Kahuna Recommends: The Silver Screen Edition

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5 Movies to Help You Win the Game of Life. 

One of my least favorite things to admit, is that I don’t really remember much from my childhood. But maybe that’s a good thing, you know. It means I lived a normal childhood. There was nothing remarkable about it. And for whatever reason, this doesn’t make me feel sad at all.

However, there are few moments that are still tattooed in the deep trenches of my memory lane. Like the first time I watched Rocky IV. That rush of emotions that took over me when I saw Rocky training for Ivan Drago to avenge the death of his friend Apollo Creed. I jumped in front of the TV trying to mimic his shadow boxing while Survivor were screaming in the background “Eye of the Tiger.

Maybe this what has later inspired a longlife passion for martial arts and bloody combat sports.

That’s why, you should never underestimate the power films can have on people’s lives. There is a reason why movie-stars make millions of dollars, after all. Because they inspire love and fear and happiness and dreams amongst many other things.

There is nothing wrong with escaping life to watch a movie, but I prefer to watch something that is emotionally relevant to my journey and what I am struggling with at that particular moment in time.

So, ladies and gentlemen, without any further ado, here’s a list of 5 movies that influenced my character and the way I see the world . . and more importantly, WHY you should watch them.  

I). The Gambler

An English professor and a high-stakes gambler, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster and offers his own life as collateral. Tormented by his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy mother, his failed writing career and a newfound interest from a brilliant student, Bennett‘s attempts at finding redemption on the Roulette table lead him to a game of chess with 3 gangsters who will stop at nothing to collect their debts.

Every line in this script has Dostoevsky written all over it. Existentialism, nihilism and self-loathing. But when the end credits roll in, the lines would be forgotten. But the ideas linger.

Ideas like the only way to win in life is by establishing a fuck-you-position. Somebody wants you to do something you don’t want, fuck you! Your boss pisses you off, fuck you! A wise man’s life is based around fuck you.

Another idea is that talent is magical and not material. Genius appears, whenever it wants to appear with no logical reason whatsoever. There is no amount of hard work or wishing can make you have it. Your argument against this is merely rage; rage against nature and unequal distribution of talent.

II). Good Will Hunting

Will Hunting, a troubled kid who works as a janitor in M.I.T. and has a gift for mathematics, seem to have the capability to solve any problem, except the one that matters: his identity. With the help of a has-been psychologist, he delves deep into the complex mazes of his soul and past to find answers of who he is and what he wants from life.

There was one scene that I believe sums up 90% of my arguments with people on social media; is that you can’t just read a book about something or hear a story and suddenly you are an expert on that topic. Information doesn’t equal knowledge. The emotional relevance can only be captured going through the experience yourself.

That’s how you attain character; not by reciting lines that aren’t yours to begin with, but by going deep into the trenches of life and death, and coming out alive.

III). The Fighter

The inspirational true story of the remarkable rise of junior welterweight world champion, “Irish” Micky Ward, and his troubled-relationship with his older boxer brother – who lost himself in the underground world of drugs and crime.

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale delivered once in a lifetime performance depicting the difficult lives of prizefighters. Boxers who are trying to make a name for themselves while struggling to provide for their families.   

Watching this silver screen masterpiece made me realize how important it is to face the reality of the people who you surround yourself with and love the most. Because some of them will have a toxic influence on your life, and how at some point you need to let them go to manifest your destiny.

Boxing is a lonely sport; and the loneliest moment of all is that walk from the locker room to the ring with your circus, fully knowing once you step in there and the bell rings, you are on your own.

The only way to win is by choosing to put yourself first and following your own dreams instead of living in your family and friends shadows.

IV). Margin Call

Set in the high-stakes world of financial industry, this entertaining thriller follows the key players of an unknown investment bank on Wall Street (believed to be Goldman Sachs), over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.

This movie perfectly depicts everything I love and hate about Wall Street: Ambition. Greed. Apathy. Morals catapult. Money. Corruption. The desire to win.

There were two scenes that really captured everything you need to know about life on earth:-

There have always been and will always be the same percentage of winners and losers in this world.

John Tuld, the investment bank CEO simply enjoying a good piece of steak with red wine after making a decision to liquefy his position and kill the market. He simply sat there on the 42nd floor having lunch and knowing he’s put millions of people out of jobs for his own personal interest. Then he delivered one of the greatest speeches in the history of mankind to the one-and-only Kevin Spacey, after he questioned his morals and what’s right and what’s wrong. Tuld said that money is just an illusion. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we don’t have to kill each other just to get something to eat. It’s not wrong and it’s certainly no different today that it has ever been. There have always been and will always be the same percentage of winners and losers. Yeah, there may be more of us today than there’s ever been, but the percentages stay exactly the same.

Fuck normal people.

Will Emerson, a senior partner in the investment bank delivered another masterpiece to Peter Sullivan, a junior analyst, while both driving in Emerson’s brand new convertible Aston Martin. Peter was looking around watching normal people go about their day not knowing the world was on the brink of a financial disaster, all while questioning his own life choices and how he ended up here.

Emerson told him that people deliberately chose to be ignorant and not get involved in the Wall Street game, but they live in big houses and drive cars they can’t afford, all while pretending they want life to be fair but they don’t.

So fuck ‘em.

V). Whiplash

Andrew Neyman, an ambitious young jazz drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory under the mentorship of the talented and terrifying Terence Fletcher. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability-and his sanity.

The inspiration behind the plot, is the famous story of Jo Jones throwing a cymbal at young Charlie Parker when he lost the tune and the beat while playing in the famous Kansas City’s Reno Club, and how this incident pushed Charlie to finally become one of the most influential musicians in the history of American jazz.

Terence’s methods were extreme and controversial. But in his mind, it was an absolute necessity to create the next Charlie Parker – or “Bird” as he was called in the world of jazz.

If you are a parent, a teacher, an instructor or whatever – remember that your job isn’t to be loved or be popular; your job is to push people beyond their limits until they break or come out as legends.

Everything else is peanuts.

Go ahead and treat yourself to a night of Netflix & Chill – alone, with one of these masterpieces and let me know what you think.

Or not.

Because fuck you and what you think  😉



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