Tuesday, May 03, 2005

BLUE CRUSH --> Michelle Rodriguez as the 'Leader' Eden

Showing vulnerability is an absolute must on the journey of deepening friendships. I'd been thinking about this precise fact whilst engaging in yet another one of The Count's guilty penchants: the surfing flick!

Scantily-clad hotties in the latest fashions, taut muscles, fine sand, and that crashing surf. Yummy! What's there not to like? However BLUE CRUSH was more than just an entertaining 90 minutes. Deeper conviction was to be found therein, one that dealt with a most controversial bugaboo in surfing, traditionally a male bastion of dominance.

One such taboo was the concept of women and surfing. As a sport, female surfing got a much-needed shot in the arm with the delightful performance of Kate Bosworth as the fictional Anne Marie Chadwick. Chadwick's ascent from surfing nobody to its leaderboard at Oahu's Pipeline Masters Championships was fraught with obstacles.

Chadwick's primary challenge dealt with the wrenching decision she eventually had to face: either accept the yoke of society's conventional expectation of the female, or do what she loved, which was surf to the best of her ability.

Chadwick's sheer ability wasn't enough, however, to place her on the leaderboard. Her talent was alone wasn't going to be the sole arbiter of her success, and so her mission was assisted and her doubts overcome through the dedicated pursuit of her friends Lena (Sanoe Lake) and, especially, Eden (Michelle Rodriguez).

As Chadwick fell increasingly deeper for NFL pro Matt Tollman, Eden suspected (rightly) that Chadwick getting her priorities muddled. Eden knew the depth of Anne Marie's vast potential, wasn't about to let her throw it all away on a fling. Chadwick, at first, took Eden's nagging as an affront -even jealousy. Even the greats, it seems, sometimes refuse to heed their calling when mightily summoned and Eden's persistence was Chadwick's call. Her whisper became a resounding shout as Anne Marie was forced to look inward and refocus on her mission.

Chadwick's winning ways were doubly needed, for not only was she fulfilling her own lucky promise, she was also the de facto representative of her sport's vocal minority. Eden was attuned to as much and wasn't about to permit such her friend's auspicious opportunity fizzle into sheer nothingness. Clearly, Chadwick could at worst be a plucky battler in the water. With clever nudging from these astute girlfriends, Anne Marie had every shot at becoming the best.

I don't want to spoil it for you, so you'll just have to watch the movie to find out what happened to her. There's a twist, natch.

But your leadership lesson is thus: s'okay if you get derailed whilst on your direct path to greatness. T'is human, said the Bard. See, part of being human is living in society with others. Others who can and will nurture you if and when you allow them to. Others who will stand back to give you the space you need to develop into that magnificent performer you're quite destined to be.

Coaches are leaders too. Oftentimes they ain't the flashiest people in the room and often don't get the girl. For that matter, they hardly eat the cake or even land the brass ring. But their contributions, nevertheless, are legend.

Leaders don't only stand at the forefront. Sometimes they can form sandwiches. In BLUE CRUSH, Chadwick was the top slice, Eden the bottom. In between laid a vast cobalt crush of oceanic 'meat.' Relentless, magnificent, and blue.


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