Thursday, July 8, 2010

movie review: "Solitary Man"

"Solitary Man" opens with Johnny Cash's version of the song which to me is a perfect opening. A summary of the plot can be found here:
The interesting thing about the movie is that Ben, played by Michael Douglas, is a sex addict, who sabotages his life repeatedly by bedding whoever crosses his path, including the 18 year old daughter of his girlfriend, HUGE mistake. Near the end of the movie his life has reached the point that he is talking to those people in his life who care, and is forced to do some examination of his life. Why is he a sex addict?
(Spoiler alert) It turns out that the whole reason is that he fears death. 6 years earlier a doctor told him he had abnormalities in his heart, and instead of receiving further tests and treatment, he started sleeping with everyone who would, which turns out to be quite a few. As the film ends it infers that he has decided to confront all the issues in his life, even though it is very hard for him (no pun intended).
I have thought alot about this movie as I am a spiritual healer who specializes in healing people from their fears. The way I got into healing was I was able to confront the fears in my life, including the fear of death, and walked away free of fear for the first time in my life. By saying that, I am not saying I never have fears. I only say that I know a process whereby we can be free of harmful affects of fear, meaning we can make right decisions for us in our lives without being affected by the fears.
For example, in the movie, when Ben found out he had heart problems, and felt the urge to block out the fear by sleeping with women, what he should have done was simply talk to someone about his fear: his wife, a friend, a spiritual person, but he either felt unable to talk about it OR he felt he had no one to talk about it with.
I suspect in our culture that men, especially, feel unable to talk about things they consider weaknesses with others. So they act out in inappropriate ways, which inside they know are inappropriate but they do so to show and prove that they are in control. Even if the consequences are hurtful to them, they feel "good" about being in control. Ben did that for 6 years until the consequences of his actions became intolerable. Even then he had a hard time giving up control and admitting he needed help, hence the guessed ending.
Women on the other hand, seem very quick to share their fears and struggles with another woman. They feel very comfortable talking about their weaknesses and fears.
Some say this makes women stronger than men, because they are in touch with their feelings and fears. Men say that that makes them weaker, to make decisions on feeling rather than rationality.
My own feeling is that both intuitive decisions are needed as well as rational. Balance is needed in the world. I believe that masculine and feminine energy is needed to both contribute toward good decision. Obviously there are some people who embody both gender energies, and in these persons we have our hope as people who still live in a patriarchal society, who are searching for balance.
This movie exposed those wounds in us. It is an excellent movie full of drama, heartache, crisis and symbolism.

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