Jessica Jones 7

Deep inside…I think we can all relate with Jessica Jones…. A bit of chaos with lots of beauty and we still keep moving on.

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Ant-Man and The Wasp: Redemption

On the first week of last month, I went to the theaters to watch “Ant-Man and the Wasp” to treat myself (thanks to a belated graduation gift) and despite so many “critical reviews” its not bad! Although it’s been a month (from the time since I’ve watched the film) since the movie has debuted in theaters, I’ve found myself laughing a lot and hard in the theater (there was like only me and two other people). I have found myself sobbing (I tried not to though. I really did). It was great.

It was also very good to see the cast reprise their roles from the first movie. If you remember from the last movie, Hope played by Evangeline Lilly was given the remodeled “Wasp” suit designed by her father and the former Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Dogulas). The suit was also designed after her mother’s suit who was the original “Wasp”. Unfortunately, her mother “passed away” in a S.H.I.E.L.D mission by sacrificing herself to save millions of life from a nuclear attack by going subatomic and ultimately, being lost to the Quantum Realm. However, after realizing how Scott Lang/Ant-Man came back from the Quantum Realm after his fight from Darren Cross/ Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll), Hank wonders if its just possible that maybe his wife may have survived too.

From Left to Right: Lilly Hope (Evageline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)

Redemption

Theme I got from this movie was redemption.  All the characters including the two new characters of the movie— Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne)– all had something they were trying to gain back….careers, relationships, freedom. If you remember from the last Ant-Man film, Kurt, Dave, and Luis were already trying to get jobs as ex-cons and in the “Captain America: Civil War” Ant-Man was helping Captain America fight against Iron-Man’s team.  Unfortunately, that led Scott Lange in this film into house arrest. In the meantime, Hank and Hope are trying to find away to bring Mrs. Pym back from the Quantum Realm and begin again as a family. Speaking of relationships, Scott Lange is trying also to save the relationship with his daughter, Cassie. All of these characters are limited on the time they need to keep what is valuable to them.

I love these two! From far right: Kurt (David Dastmalchian) and Dave (T.I)

What IS Redemption?

In the Bible, usually redemption means to “release from bondage.” Nobody wanted their past mistakes to define them and to keep them from the happiness and the future they deserved.  Sometimes were some faults that are not of their own. For example, since the first Ant-Man movie, Hank has been beating himself up for his suit not working in time to save his wife. And well Ant-man…he was just trying to help a friend out.  I know when you think of “redemption” you think of the Bible or any religious text you can think of. Regardless of the religion, we all believe that a person’s past actions and perhaps even our own, can be saved and start anew.

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Everyone’s favorite returns…Luis (Michael Pena)!

So then how do we find our way back after so much lost relationships, health, opportunities…time… I found an interesting article on Psychology Today titled, “Redemption: What does it mean to be redeemed?” that gives in a general sense how this can be achieved.

How Do We Move On When It IS OUR Fault?

1.Our intent is the most critical component of our actions

“Why did we do what we did? Was it for self gain or because we were trying to do what we thought was right and either inadvertently or regretfully injured the person we were trying to help? If the later, we must embrace the fact that our intentions were good and that sometimes the most compassionate action looks, even is, injurious on the surface.”

Image result for ant man in captain america civil war

Image result for ant man in captain america civil war

In the film, Hope was mad at Scott for leaving her in a difficult place in their relationship and her life, but as we saw in “Captain America: Civil War” he was fighting alongside with Captain America to keep Iron Man from turning in his long time friend, Bucky for a crime he did not commit (and preserve their own freedoms as superheroes). But Hope didn’t care. So throughout the movie, you see Scott trying to prove that he didn’t leave her in order to brag how he fought alongside him (although he kinda did), but to protect superhero rights. Poor guy though…throughout the movie he’s trying to preserve all his relationships and reputation , however you see his immense efforts in trying to maintain all his meaningful relationships. And I’m sure while Scott was trying to help all his friends, he may have been questioning his intentions. But thankfully everything worked out at the end…more or less… If you’ve watched the ending credits, you’ll see what I mean.

2. Human beings are inherently neither good nor evil but display equal capacity for both

“We often have as many impulses driving us to care for others as we do to harm them, and all of us have, at one time or another, done both.”

The “main villain”, Ava Starr also known as Ghost, while she has pretty cool powers, they’ve come at a terrible price. Since the terrible accident that caused her to lose her parents and gain molecular instability–which causes her to phase through objects–has been inching toward death door due to her “ghosting” abilities. Since she’s found out some how that the Pyms were making a device that could bring back Mrs. Pym from the Quantam Realm, she was hoping by taking the tool, it would finally give her body the stability it needed. Whatever it took— whether it required  her to steal and kill for the material–she was going to do it in order to save her life.

I found myself feeling divided for the character, because on one hand I felt angry at her killing anybody that stood in her way in getting that material, just to save her own life.  I mean…she was in the way of bringing back the Pyms together! Boo! But then again… knowing that she has lived an unstable life (literally and figuratively; and probably has struggled sleep and eating most of her life) and that she was going to die soon…I couldn’t blame her either. Ugh! I hate how writers now are so good at making you feel sorry for bad guys, because even at the end we find Ghost wasn’t such a bad person, but she wasn’t such a good person either.

3. The path to redemption is difficult but not impossible to follow

“We must fully recognize that we’ve done wrong; fully accept responsibility for having done it; determine never to do it again; apologize to those we’ve done it to (if appropriate); and resolve to aim at improving ourselves in the general direction of good.”

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Hank and Hope work with Scott old friends to get help

Luis, Dave and Kurt had a new business that they were hoping would work out because of they were ex-cons and everyone knows that it’s hard for ex-cons to get a job, so they ended up making their own business. Unfortunately, because they were ex-cons it was just as hard for them to get business and nearly lost their business.  And there was no way they were going to do that, because it meant going back to doing the same crimes (to survive) that got them into the mess in the first place.  However, they didn’t give up…in fact they ended up saving their business and gained a large clientele.

So was it impossible to get? No. Difficult? Yes. They had to try, because they recognized how far they’ve come in spite of their past lives and mistakes and were willing to fight tooth and nail for it.

How Do We Move On When It’s NOT Our Fault?

However, what about like what happened with Hank Pym and the loss of his wife? You know…when it was something you “felt” you could have done or could have done better, but unfortunately…it was something beyond your own control? Maybe it didn’t have anything do to with you or lack of skills or socioeconomic status or preparation or the kind…it just didn’t work out like you hoped it would.

Martain Donvan plays Mitchell Carson (who is a HYDRA agent) taunts a young Hank Pym of the unfortunate loss of his  wife during A S.H.I.E.L.D. mission

Well..we all know what happened…

Hank still distraught by the loss of his wife and the frustration of his suit not working in time to save her

In another online Psychology Today article titled, “9 Ways to Talk Yourself Out of Unnecessary Guilt”, the author Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D discusses 9 ways to get yourself out of form of self imprisonment:

  1. Tell yourself that you did the best you could–that whatever lapse of sound judgement impelled you to do something you now regret was yet the best judgment available to you at the time.
  2. Consider that at the time of your misbehavior, you didn’t know what you know now.
  3. Remind yourself that you’re not to blame for surviving a tragedy that someone close to you did not.
  4. Remember that to blame yourself for a mistake or mishap that at the time was beyond your control is to assume an intention, or volition, that may not at all characterize your behavior.
  5. Tell yourself that the behavioral ideals you set for yourself may be too high, or that your original family may have encouraged you now judge yourself by.
  6. Acknowledge and honor your right to protect your self-interests.
  7. Recognize the legitimacy of standing up for your rights
  8. Tell yourself that, even if they’re at odds with another’s, there’s nothing wrong or bad about diligently pursing your own goals.
  9. Talk compassionately–but authoritatively–to the “inner child” parts of you with whom most of your irrational guilt programs originated.
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The Father and Daughter Duo: Hank and Hope work together to find and bring back Janet Pym

In terms of Hank Pym’s case, I think numbers three and four could be what he was facing and could have helped him resolve that. But knowing Dr. Pym…he’d keep tinkering away…and having there was a bit of survivor’s guilt didn’t help either. Regardless, he was determined to save and bring back his wife from the Quantum Realm. But…I could only imagine how hard he was on himself to make sure that this time he made his invention work right.

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Since the loss of Ava’s parents, he’s been raising her like his own

When he eventually seeks and find Janet there was a sense of relief. But you know what else? Mrs. Pym, never blamed him for what happened, in fact she had faith that he would have a way to save her and bring her back to their family. Sometimes we unfortunately carry a burden that was never there in the first place. But it’s understandable, because we’ve all been there before….I’ve been there before….there’s a person or a skill set or an opportunity that means so much to us, that when an unforeseeable event comes along and messes that up it can can leave you in a devastating place with yourself.

Conclusion

Regardless whether it was or it was not a fault of our own, we all believe we deserve another chance at opportunities, another chance at relationships, heck…another chance at life. By the end of the movie, nearly everyone gets they hoped for and more. For example, in spite of Ava nearly stealing–in a sense— Mrs. Pym life force, not only has Mrs. Pym saved Ava (by  sucking some of out the unstable energy from her), but Team Ant-Man went back to the Quantum Realm to help get more the material to help continue her stabilization. Even Mr. Pym’s old colleague/former friend, Bill Foster who has been caring for Ava since she was a little girl, still looks out for her even in spite of rejection, because of all the the wrong actions she took to save her life.

In end, we all deserve happiness and grace…mercy and second chances.

References:

9 Ways to Talk Yourself Out of Unnecessary Guilt

Here’s Why Everyone Is Fighting in Captain America: Civil War

Redemption: What does it mean to be redeemed?

What Does Janet Do To Ghost At The End of “Ant Man & The Wasp”? The Scene Is More Important Than You Think