I’ll just come right out and say it…WHAT A GREAT MOVIE!
When I mentioned it to a friend that I was anxious to see the movie, just a few days before the much anticipated and controversial debut, I was a little apprehensive after her comments.
I respect this person and when she quipped something like, “Really Bernadette you are going to go a movie that is about bestiality and the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’?”
I looked at her and said, “What? What is Stockholm syndrome?”
I had forgotten somewhere in my past I had read the term before, but not since I last read a crazy kidnapping story in People magazine or something while traveling or getting my teeth cleaned.
I said to my friend (in my mind), “Whoah, hold on now…bestiality, that’s kind of a stretch don’t you think?”
Let me be clear, this was not her opinion but an opinion she had read. I walked away that night after her comments seriously apprehensive about taking my 12 year old daughter to see a movie that could send her subconscious long term messaging that could negatively alter her life?! Oh my God, I thought we were just going to see a Disney film!
The study of psychology and human survival is so incredibly interesting and complex. I wondered what Dr. David Young and Robin Perry Braun would say about this movie.
Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairy tales because it is about trying to see the good in others. It’s about growing intellectually as a person through reading. It’s a story of knowing who you are. And having the bravery and conviction of self to stay strong enough to be true to your heart no matter what. Most importantly it’s about realizing that love is really more than just skin deep. Sure being attracted to someone is important but true love is about connection and companionship not just sex.
There were so many great life lessons in this movie for both boys and girls, yes… that’s right if I had a little boy he would have been right there with me as well.
Okay so let me say this from the start, I am NOT a professional movie critic, ha! But…I will try to describe all of wonderful examples of character and virtue I watched unfold & experienced in the movie.
The movie starts out with grand music and ballroom dancing in a magnificent castle of course! It’s a french fairytale originally written by the french novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villenueve…voila!
As I sat there with my little 12 year old daughter, Antonia aka Nia, who has recently become boy crazy by the way; I was downloading all of the good messages and examples I would later reiterate to her as we discussed the movie. Both it’s accolades and it’s criticisms.
First note to self young offspring of mine…the “prince”was entitled, arrogant, braggadocio’s, heartless and needs the shit kicked out of him. Don’t ever date a guy like that. Heads up!
Next lesson, as a young girl in search of what it means to truly be a woman, a fine young woman is on this movie screen right now exuberating the excellence of womanhood. She was strong, brave, intelligent, well read, inquisitive and independent!
She sang through the village demonstrating positive energy to all she encountered by spreading love and kindness while still holding her ground against the evils of the world.
In that opening scene with the townspeople their were lots of characters: the jealous, the followers, the haters, and even the town sluts of the world. All represented in a five minute burst of song and dance. Then there was the guy you don’t want to marry again, the infamous and evil Gaston who represents all that is wrong in the world in one man!
A despicable example of a man. A totally abusive man. Take note again my little offspring sitting next to me, he’s the one you never want to marry. Oh my, and Belle handled him so perfectly, it was stupendous!
Can you tell that I just loved the movie yet? One of the best and most powerful messages in the movie for me was the importance of family and loyalty, of love and acceptance. Hence the controversial scene of the gentleman that was gay. As I commented on the air this past Monday; there were children in the audience that were vindicated by that scene and subconsciously told what you feel is okay, and that is so important!
This movie is about having an open mind and educating yourself through books and discussion. It is about singing outdoors and loving it. It’s about kindness to animals who truly love and care about us even if we don’t speak the same language.
It’s about doing the right thing no matter what, even when full of fear like Belle did when she brought the beast back to safety and cared for him even after he imprisoned her.
And, what about Belle’s father? A fine example of a quality man, an honorable father for all to see. The natural love and protection of the child-parent relationship and its importance. Most importantly, what an incredible role model for young brains in the audience still absorbing like little sponges.
Belle’s character is one that we should all aspire to be. Even demonstrating philanthropy by reaching out to other young girls and taking the time to teach them to read so they too can have a better life. Women watching out for, and raising up other women. Belle is what the Love Warrior, Glendon Doyle Melton describes best in this quote that I find so astonishing and true, “The most revolutionary thing that woman can do is to refuse to explain herself.”
Let us all rejoice in the release of this fine movie and remember what Belle said so eloquently… “How can one be happy if they are not free”
Tale as old as time, true as it can be….Beauty and the Beast
Love is more than skin deep, it’s connection.