4 movies that build ‘character’

We all know pop culture influences the person we become. It affects the innermost workings of our impressionable minds as we grow, dooming us to become the incompetent, idealistic monstrosities that we eventually do. I don’t know about most people, but movies had by far the most significant impact on my psyche. The fact that I can proudly boast to having seen every movie pre – 2001 is testament to the many hours I’ve spent watching zeroes turn to heroes, or the good guy eventually the victor in the convenient space of 90 minutes. Though it’s been fun, not all of it has been helpful. It’s hard to sum up as colourful and fulfilling an existence such as mine in the meagre word count allotted to me, but God as my witness, I shall try. I shall try.

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Rocky – Go Rocko!!

So there I was, this gangly teen with little more than mosquito bites for muscles, pimply, big glasses… you get the picture. And I saw Rocky for the first time, which has led to a lifetime war cry of ‘go Rocko’ whenever my limited vocabulary is unable to express the emotions coursing through my veins.

Though I wouldn’t be caught dead in Spongebob boxers.

There was Sly Stallone, in all his downtrodden, dyslexic glory going up against all the odds. No one thought he’d win, no one. But he had the one thing that matters most, he had heart. The heart to fight, the heart to never say die, the heart to take the best his enemy has to offer and still keep coming back like a yoyo… but a yoyo with heart. So I think, ‘hey Hollywood wouldn’t lie to me, if they say heart is all you need – interspersed with 15 minute training montages to the tune of Eye of the Tiger – then heart is all you need.’

 A fistful of HEART!

So when a couple of the school toughs decided it was my turn to pay for their lunch, Apollo Creed started going ‘Eye of the tiger, eye of the tiger’ in my head and Rocky telling me ‘It ain’t over till it’s over’. I’d show them that I had heart. Too bad they had fists and boots. Suffice to say I got my punk ass handed to me. That and I had to go hungry for a week after because every day became ‘take his lunch money’ day.

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Braveheart – You may take our lives…

So heart wasn’t all one needed it seemed. Something else must complement it. But what?

Wide eyed and slack jawed I watched as William Wallace raised a ragtag army of Scottish tribesmen and stood up to the tyrannical English King and his yoke of oppression. From humble beginnings he rose to defeat the English armies and take the war to their own shores. A hero, nay… a legend amongst men. And just when you thought his followers had lost heart, he gave one of the most rousing speeches ever to be heard in modern cinema.

Eureka! I thought, this had to be it. A noble, selfless and death before dishonour speech was the icing on the heart cake. Now I could do no wrong, the secret to becoming a leader of lesser men was mine and mine alone. Sure enough, when the tyrannical school administration decided to impose a new set of harsh rules (shirts must be tucked into pants) punishable by unjust sentences (a note to parents), I saw my opportunity. I racked my mind for a fitting speech to confound the forces of darkness and hearten the sheep who would surely follow, I roared my defiance. “Boycott!” came the eloquently worded shrill scream as I raced towards the school gate with maniacal glee.

I couldn’t find any blue war paint so I went with a dapper cherry red instead.

Though a pair of Pathan gatekeepers stood before me, I knew I had won, for the horde at my back would push through, nay tear down the very shackles of our oppression, the school gate. To my (earnest) surprise I found my foaming-at-the-mouth self restrained with little more effort than when one swats a troublesome fly. Where were my followers? My people? Exactly where I’d left them, snickering and pointing at my feebly struggling self.

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Rom Coms – How I hate them

It appeared I wasn’t a fighter, nor was I a leader of men. So it stood to reason that I must be a lover. Truth be told, I always fancied my pimply self a most notorious attraction to the fairer sex.

And the sheer number of romantic comedies out there validated me. Why would the prettiest, smartest and most longed for girl in the entire school settle for the handsome, sporty, rich and popular dude she was with? After all, the guy with the pure intentions and true love blossoming in his heart would always eventually win the day.

Soon I would savour the sweet nectar of victory!

While my rivals chased after girls, and got them too, I was content to wait and make googly eyes at the object of my affection. Eventually, she would come around and break it off with the handsome, charming and rich jerk next to her and realise the purest love I cradled in my bosom. It didn’t work exactly how I’d planned. The constant, yet love filled, looks in her direction got her to react, just not how I’d imagined. Suffice to say that a number of bhais suddenly emerged from out of the woodworks, with bared teeth and threats of bodily harm. From then on my eyes stayed where they were meant to, watching the lies that Hollywood churns out.

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Great Expectations – Arthur Lustig my ass

What is it to have heart, charisma and the love of a good woman, when you can have money and fame to buy all three? That was what I derived from this one, as Ethan Hawke poured alcohol on the ground while making his final plea to Gwyneth Paltrow so he filled my mind with the hope of an unknown benefactor.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply.

Someone, somewhere would hatch a grand scheme to benefit me for purely altruistic motives. I would be rich and famous, the veritable toast of the town. Booze, bitches and booze (in that order) would be mine for the taking. I was sorted, set for life. Yes sir nothing could stop me now, I was in the fast lane to success city.

So I waited, and waited and then waited some more. Until I found myself coining such refined terms as ‘dicknose’ for the amusement of an internet audience.

Well played Hollywood, well played.

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Categories: Celebrities, Movies & TV

Author:Ali Raza

"Is this the kind of person you want protecting the galaxy?"

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2 Comments on “4 movies that build ‘character’”

  1. Kashan
    August 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Go Rocko!!!

  2. rumina
    July 29, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    very funny!

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