A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

This is a very heartwarming movie that shook me to the core. The story was inspired by the real life friendship between Mr. Rogers and Tom Junod. I like the way in which Mr. Rogers story (played by Tom Hanks) is told through the experiences of his friend Lloyd Vogel (played by Matthew Rhys inspired by Junod). The way it is narrated takes the viewer through an emotional rollercoaster of laughter, tears and profound revelations about their own lives. Tom Hanks does a fantastic job carrying Mr. Rogers’ vibe that was free of judgement, full of understanding and a desire for a profound connection. There are many things that can be said with your eyes, your posture, or simply with your presence. If we listen closely, if we make an effort, there is a whole world being communicated under layers and layers of pain and disappointment. There is a child yearning to be healed Inside of us, yearning to be seen and loved as we are, to be accepted and encouraged. It is amazing how differently we react to any situation if we begin to see our peers, friends and family in this light. It is even more amazing to see how people that thought of themselves as broken, begin to flourish when they see themselves as worthy of acceptance and love.

When my friend insisted that we saw this film I was hesitant at first. I thought it was a movie for kids or a documentary, neither of which sounded appealing. I felt inspired in many ways: to be more mindful in all my relationships, to begin connecting in a deeper way without fear of discovering some unpleasantness, to try to listen for what is not being said. Mr. Rogers was full of love and wisely pointed out that those who act the most aggressively, are the ones who are in most need of love. I know this is true, because I was really angry for a long time. Angry at my parents for being less than perfect, angry at my self for not daring to pursue my dreams and for not knowing how to ask for what I wanted. Mr. Rogers bravery is shown by asking very uncomfortable questions. His ability to walk complete strangers into an emotionally safe harbor were highlighted in this film. I thought to myself “Hey, I would like to be like him when I grow up”. He was truly dedicated to touching people’s lives in a positive way in real life and through the big screen.

There is a scene that completely changed my perspective in life. After a few conversations with Lloyd, Mr. Rogers points out that Lloyd’s anger was a sign of a man of conviction, someone who knows the difference between right and wrong, and it was precisely the people who had failed him, who helped him become who he was. Then Mr. Rogers asks Lloyd to take a minute of silence to remember all the people who ‘loved us into being’ even through their mistakes. This scene made me cry so hard. All the anger that I felt towards the people who had done me wrong, suddenly disappeared, and instead of their cruelty, I saw their fear, their insecurity, their inability to deal with certain situations, and saw how alone they must have felt. I also valued all the strangers who rooted for me and helped me become who I am, without asking for anything in return. It was like a veil was lifted and the world suddenly had a different color, more vibrant, more pleasant and a lot more exciting. I give this movie two thumbs up!

What did you like about this movie? Leave your comments below.

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