I was 22 when I watched Se7en. The movie was a hit and it is considered till today one of the best movies. While everybody raved about how great the movie and the acting were I was thinking of one particular character. It wasn’t the serial killer or any of his seven victims. At 22, I found the life of Detective Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman, to be odd. Somerset was an old detective. He had no family and lived alone. For some reason this life style was not believable to me. I thought how come someone at this age has no family or friends.
In our 20s, we perceive life differently. We are still dependent and very close to our parents, brothers and sisters. We have many friends, the more the better. Going out alone is unacceptable. It is against the social norm and no one wants to be seen in the cinema watching a movie alone.
Now, in my mid 40s, Detective Somerset is one of the three fictional characters that are the closest to me. The two others are even closer and we have more things in common than I would like to admit. The Old Man in the Old Man and the Sea and Jean Valjean from the Les Misérables.
These two characters are my favorite by all means and their stories are the closest to my heart. I feel their pain, loneliness and guilt. My favorite movie scene of all time is when Jean Valjean felt free for the first time.
Middle age is a tough time in men’s life. It is the time, they notice dramatic changes around them. Younger people start addressing them with Sir, Uncle, or Hajj. Flirting with 20 something girls become creepy and with 30 something become sinful. It is the time, men notice they are getting old.
I was always fascinated by the lives of the Old Man and Jean Valjean. I read their stories when I was a teenager and the older I get, the more I relate to their lives. Some people believe loneliness and happiness are a choice, I don’t.
The saddest people I have seen are men in their 40s. Maybe in their 50s, men become comfortable with their age, but in their 40s, they live in denial of who they became.
Jean Valjean and the Old Man lived a miserable life, but they determined to continue with their lives.
A friend once asked me “is it possible that a person may live their entire life miserable?” I answered: “No. God will eventually give them peace of mind.” Is happiness guaranteed before departing this world?