final scenes, it would be that—not until we realize that freewill is a gift that we have to fight for, will we truly appreciate it.

That we may choose to be careless in our choices, but we will never escape its consequences.949befcf865e650b15752cc6d54776b3 So if all our choices, carefully chosen or not bear some consequences that we all have to pay, might as well give them more thought and decide wisely.