"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Yesterday I saw the movie "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," staring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and, most notably, newcomer Thomas Horn.

The movie is based on the novel by Jonathan S. Foer. The movie is about how a nine-year-old boy with symptoms of Aspergers disease copes with the loss of his father in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. What ensues is a yearlong bought of depression (who wouldn’t after that) where he pinches himself so hard he has purple marks up and down his rib cage, he listens over and over again to the six voicemails his father left as he was trapped in the World Trade Center and he won’t speak to his mother.

When Oskar (the main character’s) dad was alive, he would lead him on quests that would force him to interact with others. Even after death, Thomas Schell, played by Tom Hanks, helps Oskar overcoming his social anxiety. While looking through his father’s closet, he accidentally knocks down a blue vase, which comes crashing to the floor. Among the shards of porcelain, he finds a small envelope with the word “Black” on it and a key inside.

After finding that key, Oskar has one purpose. Find what the key unlocks. He believes that, once he finds what the key unlocks, he will be closer to his deceased dad. So, he looks through the city census and finds everyone with the last name “Black” in the state of New York.

And he begins visiting them. Knocking on their doors and asking if they know Thomas Schell.

He finds that everyone he meets has a story, a past filled with grief. Everyone he meets is desperately in need of someone to talk to, even a nine-year-old boy they had just met. And in turn, Oskar learns that he too needs someone to talk about his grief. When he finally shares what he’s going through, that’s when he can finally let go of it and be happy.

Without someone to talk to, we would all go crazy.

As people, we are meant to live in a community. We are meant to be around people, not to be isolated, and we are meant to talk about our problems. We all have bottled up grief, and we’re all just searching for someone to talk to about it.

We all have a story. That is why I decided to become a reporter. I knew that everyone walking along the street has a story just waiting to be told. This world may seem like a cruel place, I know. But if you open up to someone, that person may just surprise you and listen. And just having someone to listen…well, that makes a world of a difference.

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