Apr 12, 2024

Movie thoughts: 12.12: The Day

My all-time favorite movie is Kingdom of Heaven. It is a story of righteousness and honor, even in defeat.

Life is fraught with trials and tribulations: struggles beyond one's ability to cope and control. So, how do you fight and continue to fight for the right things?
Where do you draw that courage from? Religion? Hope? Those you care about? Or is it honor?
Kingdom of Heaven asks these questions and provides some good answers.
Beyond good acting, inspirational dialog, awesome cinematography, and great direction, Kingdom of Heaven sort of became my moral compass. It was THAT good.

Cut to November 2023 when I saw 12,12: The Day.
This movie was shaping up to be another Kingdom of Heaven for me. It's more visceral, dark, but the fight was similar. Two sides vying for power. Good guys vs kinda bad guys.

It's been a hot minute since I first saw Kingdom of Heaven. In the intervening years, I've become older, hopefully wiser, but definitely more jaded. My view of the World isn't as positive or naive as it once was. Life has a tendency to grind you down. I've become more tired, jaded, less hopeful than I was, but that fire to do the right thing still burns inside. The mantra of "Be the change you wish to see in the world" still resonates deep within me.

I watched 12,12 without knowing much about it. My wife told me it's some Korean action/drama about a real event, but that's about it.

Boy was I surprised. I sat through the movie and increasing became anxious as it unfolds. I immediately identified with the good guys, but I also understood the "kinda" bad guys, and everyone in between. Wow! This movie got deep and complex with so many characters. I love it!

As I was munching my popcorn, I found myself getting drawn into the event more and more. The many fights and surprises kept me on the edge of my seat. Good stuff!

Then the end came. Holy smokes! What the hell?! Noooo!

Spoiler Alert: The side I rooted for in all this struggles lost! After so much struggles and pains and support...how can it end like this?! I was shocked and distraught.
The ending hits me hard and shook me to my core.

I always thought doing the right thing is worthwhile. I always believed that light will be at the end of the tunnel. No matter how long or how dark it is, hard work perserveres. Yet, here is an outcome where it doesn't. Doing the right thing here, even for people waffling in the middle, didn't work. It was an utter failure.

Then comes the next shock: this was a real story that actually played out in Korea. What results is a regime of "bad guys", but it wasn't that bad. I mean, life went on and it was fine. The balance eventually swung back, but even before that, it was fine..

This is when I found myself asking an existential question: does it even matter to fight hard for the right thing?
It made me question my constant push to do the right things and to make the world better (at least in whatever capacity I have).

Do I give up now? Do I just go with the flow because it's not that bad either way?

The lessons from this movie are tough for me to accept, but it is real life. I have since embraced it while not giving up on what I think is right. All the things I know and appreciate are worth fighting for, so I will continue to fight.

Being middle-aged, I find myself still learning and growing. This is an experience that adds to my definition of right and wrong, and the path forward.

Wow! What a movie!

ZEROSVN Tech Enthusiast

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