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Green book - P2I review and insight

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Green book - P2I review and insight

  • Sebastien Grynko
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Green book - P2I review and insight

 

What I took away from the movie Green book ? 

(Spoilers alert)

When I first saw the trailer of the movie Green Book, I was looking forward to see it and I saw it a few weeks ago.

Let me give you a short synopsis of the movie. The movie takes  place in 1962 and begins in New York.

Tony “Lip” is a poorly educated Italian-American raised in the Bronx.  He is a tough guy who hustled his way through life to provide for his family. 

Dr Don Shirley is a highly educated African-American world class pianist who spends most of his time alone and drinks a bottle of whiskey every single night.

“Doc” hires Tony to be his driver and protector on a tour of the Southern States.  The Southerners are intolerant towards black people and the laws are discriminatory. The presence of Tony is highly recommended.

When the tour begins, we could see that both of them are extremely different on the surface.

Doc is refined, poised and well mannered.  He is also eloquent and highly cultured.  Tony on the other hand is dirty, smokes all the time and lacks proper manners and decorum.  He also tends to use profanity in every other sentence and also has the stereotype Italian-American diction and accent.

Doc tries his best to cope with Tony’s uncouth behaviour.  He can also be arrogant and condescending.  Tony is observant and see that Doc’s life is perturbed.  Doc’s behaviour at times, is childish and borderline racist when he stereotypes black people.

At one point in the movie, a scene reveals that Doc is homosexual.  We perceive throughout the movie that Doc live a life of loneliness for he is highly educated, homosexual and black. This does not bode well during that period of American history.

Tony hit a police officer who insulted him and was jailed.  When he was released, he got into an argument with Doc.  Tony tells Doc that he doesn’t know his own people and where he comes from.  He adds that his world is blacker than his.

At this point Doc asks Tony to pullover.  He then storms out the car in the pouring rain with Tony quickly following him.

Tony tries to stop him.  At this point,  Doc turns around and says in an angry but sad tone that he is alone.  That white people only tolerate him because he is talented but as soon as he gets off the stage, he is just another nigger to them.  And he can’t feel like other black people because he is also different from them. 
He then says the words which pretty much form the best quote of the movie : 

....so Tony tell me, if I am not white enough and if I am not black enough and if I am not man enough so what am I ???

I want to stop here for a moment and start talking about what I took away from this movie but I would like to start by saying what this movie is not.

It is easy to think from what you just read that this movie is yet another stereotype white helping the poorly oppressed black movie or you could even think that it is another LGBT propaganda movie.

You are wrong in thinking so. I was also tempted to think that but the movie showed me otherwise. The movie is based on a true story and is solely centered on the friendship formed by the two protagonists.

Even then you might still think that the movie would be over-the-top and overly emotional but much to my surprise, it is not.

I was very impressed that the producers did not overly exaggerated the touching moments with grandiloquent music and overplayed body language and discourses.

I also have to give credit to the two main actors who are nothing short of amazing in the movie.  I can’t even say who is the best actor of the two. They help make the movie more relatable and beautiful through their ability to convey realistic emotion and pain.

What I took away from this movie is very simple.

Kindness, compassion, friendship and relationships go a long way.  At first, Tony was prejudiced not in an overly racist way but he lived with the times he was in.  Blacks and whites did not mingle.

Tony lived a life surrounded by a large family and with a sense of community in his neighborhood whereas Doc has been lacking of those elements that bring joy to life.

Tony feels compassion (not pity) for his new friend.  He understands his struggle and truly see a genius and the good heart in Doc. 

Doc was worried after Tony found out that he was homosexual and that he would walk away and go get a better gig with his Italian friends.

Doc wanted to save the day and offer Tony an even better position which Tony declines and says he had no intention to go anywhere.  Doc apologies for the night before when he was arrested for  being caught with another man during a sexual act. 

Tony retorts by saying that he need not think about it.  Tony also adds that he has been working his whole life in nightclubs in NY and understands that this kind of things are complicated.

At this point we saw the beginning of friendship growing. Doc feels accepted for who he is without any prejudice of positive discrimination.

He does feel good when someone shows he care without any agenda or conditions because it is rare.  In Doc’s circumstances it is almost unprecedented.

What I also took away from this movie and it is simpler and definitely not centered around this particular subject....It is lonely at the top. 

Doc is an amazing musician yet he has focused so much on music that he has forsaken much of the rest of his life.

Don’t get too caught in one thing in your life that the rest of your life falls apart.  Being the best one with God’s gift is great but it will not give enough fulfillment to live a truly great life.  Know what matters and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

The one thing that I learned as well is that hugs can mean the world.   Driving back to New York on the night of Christmas Eve, Tony invites Doc to meets his family.

Doc seemingly indifferent declines by saying Merry Christmas and get back into the car.  Tony is with his family yet he is feeling kind of down.  We can see some frustration probably caused by the fact that his new friend is spending Christmas alone.

We also see in another scene Doc alone in his well decorated home. He looks sad and lonely.

During the last scene, we hear a knock on the door and Tony goes to open the door. He sees an old couple invited by his brother for Christmas.

After the couple get in. Tony goes to close the door and to his surprise sees Doc holding a bottle of champagne.

Doc looks a bit awkward for a few seconds. Tony smiles, laughs and gives a warm hug to Doc.

The whole essence of the movie is perfectly embodied in this hug.  The love, the kindness, the tolerance and the friendship is all put together in this embrace.

We can learn a lot from this movie and not the least of which is how caring for another person can change his life for the best.


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About the Author

Sebastien Grynko

As a meditation teacher, a fitness & and muay thai fanatic/enthusiast with a taste for entrepreneurship. He decided to create a business which can combine all his passions and inspire people all over the world by helping people physically, mentally and spiritually to find their purpose, well-being and health to thrive and contribute to this world.

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