I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Upside of Anger

I wanted to see The Upside of Anger when it first came out in theaters, but I never got around to it (read: I couldn't convince any of my guy friends to actually go see it). The title of the movie intrigued me. Not all anger is wrong, but you don't hear a lot about the upside of anger. Maybe it's because humans tend to get angry about too many things that we shouldn't so nobody sees the need to point out any positives that may actually come from it.

I picked up a copy of the DVD and I watched it a few nights ago. The movie does a good job of exploring the way humans react when we feel scorned, or betrayed, or ignored. We tend to self-destruct in one form or another and that's what happens when Joan Allen's character, Terry, believes that her husband has abandoned her and their four daughters (in reality he's dead, but she just doesn't know it yet). She drinks too much and becomes bitter in the process. Her daughters are left to try to figure out their place in the world by themselves and they aren't happy about it.

One of those daughters is named Lavender (played by Evan Rachel Wood). Her nickname is Popeye. She's working on a video presentation for her final grade in television production. Best I can tell, her presentation is about the way people interact with each other—or in her mind, fail to interact properly with each other. As The Upside of Anger draws to a close, viewers hear Popeye's voice—which is actually from the end of her own video presentation.

Here's what she says:

"People don't know how to love. They bite rather than kiss. And they slap rather than stroke. Maybe it's because they realize how easy it is for love to go bad—to become suddenly impossible, unworkable, an exercise in futility. So they avoid it and seek solace and angst and fear and aggression—which are always there and readily available. Or maybe sometimes, they just don't have all the facts.

"Anger and resentment can stop you in your tracks. That's what I know now. It needs nothing to burn but the air and the life that it swallows and smothers. It's real though—the fury—even when it isn't. It can change you. Turn you. Mold you and shape you into someone you're not. The only upside to anger then is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they're not afraid of its journey. Someone that knows that the truth is at best—a partially told story—that anger, like growth, comes in spurts and fits. And in its wake leaves a new chance at acceptance and the promise of calm. Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."

I'd say she knows quite a bit, wouldn't you?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...