In the movie A River Runs through It, there is a bond between the two brothers Paul and Norman. As kids they grow up doing everything together: school, hanging out with friends, and fishing. Once they are old enough, Norman goes away to college for six years on the east coast then returns home. Paul on the other hand has a job as a journalist and is popular in town. Even though they have been apart for six years the one thing that brings them back together is fishing. The world slows down and nothing else matters at the time. They enjoy the moment for what it is.
For my brother and I, soccer and video games are what makes sense to us. We become fully engrossed in what we are doing and have a good time doing it. All our worries and problems disappear until we are finished playing. As the events of the movie unfold, Norman develops the question of what one’s responsibility is to his/her family. Norman’s girlfriend sends her brother, Neal, with Norman and Paul on a fishing trip. As Norman quickly realizes, Neal ruins the fishing trip with a series of poor choices like drinking and having sex with a girl.
When given the choice to try to help Neal Norman is at first baffled as to why he should try to help the man. However he realizes that regardless he should do his best to help Neal. As Paul’s drinking and gambling addictions are uncovered, these Norman wonders how much of his responsibility it is to help his brother Paul. Norman and his parents make attempts to help Paul, but are unable to. They are unsure how to bring up his problems and when they are they do not know what to say. I personally cannot relate to the gambling problem because no one in my family gambles but most of my siblings drink a lot more than they should.
They waste huge amounts of money towards beer and wine on a weekly basis and get drunk at least once a week. While they are not out in public it is still a bad choice to do this weekly because you cannot control yourself as well and often make bad decisions. My oldest sister has struggled through life and been in jail a couple times. The movie asks the viewer questions like: How much responsibility can a person take for another’s poor choices and eventual downfall? Should a person feel guilty if they were unable to help their loved ones out of their struggles?
Do we have an obligation to each other? I believe that if you are capable of helping someone out and you know that they need help, then you are obligated to help that person. If that person is family then that’s even more reason to help them. As of right now I feel powerless to help the rest of my family mainly because I only see them on some holidays. Our family is also not as close as one might expect, leaving a lot to be desired. In the movie there was an emphasis on religion. Their father was the priest for a protestant church and raised his sons like so.
He taught them school subjects and taught other things in a way for a protestant. As kids they obeyed their father but wanted what every kid wants, when the teaching time came to an end, and that was fun. As they grew up they always went to church but became more reckless in their actions. When the Norman and Paul stole the boat and rode in it down the river eventually breaking it, and leading to them fighting in the kitchen a day later. That was the first sign that something wasn’t right. Paul was the one who wanted to take the boat and he was also the one who started the fight.
When Paul and Norman are adults, Norman acts like a typical conservative protestant but Paul is wild and outgoing, a complete opposite of his father. Growing up, my family went to church every week and my siblings and I were taught manners and respect. None of my brothers or I were very different than my father. I am the most alike to my father, based on appearance and personality. Since my oldest siblings have moved out religion hasn’t been as a part of my life has it was before. My family hardly goes to church anymore, and we don’t talk about our religion much.
We have definitely not gotten closer to our religion over the years. Overall, I liked the movie. I thought it was an interesting take on a place that many would think of as too boring for a movie. It made me think about key aspects of my life (family) and invokes strong emotions. For Norman, a river runs through it was probably a way to find an answer to why the tragedy of his brother Paul had to occur, and who was to blame. What Norman should realize is that no one is to blame and there isn’t always a reason. However it can take a great deal of anguish to realize this. Even then you might not realize it at all.