There is a sense in which the new film “Creed” is simply another film about boxing and fighting talk. Given the latter films of the Rocky franchise, anyone could be forgiven for thinking it was likely to be both propaganda for American capitalism and selling a soundtrack for exercise. Yet I wonder if this is a fair reflection.
The movie opens into the harsh world of institutional care for young boys and unfolds with our main character coming to terms (or not) with the death of his mother and then learning that his fatherless existence was due to infidelity and untimely death. His lucky break comes in the form of adoption by the woman originally jilted. The unnerving reality is that despite being afforded acceptance, financial security and a surname with punch, there is a gnawing sense that he simply doesn’t “fit”. He turns to the most compelling and certain traits of his makeup – that of rage and a desperate search for purpose.
Now perhaps I’m reading too much into things, but despite appearances, the Rocky franchise has always exposed an uncomfortable relationship with wealth and how it changes lives and relationships, invariably not for the better.
As we all know, America has all manner of racial problems, perhaps there is more than a passing nod to the two areas of life where black Americans are “allowed” to flourish – sport and music, where fame and riches catapult often humble backgrounds into the limelight of the elite. In the film, the protagonist, Adonis meets several sparring partners, but Bianca is the one that offers the prospect of a real connection and possibility of going the distance.
Growth through loss
Our story touches on the loss of loved ones and the continued search for significance, the battles that many face, irrespective of wealth, physical or mental ability. These are of course issues that face us all as we age (even Rocky) and like him we have greater exposure to the limitations that money can supply, but perhaps more costly is the sense of lost purpose, which can make us spectators of our own lives. Rocky rekindles his by reconnecting with the younger man within and without, a mentor, a trainer.
Like every prizefighter, we all come to a point of realization where money cannot buy peace of mind… something that the American dream and capitalism conveniently ignore. That is not to suggest that money cannot help – of course it can, but as we witness all too often, an identity crisis is not solved by cash.
In your corner
Some think a financial adviser is going to work magic, providing enormous payoff without significant effort. I see it rather differently, my role as a financial planner is more akin to the trainer, encouraging, helping to keep you on track, focused and with a strategy for the success you are seeking.
Our fight is more like shadow boxing, where our greatest opponent is ourselves. Our own minds and bodies can turn against us, something that becomes a more relevant nagging reality with each passing year….. So however many we have left ahead, we ought to make the most of this one; a theme that I seem to be returning to with regularity.
Ultimately, we are not remembered for our incomes or our assets, but how we spent our time, how we lived our lives. This is the fight that I am interested in, how we figure out what is indeed enough given an uncertain future and a history of mixed experience…. So I guess, this may come down to our own creed.
Here’s the trailer for Creed, which has a supporting actor OSCAR nomination for Sylvester Stallone. For some, this will be just another Stallone boxing movie, but may I suggest that perhaps it punches considerably above its weight.
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