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My Life At The Movies: Mesrine: Part 2 – Public Enemy #1

Two years prior I’d left Ontario Canada for Kampala Uganda. Twenty-eight hours prior I’d left Nairobi Kenya for Salt Lake City Utah. Twenty-plus pounds lighter, owning just the clothes on my back, my mother greeted me with another change of scenery. (We had less than twelve hours to get to Ontario. My grandmother was dying… welcome home Jonathan!). I stayed up for over 50 hours, around hour 46 my grandmother passed away. But before she did, with no hair and no teeth, she smiled at me. She tried to speak, yet nothing came out, but she smiled at me… and she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I loved her to no end, and her passing changed my life. With no possessions, no commitments, and a wounded family, I was forced to become a man.

Mesrine: Part 2 – Public Enemy #1 is the epic conclusion wherein Jacques realizes there was a choice between being a man or a maniac. It is the sobering sequel that reminded me of the fact that every man is presented with a fork in the road called ‘life’.

The movie begins back in France. Jacques has further embraced his pseudo-revolutionary role, as well as his love for dirty money. A man unknowingly torn between two worlds; I know the feeling well! For five years after my grandmother’s death I struggled between doing what I was told, and what I should.

Now Jacques’ journey is a tad more interesting. He shoots his way into being an author, a celebrity, a rebel force, and ultimately… into infamy. I simply struggled through being a dismal factory worker, a broken heart, and a fallen son. Yet like Jacques I had an indestructible will.

Jacques in the film knows his life is falling apart at a rapid pace. He can see it tearing at the seams, and before the final thread splits, he can see why. He remembers he should have stayed with Sylvia instead of going off to build his name.

Looking back now, as my grandmother’s funeral came to a close, I realize I had a choice. I could either do what I was told, or do what I know I should. I should have done exactly what I wanted, (like my grandmother would have wanted), and thank god I did. I left the factory, graduated from university, and I’m doing what I love. Unlike Jacques I’m willing to stick with my Sylvia, because this is my life at the movies.

Jon Godfrey


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