Life is a movie.
I know what you’re thinking- it isn’t at all like that. We dream up scenarios where the prince always rides up on a white horse, or if you’re the prince you save the stunning damsel, and there’s a bad guy, of course, but he’s simple even if he’s smart. He’ll tell you his plans and there’s always a way out. Every line is witty and clever, every moment perfection. Cue the credits, ride into the sunset. People think life is this kind of movie sometimes, and they inevitably end up hurt, confused, desperate, and despondent.
So we say life isn’t like a movie.
But it is.
Life is a well-written movie, and the distinction is crucial.
My journey has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but I didn’t get to look at the box before we started this thing, so I don’t know how long it is. Maybe today is still the beginning. Maybe it’s halfway over. Maybe it’s the final scene. Whenever it happens: beginning, middle, and end.
There’s a love interest- but like any properly written story, it isn’t always so clear. A heart can be pulled in a hundred directions, even if it only has one true bearing. And here’s a twist- sometimes people don’t marry the best one for them, their one. They’re out there, but people get impatient sometimes, going forward with something they know isn’t the best. Just when you suspect you know what’s going to happen, it shifts. A hope becomes a let-down.
But sometimes the opposite happens. Sometimes a let-down blossoms in hope. The nerdy girl in the glasses really does look beautiful at prom sometimes, but never in the way you’d expect. The kid who got cut from every team he tried out for becomes an incredible athlete, and maybe he even takes a squad to the championship game!
But this is a well-written movie, so you never know if they’re going to win it or let the opportunity slip and be forced to find redemption elsewhere. You never know what to expect. But there is always redemption. This is a movie, after all.
There is a moment where we can say “all is lost,” or the “dark hour of the soul.” In a well-written movie, sometimes there’s more than one. Recovery can be swift and instant, or it can be slow and painful. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. Twists and turns, and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, something new hits you. Your expectations, for better or worse, fall through. The writer of this grand script never takes the easy way out. He takes the interesting path, the best path, the path that makes this thing a story worth telling.
There’s a whole host of characters, but none of them are flat. Everyone is a round character, only I just haven’t found that out yet. Maybe the mailman actually is a spy, but maybe he’s a train collector- or a sportsman, or a skier, or a terrible husband, or a wonderful friend. Back stories abound, and in fact they’re never ending. See, because in a well-written movie (not just any movie) the writer knows that all of his characters have lives. Even the extras are full of worlds and stories. There just isn’t enough time to tell you all of them, so you only see a few.
In fact, they’re all movies too. I just can’t watch all of them. I can’t even really watch another whole one in its entirety.
There will be triumph, when it looks like there’s no way out, there will be- but will I take it? There’s character development for some, and some are stuck in a rut, but it all serves to advance the plot. What is the plot? In truth, I don’t entirely know. I could tell you bits and pieces, and I could tell you my guess, but at this point I think you know how much my guesses are worth. Things shift again. The writer is way ahead of me. I just sat down to watch this, while he spent months planning it out.
There will be tragedy, I guarantee it. What use is a film where nothing bad happens? It’s boring, is what it is. Struggle, for whatever reason, seems to be a requirement for growth and change. Heck, even a painting needs conflict, or else the eye grows tired of it quickly, and then is it even really art? Art is passion, and passion is pain, but not forever.
Because there is a sunset. And I’m riding towards it. I don’t know how many offshoots and subplots and various adventures I’ll have before I get there, but there’s one thing I’m sure of:
Life is a movie.
A well-written movie.