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American Happy Fiction

It was a hot summer day. Summer of 2000. I had taken the time off from school. My last school year did not fare well. I guess that it was a lack of effort, lost of interest, tough classes, professors not up to par with their teaching methods, etc. In the end, I must blame myself for how the school year 1998-1999 ended.

 I had been working for almost a year in this fast-food place. It was minimum wage. I did not enjoy it. The job was not easy, the pay was not enticing, and this was not a McDonald’s where you feel the air conditioner. This was a place where the front of the restaurant was open to the customers. No windows. A customer could walk up to the counter and stand outside the restaurant. When it was hot, we felt it indoors, and especially when we were in the cooking area.

 I was not done with school and this was expected. This was a sabbatical year. Time to think, focus and plan my future. I was going through a tough phase but I also knew this was temporary. It was not permanent.

 The benefits from this temporary job were that I was acquiring skills. Team work, learning the basics of cooking, communication skills, developing muscles because I had to lift 45 lbs crate filled with oranges and to respect time. It was not my dream job but certain skills were going to help me out in the long term.

 It was a Friday; I had a long shift. I was glad when I saw the clock was at 5 PM. I punched my card and I was on my way home. After work, I never felt clean. In the sense, working in the heat, doing physical work, and working in the kitchen…I was in sweat. I thank you the universe that I had a car back then even though I was still between work and planning to return to college into a new major. I did not need to be standing or sitting beside others in the bus or the subway. I would have felt embarrassed.

 Once I got home, I took a shower. Then I had supper. I had no plans for the evening. I was browsing the channels on my old RCA television. An 80’s model television set that was still functioning. I stumbled on this movie that probably started at 7 PM. I look at my watch and I see 7:10 PM. I must not have missed that much of it. I decide to stick with the movie. Back then, I had no cable and that helped me narrow down what I was going to watch.

 Important to remind you that I had no clue what was the movie title. I had no Internet to check out the tv schedule and no TV Guide. The main character was a tall white man that I had never seen before. I see the man convicted for the murder of his wife and her lover. Then follows the scene where he is escorted to a prison…

  I was so taken away by each frame, scene, dialogue, soundtrack, etc. I was hooked like someone on drugs. Each time there was a commercial, I was anxious for the movie to return. This was the first time I was seeing it so the suspense adds up. It was a criminal drama.

 This movie that I am talking about. I saw it many times during the years that followed. On tv again, I read the story from a novella from where the film was based upon.

 What makes it great? Everything about it? The casting, the costumes, the places, the era, the accent, the background score, the element of surprise. The story is unique. Not something I have seen before…

  I discovered later that this movie was released in 1994 and did not win the Best Picture category at the Oscars. How is that possible??? For me, an insult to this masterpiece. Yes, people will say Forrest Gump was great or better…WRONG!!!

 I can’t find a weakness in this film. If yes, there is only one. The duration. I wish this movie would have lasted three hours! I am sure more scenes could have been added to the movie and make it even better. Anyhow, it is a remarkable motion picture.

  As the evening progresses, a major twist in the story is when Andy, the name of the main character, thinks that maybe, he has a chance to be exonerated from the charges…

 The biggest twist in the story is when… I won’t say more. This is worth watching it even before you read the novel. Trust me. I read the story much later and I loved it. If I had read it first and then watched the movie, the element of surprised would have been spoiled.

 When I found out that this movie was playing in a theater I was in awe! It was in summer 2014. I remember when a friend told me about it. I thank her for it. Otherwise, I would have lost my opportunity to ever see this film at a cinema.

 I love this film so much and everything about it. I did not notice till maybe a few years ago that the music score of this picture was on the Itunes Store from Apple. What did I do once I found out? I bought it of course. When I am working, I put it on. I work from home and my job entails to be in front of a laptop. I am not bothering anyone so it is perfect.

 This movie has so many great quotes. My favorite, well, I have two, one is, ‘’I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.’’ The second one is, ‘’ I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.’’ So well written and said, I just feel in love with this movie.

 If ever you feel down, watch this movie title The Shawshank Redemption. I must mention this last quote because this bring me joy, love, and…hope. ‘’ Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.’’

August 13, 2021 15:19

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