A court drama is as dynamic as an action movie. At Men’s fellowship last week, we watched the movie, Class Action. Thank you Fred! It was a typical Hollywood movie that a good man won at the end. But what I really like to enjoy was that this movie told us about the importance of a relationship.
As I knew the general plot of the father and the daughter drama, I didn’t expect much. I thought that this movie was one of many that was called “cliché”. But it was interesting enough that their relationship like any other real family relationship was very tricky and complicated. The relationship in this movie transcended my assumption.
Both the father and the daughter pursued their own professional careers as lawyers. The daughter, a ruthless young corporate lawyer (Margaret in the movie) was furious with her father who had neglected her in childhood. Her father’s interest in a female friend broke her mother’s and her heart. As a consequence, her desires and decisions were about paying back her father. Her wrong motivation led her into a wrong direction. She was manipulated by her boss who shared her bed.
The movie was reaching the maximum conflict when she took a case to defend a car manufacturer in a lawsuit addressed by her father. The court battle went in the daughter’s favour and her father’s position in the court seemed to be hopeless. She could win against her father. Then she seemed to achieve her desire – both in her workplace and in her competition against her father. At the same time, she knew the truth.
When she was about to win this case, she interestingly chose to take a risk to reveal the truth. Of course, it wasn’t in an unprofessional way. She was clever. Her brave action in the court beautifully restored the relationship with her father.
From this movie, I learnt a good lesson. We have many relationships in our lives. If I categorize all our relationships into two groups, one is a relationship that we can choose and the other is a relationship that we cannot choose. We like to control and choose everything. But there is something that we can’t choose. The relationship between the father and the daughter is typical. It is something that we can’t choose. It is just given. The given relationship requires a certain responsibility and obligation to keep. Otherwise it becomes dysfunctional.
This movie showed the consequence of the father’s negligence on his responsibility. Why did he ignore his responsibility? My guess is that he put his work relationship above the relationship of his daughter. He wasn’t a bad man at all. He treated his clients like his family. He tried hard to use his professional knowledge to help disadvantaged people, I think. But when he put his relationship with his daughter into a wrong order, his relationship went wrong.
From my own Christian perspective, our God has established a relationship with us. It is the highest order among our relationships in our lives other than our wives or husbands, our relationship would be broken sooner or later. By the same token, if we loved our desires, our goals, our careers more because it is “given” that we cannot choose. If we loved a woman or a man more than God, we would worship idols. Like Margaret in this movie, we need to (re)set up the right order in our many relationships. Which relationship is important in your lives? Your answer will tell them about who you are.