You take a man out of his shell and he’s vulnerable. The very thing that defines his existence, his job, when it is taken away, well… it’s hard to watch the way he loses his confidence, individuality and light. Yes, that very light that drives him to heights admired by others, including people whom he doesn’t even know. Nonetheless, take a job away, the man loses his gravity.
That’s what this movie clearly demonstrates. A company, GTX, had to let its employees go. Some are at the heights of their career, some in the sunset stage. Debts are what burdened people to the extent of depression. Many are still coping with them while some have given up. Homes that are mostly mortgaged have payments to be made. Without an income, one will be driven to insanity by the debt collectors. A man/woman who loses his job has to face all that. Being the main breadwinner, men will have a harder time coping with that kind of blow.
Ben Affleck finally succumbed to his fate and began to work for his brother-in-law’s (starring Kevin Costner) construction business. I’m actually quite surprised that there are still homes to be built (considering this story is set in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse which was triggered by the property sector to begin with). He must be one in a thousand! Another older executive couldn’t handle the dismay and gassed himself in the garage.
This is not the first time I watched this movie. I watched it a week ago but was multi-tasking on the net. Didn’t find anything captivating in the first sitting but that’s not because it’s not a good movie. Rather, there is a lot of conversation and little action. Hence, one really needs to listen and focus on what’s happening. Come to think of it, I have not seen a movie which focuses on men talking as much as this one, other than The Sunset Limited, that is. Men did most of the talking in this movie and it’s only when their world has collapsed that they do so! It is not a story about success or the fallout, rather one that portrays their vulnerability. Men have so little support outside the perimeter of their professions! Wherever their power comes from, it’s from a congregation of dreams and ambitions, not relationships. Often, in society, men seem to be all powerful and decisive. They make the decision as to how the world would be run, how jobs would be distributed, who’d be hired and fired, where to direct the resources and which project to be funded.
As a whole or group, they are tough. As an individual, there is no hero out there. If there had been one, it’s because Hollywood made one rather than circumstance. Hence, appreciate the time your men stay at their respective jobs and the effort they make in being the bread winners. Granted, a woman may grudge when her husband comes home late and forgets her birthday but I’m sure you’d rather have that than to have a busted balloon or a husband who becomes depressed and starts drinking ;-)
This is a movie for every man, so that if there should be the unfortunate event of him being fired or retrenched, he’d find the courage to go on and to transform. This is also a movie for every woman, so that if one day she is faced with an unemployed husband, she’d have an idea of how to support her man and be more understanding of his situation and motivation. This is not a movie for kids or for the suicidal. The great thing about this movie is that the actors are comfortable in their roles, so much so you don't see them as big names, rather, just men who lost their jobs! There are also some nice details (not too much, just the right dose) through which the film attempts to show the aftermath of losing the jobs.
I love the approach the movie takes. So what do you do when after trying hard you still can’t find a new job? Well, you create one!!! Go back to basics. That’s how businesses sprout to begin with! Start small and do what you do best! Concerted effort and team work are what get things going!
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