Its a Wonderful Life – perfect Christmas movie

Just by sheer timing and luck I chanced upon this movie (Its a Wonderful Life) today. I neither knew the premise nor have heard of it till today. But it was the perfect Christmas day movie.

Even though the Wikipedia has the story, I feel like putting it in my own terms here.

Its about a person, George Bailey and how his life affects the lives of others and how his deeds get repaid through the very same people he helps. It starts on a Christmas day when God receives too many prayers from too many people for his sake. So He tells his (George’s) story so far (to the extent why there were so many people praying for his sake) to an angel of second class (who is yet to achieve his wings), Clarence and asks him to help George out. We are taken through the whole story of George about how he saves his younger brother and in turn loses his hearing , how he forgoes his ambition to go for further study when his father dies and sends his brother instead. How he again sacrifices his urge to travel around when his brother gets married and settles elsewhere and he gets married to Mary. How he thwarts the plots of Potter (who wants to make most of Bedford Falls his) and saves people and enables them to have a roof of their own. He does too many such good things, even if he has to sacrifice his ambitions and wishes. And people in Bedford Falls know and acknowledge George as their own person , as their friend, as one of their family member. But when his uncle loses 8000$ money (which lands in Potter’s hands and he plays against George and makes him almost bankrupt) George is unable to handle the pressure as this would lead to the downfall of whatever was there till now for him. He lets out his frustration to his family (wife and four kids) and is too depressed to the level of being suicidal and is almost on the verge of falling down from a bridge. That is when the guardian angel comes in and even before George can think of his act, the angel jumps into the river and now George has no other go than to save him. Since he is tipsy he is not able to understand the concept of guardian angel when Clarence tries to explain him. In order to prove his worth, Clarence plays out a scene where George was never born (as per George’s wish) and when George realizes that effect of this in Bedford Falls and his family, he realizes who he was and prays to God to give back his life. And George is again in the same bridge and it is as if there was no episode with Clarence. He rushes back to his family and finds the debtors there. But his wife Mary, who had gone to town to seek the help of people who can help George, comes back and so does the town of Bedford Falls. Each one of them pitch in enough money from their savings to help out George. And on that Christmas day George finds his happiness, Clarence gets his wings and all is well as it has to be.

 

Honestly, the reason I chose this movie (while just browsing) was a) the title was nice and I wanted something light today (after a tiring journey) and b) James Stewart (I liked him in “The Rope”). Its not a great movie or something. But it is definitely a movie which gives you a nice feeling. The movie is woven around these quotes

  • Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
  • Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.
  • You know, George, I feel that in a small way we are doing something important. Satisfying a fundamental urge. It’s deep in the race for a man to want his own roof and walls and fireplace, and we’re helping him get those things in our shabby little office.

Its about the fact that ‘no man is an island’. His acts and his deeds affects so many people around him with or without his knowledge and ‘no good deed goes unnoticed’. I am an eternal optimist and I have always believed in these. And this movie reiterates the same fact. And when some movie makes you feel good about what you believe why would you not like it? I loved watching this movie especially today of all days. Just Perfect 🙂

James Stewart.. the one person on whom the whole  movies revolves. The changes you see in him right from his young days (when he flirts with Mary), to where he marries her and when he is depressed and desperate…He is too good. How tall is he ? There is a scene (where he first meets Mary).. He towers above all the person around him. Its as if you read in a romance novel. Dona Reed is very cute and plays her part very well. First time I saw an old man as a guardian angel ( Nicholas Cage doesn’t count) and he was very cute and funny. You don’t need subtitles to understand these old movies (although in some of the new ones, I would feel better if it was there..because they tend to speak in too low a voice..I just miss what they say at times). And the accent is so beautiful. What else can I say about this. A feel good movie…Hee Haw and Merry Christmas!

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