I first heard about the 2016 film “Dear Eleanor” via YouTube ads. Whoever created the trailer did a fine job, because I was determined to sit down and dedicate 2 hours of my life to watching the actual movie. New releases are increasingly difficult to take a chance on, as storytelling skills steadily worsen across the movie industry, but I found myself curious this time.
The original “Dirty Dancing” from 1987 was a remarkable blend of dancing, music, and story. It was eye-catching, sassy, and despite glaring anachronisms (such as the discrepancy between the film’s soundtrack and the time period setting), appropriate for all contemporary audiences. Unfortunately, Hollywood seems to have “gone off on a limb” with remakes during the past 15 or so years. Instead of retelling familiar stories with the intention of bring new, fresh interpretations to the screen, producers and writers have concocted point-blank failures that have attracted more negative than positive attention, their current marketing strategy. I’ve seen one remake after another generate terrible reviews from critics and viewers alike, both complaining about the same issue: “these new versions have no soul.” That may be true overall, but that doesn’t mean that some of these films can’t present new perspectives.
I am an idealist at the core, but I generally have a cynical outlook. I do not believe that everyone is “good at heart,” nor do I excuse people’s mistakes with ignorance. The 21st century offers limitless technology and through that, unprecedented access to acquiring knowledge and new skills. Though exceptions do prove the rule, I accept that 95% of the global population has chosen to remain uninformed and to disregard their consciences.
Selfishness is what motivates people and is the hardest vice to overcome, though it can be a tool in its own way. However, like with all tools, it is easier to use it for evil than for good. For me, the purpose of life is to prove to yourself that no matter how frustrated or angry or disgusted or bitter you can become about everything, your goodness will survive despite all obstacles. Everyone makes mistakes, but the wise person learns from those mistakes. Conquering your fears by learning how to confront them is one of life’s most important lessons. No temptations will make you succumb to being less than you are.
What is your life philosophy?