Oskar’s mission of discovery

Most of us over the age of 30 remember Sept. 11, 2001. We remember where we were and what we were doing. Some of the sights and sounds will never leave.

On Sept. 11, in Phelps Theatre, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

This film, starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, is one that most of us can relate to. After Sept. 11, we were all searching for answers. In this film, Oskar Schell is on a mission seeking an answer.

Oskar’s dad, Thomas (played by Hanks), was in a meeting in one of the towers when the attacks occurred. Shortly thereafter, Oskar was let out of school to go home. When he arrived home, there were already five messages from his dad on the machine. However, when the phone rang again, Oskar couldn’t bring himself to answer the phone.

In the following days, Oskar was angry and confused, as was the rest of the nation. One night, he went to his father’s closet and came upon a key, in a small manila envelope. Finding out what lock this key opened became his mission.

Because of the events of Sept. 11, Oskar developed fears of many things: including airplanes, public transit and bridges. Along the way he meets a man referred to as “The Renter” who helps him face these fears head on.

As Oskar is on his mission to find the lock, he meets hundreds of people through New York City. He would tell his mother he was going to a comic convention. He would even tell the doorman, John Goodman, it was President’s Day or the locksmith it was Martin Luther King, Junior Day when they asked why he wasn’t in school.

Throughout this story Oskar is trying to find his way, he not only faces his fears, but finds himself able to do so on his own, without being afraid.

This film, to me, is a model of resiliency. After Sept. 11, we as American’s were implored to go about our lives, and show the world “we will pass this test.” The resolve of our nation was tested on that “worst day.”

Did Oskar complete his mission?

Did he find the lock he was so anxiously seeking?