With Suicide Squad, Finding Dory and The Secret Lives of Pets all hitting the cinema this month, film is all we can talk about right now. So we asked our writer, Thom, to talk us through the number one movie that changed his life, Mr Nobody.
Every now and again, a film comes along that completely changes the way we think. For me, Mr Nobody seemed to appear out of nowhere.
I’d wasted a year away sleeping on sofas and partying all night, with no idea what I wanted to do in life. I couldn’t quite figure out why I’d found myself in this position and why I couldn’t change it.
That’s when, as if by destiny, the movie Mr Nobody popped up on my suggested titles on Netflix. It was upon watching this film I realised fundamentally what I’d been doing wrong.
Thinking back, it’s what spurred me on to jump ships from the dreariness of my home town and into full-time education as a university student.
I’d like to think this movie is what sparked me into a mind-set to succeed in life. Mr Nobody teaches but one lesson. Life is about choices.
The film revolves around one single choice.
A boy standing on a train station platform, after his mum and dad break up, is given two options. He can jump on a train with his mother and live with her in a new city, or stay with his father in his hometown.
We see the life he would have lived if he’d chosen to live with his mother and the life he would have lead if he’d chosen to stay with his father.
The film proceeds to take you through both plots of the two scenarios.
And just to melt your brain even more, these plot lines then split into alternate plot lines depending on different choices he makes within each individual timeline. With at least 20 different lives being lived out at once within the same movie, it’s actually miraculous that it comes to any solid conclusion. But it actually does!
What happens in the film is not real.
The entire universe in which Mr Nobody lives, is just the inside of a child’s mind. A child who’s faced with an impossible choice. Everything within the universe is a product of the choice he’d previously made.
Now, quantum physicist or not, Mr Nobody has an insanely deep message to be learnt: your future is created from the choices you make right now.
No amount of luck or hard work will change your circumstances unless you consciously make the right decisions in the present moment.
We’re a product of our past choices and influences, nothing we do can change who we are at this moment. We can, however, start making better choices right now.
The realisation that every choice you make will affect your future is rather frightening. However, the lesson I took from this film, is that we can engineer any sort of life we want, regardless of our circumstances.
Upon realising this, many do get paralysed; and find themselves not making a choice at all, mostly out of fear of getting it wrong. However, Mr Nobody sums it up nicely in one final quote…
“Every path is the right path. Everything could’ve been anything else. And it would have just as much meaning.”
We should never be afraid to make a choice.
When we choose not to choose, we live in a perpetual limbo of endless possibilities that never actually happen because we’re too scared to take action.
I made one simple choice after realising this, and that was to move away and become a student. Sure, in the grand scheme of things a degree does not instantly guarantee me or you a great job. The sad truth is, many students will end up in entry-level jobs, even after graduation.
However, in making this decision I was forced into a different environment, a different unfolding plot-line of my own life. One in which I was open to make new choices.
This led me in an entirely new directions with entirely new people, and if I hadn’t made that choice two years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this article right now.
After two years of persistently engineering my life into the direction I wanted, I am now consciously aware of all my choices before I even make them.
Think of who you want to be and then start acting like that person would
Want to be a great journalist? Behave how a great journalist would. Want to be a master at beer pong? Start doing the things a successful beer pong champion would… I wonder if anybody actually that as a title?
Life is about choices. Every second of every day, the choices we make influence the person we become.
Think about where you want to be in a years’ time, then look at your habits. If you continue the way you are, where will you be?
It’s not about making a huge life-changing decision. It’s about the small and seemingly insignificant decisions we make on a day-to-day basis.
Become aware of how you invest the majority of time and then look at where that will lead you. If it’s not a place you want to be, then maybe it’s time to rethink things… Either that, or just watch a really trippy film and write an overly-philosophical article about it.
Now, I didn’t quite realise how much of a significant impact this film actually had on me until I started writing this.
So yeah. I watched this film on Netflix and it changed my life. 10/10 would watch again.