Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Simple Plan

A Simple Plan
first seen in New York
1998

Okay, so here's what I would do if I found a great big bag of money. Actually, scratch that; make it "might" instead of "would." It's one thing to speculate on what we would do in a given situation, another thing altogether when it actually happens, so I probably shouldn't be so sure of myself here. But here's what I like to think could happen if I were faced with the situation proposed in A Simple Plan:

Assuming I found the money, like in the movie, somewhere in the vicinity of where I live, say, a park or a vacant lot, I wouldn't take the money back home with me. I'd stash it someplace that couldn't be traced back to me, someplace that I could access in secret, at any time. I'd go to this place as little as possible, and only at night. I'd wear gloves at all times and wipe away any fingerprints I may have gotten on it initially.




If I found this bag with two other people, also as in the movie - well, actually, that's where the comparisons to the movie begin to break down. I don't have a sad-sack blood brother or an irresponsible, loudmouth friend. I have an older sister, but chances are she'd out-think me on this; indeed, I can see her in the Bill Paxton role more easily than myself!


So for the sake of argument, let's say I found the bag with two friends who I could control to a certain extent. I'd take control of the situation, arguing that the less they knew about where the money is, the safer it would be all around, like Paxton's character tries to do. I'd divide the money three ways, give each of them their share and get us all to agree to never see each other again.


Then, I'd take my share of the money, pay off any and all debts, and move out of town. If I have reason to believe that someone criminal may be looking for this money, it would be imperative for me to not only throw them off the trail, but to protect my loved ones.




Most importantly, I would not spend the money all at once in a big spree. That's something that tends to trip up a lot of people in movies like this; once they have big money, they can't wait to spend it on all the things they've been dreaming of all their lives. By doing so, they attract undue attention to themselves, and the next thing you know, BAM! - either the good guys or the bad guys catch up with them (depending on what kind of movie it is). 

I would spend the money at a slower pace, spread it out over a series of months, perhaps even years, and not make a big deal about it. In fact, I might even go to certain lengths to make myself look poorer than I actually am (not sure how, but given time, I bet I could think of something).




Basically, it would all come down to discretion. Having a lot of money can make people indulge in their worst excesses, especially when they've never had so much money before. It's understandable, but in a situation like this, it's the absolute wrong approach to take. It would make you a target, and in more than one way: if people know you have money, some would try to take advantage of you by hitting you up for some - playing on your sympathy, that sort of thing. People never think about stuff like that in stories like these, and it always comes back to bite them as a result.


In case it wasn't obvious, I love A Simple Plan. It's a fascinating character study with some rock-solid performances, and it's the kind of movie I could happily watch all the time precisely because it invites you to speculate on what you would do if it happened to you.

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