There is something about Will Smith and fatherhood in all his movies and TV series. Collateral Beauty, his new 2016 movie, is arguably focused on the toughest job of being a parent.
When you think about it, Will Smith has a new movie called Bright that is coming out in December 2017 that has strong underpinnings of a concerned father trying to save the world. In the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will Smith played a kid abandoned by his father. In Pursuit of Happyness, he was a desperate father trying to make ends meet. He even acted a movie with his son Jayden in the hit science fiction film After Earth.
Losing a daughter can be the toughest thing a parent can go through. In Collateral Beauty, we see a strong vibrant company headed by Will Smith as a senior executive who is it’s major shareholder. He starts off with a motivational meeting with his staff headlining his three key principles to success:
“What is your why?
Why did you get up in the morning? Why did you eat what you ate? Why did you come to work? Why did you wear what you wore? Not that, the big why?
We are just not here to sell shit, we are here to connect.
Life is about people. Advertising is about illuminating how our products and services will improve people lives.
Now, how do we do that?
LOVE, TIME, DEATH.
Now these three abstractions connect every single human being on earth. Everything that we covet. Everything that we fear not having. Everything that we ultimately end up buying, is because that at the end of the day we long for love,we wish we had more time and we fear death.
LOVE, TIME, DEATH.
Let’s begin there.”
That is the powerful speech by Will Smith in the opening scenes of the movie, setting the stage for the three things – people – that will impact him the most: love, time and death.
We see in the future Will Smith has lost his daughter and has drifted into a ‘zombie’ state, full of pain, no words and breezing through every day as his company tethers on the brink of collapses.
His co-founders are scared at the thought of losing everything they built up. One of them, through chance, devices a plot: hire actors who pretend to be Life, Time and Death, and all three interact with Will Smiths’s character and record their interaction show how Will Smith has lost his mind to the board, making his vote irrelevant and steering the company back to success.
Their plan, though cold-hearted when you think about it, turns out to have a very capable team of actors. Death is so impresses with her part she offers to act as love for free. Love doesn’t want to do anything with the whole story and time just want’s to get paid pronto!
The whole Collateral Beauty movie can be made into 4 speeches. Will Smith’s opening speech. Death’s speech to Will Smith. Time’s second speech to Will Smith. And Love’s speech to the character who hired her.
For me, Time won the day. The land lord who eats Will Smith’s food turns out to be the funny guy in the movie and Love turns out to be wrongly cast – Death was the perfect casting with her intense deep eyes and passionate love for her job.
Collateral Beauty feels like it was wrongly named. It should have been named Shed your skin, find your life.
PS: Just watched this movie for a second time…hmm..