Saturday, March 31, 2007

Peaceful Warrior

Well, they gave me free tickets, so it seems the least I could do would be to blog about it.

I have loved the book for 20 years or more. I know that no critic would love it; it isn’t great literature or philosophy or storytelling even. But to my mind, if a person cannot grasp this bit of spirituality, they don’t have a spiritual bone in their body. So over the years I’ve bought several copies of this book to give to other people who I thought were ready for the introduction. If you didn’t get one I either judged you to be past the intro spirituality 101 stage, or that you were a hopeless nihilist, mindless religionist, or some unsavory combination -- take your pick.

And every time I read the book, I get something else out of it. Everybody can use these reminders I think, even the most spiritually advanced are that way only because they are better at reminding themselves not to get lost in the illusions -- to do what makes their hearts sing while not getting lost in the illusions while still taking care of the dirty dishes and snotty noses and bills.

Or as Socrates puts it: paradox, humor, change.

I wondered how they would handle so many of the things that were in the book. They did good. They changed the type of gymnastics and turned a national championship into the Olympics to avoid unenlightening exposition. They combined a character or two, a scene or two, added one or two -- but in ways that made sense. I wondered most about the ending. I knew they couldn’t end it with him sitting in a cave realizing he was one with everything -- not very cinematic that, and already done in 2001: a space odyssey anyway (how boring was that). I was concerned that they would end it with competition, which is rather anathema to the real message of the book and movie. They did, but I think they managed even that in a way as to drive home the koan that the only way to excel so that an audience wants to pay attention is to be unconcerned with the audience.

The acting was excellent on everyone’s part. Nick Nolte made an excellent Socrates, and besides, he’s hot. The kid playing Dan was superb. Joy was dead on.

I’d like to own it one day. I don’t want to own many movies. Thanks Dan Millman.


Parrothead said...

Loved the book and looking forward to seeing the movie! Thank you for the "review"!!

laura said...

i'm glad you got to see did you go it alone??

we opted out since i realized it was not the theater i thought it would be playing NOT want to spend the day in north charleston...nope!!

it will make a good DVD choice later on i think...not one of those "just gotta see it on the big screen" movies (for me anyway).

the Contrary Goddess said...

la, where ARE your priorities? (there is a grin there) We went to JC to see it and you know I hate that place! Crazy damn drivers. Sucky theater (the screen actually had some clear tape on it, I assume holding something together). I was surprised it wasn't playing in Abingdon as they play everything -- and that is a good theater.

It is very worth seeing Parrothead!