How our movie heroes inspire us
By Taylor Charlebois, Staff Writer
Movies have changed the way we consume stories. Originally, stories were told via word of mouth, and then the printing press happened and we could produce books and other stories for people to read and experience.
But then came film — something that completely changed the landscape of storytelling. The combination of artistry, acting and music wrapped up in a perfect little bow has inspired generations of people to love, cry, struggle and to live. Movies inspire us in a way that can help shape us, define who we are, what our values are and what we believe in.
For me, there is no one definitive movie that I can point to that helped mold me into the person I am today. However, a few monumental films come to mind. When I was a kid, I had my head in the clouds. I often imagined being a knight, slaying dragons and saving towns from invading monsters from far away lands. But everything changed when on one unassuming day, my parents rented a movie called The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Little did they know that this film would send me on a path of nerdism that I can’t thank them enough for.
The Lord of the Rings did not only truly introduce me to the ideas of high fantasy but it really cemented my understanding of right and wrong. The concepts of friendship, of helping your friends through thick and thin, and bravery were fastened to my psyche. “You have my sword,” said Aragorn, “and you have my bow,” said Legolas, “and my axe,” said Gimli. For me, I choose to lend the fellowship my pen.
Eventually, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers would be released and then The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I was eleven years old when the last movie in the trilogy was released. Sitting in a theatre, I watched my heroes go from a small, yet fractured company of friends with an ideal to save the world, to becoming kings and ridding the world of evil. Watching these movies absolutely changed me. It solidified my stance on sticking up for what’s right, and if it wasn’t for these movies, I’m not sure what kind of person I’d be right now.
The music also inspired me. Canadian composer Howard Shore did something incredible when he scored the three original soundtracks he produced for those films. Just under twenty years later, I still throw down on “Concerning Hobbits” or “The Riders of Rohan.” If I’m ever in need to put my head down and get something important done, The Lord of the Rings soundtrack is usually my go-to musical choice.
This feeling I had when I was a kid is even bigger now. With the colossal rise of the Marvel cinematic universe, kids across the world are watching stories about heroes overcoming evil. These stories are inspiring an entire generation, and generations to come of people who are growing up with the likes of Spider-Man, Shang-Chi and Kate Bishop.
Even before these heroes, we had Iron-Man, Captain America, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers to entertain, dazzle and inspire us to be better. By watching these characters struggle and uphold their values, we are in turn given an amazing gift. Growing up with heroes is an incredible thing and it’s something that movies have blessed us with. Just as I grew up watching a little unassuming hobbit change the course of an entire Middle-earth, the up and coming generations are watching their own heroes save the day.
I think this is something that we all need, we need heroes.
We need to be inspired to be better, because at the end of the day, we are all we have. In the infamous words of Jor-El, Superman’s birth father, “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun.” Movies give us an opportunity to be better and I think that’s pretty awesome.