The movie ‘second hand lions’ revolves around the life of a shy young boy, Walter. It is set in the countryside of Texas in the year in the year 1962. It reflects upon the growth and development of the boy as he tries to adapt to changing lifestyles, norms and cultures at different phases of his life. The movie is directed by Tim McCanlies and focusing on this young boy who is brought by his mother to live with his two great uncles Hub and Garth who have recently come back home after a forty year absence. These two old men are living a life of adventure and they at first resist the idea of living with this young boy.
They think that having the boy around them would demand some kind of responsibilities of taking care of him. Despite this they warn him that he has to take responsibility of his own needs as they are not ready to handle any responsibilities concerning child care. Walter’s relationship with his two uncles however grows with time. The biggest change occurs when Walter sees the Jasmine’s picture and as she sought to know about the lady and her connection with her uncles, they build a closer bond with them and seem to move on well afterwards. Walter learns that Jasmine was Hub’s girlfriend but whose whereabouts are not currently known. Walter’s mother is a deceitful lady who has little concern about his son’s upbringing. She moves in with one man after another and has a series of rocky relationships that do not end well either. Finally, though she comes back with Nicky Katt a malevolent man who is very used to insulting. The theme of this film is to show the importance of learning to live and understand other people gradually as you live with them.
Hub and Garth are rumored to be filthy rich individuals who have amassed their wealth through a collection of valuable items said to be gold. These two men are said to be French legionnaires who went o North Africa for adventure. It is no wonder that they find happiness in adventurous actions like using guns to frightening some merchants who are advertising their wares outside their gate. They also decide to rear a lion but as soon as they think it is very lazy and defective they let Walter take responsibilities of rearing it. The lack of a man to look up to as a father figure weighs heavily on Walter as he tries to shape his own way of life.
However, his bonding with his two uncles goes so well and he learns a lot from them. For instance, as the uncles narrate their adventure in Africa to him he comes to learn that whatever you believe is much more important than the truth. Hub says "If you want to believe in something, believe it. Just because something isn't true, that's no reason you can't believe in it . Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in most:” With time, Walter looks up to the two men he seemingly despised initially as his father figures. His mother’s lack of concern necessitated him to search for an identity. Their stories of living with exotic locales and performing noble deeds wherever they went gave Walter a lot of motivat5ion to look into the future in a more optimistic manner. They teach him how to be a man, how to honor and so much about adventure.
Hub and Garth have had a very adventurous past. They have travelled far and wide and lived with different persons, cultures and races. Yet these two men come back after forty years lacking any signs of previous adventure. To Walter they seem to have lost that aura of adventure due to their old age. He encourages them to rediscover their youth. It is surprising how old age has been repressing their love for adventure. Their stories however ignite some kind of interest in Walter for adventure. He grows from a shy boy to an adventurous man who gains the power to encourage his two old uncles to rediscover their interest in adventure. He does this successfully and they all are at it again.
At one time when, Hub engages in a bar brawl with some young men. They do not overpower him though and this shows he still has the ability for adventure but old age has taken its toll. Walter is surprised that his uncles could have become so unadventurous with time. He does understand how old age could so easily take away the passion for adventure. Walter’s mother comes back home with a new boyfriend whom they seem to be going well with. She now seems more mature as old age has taken its position. She is not the adventurous and outgoing woman she previously was. A change in character has been necessitated by the lack of agility in the body. She seems to prefer settling down for a life now. Apart from old age therefore, there were not any abnormalities that required any special attention for any of the characters.
In this film, the most utilized communication methods are speaking and actions. Walter, Hub and Garth are in most times engaged in storytelling and discussing the adventures. Hub is also fond of taking Walter for informal lessons on how to become a man. They are all verbal communications that are based on a peer relationship and at other times on a father-figure or parental relationship. Hub and girth use the gunshots to scare the merchants who they thought were spying on their riches while advertising their wares at the gate. They used this as a mode of communication to imply to the merchants that they were not needed at the place.
Hub aggressive behavior even at old age is not one that is common for a man who has ha d a lot of adventure. He should be settled now and someone who has learnt enough on how to deal with energetic young men. He should try to understand their nature considering he is so experienced and has been so adventurous. If I were him, I would have felt much ashamed fighting young men in a bar brawl considering his whole lot of experience. Garth should have learnt to intervene in these situations considering he knew his friend’s character and thus imitated dialog with the young men.
Butcher, G. (2013). Secondhand Lions Movie Review | ComingSoon.net. Retrieved from http://www.comingsoon.net/news/reviewsnews.php?id=1592
Frederic , & Brussat, M. A. (2012). Spirituality & Practice: Film Review: Secondhand Lions, directed by Tim McCanlies. Retrieved from http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/films/films.php?id=6598
Whitman, J., & McCanlies, T. (2001). Secondhand lions. New York: Bantam.