It was a hot and steamy Saturday, too hot to do anything but go to the movies. So to the movies we went.
We saw Indignation.
I am about to spoil the ending, and maybe most of the middle, so if you are thinking of seeing it, stop reading now. But before you go, hit the “like”switch on your way out, just for the heck of it.
As we were exiting the theater my daughter labeled it a “sad, strange movie.”
When asked what he thought of it on the car ride home, the hub said he wanted to shake the guy.
I suggested that the movie might have been better named “Intolerance.”
Perhaps the misnomer was calculated, to lure an audience. The brief plot summary paired with the title gave me the impression that it was going to be about the unfair treatment of a young Jewish man at an Ohio College in the 1950’s.
That would have been something about which to be indignant.
And who doesn’t like their indignation riled once in a while in the confines of the movie theater?
But this was about a young atheist, who happened to be Jewish, who was indignant at the requirement to sit through 10 hours of chapel per year, 40 hours of chapel in all.
Indignant even though, when he accepted a scholarship to the college, he surely knew chapel was a requirement. I say surely because he was a bright, serious, studious, logic-driven young man who surely would have read the student manual, the requirements, the fine print.
He would have read the terms and accepted them in order to be the first in his family to go to college and, more precisely, in order to escape the draft.
The narration at the start of the story set up the ending. All the little decisions along the way, the narrator said, make a difference in one’s life, bring about one’s death.
There were scenes I could have happily lived without, included perhaps to confuse the viewer – to suggest that the demise of the bright-futured young man would be at the hands of a beautiful, messed up woman (a la The Natural). Or perhaps merely included for those who enjoy gratuitous defilement. But the decision to pursue a beautiful, messed up woman is not what lead to his demise. It wasn’t the decision that revoked his scholarship, got him booted from the college, landed him on the battlefield.
It was his religious intolerance.
His intolerance of religion.
Indignation is a cautionary tale; a warning to all religion-intolerant atheists; to all imtheists.
And perhaps to all the modern college students who demand to be protected from ideas/beliefs that are contrary to their own.