Old Soul Movie Reviews

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True Grit

Although quite violent, this film by the Cohen brothers features excellent performances by all the main actors and depicts the old West unromantically and realistically. The real story centers around the tough as nails and smart Mattie who at fourteen sets out to avenge her father’s death by hiring an equivalently tough marshal played outstandingly by Jeff Bridges. Everyone pays the price for the folly of vengeance. These are the games of young souls. Mattie, played by Hailee Steinfeld, is a young soul scholar with dominance and perseverance and a clear case of stubbornness. Rooster Cogburn (old soul Jeff Bridges) is a young soul sage, also with dominance and self-destruction. Watching them interact is what this movie is all about.

The Town

There is good acting here and action if you don’t mind violence. The main social message of the film is that immense social pressure makes it difficult to change course toward a more productive life. I would say you will be just fine without seeing this film.

Despicable Me

While this animated film appears simple and sentimental at first it has some surprisingly depth secreted within it. The tale is about a world class bad guy who battles another world class bad guy for the title of biggest villain. He creates a plan to steal the moon to enhance his reputation. In the process he adopts three orphan girls who he hopes will help him with his plan but it backfires and they tame him.

The metaphor is that this character is a hyper masculine figure who is following the dark side and is divorced from his feminine side. Naturally his crime involves stealing the moon, the most feminine of targets and naturally his plan goes awry because you cannot insult the feminine without consequences. The three little orphan girls are his own abandoned feminine side who heal him when he falls in love with them. They of course stand for the trinity of Truth, Love, and Energy, the three building blocks of creation. So, what at first seems like a silly tale is actually a cosmic passion play about the state of the planet and how to heal it.

Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

While not my favorite of the three Narnia films so far, I still enjoyed this adventure that features an outstanding performance by Will Poulter who plays the nasty cousin Eustace. Eustace discovers self esteem by helping others while Lucy struggles with self-deprecation and reaps the consequences of comparing herself to her sister. These are moral lessons embedded in the story.

The King’s Speech

This outstanding film clearly illustrates the task companion relationship between two very unlikely partners, one, a Commoner, Lionel, an Australian Speech Therapist with no credentials and “Bertie” the King of England, Charles the Sixth. Lionel, an old soul sage, played by Geoffrey Rush (also an old soul sage) has an agreement to help Bertie overcome severe self-deprecation and arrogance to become an effective king. Like most old
souls he is blunt and to the point. He knows that Bertie’s problems are emotional and his challenge is to break through all the royalty bullshit and befriend the king. So he must respectfully respond to Bertie as if he were a child. In the long run this proves enormously successful but not without some severe challenges.

Bertie in fact was a king in role but handicapped by a severe speech impediment related to heavy psychological abuse he suffered as a child. When he unexpectedly inherited the throne he had to deal with his speech problem in order to fill his obligations. Since kings are perfectionists it was extremely humiliating for him to be unable to perform as a king should.
Lionel was his only hope.

The Fighter

At first glance nothing could be more opposite from the film The King’s Speech than The Fighter but at second glance they are remarkably alike. Bothfilms depict a man who must overcome major obstacles to perform masterfully. Both must overcome self-deprecation and both have a task companion that they must rely on to get where they need to go. Both are cursed with families that are major obstructions to their goals. The Fighter, Mickey Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg is a moving centered scholar who is in his brother Dickie’s
shadow (played outstandingly by Christian Bale, an artisan).

Dickie, a young soul sage, acting as Mickey’s trainer has become a crack addict and has fallen into the throes of Self Destruction. Mickey must overcome self-deprecation to become the champion welterweight boxer he aspires to be. Mickey’s family consist mostly of baby souls including his mother, a baby soul warrior in dominance without an ounce of self awareness
or insight. Charlene, an early mature warrior, played wonderfully by Amy Adams (mature artisan) helps Mickey find himself and separate himself from his family, to succeed.