*possible spoilers alert please proceed with caution. If you have not seen this film step away from the blog and please go watch the film :)
Brilliant, genius and fun - all words that came to my mind after watching this movie. But aside from the stellar acting, marvellous direction, set design and screenplay there is so much depth in this film.
After watching it I could not stop thinking about it all week and various ideas from the film swirled round in my head mixed with my own recent learnings and hence I arrived at the conclusion that there were lessons we could learn here.
Lesson 1 : Make a decision - Frank is torn between a seemingly impossible choice in this film should he live with his mother or his father. It is the decision he runs away from and it is the start of his downward spiral into crime. Running away from decisions will never aid us. We can give them time to figure out but essentially we must choose. We need to take responsibility for the present and observe all the angles. It is rare that what might seem like two options is in fact two options. There are always hidden choices that we may not be able to see at present. Perhaps in Franks case it was joint custody or perhaps he could live with a relative whilst working it out. We should try to give ourselves a time limit to force ourselves to make a decision faster because not making a decision is a decision and it can wreck your life equally but usually more than the choice you would have made. For instance, imagine you go out for a late evening ice-cream. You are torn between two flavours and as you decipher back and forth the chairs start to get put away, the lights go out and you are told the store is closed. You are left with a far worse result then what would have happened if you had decided what you wanted. Of course choosing an ice cream flavour is not an easy task but with every decision we must choose to have the strength to make the choice.
Lesson 2 : Even if things go disastrously wrong they can turn around - Near the end of this film Frank appears to lose everything, he is going to prison charged with a 10 year sentence, his father is dead and his mother has built a new life and family without him. It is heartbreaking to watch.
Behind the scenes Carl (the agent who caught him) manages to get Frank a job at the CIA investigating fraud. It is a glimmer of change in his dark world. There is a moment where Frank has the possibility to run but he chooses to work it out and do the job he has been assigned. He chooses to change his life and be the second mouse. It doesn't matter how awful or how impossible life might appear to you right now. Hold on to hope. Because anything is possible and just as awful as it is right now it could turn into sheer magnificence.
Lesson 3 : One act of kindness can change the world - Carl in helping Frank out saves him from prison and potentially a bitter, wretched life. This one kind act had so many ripple effects of good bought to the world in not only Frank's life but to all the people Frank managed to help through his work with the CIA and to the wife of Frank and their family and generations after that. Kindness is a magnificent force for beautiful change in the world and as often as we can we should always try to choose kindness, so that step by step we can make this world a better place. You never know how much one act of kindness can change the world.
Lesson 4 : Become who you want to be - Frank is a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer in this film. I say is because he embodies the characteristics of these people. He knows that to pretend to be these people he has to embody the persona of each. He always wins and tricks people because 'the other team can't stop looking at the pinstripes'. People can't stop looking at the uniform he wears and the persona he carries that they miss the main clue and the fraud that he is only a young boy so of course is none of these things. It is an interesting concept of that which we believe so too others believe. But only when you are true to yourself and the right path can you truly be who you want to be without the destruction that comes after. It shows that if we strive for something there is always a way to it. But it is definitely always best and more rewarding to do so in the legitimate route. For the one time Frank had to pass a test to be a lawyer he studied and truly passed. It shows that he could have done any of these amazing jobs had he put his mind to it in the first place. And so too can we. There is always a way to our dreams.
Lesson 5: 'If you're lonely at the top you're doing it wrong' anon - There's a really touching moment in the movie when Frank calls Carl on Christmas and Carl says 'you have no-one else to call' It makes you realise for all the wealth and adventure and kind of success Frank has created he is incredibly lonely and sad. He is clearly not on the right path as deep down he is miserable and without any friendship. I feel this serves us as a reminder that even though we may be striving towards those New Years goals in our lives or attainment we must take a step back and always remember our friends, family and loved ones. We should try to reach out and connect because connection brings meaning and joy to our lives.
I hope that this helps you in some way and I urge you to make decisions faster, have hope, be kind, be who you want to be and connect <3
Lots of Love
p.s. Let me know if you've watched this film and if there was anything you learnt from it :)