Lessons from Wanted (spoiler warning)

I just caught the movie Wanted in the afternoon after some deliberation since it came out in the movies and I must say, it’s quite brilliant. There was some deliberation despite the A-list cast of Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy because one of my co-workers said it was all violence and Jolie-exhibitionism and no substance. I will hafta beg to differ.

Shot in the same graphic-novel-to-screen spirit as Sin City and 300, it exhibits the, well, graphic nature of such adaptations and contrary to so-and-so’s opinion, there IS a plot with a nice, heart-tugging twist in the end. The special effects were brilliant, especially when they back-traced the engraved bullet at the beginning and end of the film, with the same fashion no less, to emphasize the similarity of genius and skill of such an assassination method that can only come from father and son. Of course, the audience is treated to such a satisfying conclusion of the plot only at the grand finale, thus closing the movie nice and snug.

Point to note, the only scene Angelina showed skin was a conservatively brief fresh-out-of-shower shot from the back, which to me clearly displayed her intricate tattoos more than her bodily assets. Other than that and 2 scenes of inexplicit shagging affair, there was nothing really R21 about the whole film, except if you consider the violence of course. But then again recent movies (Saw I-III, Red Cliff and The Dark Knight etc) have treated us to such intense and senseless violence and gore that Wanted’s bloodiness should be considered art.

So what is the lesson learned, I hear you ask. Well, it is simply, don’t believe everything you hear. Or to quote my sociology lecturer who was interpreting a philosopher (I think it’s Karl Marx or Friedrich Engels), “Trust no one”. Ok the latter might be a bit extreme but the gist is that when it comes to films, appreciation is wildly subjective. And I should know that better than anyone because certain films I like don’t agree with everyone. And so.

If you apply this to other chapters in life, it is the same for

interpersonal relationships: don’t believe what you hear about people whom you have no personal contact with. It could be malicious rumor, or the person in question may just be misunderstood.

impressions of a city or country: people told me Bali was unsafe after the bombings but I went there for a scuba-diving trip, and nothing life-threatening happened. Also, it is by far the most beautiful and tranquil place I’ve been to so far. London, according to some people who have been there before, was said to have lost its charm but I was still mesmerized by the architecture and culture when I was there in March with my family. Plus people there still have much better manners than say, erm, people from an island below Malaysia. Oh, there’s also a lot of buzz about Asia, but I really want to visit Europe for its cultural diversity and of course, its food and fashion and castles and people, no matter the criticisms I hear from Europeans themselves.

how I should live my life: people tell me what I should do to attain satisfaction from my career, that I’m too picky when it comes to men I date, or I should get married because it’s the best thing that can happen to a girl, but I think I am old enough to decide for myself what’s not or what is for me, yes? There’s a reason why my parents no longer interfere with what goes on in my professional and personal life. They respect and trust me to make my own decisions. That and they know I’m too stubborn to change my mind after I make a decision. And so I’m really grateful for that.

In a nutshell, listen to your heart, and trust your own opinion. 😉

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