I think that Denzel Washington is one of the most gifted actors that we have, I have loved him in every single movie that he has acted in such; as The Book of Eli, Training Days and Man on Fire to name just a few. So surprise, surprise, I loved his performance in The Equalizer.
Everything he did as his character Robert McCall was believable and character driven; his version of Robert McCall had me at the first scene. I think that the trait that I love most about Denzel Washington is his stillness. He can be quiet in his words and his actions without it being boring; that is a a tremendous accomplishment for an actor.
There were two phrases that I loved in the movie. The first was Denzel’s phrase “You have to be what you are in this world” The second was uttered three times by the three villains in the movie “Who are You?” That question was never answered, not that it would have changed their outcome, but it was striking that in the last few seconds of their lives, they felt such a powerful need to know who Denzel was, it goes to show how important identity is to some.
What I found striking about Denzel’s phrase is that he didn’t say what you do in relation as to who you are; he says you have to BE what you are; ergo the question remains “Who are you” and not “what do you do” when it comes to defining you. So even though you might be a bad cop or a lowly clerk; that doesn’t necessarily make it who you are, it is only what you do, nuance.
I wonder how many of us, when asked who we are, reply with what we do. Who am I in this world? Aside from anything that I do, I am first and foremost a nurturer, I have always been, long before having any type of “job”. I am drawn to helping others, I can’t help it, it is who I am. That was my first thought when I asked myself the question so that is who I am. It’s a good thing that I wouldn’t have to play the Equalizer anytime soon, I’d be more inclined to bake the bad guys a cake rather than shoot any of them.