Wednesday, March 17, 2010

VALIDATION -- Movie Review

Okay, so I was thinking about posting this video on facebook, and writing my comments on it, but being who I am, (Abeer el ra3’aaya! :D) I decided to write a humble review of it, because I had a lot in mind...

First of all, you have to watch this 16-minute video:


I watched this movie almost 3 times before, and every time I watch it again, I learn something new… The first person who showed me this video was my amazinggggggg sister (Rabbena ye7’alleehaali ya Rab!) Yomna Zaki :) And I profoundly thank her for that! :D Cuz I believe this is THE BEST movie ever made about this issue!

Now to share with you some of the lessons I learned throughout watching it…

At the beginning, this guy was alone… He had an idea, and thought that implementing it would do good to a lot of people, so he didn’t care about what others would say, or about how others would make fun of him… He believed strongly in his idea and went out there to do it… And he wasn’t offering something extra-ordinary or anything… He was just spreading positive thoughts and giving support to people who needed it… He was causing people to feel good about themselves, and simply SMILE!

There were a veryyyyy few people who came by at the beginning, but still, he didn’t give up… His belief kept him going… And before long, people started flowing in, and noticed the effect of what he was doing! “Word of Mouth” :) And that’s when the security people decided to stop him, because of their fear of what he might be doing, and his secret intentions!

Then, I LOVED how he dealt with them when they came in and started to talk to him aggressively; making fun of what he was doing… He didn’t get angry, he didn’t shout back at them… He was so calm, and used the same approach… He made them feel good about themselves! They really liked him, and not only that, they took him to their boss so that he would brighten his day, just as he did with them! That’s when I thought about the obstacles that one might face through life, one might choose to deal with them effectively like Hugh did, or choose to see them as indestructible steel walls…

And when he was asked about his secret, he simply said: “I just love to see people smile!”… I remember a friend of mine once said the EXACT same thing to me. That friend taught me how to always say Alhamdulillah all the time as well and I’m really grateful for that!

Now, to the core of the movie… When he met the girl who was supposed to take his driver’s license photo… How he tried everything in order to make her just smile, but still, she wouldn’t…
That reminded me of how I sometimes work very hard in order to change a certain person to the better, but however hard I try, this person never changes… Usually, there is someone just around the corner who is changing to the better at the same exact time, because of what I’m doing… However, me not seeing that, makes me think that my efforts were in vain… But I recently learnt that it’s just because Allah wants to teach us that we are “tools” … Mere tools… And that HE is the one who decides whom we’re supposed to affect, not us! As long as we have the good and pure intentions inside, we just have to be sure that we ARE positively influencing someone’s life, but Allah is the one who chooses who that is… :)

What happened afterwards was that he got disappointed and depressed… He, himself, turned into a gloomy, non-smiling person. When people came back for validation, they discovered he was not the person he used to be, and that he won’t make them feel good about themselves as he used to do, so they decided to leave right away…

That reminded me of “real” and “not-so-real” friends… Everyone in this life… EVERYONE… has their “up-times” as well as their “down-times”… No matter how happy that person might always be, he/she is still human, and might feel down for sometime… They might be the source of inspiration, support, and happiness for a lot of the people around them, however, when they gets into a down-phase, only REAL friends stick around to support them and give them some of the encouragement, and inspiration that they have always given them before, until they regain their strength and get back to who they really are. The “Not-So-Real” ones disappear right away if they don’t get what they want from them (in this situation; making them feel good about themselves), just like what happened in the movie!

What happened next was a part that affected greatly! When the couple wanted him to take their picture… He just couldn’t stop himself from telling them how their smiles were fake although they had every reason to smile, and he demanded that they show him real smiles instead! The REAL him came out again… Yes, he was feeling down, but deep inside him, he just loved to see people smiling! And although they didn’t know it, they were the reason that Allah sent to him in order to change the rest of his life!

Then the best part of the movie, and what I believe to be the core of it all, is the part about the lady in the wheelchair. He decided to make her day by saying something sweet about her… He didn’t lie though… He talked about something as simple as her eye colors matching her dress! And that really made her day! In fact, it made her smile for the first time in a looooong time! It really amazed me how we rarely say good things to each other… Good things as simple as; “You look cute today”, “You have a lovely spirit that lightens up the room”, “You inspire me”, “You have a lovely smile”, “Thank You for your continuous support”, “I know you’ve gone through a lot”, “I understand how you feel”, and soooo many other phrases that are sooooo simple, yet could change a person’s life 180 degrees!

I mean, every one of us remembers this stranger/friend that once told them something good about their outfit, about their personality, about their handwriting, about their positive attitude, about their friendliness, about their children, or even about their smile! And we remember how it affected us at that time, and how it still makes us happy when we remember it now… So why don’t we do this more often??!!… When we feel this person has changed our lives in a certain way, or when we think that a certain person is worth being thanked or supported, why don’t we do it right away (if at all!)?? Ever since the death of my dear friend “Engy Nassar”, May she be granted Heaven insha'Allah, I have learnt to do this; to always say what I feel about a certain person right when I feel it, because I never know what might happen tomorrow!

Back to the film, and specifically during the last part of it… When he saw the photo of the guy smiling on his driver’s license, and he decided to go look for Victoria, to know what changed her!! And when he finally found her, with people standing in a looooong line, waiting for her to take their picture… (He realized that they didn’t go to her only because she could take good pictures… No… But because she made them feel good about themselves… She made them smile from their hearts, so the photos always looked amazing!)

At that point in the movie, and specifically when she said: “I looked everywhere for you, but I couldn’t find you anywhere”… That was when it struck me! I thought about how two people could meet one another one day, and one of them would be madly in love with the other, being sure that this is “the one” for them… But then, for some unknown reason, everything falls apart… They think that they’ve failed, and that they’ll stay miserable for a very long time… But soon enough, they get over it, and live their life normally… Then, when Allah sees that this is the right time for them, -if they’re meant to be together in the first place- he brings them back together! At the beginning of this film for example, she was still not ready to be his partner, because she was so different than he was… She was gloomy and miserable, and if they had stayed together, he would have become gloomy as well, just like her… However, instead, she worked on making herself better… She worked on locating the criteria she wants in her partner, and applying those criteria to her own personality first… That’s when Allah finally brought them back together! :D Or at least that’s how I wanna see it! :)

And the very last part of them movie, the part when he discovered the reason she used to be miserable, and the reason for this total change… When he discovered that the old woman on the wheelchair was her mother!!!! I just couldn’t stop crying! It made me think that sometimes, when we try to change someone, and we don’t see them changing in front of our eyes, we think that they haven’t changed and never will… Although they might change without us ever knowing anything about them!

انا لا نضيع أجر من أحسن عملا

It all depends on your intention… If it’s pure, and you really wanna do something for the good of someone else, then be sure it will happen someday! Sooner or later it WILL happen inshaa’Allah :) This is exactly what happened in the film… He thought his efforts to make her smile were totally useless, although they actually weren’t… He exerted so little effort (in less than 5 minutes!) doing something as simple as making her mom happy, -without knowing it was HER mom- and that totally changed both their lives -hers and her mom's!

The last point that caught my attention was when Victoria told Hugh: “yes… Because you are great… You are amazing!”, and he replied: “No one has said that about me before!”… That really touched me! Sometimes, we have someone in our lives… Someone who is always supportive, always loves to encourage us and loves to see us happy, but we seldom remember to thank them, and make them feel how amazing we think they are!

So, this goes to the people who have done almost everything in their capability in order to make me who I am today, and I seldom said how much I love them, or how much I think they are amazing… A BIG “THANK YOU” goes out to my amazing small family! Mom, you are the besssssssst there is, and I can never thank you enough for what you do!! Although I don’t say it that much, but I’m really proud to have you as my mom, and I would neverrrr trade you for anyone else in this whole world! Dad, you are amazingggggg! Every day, I love you more than the day before! What you have been always doing for us is incredible; no words of gratitude would be enough! Yomna and Basma, I’m blessed to have sisters like you in my life who are also the bessssst friends any girl could everrrrrrrr have!!! :D

I think that’s enough for now... Thanksssssssss for reading! :) :) :)
I would surely love to read your comments if you have any!

PS: I’m currently looking for the person who made this film, to tell him/her how grateful I am, and how he/she has profoundly affected my life with those 16 minutes! If anyone knows anything about that, please help me out! :)