Peaceful Warrior (2006)
A chance encounter with a stranger changes the life of a college gymnast.
Dan Millman has it all: good grades, a shot at the Olympic team on the rings and girls lining up for the handsome Berkely college athlete all teams mates look up to with envy. Only one man shakes his confidence, an anonymous night gas station attendant, who like Socrates, keeps questioning every assumption in his life. Then a traffic crash shatters Dan's legs, and his bright future. Now Socrates's life coaching is to make or break Dan's revised ambition.
Dan Millman, currently studying at UC-Berkeley, is a world class gymnast specializing in the rings, hence his nickname "Lord of the Rings". He works hard, training seven days a week, fifty weeks out of the year. In the lead up to the Olympic trials in just over a year, he knows he could be the best in the world and win Olympic gold, but his constant overthinking especially having the constant fear that it will all be taken away, leads to inconsistency and self-doubt. With his innate skill in a sport he loves, a 4.0 GPA, and all the sex he wants, he knows he should be happy - he telling people that he is so - but if he were to look deep in his heart, he knows he isn't. One of the symptoms of his life is that he has insomnia. It is during one of his sleepless nights that he meets an older service station operator he sarcastically nicknames Socrates for his philosophical musings. Beyond Socrates' mumbo-jumbo, Dan cannot ignore what appears to be Socrates' almost other worldly physical feats, something of which Dan can only dream for himself. As such, Dan convinces Socrates to take him under his wing to teach him how to achieve such feats. At times, Socrates is a reluctant teacher as Dan is not grasping the meaning of what he is trying to convey. Similarly, Dan is sometimes a reluctant pupil not grasping how what Socrates tells him will help him achieve Olympic gold. Through the process, Dan does admit that some of what Socrates imbues in him leads to what Dan views as success. However, it isn't until what Dan strives for the most seems to be threatened in its entirety that he may fully understand Socrates' goal for him of true inner peace, which is at the heart of any warrior.
- The story is about a young gymnast Dan Millman played by Scott Mechlowicz, and his struggle to make sense of his life in which he is successful but still unfulfilled. By chance he meets his "Yoda"/Shaolin priest/Boss Paul who helps him "git his haid straight" after which he goes on to be comfortable with his athletic prowess albeit not exactly Olympic caliber. When one is successful, one does not have the time and patience to look back or forward. Dan is leading his life in chase of a dream - to get a gold in the Olympics. He and his coach knows that he is the best, but still inside he too knows that something is missing. It was in one of his sleepless nights that he meets a petrol pump attender who changes his life - step by step. He also realizes the change but he is not ready to let go the garbage within him. As the petrol pump attenders says "I call myself a Peaceful Warrior... because the battles we fight are on the inside." The movie takes a u turn when Dam meets with an accident - where his leg bone just shatters, it is not only the leg that breaks but also his heart to go forward for his only love- the Olympics."A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does." Socrates(as Dam calls him), the petrol pump attender teaches the guy to find his long lost love and dream. But towards the end he finds the hard truth that Socrates was a illusionist character - whose sole purpose of life was to take Dan to his dream and make him prepared to win the battle within him. This is almost a "Rocky IX" type movie with a wonderful happy ending.