Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It Was a Tangled Web That They Wove But It Was Woven in a Good Way

The first time I saw the 2010 movie Tangled, I was surprised how much actress Donna Murphy's "Mother Knows Best" number seemed to describe the dysfunctional love-hate relationship that one of my female friends had with her own mother. Like the main character of Tangled, the woman in question seemed to have a loving mother but only as long as she did what she was told. The minute the woman in question stopped obeying her mother's wishes, the woman's mother proved to be not so loving -- so much so that the woman spent most of her time in mortal fear of her mother's disapproval. (And bear in mind that this friend was a woman who was old enough to work at a local hospital.) While the woman's mother made a great show of showing people outside her family how friendly she could be, it seemed obvious by my friend's statements to me in private that her mother was not quite as friendly behind closed doors. If that was not bad enough, every time she and her mother had an argument, the friend would often be threatened with the possibility being thrown out of her mother's home -- a threat which usually made her back down really fast.

Fortunately, this movie's main character -- Rapunzel -- was not as intimidated as my friend but then she had the luxury of being a fictional character. Granted, we should be wary of reading our own issues into movies lest we see stuff that is not really there. But I never really expected to identify with Rapunzel as much as I did after I came across that number on YouTube -- and of course after that, I had to sample other songs from the same movie and then rent the video.

Mind you, I don't consider this flick to be a perfect movie. I could have done without the anachronistic chameleon that Rapunzel had for a pet or for that matter, Maximus the world's most dedicated guard horse. For that matter, I am not the world's biggest fan of singer Mandy Moore -- the person who voiced the character of Rapunzel -- though I must admit that I liked her very much in this movie. And yet when I consider how much I expected to hate this movie judging from an early description of it that I had read online... Well, suffice it to say that I rather be surprised by how good a movie is than by how bad it is.

Anyway, Tangled is a retelling of the classic story of Rapunzel, the long-haired princess who was trapped in a tower due to an old curse. Since this is a modern retelling, this Rapunzel was not content to sit around and wait to be rescued. Instead she chose to leave her tower voluntarily even though the woman she considered to be her mother firmly warned her against doing so. Along the way, she met up with a would-be thief who wished to hide out in her tower until his pursuers lost interest, only to end up interested in Rapunzel instead. This being a Disney film, there were countless misunderstandings for Rapunzel and her would-be boyfriend to wade through but there was also an inevitable happy ending.

Rapunzel eventually learned that yes, the world can be a scary place but despite what her would-be mother said, it could be beautiful as well. It was all a question of where you chose to look. And that is hardly the worst lesson one can receive nowadays.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home