Friday, November 18, 2011

Lessons from the movie 'Charlie & the Chocolate factory'

Iam sure many will like this post at-least for the name ‘Chocolate’, if not for the lessons from this movie. Still, this is one such movie which has a good amount of creativity, fun as well learning integrated in it. A friend  of mine liked the movie because of the subtle messages which sensitized the audiences on finer values of life. We will see some of the learning, but before that for those who haven’t seen the movie, here is a brief description of the plot. (Of course, the suspense has been kept secretive as much as possible) 

The movie is about Charlie Bucket a kind, loving boy who lives in poverty with his mother, father, and four bedridden grandparents. Directly across the street from their house is a world-famous chocolate factory, the owner of which, Willy Wonka, has long since closed access to the factory due to problems concerning industrial espionage that ultimately led him to fire all his employees. One day, Wonka announces a contest in which five Golden Tickets have been placed in five random Wonka Bars worldwide, and the winners will be given a full tour of the factory, as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate. One ticket-holder will be given a special prize at the end of the tour.

The first four tickets are found by Augustus Gloop, a greedy, gluttonous eater from Germany; VerucaSalt, a spoiled girl from Buckinghamshire; Violet Beauregarde, a boastful, competitive gum chewer from Atlanta; and Mike Teavee, an arrogant, aggressive video-game addict from Denver. The rest of the movie details the tour of the chocolate factory (which wows the audience with every new scene) and how each of the bad children disobeys Wonka's orders after being tempted by something related to their individual character flaws. I hope that you have some idea of the movie plot. Let’s move forward with the lessons from it.

Spoiling children with too much pampering:
The movie shows in a typical way how today’s children are spoiled by too much pampering. The girl Veruca initially asks for the Golden ticket so her father buys hundreds of thousands of Wonka bars to find the Wonka ticket. After 3 days of effort, when the Golden ticket is found, he gives it to his daughter who immediately after having her desire fulfilled, asks for a new pony.

Pampering a child will lead to bigger & greater disappointements as the child's expectations grows with each fulfilled wish. The child not only begins to demand things to happen (because they want it) & expect all things to be delivered to it in a silver platter, which surely prepares it for failure later in life. The idea here is that many parents think that if they pamper their child with money, toys and other thing which they desire, the child will be happy and that they will like them. Unfortunately, that is far away from the truth. What a child truly requires is the love, care of his parent. Hence, the parents should try to instill values in their child rather than spoiling their childby fulfilling all the child's wishes.

Value Character over Champion:
The girl Violet is a very competitive person and her mom states that proudly in the interview that Violet has won more than 200 trophies till date. She says to Violet “Eyes on the prize, Violet; Eyes on the prize” to win the big prize at the end of the tour. The movie shows that her competitive & boastful character, results in her failure during the tour.

This is very prevalent in the current generation too. Parents want children to be a winner in life. There is nothing wrong with that. But the sad thing is that children have become a medium to be show cased as victory trophies. The parent proudly display their child talent in literary, sports, and arts to other people. Not to mention that the child becomes adamant, egoistic as he grows up which contributes to his downfall.  A simple look at our mythology as well as on the life of great leaders reveal that during childhood, it’s the focus on character which matters greatly rather than upbringing a child to be a winner. Winners evolve with the right values but right values don’t evolve by winning in life. (Just to clarify, Iam not advocating not to win in life, but to have a good set of values rather than just  a desire to win. If you have a good set of values, there is no way you won't win :))

Taking Chances in Life:

When Charlie gets the Golden ticket and shows it to his parents, he feels that they can sell the Golden ticket in exchange for money so that the extra money will help them in some way.(His father loses his job adding to their existing poverty).  That’s when his grandpa says “There is plenty of money out there. They print more everyday but this ticket; there’s only 5 of them. And all that is ever going to be. Only a dummy is going to leave something like this."

Extrapolating this to our lives, imagine the ticket to be our lifetime in this Earth. We get only one chance at living, still we spend all our waking hours running after money at the cost of neglecting our dreams, family etc, thinking it will provide us some security. The idea which I want to emphasize is that money is present in abundance out in the world. But your dreams, your ambitions are unique and few. Hence, don’t exchange your dreams for money. Chase your dreams/ambitions which will give you lasting happiness & peace (and unimaginable monetary surplus), rather than chasing money.

Holding on to the past or a thing:

In one of the rooms where chocolate is made, the kids are told that they can eat anything they like. The girl Violet plucks a candy and to eat it, she takes the gum which she is chewing from her mouth and saves it for chewing at a later time.  Charlie asks her “Why hold on to it. Why not start a new piece.” For which she replies that if she did that, she would be a loser like him”.
I believe that most of us too hold on to something, similar to the girl Violet holding on to the chewing gum. it can be our past or a thing; The past could be an incident, experience; the thing can be your home, car or any material possession and as long as we hold onto it, we not only hold back ourselves from growing, we shut ourselves from experiencing new things in life. So, just give a thought to it. Are you holding yourselves to something which isn’t benefitting you?
The quality of your thoughts determine the quality of your life:

This is one of my favorite lessons. In the end, when Wonka proposes an offer to Charlie and he rejects it, Wonka is disappointed & hence begins to feel terrible. When wondering, why his candy isn’t tasting as good as before, he realizes that “I make the candy I feel like, but now I feel terrible so the candy I make is also terrible”.

That is so true in our life. Everything which you do in your life will be of the quality similar to the quality of your thoughts. This is similar to the law of attraction. That’s why the wise people have always said that to achieve Enlightenment ; look inside yourself. All the problems of the World can be solved by looking inside ourselves & searching for the truth. Once you attain peace within yourself, automatically you will transcend greatness. Genius is what you do and how consistently you do that, and it can be achieved by realizing your inner selves. Your thoughts create your destiny, hence always be mindful of the quality of your thoughts.
Those were the 5 learning which i had derived from the movie. I hope you found it to be useful. If you havent watched the movie, i strongly recommend you to see it once. As always, have a enjoyable time absorbing the values in your own life for a better living.
Learn, Integrate, Empower.
Happy Living!


Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello P.S:

Very thoughtful and insightful. I'm impressed with your thought processes.

Take care,

Prashant Sree said...

Dear Mike,

Thank you for the kind words. :) Still more to learn.


Mystic ray said...

Very impressive ...i liked your understanding of children ... accha laga aapka idealogy relating to kids .....many things to learn indeed

Prashant Sree said...

@Mystic Ray: Glad that you liked it. There's so much to learn from children.


Anonymous said...

Lovely article again Prashanth. You should publish all your wonderful thoughts into a book. True, there is lots to learn from children, am experiencing it almost everyday. On a lighter note, when is your BIG day coming up?

Google Buzz is going away if you noticed, where else do you post the blog updates?


ఉదయ్ శంకర్ యర్రమిల్లి said...

Nice post da.. a completely unknown movie to me, though the lessons are more or less familiar..

i think i'll watch this movie.. :)

And ur background image reminds me of the scene in teh book 'The monk who sold his ferrari' or 'the immortals of meluha'. Nice image..


Narendran, S S said...

I did read some of your earlier blogs and been following you for sometime... Each time I wonder how did I ended up with you. Hats off brother... keep writing...

Prashant Sree said...

@Giri: Thanks for the nice words. I publish my post in Facebook too, hence that will be one medium to publish the blog post :)

Alternatively, you can subscribe to the article by entering your mail id, so that automatically the blog post will get delivered to your Inbox.

P.S:Sorry for the delayed reply. I just came across the comments now when publishing a new post.

Prashant Sree said...

@Uday: Thanks da. Iam sure you will love this movie. Simple but powerful :)

Prashant Sree said...

@Narendran: Glad to hear that friend. and thank you for your kind words!

Anonymous said...

whats the purpose of this?

Prashant Sree said...

@Anon: The purpose is to enable us to learn from happenings in our daily life. The series 'Lessons from the movie' was started with the purpose of sharing insights from the movie which help us become a better individual & appreciate things in life which we might have taken for granted.

All said, if you dont find a purpose here, it is good too, for you have some other purpose to pursue.


Nari said...

I recently watched the movie and really liked it. But after reading this post I feel like watching it all over again, as I surely missed a lot in the 1st time.

It's really amazing to see how you've captured each and every minute detail and narrated beautifully the learning out of it. Kudos to you.. Keep up the great work.. :)