Human desires are perennial but, rarely, all of them are fulfilled in our lifetimes. However, life becomes euphoric and complete when all our wishes are met. That’s what Robert Reiner has to say in his new film Bucket List premiered on 15th Dec 2007 in Hollywood and very recently released in India. It is an American movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. The story revolves around two terminally ill men who go on a road trip with a wish list of things to do.
The story evolves in a way in which a blue-collar mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) and billionaire hospital magnate Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) meet for the first time in the hospital after both have been diagnosed with cancer . They become friends as they undergo their respective treatments. Chambers has been portrayed as a gifted amateur historian and a family man who wanted to become a history professor but he never made it due to financial crisis. Cole is an eccentric loner, four times divorced, who enjoys nothing more than tormenting his personal valet/servant, Matthew, whom he calls Thomas. Both are diagnosed with cancer and have a year or less to live. Chambers begins writing a “bucket list,” or things to do before “he kicks the bucket.” While not a serious list of intentions, he is goaded into going through with it, when Cole discovers the list. Cole pushes Chambers to go along with it and adds to it, things like seeing the world, sky diving etc and promises to finance the trip. The pair then begins an around-the-world vacation, embarking on race car driving, sky diving, discussing the love life of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan and Mumtaz at Taj Mahal, climbing the Pyramids and going on a lion safari in Africa. During this journey they develop a bond which helps them to understand their priorities.
“Life is short, if you turn around you will miss it”, the Carpe Diem theme has been well executed in this movie. This is a concept which was formulated by the Renaissance poets like Andrew Marvell, Robert Herrick, Donne and eternally brilliant Shakespeare. They conceived the idea that life is short and it should be lived to the fullest. These ideas became quite prominent in their works like To His Coy Mistress, Passionate Shephard to His Love and To the Virgins to Make Much of Time.
Walking down the past and stepping into this Dot Com age, man is leading a passionless life. Man is engrossed in a rat race of striving hard to procure their basic needs in a descent manner. In order to be at par with time, relationships, friendship and love start losing their essence. Hence, this project of Robert Reiner at this juncture will be an icebreaker and can manage to instill values, love, compassion and importance of life in the hearts of workaholic people.Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman have grown stupendously while playing these characters. They looked very real in there roles and their acting added brilliance to the theme of the movie, which had not only made it thought provoking but realistic too. The comedy part of the story has been ad-libbed by Nicholson. The offhand comment he made in this movie is the exact moment when he steps out of character and seems like the guy, he is in real life. And because everything else here is so darn boring, you welcome his return to cliché. Soumitra Das, feature writer of Surat Times was pretty moved by the movie and told that “no doubt it deals with a very interesting theme. Well, there are situations in life when one feels extremely depressed and life seems totally meaningless. During that time also, a weak-hearted person will give up easily. But a strong person will dig deep into his self and find new strength to fight. We all remember SRK’s famous words in Om Shanti Om, “ Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost“. Arindam Bhattacharya, a software consultant at Iflex Solutions loved the movie and he feels after a long time such a thought provoking movie has been made. He feels the conviction displayed by the ill men will help to boost up the spirits of weak hearted men and is awesomely motivational.Well, Robert Reiner has been successful in establishing one idea that is tragedy can be portrayed in a brighter manner than always being solemn like in Step Mom.So, no tears, no heavy heart, smile and make others smile. All of us have one life, which is very short to fulfill all our dreams and aspirations, so let’s just live it to the fullest!Sridatta Gupta