Funny how as you get older and watch movies you have seen as kid many, many time, how things become clearer. Take Days of Thunder, for example.

I couldn’t even guess how man times I saw this movie as kid after it came out – a dozen, two. . . Back then, to me, it was just a story about a man’s dream to be a race car driver for NASCAR. Watching it again, I realized it is a story about a fear we all have in life – not the fear of failure or letting down the people who depend on us the most, but fear of the truth.

Who is to say what that truth is? All that anybody ever knows is that it is a true fear. Maybe this is missing the mark completely, but what I learned watching Days of Thunder is that the lead character, Cole Trickle, is afraid of wanting something so bad that he is willing to work his entire life – every waking moment –  to make his dream come, even if he knows that he may never be all that he wants to be. For Cole, it is being a race car driver. But how many out there have a dream, only to never make it a reality? How many have a dream only to never make it a reality even though their talents are above and beyond many who have broken through to make their dreams come true? There-in lies the fear. Failure is small potatoes, so is being good at something and being happy with what strides to success you have made, but to be really great and not being able to prove your skills to your peers could, to some, be truly devastating.

Along with Cole’s fear is his mechanic’s fear, Harry Hogge, who once made the mistake of allowing his driver to race even though there were hints that to do so might have devastating consequences. That driver, we later learn, smashed into a wall at almost two hundred miles per hour and dies.

Rating (out of 5):

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