Psychology of Death essay

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Bucket List, is a movie, with two experienced stars; Hollywood, and veteran actors, Jack Nicholson, and Morgan Freeman. However, the two actors, as depicted in the movie, have substantial difference in terms of style, temperament and performance. The movie is full of emotions, joy and warmth, but in some instances, there were apparent shortcomings in dialogue, and character development. Through the expertise, and talents of the two actors, one is in a position to elicit the best parts of life. They manage to make people welcome life, in any way it comes, even when they know they have a day to live (Elias, 2014).

Different people perceive the movie in diverging ways, but this merely depends on one's understanding. However, the core element, which is common to every person, is that the two actors are in deep friendship, primarily because they share in the same fate. Personally, I feel that "The Bucket List" is a great movie. The movie has its own uniqueness, which lacks in other movies. The idea was exceptional, and the two actors did a commendable job. Nevertheless, it is important to keep alive what the critics suggest (Diamond, 2011). Their critique is far much important because it helps in perfecting the shortcomings of the movie.

Even though the travel programs in the movie appear cheap, and lack production value, to some extent they suit the story behind the scenes. The scenes around the hospital are exceptional, and director, in another time has managed to become the character study. His work in this particular movie controls with confidence and non-manipulation, which works well for the overall story. It is not conclusive that the movie lacks shortcomings; "The Bucket List" is one filled with an experience, which every person has to face mortality, hopefully with the courage depicted by Jack and Morgan (Ebert, 2008).

Story Line

When the movie starts, Morgan Freeman, who is a mechanic, receives a phone call from his doctor. At the time of the call, Morgan Freeman is working, and the doctor intends to inform him of his diagnosis of cancer. Conversely, his acting colleague, Jack Nicholson gets his cancer warning suddenly, when he is in a business meeting through a cough, which produces blood. In the rush to seek medical advice, we come to realize that the hospital he is rushed belongs to him (he had bought the hospital) (Ebert, 2008). Then, Jack Nicholson demands a private room, but he is made aware of the comment he had always made. That he does not run health spas, instead, he run hospitals, and every room should hold two beds. Therefore, he settles for the room, and we see Morgan Freeman in the same room, which makes them roommates (Elias, 2014).

Character Analysis

Prior to the diagnosis of cancer, Morgan Freeman was a mere mechanic, who once yearned to become a professor in the history field. However, he had to give up his dreams at the expense of his family. This shows that Morgan Freeman was caring, and had significance for family. On the other hand, Jack Nicholson, prior to the diagnosis, has all the money in the world (IMDb, 2007). Unlike Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson lacks the comfort and love from family. In the movie, Jack Nicholson makes it apparent that he has been in marriage four times. In addition, his only daughter estranges him. Therefore, after holding a conversation with Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson is lonely and recognizes that his millions could not keep him warm at night (Diamond, 2011).

Apparently, owing to the remarks, which jack Nicholson made prior to going to the hospital, we draw him as arrogant, and cruel. The suggestion that he runs hospitals, and not health spas, makes this evident. Jack does not care about the welfare, and privacy of patients admitted in his hospital, but cares about the money they bring. This is why he suggests that there should be two beds in a single room. Nevertheless, this is brilliant and makes him a billionaire in this line of business (Ebert, 2008). In comparison with Morgan Freeman, he appears to be hardworking, caring, and focused. In their conversation, Morgan Freeman has three children, and according to the description given, Morgan Freeman had managed to give them an education. It is ironical, however, putting in mind that he was a "mere mechanic."

Critical Analysis: The Bucket List

Cancer Diagnosis

Prior to diagnosis, the two, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, were living their normal lives. Jack was into business; privatizing hospitals, which has earned him a fortune. However, he later questions his own arrogance, and 'do not care' attitude, in the sense that after diagnosis and subsequent admission, he questions his earlier implementation of sharing of rooms by patients. On the other hand, Morgan Freeman's side, his life came to a standstill. He had people who depended on him; his family (IMDb, 2007). He comes out as caring, focused; however, when he is aware of his condition, everything changes. Jack Nicholson stands out as hardworking, primarily because he coughs blood in the middle of a business meeting. All this changed, and when they knew they were dying they opted to live the remaining lives differently. All the two did was play cards, chat, and refine the "bucket list," instead of sitting and waiting to die (Peterson, 2011).

Jack and Morgan's perception of death

As seen in the movie, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman were total strangers who happened to suffer from the same disease. They meet in the same room, and from there, they come to know their fate; they had less than a year to live. Apparently, the news does not come as a shock to them, may be because they knew there was no cure for cancer. Therefore, they stay together to know each other better, and plan on how to live the remainder of their lives. Therefore, they list activities they should undertake before they die (IMDb, 2007).

The list included skydiving, racecar driving, hiking, kissing the most beautiful woman, but this was according to Jack Nicholson, although Morgan Freeman agreed. On the other hand, Morgan Freeman opted for a spiritual act and doing something good for someone. He also had to make a tough decision, about leaving his wife, and family to follow Jack Nicholson. He missed his wife, and on one time, he urged his friend to seek forgiveness from his daughter. When Morgan was done with the trip he came back to his family, contented, but he met his death (Screen It, 2007).

Theoretical stages and process of dying depicted

Apparently, the movie has borrowed largely from the theoretical approach of death, and stages of dying. It is not clear whether Jack Nicholson feared, or accepted the news in the imagined way, primarily because he encourages Morgan Freeman to live for himself. Owing to this, we can see that Morgan was in denial. He was in shock, and that is why Jack attempts to encourage him. In addition, the list created, and the subsequent pursuit of the listed activities proves that they became isolated (Takeuchi, 2008). The two spend time together in skydiving, hiking, and racecar driving. They travel around alone in complete isolation from other people.

Morgan Freeman opts to leave his family, and wife, maybe he felt he should spend time with the dying people, in this case, Jack Nicholson. In addition, dying people try to bargain, or negotiate their remaining life, with the supernatural being, or the society (Ebert, 2008). In this case, Jack Nicholson adds to the bucket list activities such as kissing the most beautiful woman, and other secular activities. Morgan Freeman, on the other hand, opted for other activities, which would positively affect the life of another person. We see him urging Jack to seek forgiveness from his daughter. Morgan, after the trip came back home to spend time with his family, and he was contented (Takeuchi, 2008).

Perhaps, being ready to die, what seems or perceived as peaceful. It is also possible that Morgan's return to his home was his understanding about the inevitability of death. Perhaps, during the trip, Morgan Freeman gained an understanding that even in the fun they were having, it was impossible to console themselves concerning the turmoil within. Therefore, he returns home and waits for his death because the cancer has no cure (Takeuchi, 2008). After the death of Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson looks back, and opts to make up with his daughter. Eventually, he also accepts that death was inevitable, and he succumbs.

It is vital to acknowledge that the two had people who cared about them. Morgan's wife was supportive, although being against the idea of his husband going away; she gives in to offer her support. She knew that his husband would eventually die; therefore, she offered support during the dying process. On the other hand, one can see Jack Nicholson demeaning his secretary, and, although he does this, his secretary doe not leave his side (Screen It,…[continue]

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