The other day I was watching this old movie on some obscure cable channel that I almost never watch. The movie wasn’t actually that old, not like it was black and white or anything. Maybe ten or fifteen years old. You could tell it was not a big budget film, as I didnâ€™t recognize any of the actors, and production quality seemed almost as if it was made for TV.
It’s interesting when something like that happens. You’ll be sitting there, flipping through the channels, and something suddenly catches your attention. And suddenly when you find this really interesting, all the plans you’ve had for the afternoon (or evening) suddenly fade away.
That’s the kind of movie this was. Something about this was just kind of intriguing, I don’t know if it was the dialogue or the content, but once I started watching, I couldn’t help waiting to find out how it turned out.
It was basically about two kids that grew up in a not so affluent neighborhood. And it pretty much spanned their whole lives. As they grew up, they slowly drifted in and out of each other’s lives. One of the boys ended up being a police detective, and the other one slowly went further and further into corruption. He ended up being a prominent politician, with strong ties to organized crime, but the only person that could really prove anything was his old friend from childhood.
The interesting part was how the movie moved so believably through each of their lives, every time one of the two characters had a “decision point,” so to speak, whether or not to choose good or evil, you could easily sympathize with them and understand why they would choose either way.
I was eating lunch at a deli the other day, sitting at the counter. Usually I sit at a big booth, and bring a newspaper with me. I like to spread out, and take my time to eat so I can relax. I usually have to go in at odd hours; otherwise there won’t be any booths available. Sometimes when you want something that everybody else wants you have to go at odd times or places to get it. But the other day I was sitting at the counter for a change. I started chatting with a local priest that was sitting next to me. He was telling me the biggest type of question people come to him with are big decisions they are facing, and how they aren’t really sure how to make it.
He said that the best way to decide is to think five years in the future and pretend you are looking back on your decision. Then you can really judge if it is a good decision or not. Many people don’t take the time to do this, and consequently they make a series of poor decisions, which can lead up to a pretty unhappy life.
And he said surprisingly enough, when you go into your future and look back on the decision that you are about to make, many times you choose something that you hadn’t thought of before.
The best part of the movie was the end. They worked the plot so the good guy could confront the bad guy and give him one last chance to do the right thing. They had it set up so it was pretty much a do or die situation. If the bad guy chose bad, then the good guy would kill him, and it would be a justified killing based on police procedures. If the bad guy chose good, then the good guy was prepared to let him walk away. They were childhood friends after all.
I’m not going to ruin the ending, but it was a well-scripted conflict that really highlighted the difficulties most people face every day with making decisions. Sometimes you make much harder decisions than you give yourself credit for.