Thursday, November 13, 2014

Forgiveness over Revenge: a lesson from Big Hero Six

First of all, If you have not seen this movie I demand you go watch it. If you have to wait beware....this post contains some spoilers.

SHHH Spoilers!

I liked a lot of things about Big Hero Six. From the character development to the animation, this movie was stunning. But I want to focus on one theme of the movie that I found really interesting, not to mention unique for a superhero film.

The thing is, we're so used to the typical "hero" story: something bad happens to them, they find out who did it, and they get justice. Cue fireworks and some sort of romantic subplot.
But that's, frankly, unrealistic. 

In real life, bad things happen, and we don't always see justice delivered. Don't get me wrong here: I believe in justice. I respect the law and do my best to uphold it. I believe that there are consequences for sin not only on earth, but eternally.

But the sad truth of it all is: getting justice doesn't take away the pain. If you think that getting back at your adversary is going to help you overcome what they did to you, then you are seeking revenge, not justice. And Revenge will only make things worse. Revenge will put you in the position of becoming just as bad as they are.

And this movie says all that. And more.

Hiro Hamada doesn't have any parents. He lives with his Aunt and his older brother Tadashi.

He's become pretty comfortable with his life, using his genius to bring in money from robot fighting. But his brother shows him a different world-- one where he and his classmates are inventing new and brilliant things. Hiro realizes that this college is the right pace for him-- but, just when he gets in, his brother dies in a fire.
His world is broken. Destroyed. Nada.

But fear not, Baymax, his brother's invention, is here to provide care.

Throughout the movie, Hiro struggles to accept the loss of his brother. When he finds out the accident that took Tadashi's life was not an accident after all, he sets his hopes on catching the man responsible.

But as Hiro finds throughout his adventures... punishing the villain won't stop the pain. In fact, while the man deserves to be punished, Hiro learns that mercy and forgiveness are the only true answers.
That, and the emotional support of his newfound friends.

One thing I appreciated was that this movie focuses more than anything on internal conflict: Hiro's growth from a selfish teen to a young man that wants to help others. He goes from depression and anger to an attitude of self sacrifice and optimism. He copes with his brother's death by honoring his memory. So in the end-- the focus is not on whether or not the villains are thrown in jail.

It's on Hiro's internal journey of healing and growth.

Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think?