I am not what happened to me

Why should I watch a movie on fear? Whenever I would discuss and talk about Richard Gere, my wife would discuss the movie ” Primal Fear‘. I would listen and my internal dialogue would be ” Maybe its time has not come”.

In other words, I was not interested in a movie about fear even though my wife kept telling me that it is a good movie. I was recounting all the fears I have been addressing in my life. I have fear of heights, fear of failing in class, fear of public speaking, fear of writing, fear of looking stupid, and fear of fear itself.

It was becoming very predictable. I knew she would say this as I was rushing to finish my DiCaprio movies ( Wolf of Wallstreet, Gatsby). Over the last 6 months, I had seen a couple of movies like Pursuit of Happyness and Forest Gump and I always look forward to her comments on movies.

That Sunday I had decided that after I complete my gratitude blog and share my two videos which I had promised, I would watch it. So that day arrived and I decided to watch the movie alone as she had seen the movie and after 1 hr or so she came and joined me. While watching, she highlighted that scene, that famous dialogue. I decided to save it for a rainy day…

(Spoilers ahead….)

Primal Fear is a 1996 American legal thriller film directed by Gregory Hoblit, based on William Diehl‘s 1993 novel of the same name. It stars Richard Gere as a Chicago defense attorney who believes that his altar boy client (played by Edward Norton) is not guilty of murdering an influential Catholic archbishop.

The movie was getting interesting and I was enjoying all the court scenes and these three dialogues stuck with me. Gere is guided by this notion. “I believe in the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty. I believe in that notion because I choose to believe in the basic goodness of people. I choose to believe that not all crimes are committed by bad people. And I try to understand that some very, very good people do some very bad things.” Gere wanted to save the boy based on the above idea and he prepares him for the courtroom. That is when he tells the boy, ” I speak. You do not speak. Your job is to just sit there and look innocent.” When Gere delivered this dialogue, ” First thing that I ask a new client is, “Have you been saving up for a rainy day? Guess what? It’s raining!”, she said this is a very famous dialogue from the movie.

Gere could prove that the boy has multiple personality disorders. There is a nice Aaron and a wicked Roy. In the dying moments of the movie, the court gets to see the attack by Roy and hence Gere was successful in saving the boy. I thought that it was going to end. Finally, I could predict the final scenes and I was relaxing when my wife told me to wait for the final scene. That is when the anticlimax kicks in. Gere seeing a change in behavior of Aaron asks him …..

Then came the punchline of the movie “There was no Aaron”. It was a complete volte-face and in the next few moments, I saw some captivating scenes of Gere going through the courtroom where his ideals were shattered as he proved that the boy is innocent while the boy was guilty. I was echoing that speechless moment. Some dialogues need not be written as the audience can understand it better. My take is Gere’s internal dialogue would have been, ” I feel lost inside of myself” or in other words, ” For the press and outside world I won, inside I lost “.

I like to see movies that take me to places that I never been before and while I was in the kitchen I asked my wife, ” How many times I have felt that while on the outside I was very successful but inside I was very unhappy?” I started recollecting moments from my life when we had external success but internally it was a failure. Failure because the victory was not meaningful to me. I recollect a couple of instances when in a competition I won a speech contest where I felt that I didn’t deserve it as the other contestant had a much more touching story than mine. There were also instances of what I felt were pyrrhic victories when without much effort things worked for me while I saw that some of my colleagues were facing a lot of challenges.

Those internal dialogues were silenced the next day as I decided to look at life differently. If there is an Aaron and a Roy inside me I would choose to train myself with more self-awareness ( Listening to my internal dialogue) , gain more insights ( internal Silence), and maintain a life that is meaningful ( Internal transformation).

After all I am……

2 thoughts on “I am not what happened to me

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  1. I watched this movie when I was in college, some 12 13 years back.

    You made me visit college days. Loved the blog Vinod. Simple and impactful. I read it twice just because I loved the entire package.

    *I am what I choose to be*

    I loved the post, Vinod.
    Some sentences and thougts are so beautiful that it’s just awesome.
    While outside I was successful but unhappy inside.
    Take me to places where I have been never before .

    Keep writing. Looking forward to more!!

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