My name is Vivian and I’m a copywriter. I’ve always felt that work experience helps us to judge whether a work is good or bad. But to write copy that really resonates with people? Now that requires life’s inspirational moments. Like from watching a movie, reading a book, or having a deep conversation with someone interesting. As a copywriter, I have the capacity to feel all these things and write them out.
最新一期《奇葩说》的辩题特别有意思 － “生活遇到的暴击真的值得感激吗？”
The latest episode of “Qipa Talk” is particularly interesting – “Are life’s struggles worth being grateful for?”
In which, Kevin Tsai says something deep: “Life is an endless struggle. Being grateful for the frustrations and failures seems like the only way to console ourselves when we have nothing left. Life begins after you have survived difficulties. So all of us have to be thankful to be alive, grateful that through the thorns, we have survived.”
It reminds me of a heartbreaking movie I watched not long ago, “Manchester By The Sea”. Well, it’s a movie that you can’t mourn enough over, but it’s also a movie that’s held up by the amazing acting skills of the male lead. (That man is Casey Affleck, brother of the famous Ben Affleck)
The male lead Lee lives in Boston and is a fairly ordinary mechanic. Everyday he unclogs toilets, repairs lights, lives alone, eats alone, and sleeps alone. One day he goes to the bar alone to have a drink and gets approached by a beautiful woman – and he actually turns away. Sitting opposite him are two men chatting. He thinks they’re talking about him and picks a fight. The film tells us right from the beginning: Lee is lonely, strange and a loser.
And then the whole film after that shows us how a loser is made.
One day Lee receives a phone call. His brother died, so he returned to his hometown – the coasts of Manchester, to deal with the matter. According to his brother’s will, he was to become the guardian of his nephew Patrick. Thus, he must now stay in Manchester to live together with his rebellious nephew Patrick for some time.
In this way, Lee started his trip of “healing” in Manchester.
A few years ago in Manchester, Lee’s two daughters died in flames in their own home due to his fault. His wife left him. While back in Manchester for his brother’s funeral, he meets his ex-wife, now re-married and pregnant.
The director put the dramatic moments in the fragments of life, and these two people’s “reconciliation” was very restrained, unfolding right in front of your very eyes.
This reconciliation of the century is the film’s greatest tear jerking point.
Lee’s ex-wife tells him, “I’m really sorry, I said a lot of things that were overboard then. My heart was dead. Later on I realised, I forgot that your heart was dead like mine too.”
Lee doesn’t say much. He just shakes his head, trembling, not able to say anything. He’s crying, but not bawling. In front of him, his ex-wife seems to have completely gotten over the depressing past, whereas Lee only seems to want to escape. Throughout the whole movie, this is Lee’s emotional breakdown.
Now we see, Lee wasn’t always eccentric. He had a happy family, adorable daughters, and a beautiful wife. He was a winner in life in someone else’s eyes. But now he is a loser, all because he couldn’t let go of the pain from the past. He simply could not move on.
Don’t simply tell people, “everything will be okay, life will get better”, because not everyone can be calm and reconcile with the past.
The so-called “moving on” depends on the exchange between losing a part of your emotional functions and erasing an emotional memory.
“I can’t beat it.”
For me, another touching part of the film is the opposing dynamics between Patrick and Lee. They have both suffered loss, one of a brother, the other of a father. In their healing journey, they have found emotional attachment to each other. One night, Lee says to Patrick that he has decided not to stay in Manchester, and return to Boston. Patrick burst into tears; he did not understand what was wrong with staying in Manchester and begs his uncle to stay. Lee doesn’t know how to answer and thinks for a long time, finally saying:
“I can’t beat it.”
Lee actually wanted to stay by his nephew’s side, but he could not bear to have any more emotional connections in his life.
The real despair in life is when one no longer dares to bear the consequences of one’s emotions.
Not daring to love, to care. Not daring to accept others’ good intentions, because one is too afraid to lose it.
After growing up, we learn that the greatest thing is to “pretend nothing happened”
When our loved ones pass away, we go back to work like nothing happened
When we break up, we go back to work like nothing happened
In the face of struggles, we go back to work like nothing happened
And people will say, “he’s really strong, that’s what maturity looks like”, when actually, our hearts are still broken.
At the end of the film, Lee returns to Boston and rents a new house. But this time, his new house has two rooms.
Patrick asks him, “Why did you get two rooms? I thought you would only like houses with one bed.”
Lee replies, “I was thinking that it would be more convenient for you if you come over during your summer vacation.”
See, it’s not so depressing after all. There’s still some hope.
Think of the people around you. Some may seem fak, never revealing their true feelings; others seem to only love themselves, not wanting any emotional connections; still others seem withdrawn, never making friends. They look like a glass of plain water, but you do not know how hot this water has been, and how many times it has been boiled.