Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brave! - unexpected inspiration and revelation

I'm a sucker for Pixar movies. Not gonna lie.  And when one of your children says they'll pay for your ticket to go see one of their usually exemplary animated flicks, then that's even more reason to go.  I will say though that I had every intention to see "Brave" after seeing the previews for it a while ago.  I have become very closely connected to my Celtic heritage over the last decade especially spiritually so besides being told a story about strong women, the fact that they were strong Celtic women was even more enticing.

Let me start with just a general movie review.  Most of you have noticed that what we are getting from Hollywood over the past 20 or so years, for the most part, has been 1) subpar 2) lacking intelligents plots and/or 3) repetition of the same story movie after movie.  Sometimes I think we all wonder and worry if there are any truly good writers left in the world.  But then a director comes along who has found a very good, if not excellent screenplay and convinces a studio and producers to actually sink some money into making a decent motion picture.  Jerry Bruckheimer is a producer who usually is a good bet for investing his money and time wisely.  Interesting that one studio who trusts him is Disney. So it shouldn't surprise that "the mouse" has also found a great partner in Pixar.  Some of the best investments Disney has made with the animation geniuses are the entire Toy Story series, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and most recently, UP.  But Brave was a big risk.  It is not necessarily a child's movie.  I would like to warn parents that bringing kids under the age of 10 is probably not advisable.  There are parts that are genuinely scary in the violence depicted.  However, for the middle school crowd up through adults that violence is not superficial.  It is a necessary part of the storytelling.

Someone once told me there are seven basic plots for fiction.  This is the one about trying to change ones destiny but having it backfire because your motives are purely selfish.  Yes, just like the lyric from Beauty and the Beast, "a tale as old as time", Brave is that story...but it is also that plotline, within the plot.  Our heroine sees first-hand how horribly her wish could have gone wrong.  There are also a number of subplots within this script that make it "not just your average cartoon movie".  It is indeed a hidden treasure and one that deserves award recognition but probably will not get it because "it's just a cartoon".  Sadly it probably won't be recognized for the amazing quality of the art work in it either.  My hat's off to the animators who, even though done digitally, successfully pull you into a world that is so realistic down to the blades of grass.  This rendition of the ancient highlands is gorgeous.

My experience with Brave is, most likely, very different from the average person who will see this picture.  It spoke to me on an incredibly deep and emotional level.  Recently refocusing on remaining humble and holding on to childlike wonder, this story grabbed my key and said "lock away pride and ego".   Destiny is something that must happen organically.  One must follow the path, adjusting their pace for the terrain.  Resting when necessary.  Taking time to find food and nourish one's self.  So many times I have wanted a shortcut.  I've considered dropping names or calling in favors to speed up the process.  But then I look at where I have been.  All the things that it took me to get here and I cannot discount a single person, place or event.  Pride and ego are not only the destroyers of creativity, peace, and joy.  They destroy love.  Without love?  None of this is worth anything.  I can have all the accolades in the world.  People will know my name.  But I will have lost the trust and the love of the people who mean the most to me.

To my family, my friends, my artists, my creators...I commit to keeping ego and pride under lock and key.  I commit to unlocking humility.  I give you all permission to call me out when I fail at these.  I'll also work on getting trust to unlock its door from the inside.  It pokes its head out occasionally but it's still kind of scared.  Thank you all.  I may find it hard to show it, but I do love you.   Now go see the damned movie so you don't think I'm completely nuts.  Thanks.

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