Divorce has the power to convince you that relationships are too messy to be worth the effort – and the lure of no conflict, no suffering and no pain reinforce the desire to just have order and harmony at all costs.

I saw two movies this past weekend that brought home the concept of harmony at all costs presented in The Giver versus the messy and contentious nature of relationships as portrayed in The Hundred Foot Journey.

Blog post 9-8-14-Two Lessons from the MoviesThe Giver starts with an Elder talking about how their society had found the answer to “the problem” and created “community” free from conflict and competition; free from choice, because human beings always make bad choices when given the opportunity. The answer for the society was to have everything be neutral, equal, with decisions made for you. A morning dose of dampening drugs also took away your destructive emotions and memories and encouraged you to follow the rules.

How easy it is to not have to make any choices about schooling or work or marriage or even emotional expression. Order and harmony were paramount and much preferred over the disorder of conflict and suffering. And yes, even over love! When the young graduates decide that something is missing – something has been stolen from them, and they are going to do something about it, the Elders seek to restore the balance and harmony, even at the cost of innocent lives with dreams about love!

The Hundred Foot Journey on the other hands starts with the messy noisy disorderly streets of Mumbai where Hasan’s family owns a restaurant where Hasan’s mother is teaching her son everything she knows about Indian cooking and spices so that he can take over the restaurant. But conflict comes to Mumbai and the restaurant and the family flees after fire is set to the restaurant and Hasan’s mother dies.

Blog post 9-8-14-2Two Lessons from the MoviesWhen the family finally arrives in a quiet French village due to an automobile breakdown, things get even messier and conflict abounds! The family disagrees about opening a restaurant across the street from a Michelin-starred elegant French restaurant – and so does the owner of the French Restaurant who is dismayed by the noisy music and bad taste which pervades the other side of the street. Emotions run high on all sides, the townspeople become embroiled in the competition between the two restaurants; and outright hostility creates dire conditions for both the restaurant and Hasan’s future as a real chef!

But passion and love and family win in the end and everyone overcomes the great cultural, and gastronomic divide caused by the arrival of Hasan’s family in the village. It is messy and disorderly and full of emotions – some good, some bad – and in the end there is love!

The lessons of the two movies are provided in the contrast between harmony and saving people form their bad choices of The Giver; and the joyful, noisy and passionate relationships in The Hundred Foot Journey.

Which would you choose, IF you had the choice?

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