I just finished watching the movie “FURY” with Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, and Shia LaBeouf (produced by my friend Bill Block) and was blown away (warning, spoiler alerts ahead):
Here are some life lessons I learned from the film:
1. This is the coolest haircut
Brad Pitt — still looking good after all these years. This is the coolest haircut– I just cut my hair to look like this, to channel my inner-Brad Pitt.
One of the most seat-of-my-pants experience during the film was when Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman are inside a German home. They are there with two women — one young girl, and another woman.
Up until this point of the film, you are not sure what the morals or ethics of Brad Pitt is. Earlier in the film (spoiler alert), you have Brad Pitt trying to teach Logan Lerman how to be a ‘man’ — Pitt forcing Lerman to kill a German SS soldier.
But the part that had me compelled– Brad Pitt asks the younger girl to come over and I thought to myself:
Is Brad Pitt going to molest, or rape the girl?
But what happens is that Brad Pitt takes the higher moral route– he doesn’t touch her. Rather, we find out that Brad Pitt is a man of great moral ethics. He asks for hot water, washes his face, and you can see all the scars on his back.
Even though Brad Pitt is killing German SS soldiers left and right– he treats the German women with love and respect.
In another scene, you have the other members of Brad Pitt’s tank party joining the apartment — and essentially ‘fucking shit up.’ But Brad Pitt stands up for the women — in a heroic form of virtue. Essentially, Brad Pitt is a badass (I think of his role in Fight Club as one of the most epic).
So for me, the moral lesson was this: always stand up for your beliefs, regardless of what others might think of you. Disregard what your friends, family, or co-workers will think. Stand up for what you believe in.
3. Ethics is tricky
Another lesson — ethics are really complicated.
For example, Brad Pitt has no problem killing SS soldiers left and right, without any hesitation. Or even executing German SS soldiers for fun.
But at the same time, he is a paragon of justice (in some sort of sinister, Machiavellian way). He sees killing of German SS soldiers (and Nazis) as morally justified, and believe that the ‘means justifies the ends.’ Which means, you need to kill evil people, in order to bring goodness and peace in the world.
I kind of agree with this philosophy. Personally, if I were a soldier, and there was a child-Nazi soldier (who has killed innocent Jews) I would have no problem putting a bullet in the 12-year old ‘Hitler Youth’ head. But, of course– easier said than done. If I were put into the situation of Logan Lerman — I might do the same. I would probably hesitate before killing a child soldier with a rocket-launcher, which might lead to the death of a fellow ally.
Seeing this scene– the children SS/Nazi/Hitler Youth reminded me — how fucking horrible it is that child soldiers still exist in the world– utterly brainwashed by evil people:
War is really complicated, in terms of personal ethics, and ultimate moral ethics.
Here is a scene after they kill the child SS soldiers — to prevent them from killing other American soldiers:
Do the ends justify the means? Or do the means never justify the means? It is up for you to decide.
Religious imagery, references to Jesus, and Shia LaBeouf (being a preacher) are abundant in FURY.
For me as a Catholic– these religious themes really resonated with me. It just shows how complicated it is to be religious, to kill, and makes morality very complicated.
For example, can you be a good Christian — following in the footsteps of Jesus, yet still kill? Is killing ever justified?
Brad Pitt sacrifices himself for the collective. In one of the later scenes where the tank becomes immobile, he tells his crew ‘it is okay’ — he will be the one who will man the tank himself, and kill the incoming Nazi SS– while his crew can hide in safety.
Heroically, Logan Lerman stands up, and while he is known to be the weak character of the group — is the only one who decides that he will stay with Brad Pitt. Then, one by one, the other members of the crew decide to stay with Brad Pitt — which they know, is going to be a suicide mission.
The goal is to kill as many incoming German SS soldiers, to help further the American cause of finishing the war.
Which makes me wonder– would I sacrifice my life for a cause I believe in, or for others?
5. Standing up for what you believe in
In the film, you see many German citizens who refuse to be part of the Nazi/SS/Hitler cause. They end up being hanged for being called ‘cowards’ by the SS soldiers.
If you were in a situation where you would compromise your beliefs– would you choose death instead?
For example, would you be like Schindler (from the movie Schindler’s list) and protect innocent people — risking your own life? Would you choose letting someone kill you, instead of killing an innocent person?
The brilliance of FURY is the moral/ethical questions. I wonder:
If I were in their shoes, what would I do?
Especially in today’s world — where war, terrorism, and killing still happens– what would be your morals and ethics?
For me, I like to think I would follow in the footsteps of Jesus and sacrifice myself for a cause I believe in. I would rather choose an honorable, noble, and virtuous death — rather than living like a coward (just to preserve my own life).
Of course, easier said than done.
If push came to shove, would I really stand up for my morals (choosing death) — if I knew that it would harm Cindy, and my future family and children?
Morals are complicated. But FURY is a great film to consider these moral questions to yourself.
Not only that, symbolism abound (like the concept of the White Horse– in the film they admit to killing horses and eating these innocent horses to stay alive).
Not only that, but the cinematography is phenomenal. To me, it is an instant classic. Probably my top-3 war movies I’ve ever watched. The framing, colors, and subdued hues are still lingering in my mind.
I’d recommend renting FURY on Amazon, and considering these moral questions yourself.
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