Monday, August 10, 2009

Good Movie

Have you seen The Tale of Despereaux yet? It's a kid's movie on the surface, but I was pleasantly surprised by the deeper themes running through the story - themes that resonate closely with my passion as an ambassador of reconciliation and minister of the gospel.

Three interwoven themes stood out in particular:

1) the cycle of shame and violence. The pain and anger held by one are transferred to those around them - the king's pain causes him to lash out at the people, the princess's pain causes her to insult her ladies' maid, the maid's pain and shame cause her to react in anger to the princess, the people's fear and sadness cause them to alienate the rats, and the rats, on the bottom of it all, react in violence toward all.

2) the reality that the only act that can end the cycle is forgiveness - for one injured party to choose forgiveness, rather than carry on the endless train of anger and shame.

3) and that, in the end, victory comes when (literally) the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. One simple act of forgiveness, coupled with a few small acts of defiance against the status quo (acts made at great cost and sacrifice) end up bringing an end to the time of shame and darkness, and restoring the Kingdom to her former glory.

Rarely do you see a movie in which the entire plot hinges on the issue of forgiveness, in which the crux of the story does not, in fact, turn toward Even Bigger Guns or More Powerful Weapons, but instead gives way to an act of contrition, an apology, a recognition of wrong giving leading to repentance and restoration. Thus, Despereaux is refreshing and affirming. And, it's a good story, and excellent movie, to boot. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend you do.

(now I'm off to find the book. . .)

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