In movies played on screen or on theaters, gardens of personal opinions are inevitable to float up on the air. Whether it be drama, comedy, suspense, romance or any type of movie, the viewing masses are most likely not to shut their rational minds from throwing questions, critics, clarifications with a bunch of facial reactions (either positive or negative) followed with intellectual, formal or informal conversations tackling the twists, the gist, the plot and the whole package of the story itself (Pilcher). It may be odd to feel insensitive for movie addicts not to appreciate or to feel the otherwise after feeling the intensity and extremities if the messages brought up in every scene of the movie. A lot of things and all other significant plots are taken from movies, considering that media provides an important part in the learning scheme of an individual (Oke). Aside from that, the advancement of technological innovative which continuously and consistently enhanced and developed nowadays fulfill viewers’ satisfaction with the provision of eye-catching movie flyers, advertisements, billboards, trailers and all other “see-this-movie” techniques to persuade the viewing audience buy tickets and raise the producing company’s name, not to mention the actors and actresses taking part of the project.
However, as for the movies Harold and Maude and Being There, as classical as it may have seemed being published on movie houses during the classical years of 1971 and 1979, its conventionality captured many hearts and enticed million viewers not only during their immediate time but up to date. It paved a way for the non-typical sense of movie making, but shifted to the higher level of sending “taboo-ical” and “exotic” storyline triggering the climax of emotions of screen fanatics (Pilcher). What is common and what is accepted in the society are often mistaken to be “what is right’. But the two movies mentioned above prove such fallacy wrong in the most basic and sensible way their rationality and passion for “being true” led them. Both movies may possess an astounding level of typicality with its title, but dwelling more on the plot and the real intent of the story shall take a fan out of the “idealistic” world on a trip to a story of life, equality, acceptance and fulfillment not through the acquisition of tangible and “common” entities, but rather on those which are not seen, but felt (Oke).
Similarly, both share a story covering unpredictable events with volatile characters. Maude, Harold and Chance are low profiled people who were living in a world of their own. Only that, in Being There, no sagacity of incest was floating, rather ignorance was an obvious factor, while in Harold and Maude, they were living together even though they were fervently aware that the masses shall question their affair (Pilcher). The personalities depicted by the characters portrayed individuals willing to challenge the odds in life, strengthened the importance of feelings rather than on material things which paved them a path to happiness. It was their “oddity” which made them significant and incomparable characters in acting. They were odd, but they fought fair, they did not use anybody for their benefit rather than their selves. They were real people, which were not known by odds (Pilcher; Oke).
All three of them were individuals looking for a sense of direction in life or if it may be not too much to assume, happiness – real happiness (James; VandenBroeck). Harold, a young man looking for freedom from being hooked by his mother’s pressures in finding him a potential wife which he barely likes made him search for what he really wanted in life by attending odd funerals and ceremonies and eventually finding. Maude, an old woman who had nothing but her pride, dignity and wisdom for life looking for nothing but serenity in her simple ways of living bumped to a strayed man and realizes love was what she had long been searching for; and Chance, a man locked within the four corners of the kind man who had raised him, seeing the outside world as a threat to his simplicity, took the risk of coming out from his shell in search for somebody who would lead him and guide him to the intrinsic and extrinsic demands of humanity later finds out that his simple-mindedness was his greatest weapon for salvation. They were all perfect illustrations of people who were able to succeed in life despite the challenges and fears caused by the peculiarities of practicality – they all changed the life of those who thought they were different (James; Oke; Pilcher).
The quintessence of living is not seen through the eyes but through the heart. Life does not give humans the obligation to adhere with what is common (James). Each individual is armed with a distinctive personality which is capable of living a happy life without taking commands from others. It is not through following other’s desires give credit to one’s pride and dignity (Oke). It does not matter if one does not have what others have. What is innate is what makes a real person. The idealisms of others may hurt, but it’s the essence of living, to interact with other people and share the joy of love (Oke). It may be hard to specify its real meaning, but it only takes a single step of honesty and not on hypocrisy to touch lives. Living a life of simplicity and following what the heart dictates is the perfect key in “getting there” and “being together” with the creature meant add color in the world of grey (James; VandenBroeck).
James, Elaine St. Living the Simple Life: A Guide to Scaling Down and Enjoying More. Reprint ed. New York: Hyperion, 1998.
Oke, Janette. Love’s Unending Legacy. Janette Oke Collection ed. Minnesota: Bantam Doubleday Direct, 1984.
Pilcher, Robin. A Risk Worth Taking. 1st ed. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2004.
VandenBroeck, Goldian. Less Is More: An Anthology of Ancient & Modern Voices Raised in Praise of Simplicity. Reprint ed. Ronchester: Inner Traditions, 1996.