Movies That Shaped…

After my write up on Lion King, folks have asked me to say more on movies that I have seen that were impactful. They also wanted the analysis. This article is how I oblige them. Movies are representative of events either fictional or non-fictional. Yes, there’s a lot to learn from them as also there is a lot not to learn from movies.

Growing up I loved watching action movies for an obvious fact — I didn’t understand English and so any movie that will involve thinking was a task for me. In action movies, you saw who was killed and how the guy beats up the opponent — simple and straight.

It was not until my teenage years when I watched a movie with a friend. I definitely didn’t understand what happened in the movie but after the movie, he and his siblings were discussing the highlights of the movie. I was perplexed. After the discussion, which was obviously lost on me, I asked him how he gathered all the talking point in the movie. His answer was simple — listen. I couldn’t believe it. I protested at internally “why should I be listening for two hours to other people’s conversation?” Well, since he said that’s how he gathered the points. I followed his advice. Follow who know road.

We watched a couple of movies together and after a while, I realized he was right. Listen. That was the “magic wand”. The effects of listening were profound. My usage of the English language improved and so did the depth of my vocabulary. I learnt catch-phrases in movies that I still use till today.

Now you see why I have my prejudice against poorly made Nigerian movies. Most times after the movie, you can’t say what you learnt. In a bid to make money they do a Part II of the movie and half of Part II, is Part I. Someone once said that a bad movie is a waste of 2 hours. A bad investment of time, I would say. Thankfully, the trend has improved and there are great movies and content out there now. Have you seen “The Arbitration”? You should.

Since this is the holiday period and I know a lot of us are going to tone down a little bit. I’ll recommend a couple of movies to you all. You don’t need to watch all of them but the few you can do. Another point to note; they are American films and there are scenes of violence, sex and nudity in some of them. You don’t need to dwell on those. Most American moviemakers believe that sex sells more movies and so even in stories that don’t require them, they still slot them in. Wo/man of God, please take out the chaff.

Here is a list of movies I would love you to watch:

Something The Lord Made — True Life Story. It is the story of Vivien Thomas (black lab guy) and Alfred Blalock (white doctor), the “Blue Baby doctor” who pioneered modern heart surgery. The movie is about following your heart no matter what. In the midst of racism, a young man left doing a couple of popular things to follow his heart when he discovered he was very good at working in the lab. He was attached to a Prof and with the Prof he did a lot of heart-related work that brought improvements to the world of medicine. Though he wasn’t recognized at first, somehow he was remembered and in his lifetime and honoured. A very inspiring film. Clean. No nudity or sex.

The Bestman — “If you do not define yourself, for yourself, you will be caught up in other people’s fantasy”. I learnt the phrase from that film. Quite apt. It is a movie of friendship, motives and sometimes keeping up appearances. Yes, there are a couple of nude scenes especially at the bachelor’s party, skip that for your own sanity and sanctity. The speech made by the best man at the end of the movie about “preserving what you have” speaks volumes of contentment especially in relationships. Remember that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim 6:6).

My Best Friend’s Wedding — Again another good movie about contentment. The movie is about a guy who meets someone new but is still wishing he could still marry his old flame. Never wish for what could have been. Make do with what you have. Leave the past if it is not working. For that fact that you have chemistry with some people does not mean you should end up with them. As my grandma will say “If s/he is good for friendship, s/he may not be suitable for marriage”

Hidden Figure — The movie details the life of Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Katherine Johnson. These ladies were exceptional in what they did (science and people management). They defied the odds (they were black females) to become very instrumental in achieving epic stuff in a male-dominated field. They were involved in the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return. This was the foundation of many Apollo missions that helped put a man on the moon. What they did was a great achievement that restored the nation’s confidence and turned around the Space Race. The trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream. My greatest happiness is that one of them (Katherine Johnson) was alive when this movie was released. She is still alive at the time of writing. She turned 100 last August.

Notting Hill — Oh I love this movie. It is my best soft /romantic movie. Great lessons on humility and being frank. Don’t allow your societal status stand in the way of relating with people. Girl is a well-known actress and boy is a clumsy fella just wading through life. Serendipity brought them together and they took it from there. Many things happen; however, they fall in love. Navigating their world and the characters in those worlds were the issues. Altogether a brilliant movie.

If you love the clumsy guy winning, then you are in a good time. He was clumsy. He reminds me of me.

Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault — A dramatization of the life of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault (Don Cheadle), with a lot of factual based occurrences. A reformed junkie returns from prison to clean up his act and devote the rest of his life to the young kids of Harlem. 1996 was the 25th anniversary of the first tournament named after him.

The Gladiator — Determination in the face of adversity. A roman emperor is killed by his power-drunk son, who takes over the throne and rules on his term. The only person that can face him head-on is a former army general cum slave gladiator who was loyal to his father. The current emperor had killed his family and ordered his assassination but the slave-gladiator finds a way to annoy the king and somehow a duel is sort. Great movie.

Some lines in the movie are eternal….

  1. “Rome is not ruled by the marble of the senate but by the sands of the coliseum”.
  2. “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true Emperor Marcus Aurelius, father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife — and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
  3. “A general who became a slave. A slave who became a gladiator. A gladiator who defied an emperor.” This is the summary of the movie.

You can check out my other works on personal development Asking, Managing Access In Relationships How To Ask, Authenticity, Life Skill: The Power of Saying “No” and Now I Arise. I also reviewed The Lion King. If you enjoyed this article, please give it some claps and share it around on the socials! Feel free to leave a comment below! Please also follow me on Twitter @gabomin