Last week I managed to do something, which I had postponed for long - watch a foreign language film festival. To my absolute delight one of my favourite hypotheses was proved right again - A movie that is deemed to be the best in it's language will definitely be worth watching (Obvious exceptions being India's usual nominations to the Oscars).
On Sunday, the chosen movie was 'Hector', It is a Spanish movie centered on a boy whose mother died three years earlier and who has to choose between continuing to stay with his aunt and moving in with his long lost father who has reappeared. His aunt hates to let go of him but has to learn to. His father is desperate to make up for the lost time. In addition there are other characters like his cousin, Fany who has to choose between two suitors. One, a respectable rich older man who can offer her a comfortable home and her father a business partnership. The other, an unemployed youth who has spent his time in and out of prisons, and is devoted to her. Fany's father finds it difficult to prioritise Fany's wishes over the potential change in lifestyle her marriage to the richer man may bring. The movie traces the decisions these characters make and the lessons they all learn about life.
I will not dwell on the movie’s merits, save to say that it was very well-made and definitely worth a watch. The one song in the movie though caught my attention. It appears at the point in the movie where everyone is perplexed and scared about the decisions they have to take. The lyrics covered a range of situations where fear makes you do something and one of them was 'fear leads to indecision'. A very obvious point. But seen in the background of the movie, somehow it got me thinking about how many of us stick on to status quo just because deep down we are too frightened of what the change may bring. At the end of a long life, you suddenly realise that thanks to indecision you have spent many years doing none of the things that you dreamt about. The other interesting point was the visual of the song. While all the characters were racked by the fear of what will happen in their lives next, the younger ones had a spring in their step while the older ones wore a frown on their faces. Ironically the younger characters actually had the weight of the heaviest decisions on their shoulders. It was as though because they were young and had their lives ahead of them, no decision was irreversible, no tragedy carved in stone and there was nothing that could take their spirits away from them. The older ones though seemed to have accepted the fact that this was the way the world was and there was nothing to do about it but worry.
Perhaps one is related to the other. Perhaps if you decide not to decide your destiny when you are younger, you end up growing older thinking that your destiny is not yours to decide. Whatever the reason, the thought of reaching a stage when I think that this is where my control over my life ends and henceforth I have no choice is frightening.