To Dream Perchance to Live

First and foremost, this is not a movie summary, synopsis, or review. Just so we're clear.

What I am going to discuss, however, is the impact this movie has had on me. It's one of my top 3 favorite movies of all time and I want to explain why.

When I first saw the promo I didn't really have an opinion about it. I didn't know if I was going to see it or not. But I was drawn to the old-timey world the movie was set in. It didn't even occur to me that there was a plot to it until the second time I watched it. Weird, right?

I didn't even focus on the storyline. I was just enamored with the industrial charm of Paris in the early 1900s. There were so many times where if you paused the movie you would find a scene worth putting on canvas. There was so much life and character in this world! Just like Martin Scorsese to be on top of that. I have played this movie quite a few times just to get inspired to draw or write again. Especially once I started paying attention to what was actually going on.

This movie was about an orphaned boy who finds his purpose and more with the prompting of a mechanical man he repaired himself. In addition, it's about a man who turned his back on his dreams in an attempt to forget them, but suffered needlessly more for doing so. It seems like everytime I watched it I took away something new. Most recently, it was that the dreamers of the world have just as much of a place in it as the realists that keep trying to subjugate them. In fact, I don't mind saying that I'd rather die a dreamer than roam a slave to the harsh realities this life has to offer.

Have you noticed how banal realists seem to be sometimes? At least the pure realists are. Just thinking about being one bums me out. I believe realists need dreamers in their lives, not to mock, but to inspire them from time to time. In our own creative and absurd ways we remind people to dare to let their hearts navigate for a while and let their ever-logical brains take a holiday. We show them by way of our writing, films, and artwork that as a species, we humans progress only when someone dares to not only question what's already established and but also think so far outside the box she can't see anything else around her but possibilities.

Take science, for example. If nobody ever questioned whether the atom really was the smallest unit of matter, its protons, neutrons, electrons, and even the quarks that make them up would have never been discovered. We would still believe that frogs just sprang out of mud and rats came to be from stored grain if someone didn't think, ” Surely, there's more to consider here.” Do you think the internet came to be because every single person on the planet was satisfied with knowing as much information as their local library can provide? Skype wasn't around 20 years ago…can you imagine seeing your loved ones from far away whenever you want without it? Dreamers made it all happen. It takes dreamers in all fields to keep the world moving forward. Hugo puts it best when he says:

I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.



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