Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Movies That Will Motivate You - Pursuit of Happyness


Image credit: Sony Entertainment

Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis the brilliant mathematician born in France in 1792 (the time of French revolution) is credited for introducing the term 'WORK' into the lexicon of modern day science and society. 

Apart from his famous contribution in meteorology which is known as 'Coriolis Effect', he was keenly interested in Table Billiards, dedicating hours in research while playing it. His research published in the book Theorie mathematique des effets du jeu de billiard, is still invoked with biblical solemnity by aficionados of billiards descendants, snooker and pool. 

In 1828, when describing the process by which energy is transferred from an arm and through a cue to send billiard balls scuttling around the table, Coriolis first introduced the term 'Work' to describe the force that needed to be applied to move an object over a particular distance.'  

This term 'work' caught the imagination of all scientists and it was used to describe the key concepts of Europe's Industrial Revolution (workings of steam engines, water wheels, automotives etc).

'Work' is now used to describe all transfers of energy, from those that occur on a celestial scale to at a subatomic level. 

Science now recognises that the creation of our universe involved colossal amount of work. 

Also work, differentiates living things from dead things. Living things actively harvest and use energy (Work) which sustains them. When they stop doing (work) with no energy left they die. Put in another way, to Live Is To Work.  

At the intersection of Anthropology, Science and Technology, human beings relationship with Work has constantly evolved from it's hunter gatherer days, through industrial revolutions to today's fourth industrial revolution. 

The closest thing to a universal definition of 'work' - is that it involves purposefully expending energy or effort on a task to achieve a goal or end. 

We work to live and live to work. We are capable of finding meaning, satisfaction and pride in our jobs. Our work also defines who we are, determines our future prospects, dictates where and with whom we spend most of our time, mediates our sense of self-worth and moulds many of our values.  

The French word for work, 'Travail', has a poetic quality in it absent in many other languages. It connotes not just effort but also Suffering. This does resonates with our modern day culture - TGIF (Thank God It's Friday), Monday Blues, Burn-out....the other aspects of humans-work relationships. 

To counter these negative emotions through this Blog series, we are putting forth Motivation through movies, whose stories are based on work and work-place. The Hope is that you find the inspiration, motivation and lessons in them, to change your work engagement from TGIF to TGIM (Thank God It's Monday), Monday Blues to Monday Rainbows and Burn-out to Positive Energy.  

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) makes a remarkable commentary on how happiness can be attained only when someone pursues it while going through the ups and downs in life. While the film dramatises the professional life of Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness lays a huge emphasis on the need to trust your own self when you are to make a difficult decision. You always begin a new journey with experiences from your past, and it is these experiences and skills that will help you succeed in life. All you need is a dream, a dash of grit, and a bit of courage to take that leap of faith.

"The Pursuit of Happyness," directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith, is a biographical drama film based on the true story of Chris Gardner. The movie highlights several valuable lessons that can be learned from Chris Gardner's inspiring journey. Here are some of the key lessons:

1. Perseverance and Determination: One of the most prominent lessons from the film is the power of perseverance and determination. Chris Gardner faces numerous challenges and setbacks, including financial difficulties, homelessness, and the responsibility of caring for his young son. Despite all the obstacles, he remains steadfast in his pursuit of a better life and never gives up on his goals.

2. Belief in oneself: Chris Gardner possesses a strong belief in himself and his abilities. He consistently demonstrates confidence in his skills and refuses to let others' opinions or negative circumstances define him. We learn, Believing in oneself and maintaining a positive self-image is crucial when facing challenges and striving for success.

3. Sacrifice and Hard Work: The film emphasizes the importance of hard work and sacrifice. Chris Gardner takes on unpaid internships, endures long hours, and makes sacrifices in his personal life to create opportunities for himself and his son. The story reminds us that achieving our goals often requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to put in the necessary effort.

4. Pursuing Passion and Goals: Chris Gardner's ultimate goal is to secure a stable job in the competitive field of stockbroking. His pursuit of this goal represents the importance of following one's passion and striving for personal fulfillment. The film encourages viewers to identify their own aspirations and pursue them with determination and enthusiasm.

5. Resilience in the Face of Adversity: Throughout the movie, Chris Gardner faces numerous hardships, including financial struggles, homelessness, and personal setbacks. However, he maintains his resilience and refuses to be defined by his circumstances. The film reminds us that setbacks are a part of life, and it's essential to develop resilience and bounce back from challenging situations.

6. Never Settle for Mediocrity: The film challenges the notion of settling for mediocrity and encourages viewers to aim for greatness. Chris Gardner refuses to settle for a life of poverty and unhappiness and strives for a better future. It serves as a reminder to continuously push ourselves beyond our comfort zones and strive for personal growth and fulfillment.

7. Importance of Parenthood: "The Pursuit of Happyness" also explores the significance of parenthood. Despite his struggles, Chris Gardner prioritizes his role as a father and works tirelessly to provide a better life for his son. The film underscores the importance of being present for our loved ones and the impact that positive parental influence can have on a child's life.

If it's been a while you watched this movie, may be it's time, for another weekend watch, to seek inspiration for your pursuit of happyness!


Work (a history of how we spend our time) - James Suzman (Bloomsbury)

Movie: Pursuit of Happyness

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Parenting Series (1/5) - How to find out if a Movie is Appropriate for a Child?

Children undesirable emotions - while watching age inappropriate movie

When the movie Gravity, released (Bangalore, India), I was quite excited, because I had liked the movie trailer & I am fond of space, science-fiction movies.  We planned a family outing to catch up with the movie. Our son, was then FIVE Years old. Through the movie, my wife & me, where taking turns to explain our son some parts of the story so that he could follow the story. During the course of the movie, he seemed to be quite engrossed into the movie & seemed to be enjoying it.

In the days to come, it dawned upon us that the movie had left behind a deep imprint on his mind. During our casual conversations, he would frequently talk about certain scenes like dead astronaut floating in the space, blasts, the protagonist drifting & floating away into the space to be lost forever. At night, when he was about to sleep, he would suddenly become alert & tell us "the images of the dead astronaut is coming in his mind". He will express he is feeling scared & we had to counsel him by reassuring him about our presence. 

The intensity & frequency of his fright, gradually faded away....but it quite a long drawn process. It took about 3-4 months, for him to completely come out of this issue.

This episode was an eye opener for me as a parent & I realised the importance of doing my homework on the media content before subjecting it to our children. After all children are vulnerable to explicit & age-inappropriate media content.

My approach towards parenting has always been cautious & I am quite conscious about parenting best practices. This is what made me to introspect, how I overlooked the movie's appropriateness from a child's perspective.

I realised in our country, the film certification is quite vague & broad. We have only three categories: U, A & UA.
U certificate means, it is appropriate for all age group.
UA certificate means, 14 years onwards can watch it (under parental guidance).
A certificate means, restricted only for adults.

In fact, I wasn't aware of UA being applicable 14 years & above. Only when I did my search online, I came across this definition. 

Also, till date I haven't experienced myself nor I have seen someone being stopped at our multiplexes, theaters, if they have a child under 14 years of age, for a movie with UA certification. 

When this lacuna of our exhibitors & our certification board dawned into me, I realised we as parents have to be pro-active, well-informed & thoughtful, after all parenting is our duty.

Next time around, when Amazing Spiderman 2 & Jurassic World were releasing in India, I watched the trailers on Youtube. It did appear to me these movies were leaning towards violence, especially for my son 6 years of age. But the certificate given to the movies, didn't restrict it only for adults (if I recollect it was possibly U or UA rating). As far as I remember, ironically these movies were being advertised on Children's channel (like Cartoon Network etc).  

I then did a Google search, to find out the certification given to these movies in UK, USA & Australia. To my surprise, the certification on these countries where lot more specific & they did indicate Parental Guidance, mentioned specifically it is not suitable for children below 12 years of age & provided narratives of the inappropriate contents.

Upon further search, I came across few very useful movie review sites, which were running by posts contributed by parents. It was nice to come across these review sites, which were unbiased & written from a parent's perspective. 

I am listing down these reference sites, which will be helpful for other parents, when they want to do their homework on the movie's appropriateness for their children:

  • British Board of Film Classification - 
  • Motion Pictures Association of America -
  • Australian Classification for Media -
  • Reviews by parents community -
  • Reviews by parents community -
  • Reviews by parents community -
  • Reviews by parents community -
  • Reviews by parents community -
The question which remains unaddressed is - What about Indian movies? (all the above websites cater to English movies).

From my search, I haven't come across such review sites catering to Indian movies. So till a Samaritan puts up such a website catering to Indian movies, we as parents need to use our own judgement & do our homework, to decide on what's appropriate for our children. 

I have noticed many Action movies (for e.g. Singham) is being advertised on Cartoon Network & these are being promoted to children through these channels. It's unfortunate that there is no strict regulation in place from the broadcaster's side nor parents are stopped by the exhibitors, if they bring along their children to UA certified movies. 

However , with little bit of thoughtfulness, it should be easy for a parent to make an informed decision for evaluating the movie's appropriateness for their children.

The checklist for evaluation are as follows:
  • Theme of the movie
  • Type of message (Positive/Negative)
  • Protagonist/Role model (Positive/Negative)
  • Sex & Nudity content
  • Violent/Gore/Disturbing content
  • Crude or Profane language
  • Drug & Alcohol content
  • Consumerism/Products (movies do tactfully promote products, lifestyle which can mislead the children)
In today's world, with internet connectivity, smart phones & media explosion, our children are being exposed to all kind of contents. Sometimes, I feel our children are being robbed off from their innocence. It may not be practical (& not necessary too), for us to insulate them completely. All we need to do is to be little mindful & do our little bit as parents for keeping their childhood & innocence alive.

Happy Parenting!