Burn After Reading is an interesting character study on a bunch of random characters who somehow cross paths in very unexpected ways.
In this 2008 film by the Coen Brothers, two gym employees find a disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent, and they attempt to blackmail him, or sell it off to the highest bidder.
Things start to spiral weirdly out of control, and the entire situation becomes a bit of a cluster fuck, as CIA agents, gym employees, and others intersect in very odd ways.
At the end of the day, despite the chaos, I think there are a few lessons we can take away from Burn After Reading, so here are 5 life lessons I took away from the film.
1. Mind Your Damn Business!
But it’s worth noting that there wouldn’t be much of a plot if Linda and Chad just went on their merry way, instead of trying to benefit from finding Osborne’s notes. They really making a damn mess of the entire situation in the end, and a lot of people end up dying, or worse off than they started out.
Okay, yeah there wouldn’t be a movie if they didn’t pursue this opportunity, but ‘m trying to relate this to real life, okay?
2. We want what we can’t have (And we neglect what we have)
Literally everyone in this film is ignoring the people who are either right in front of them, or treating their current partners with a level of disdain.
It’s a kind of sad reality that I guess people can sometimes slip into when they feel their lives are too routine; and they lack the excitement of what they presume is out there in the world.
Nobody in this film is happy with their currfent state of affairs, and everyone is looking for a quick fix; instant gratification to make them feel better about themselves and the life their living.
It’s a pretty sad reality, but we all fall into this kind of thing; some people more than others; seeking external sources of validation and gratification constantly.
As they they: “The grass is always greener on the other side”.
3. Shitty People (sometimes) Get Away With Being Shitty
Geez this film is full of really bad people. And while not everyone gets off free, eventually the biggest piece of shit, Harry Pfarrer gets away with being a shitty person (off to Venezuela he goes!).
Everyone else seems to get the shitty end of the stick with Cox and Chad essentially getting rekt
4. Your Smile Won’t Always Save You
5. Life is Random and Chaotic
I think the final scene, including the observations made my JK Simmons’ character here pretty much sums up the entire clsuterfuck that is the plot of the film.
All these weird and very different people have crossed paths in the most unexpected way, and some have come out worse than others, while some have not come out on the other end at all.
At the end of the day, I guess no matter who you are and what you do, you still have to answer to the chaos of life.
You can watch the trailer for Burn After Reading below:
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