Search for a Soul-ution

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re­spec­tive trav­els: dis­cov­er­ing her ap­petite for food and life, awak­en­ing her idle spir­i­tu­al­ity and while search­ing for life’s bal­ance, falls in love with a gal­lant, free-spir­ited Brazil­ian mogul. Though the US$60mil pro­duc­tion, now a world­wide phe­nom­e­non, is ar­guably over­rated be­sides be­ing stripped of that raw authen­tic feel cru­cial to ev­ery soul-search­ing story (ow­ing to its heavy edit­ing), Gil­bert’s ea­ger­ness for life is in­spir­ing, to say the least. Into the Wild (2007) “Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fair­ness, give me truth.”

The ex­tent to which fear­less, strong-willed soul-searcher Christo­pher Mc­Can­d­less goes in search of the truth, will leave your jaw gap­ing. Based on a true story, Mc­Can­d­less, in his early 20s and a top-of-the-class univer­sity grad­u­ate, leaves home one day, drives out to the Alaskan wilder­ness, sets a pocketful of money on fire while do­nat­ing the rest of his sav­ings (US$24,000 in to­tal) to Ox­fam In­ter­na­tional, and walks, lit­er­ally, into the wild.

While I don’t rec­om­mend view­ers do the same, Mc­Can­d­less’ life serves as a rich ta­pes­try of thought-pro­vok­ing philoso­phies and ide­olo­gies worth pon­der­ing upon.

While barely weath­er­ing through the rough Alaskan cli­mate, ex­ac­er­bated by a se­vere short­age of food, Mc­Can­d­less finds time to jour­nal his soul-search­ing trav­els, of­fer­ing his thoughts on life’s mean­ing by glean­ing from a pool of great thinkers such as Thoreau, Faulkner and Twain.

Over the years, crit­ics have ar­gued as to whether Mc­Can­d­less’ jour­ney into the wilder­ness was truly a life lived to the fullest, or sim­ply one lived to the fool-est. Re­gard­less, though we may not ap­pre­ci­ate a walk on the same treach­er­ous path, as de­picted in this riv­et­ing biopic, we can cer­tainly learn from his. The Bucket List (2007) The id­iom “kick the bucket” takes on a whole new mean­ing in this part com­edy, part drama played by Jack Nicholson and Mor­gan Free­man. Nicholson, play­ing the role of a wealthy bil­lion­aire, and Free­man, star­ring as a modest me­chanic, set out on a world­wide jour­ney (both af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with a ter­mi­nal lung dis­ease) to com­plete a list of things to do be­fore kick­ing the bucket.

While their trav­els may not be likened to an ac­tual soul-search­ing jour­ney per se, along the way, they un­cover the kind of per­son that they’ve come to be, and re­alise the things in life that mat­ter most, par­tic­u­larly, fam­ily re­la­tion­ships.

Through its light-hearted ap­proach to liv­ing life with reck­less aban­don, in light of im­pend­ing death, The Bucket List serves as a great re­minder to never take life for granted. The Mo­tor­cy­cle Di­aries (2004) Life’s call­ing may be call­ing out to you in the pic­turesque land­scapes of South Amer­ica. The Mo­tor­cy­cle Di­aries doc­u­ments the ad­ven­tures of Che Gue­vara, the renowned Marx­ist rev­o­lu­tion­ary, and his friend Al­berto Granado, as they travel through the ex­panse of Latin Amer­ica, rang­ing from Peru to Venezuela, in the span of nine months.

What starts off as purely a fun-filled ad­ven­ture, turns out to be more than they ever asked for.

Through­out the jour­ney, the two wit­ness first-hand a se­ries of in­jus­tices such as the iso­la­tion of lep­ers at San Pablo, the ex­ploita­tion of min­ers at Chuquica­mata, the dis­crim­i­na­tion held against com­mu­nist fol­low­ers, among oth­ers. It is through this jour­ney that Gue­vara hears his life’s call­ing and even­tu­ally rises to the oc­ca­sion.

In each of these films, runs a com­mon thread: life truly be­gins when we ask for more, and by do­ing so, we re­ceive sim­ply more. For the sake of brevity, check out these other films de­serv­ing of a spe­cial men­tion here such as the clas­sic 1939 Wiz­ard Of Oz and the 2009 block­buster Up.

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