5 Life Lessons We Can Learn From 'Brooklyn'

5 Life Lessons We Can Learn From 'Brooklyn'

Back in 2015, a simple movie about an Irish immigrant stole our hearts and an Irish cemented her place as a national hero.

Brooklyn's ability to recapture a time when saying goodbye meant forever and connecting with the thousands of young Irish who emigrated during the economic crash resulted in the BBC naming the movie the 48th Greatest Film Of The 21st Century.

As the movie airs tonight on RTÉ One, it's time to recall the life lessons we took away from this Irish masterpiece:

1. Against all the odds, you can start again:

Eilis Lacey, played by the much loved Saoirse Ronan, unable to find employment, leaves Enniscorthy for New York City, a journey many have had and will have to make again. Like Eilis, you might struggle to find your feet but once you find your tribe anything is possible.

2. Personal growth requires sacrifice:

While you might be able to start all over again, letting go of the past or moving on from the people around you is the hardest sacrifice you'll have to make. One of the most powerful moments from Brooklyn is when Eilis's blows a kiss to her sister as the boat departs the harbour. Since Skype and Whatsapp was a thing of the future, Eilis doesn't know when she'll see her sister again but knowing they have each other's hearts means everything to both of them.


3. Break conventions to unlock who you are:

Eilis might be a shy and retiring character but unlike the characters of her world, she doesn't let social norms define who she is or use them to navigate her existence. She sleeps with a man she finds sexually attractive, a practical sin at the time, and regularly challenges those in power which results in Eilis making decisions based on who she is rather than who she's expected to be.

4. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, you can still be a boss:

One of the biggest takeaways from Brooklyn isn't just Ronan's mesmerizing performance of Eilis. Eilis moves from a rural town into the heart of New York City all whilst being a woman who's told to speak and act in accordance to her time - 1950s Ireland, a time dominated by the laws of the Catholic Chuch.

Eilis manages to survive and thrive in another country and, as the saying goes, if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. Eilis's quiet disposition becomes an advantage in an overcrowded and noisy New York. Your 'supposed' weaknesses will become an advantage.

5. Home is more than just your birthplace:

Speaking to Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), Eilis reveals: "I wish that I could stop feeling like I want to be an Irish girl in Ireland" and it's an internal conflict any immigrant will know too well. As clichéd as it sounds, home is where you make it and that's exactly what Brooklyn teaches us.

Brooklyn airs on RTÉ One at 9.35 tonight, September 26.

Also Read: Five TV Shows Everyone's Talking About In 2018 That You Need Watch

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