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Remembering Regarding Henry

Last Thursday I blogged about some movies that influenced my heroes journey, one of them being Regarding Henry. I was always thought of it as a pretty well known movie, but maybe I was projecting my own love for it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how large an influence it was on my own hero.

At it’s core, Regarding Henry is about a broken family learning to reconnect after a tragedy. But I see a far more interesting question posed within the movie: If you could live your life over again with no recollection of the previous one, would it be the same?

Henry is a high priced attorney known and feared for his incredible skills in the courtroom. It helps that he doesn’t care who’s lives are ruined so he can continue winning. He barely pays attention to his only daughter (She’s to be sent off to a private school in the future) or his wife. It’s all about Henry. Well, he gets himself on the wrong end of a bullet and is deprived oxygen to the brain just long enough for it to hit the reset button. He falls into a coma and when he wakes he’s, for all intents and purposes, reborn.

Recovery is a long road, starting with relearning how to walk and talk.  Once released from rehab, Henry’s family and friends try to insert him back into his old life. Unfortunately, many of his friends don’t accept the new Henry. All they see is an invalite occupying the body of a once great man. His wife and daughter, on the other hand, think the complete opposite. New, considerate Henry was just what their family (Who’s condition was more critical than Henry’s brain ever was) needed to heal.

So, why such a radical change? Certainly there were opportunities for Henry to revert to his old self, but he chose differently. He didn’t understand his old behavior and questioned it. I suspect new Henry was inside old Henry all along. Maybe new Henry WAS old Henry at one time and somewhere during his life, he lost it. The questions and possibilities go on and on. (One of the reasons I love this movie)

My vampire, similar to Henry, has lost everything, but unlike Henry, he’s got no support system to help him along. He’s still made a life for himself without the need to go after his past. But his old self, even though it’s buried deep, remains a part of him shaping his decision making in a whole new way. When he comes face to face with his past, what will the fallout be? I’m looking forward to showing you guys.

Suppose the reset button was hit on you, would your life change? Would your friends and family accept the new you? Do you think something like this can even happen or is all just movie stuff?

Info stuff- Follow my ROW80 progress every Wednesday and Sunday and be here Tuesdays and Thursdays for new posts on me, writing, superheroes, monsters, comics and any other geeky stuff on my mind.

6 comments on “Remembering Regarding Henry

  1. Andrew, this was an excellent movie. I loved watching the new Henry on his journey of relearning things. He definitely chose a different path the second time around. I think it shows how we can all be better. But it doesn’t take a bullet to the head…we can make better life choices right now. No one is unredeemable in my opinion.

  2. This is one of my absolute favorite movies, and it really showcases Harrison Ford’s skill as an actor. He is completely believable both as the old Henry and the new Henry.

  3. @Lauralynn- I sometimes wonder if a person can be so far gone they can’t come back. But it begs the question: Are they staying that way by choice? A very interesting topic.

    @Lisa- Yeah, he conveys so much without saying a word. So talented.

  4. OMG, would you believe I’ve never seen Regarding Henry? I will definitely watch for it now…

    • I did some more reading on it and critics didn’t give it favorable reviews. So I guess it didn’t last long in the theaters.

      For some reason it’s not available on netflix, but amazon and itunes have it for rental. You’ll love it!

  5. Andrew,

    I saw Regarding Henry when it came out and a few times since. I agree it is wonderful and thought-provoking. Do people stay the way they are by choice? I believe so, but maybe not consciously. There are always choices, but some people just don’t think about the broader picture. Many people seem to be so self-absorbed, which is necessary for survivial, yet this society we are in takes self-absorbtion to a new level, and self-awareness is really something we should all focus on. Personally I’m at a crossroads right now, changing some things in my life around, and am actually seeing who is staying, and who is going, in terms of my relatonships. (Other than my spouse and child of course, but in terms of extended family and friends.) It’s definitely a journey, but as I change, hopefully for the better, they need to change WITH me in some ways, in terms of acceptance and love.

    Sorry to ramble. Have a good day! 🙂

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