Five People You Meet in Heaven chronicles the encounters of Eddie, the maintenance man of the Ruby Pier, as he meets five important people in heaven after saving the life of a young girl. Each person within the movie was influenced or influenced Eddie in some way. Heaven is obviously addressed in the movie and it does not completely focus on the religious aspect. Similar to the Catholic Teaching, Eddie’s heaven is the ultimate state of happiness he will ever experience. This happiness was determined by the decisions he made during his Earthly life. According to the Catholic Teaching, heaven is also frequently described in the New Testament as a party or banquet. In contrast, the movie suggests that everyone will have their own individual heaven and each will reflect the decisions individuals made on Earth. After watching the movie and understanding the Catholic perspective on heaven, I feel that since heaven is such a serendipitous experience, it should not be defined by the minds of others. No one knows what heaven entails and we have to wait for that true Kingdom of God, but I do think Five People You Meet in Heaven fuels our imagination and hopes for heaven. Each encounter Eddie had made him realize things he had never before and it’s sad to think that there can only be peace when God has complete control over it, not when humans are left to their own devices. Eddie had continuous issues with his dad and we all have had issues with our parents and other people in our lives, however, we should be able learn from them on Earth, not in heaven, so we can live full.
The Catholic Church describes Purgatory as an experience that prepares one to fully experience God’s eternal presence. Hell is described as a choice one makes to destroy and reject a relationship with God. I think the film addresses death and purgatory in different ways. Eddie is prepared to meet his God through meeting five influential people that he crossed paths with on Earth. Many people are unaware of what purgatory entails, however, the movie illustrates this experience as lessons learned before reaching his or her God. The movie depicts death as a renewal of life, and the beginning of learning. Learning and growing does not stop after death, death can enhance one’s development.
The first person Eddie meets is the Blue Man from Ruby Pier. From his Blue Man, Eddie learns that there are no random acts, good comes from it, and no life is a waste. The second person Eddie meets in heaven is his captain from war. Through this encounter and recollection, Eddie learns that sacrifice is something to be proud of, it makes us human and sacrifice means you pass something on to someone else. The third person Eddie meets is Ruby from Ruby Pier, and she teaches him that the act of hating is detrimental because the harm we do to others, we do to ourselves. Ruby insists that it is important forgive because hate is not worth the pain and struggle one can go through. The fourth person Eddie meets in heaven is late wife, Marguerite, and she explains that memory connects you to the things you loose. Even though she died, their love never died. Marguerite articulates that life has to end but love doesn't and memories yield love. The fifth and final person Eddie meets in heaven is Tala, the Filipino girl he killed in the fire. Tala explains to Eddie that despite his actions during the war, he hurt her but he saved the lives of many young children at the pier. His main purpose in life is to save and bring a smile to the children of Ruby Pier. Overall, when Eddie was in his heaven at the Pier, he saw all the lives he impacted and saved, realizing that each life affects one another, he had positively affected the lives of many individuals, not just children.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy the movie because I don’t enjoy talking about death this persistently and I couldn’t grasp some concepts trying to be conveyed. However, I think the movie provided an audience with important lessons to learn about in life. Despite the amazement of heaven, I feel that the movie addresses bigger issues than death. I find it very disheartening that we as humans will only feel peace when one person is in control of everything. It is disappointing to see that people believe that we learn the most vital lessons that can thoroughly foster our growth in heaven rather than on Earth. Humans are a wonderful and perplex species, therefore I find it weird that we yearn for peace and tranquility in heaven, when we could make the world around us today as peaceful and tranquil as the Kingdom of God.