Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review of the Movie Up (2009)

Up (Animated) 2009

“The Buddha approached suffering differently. He said that suffering is not inherent in the world of impermanence; suffering arises when we cling. When clinging disappears, impermanence no longer gives rise to suffering. The solution to suffering, then, is to end clinging, not to try to escape from the transient world.” (Insight Meditation Center -

Carl Fredrickson has lost Ellie, his soul mate. He feels as though they did not live the life of adventure that she wanted and becomes trapped in longing and regret. Using helium balloons, he launches his entire house, determined to see the Lost Land in South America, a place he and his wife, Ellie, dreamed of visiting. Inadvertently, he takes along a scout who is trying to earn his last badge for assisting the elderly.

Carl is deeply trapped in suffering, in great need of realizing the Four Noble Truths. He wants the transitory to be permanent, clings to his memories of life with Ellie, and lives in the past. Shakyamuni Buddha would have understood Carl’s suffering for it was the understanding of illness, old age, and death that motivated Siddhartha to seek enlightenment.

It is only by learning to live in the present that Carl escapes suffering. Through compassion for the boy and the bird, Carl is able to set aside his own sense of loss and experience happiness again.

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