Ender’s Game Review: Love Your Enemy

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This post will contain spoilers, so do not read any further than this line. Highly recommend the film, especially after reading the book. The movie goes pretty quick, so the book gives a little more background, but they do not take anything out that I disagreed with.


“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him.” – Ender Wiggin


I loved the book Ender’s game by Orson Scott Card, and have been stoked for this movie since I heard it was coming out. I ended up going to see it at a special early showing at 8pm on October 31 (I don’t care if I even had friends to hang out with on Halloween and parties to go to, nothing was holding me back from this movie), and I was not disappointed even with my high expectations.

No matter what book to movie to see, there are always going to be things that are left out. Sure, Peter and Valentine could have been in the movie more in order to understand Ender’s borderline schizophrenia, they could have talked more about how “thirds” are not normal in this setting, could have spent more time in the battle room (I actually would have thoroughly enjoyed a 2 hour movie alone with Ender in the battle room and putting to life the genius of Orson Scott Card). Probably the biggest draw back I had was the climax did peak a little early, and it felt like the movie dragged on when Ender found Bugger lifeforms still alive, but I am ok with that, because they left it open for another movie.

With all that said, having the background of reading the book, I thought the movie was perfect. Anything mentioned in the previous paragraph I would not replace with anything in the movie, which means you would have to add to the length of the movie (which I guess wouldn’t be too bad). Stunning visuals, great soundtrack (actually listening to it to get pumped again as I write this), and thought the acting was great.

However, the biggest reason I enjoyed this movie, was their focus on Ender’s thought on the Buggers. I loved that they started with the quote at the top, and even a conversation that Ender has with Colonel Graff after defeating the Bugger Army once and for all

“Ender, we won the war, and that’s what matters.” 

“It’s not winning that matters, it’s how you win”

That line hit me really hard, and thinking how we treat each other in our society. The other day I was having a few drinks with a friend, and we were talking about how so many times people leave arguments furious, even if they were meant to start as just a discussion. Why is that? Looking at the quote that began the movie, I think it is because we do not care to understand the other side, and therefore do not love the other side. I know for me there are times I am purusing Facebook and I see something I disagree with, so I formulate my carefully structured argument… BOOM.. sent. Winner winner chicken dinner! But wait… They don’t agree, why? Because all I cared about was winning the war, I didn’t understand where they were coming from. I think we could all take a lesson from Ender and really learn to love the other side as we are in a war, and therefore, learn to love them.

So, what did you think of the movie? What would you have included in the movie that was taken out? Were you disappointed they didnt have the political letters from Peter and Valentine? How have you seen good come from understanding/loving your enemies?

One thought on “Ender’s Game Review: Love Your Enemy

    teasdalejr said:
    November 17, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    You made a great observation about what the director was trying to at, right from the beginning. (I didn’t see that.) I also was hit hard with “It’s not winning that matters, it’s how you win.” Me as well as my friends & generation do not know how to discuss without utter destruction as the outcome. If we do take the “how you win” as a mindset, a lot of what we say & do would change. We would go from a “me” focussed world to an “others” focussed world. I rarely have seen this happen but would love to see it more.

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