This weekend I piled in a car with some high school girls and went to see Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Back when the first movie first came out (which was three and a half years ago if you can believe it) I was sufficiently sucked in. I read the first book on the same day I saw the first movie and then wrote a strongly worded blog post about the, in my humble opinion, unnecessary differences between the two. That was also the book-movie combination that caused me to rethink my “read book before movie” entertainment consumption method. I find that whenever I read the book before seeing the movie (at least if it’s done in a timely manner, like on the same day) I spend the whole movie comparing everything to the book and end up disappointed. If I see the movie first, however, the book is like a behind the scenes extra info fun time!
But I digress. (Get used to it.) After watching The Death Cure (and loving it!) I decided to go back to the beginning and watch the first Maze Runner movie, taking notes along the way, of course. Everyone keeps a Google Docs open while watching movies, right? For opinions and observations, right? It’s normal. I’m normal.
While watching Maze Runner, the original, I kept thinking about the qualities that Thomas had that made him an inevitable leader. It’s so clear watching that first movie that he is a leader from the get go – from the moment that box flipped open. And it’s believeable! It makes sense watching the movie that theses young men would follow Thomas anywhere. I would follow Thomas anywhere!
One such natural leadership quality really stuck out to me because I remembered it clearly from The Death Cure as well. If you haven’t seen the latest Maze Runner installment of the film kind, I won’t ruin it, but there’s a point where Thomas and a couple of guys are about to do something crazy (or many points, but one in particular comes to mind now) and one of the guys asks Thomas, “Are you sure about this?” And Thomas says, “No.” And then they go ahead and jump out the window anyway. Or whatever.
Well it happens in the first movie, too. Thomas and Minho are running around the maze trying to find the way out and when they find the portal from whence the Grievers came Thomas starts towards it and Minho asks, “Are you sure about this?” Thomas says, “No.” But he continues toward it anyway. And Minho follows anyway. And eventually almost all the Glade guys follow anyway. Unsure, but moving forward.
I know it’s another YA dystopain future amongst many and most of us are just watching it because Dylan O’Brian is so cute, (And Ki Hong Lee! And Thomas Brodie-Sangster! And Rosa Salazar! Okay, they’re all cute.) but this struck a chord with me. This truth that to be a good leader doesn’t mean you have to be sure all the time. This truth that sometimes the best and most brave among us would answer that question – “Are you sure?” – with a resounding, “No.” But those best and brave among us go forward anyway and so we follow them anyway.
It struck a chord with me because maybe I’m my own Thomas. Maybe you’re your own Thomas. Maybe you’re running around the maze of your life looking for a way out and you’ve come upon the portal from whence the Grievers came (the metaphor kind of plays itself out there; don’t dwell on it, just stick with me) and you’re moving forward, drawn toward the promise of freedom, and you stop to ask yourself, “Are you sure?” And you’re not! You’re absolutely not sure of anything except that you can’t keep running around a maze and you crave freedom like breath in your lungs.
Maybe we can trust ourselves anyway, even when we’re not totally sure. Maybe we can do things scared! Maybe we can jump into a scary portal or out a window because maybe the freedom we crave – whatever that means or looks like – is on the other side and it’s worth doing it scared.
I’m Suzanne and I’m so excited to be here at With Her Heart, bringing and baring my heart through my words. I am a body positive first grade teacher and dog mom living in the Dominican Republic. I best express myself through TV show quotes and movie references. The art of film and books help me understand the world.