Clearly, the David versus Goliath genre of story-telling has been around for some time, yet still these tales hold a strong allure for today's audiences. 'Flash of Genius' is the latest in a line of films that re-tell these (usually true) stories once every few years or so. We've had 'Erin Brokovich', we've had 'The Insider', for laughs we've even had the fictional Australian hit 'The Castle'. Now Marc Abraham brings us the story of Bob Kearns's (as played by Greg Kinnear) fight for what is right in his battle against the Ford motor company in 'Flash of Genius'.
For me, this film's heart is in the originality and (relative) simplicity of its subject matter - the humble windshield wiper. Bob Kearn's invention came about not through millions of dollars of research but through an unfortunate accident and, as the title of the film suggests, a simple 'flash of genius'. Yet these simple beginnings were to turn out to be anything but simple in the long-run.
The film raises several questions and gives much food for thought; not least in asking if the sacrifice of the unity of one's family is worth the war. I've heard it said before (perhaps indirectly the Bible) that once our conflicts get to the stage of going to court, even if we 'win', we still lose. This is very true, for unless there is some humility, repenting or forgiveness from one or both parties, all that has been exchanged is one set of arguments for another, one lot of heated emotions for another, and one transfer of large amounts of money from one party to the next. After all, as Christians, we know that life isn't built on the law... if it was; America (and increasingly the rest of the Western world) would be the holiest countries on the planet!
That said, that the truth should prevail is a good thing and this case acts as a good example of what is right to millions of people around the world; not least to thousands of hard-working engineers and inventors. However, on a personal level, I can't help but feel that the truth did not wholly prevail in the life of Bob Kearns and his wife. After all, the truth of marriage is that it should remain so "for better or for worse" as well as "for richer, or for poorer"; that this issue wasn't resolved, at least with some implicit verbal clarification from the characters, was somewhat disappointing. However, at least it wasn't glossed over.
Overall, that the giant-of-giants ‘Ford’ should be demonstrated to be able to be defeated, is strong encouragement for anyone facing an uphill struggle in their lives that appears to be against all of the odds; and therefore I still do recommend this film widely.