Monday, December 19, 2011

Locked in a Tower

So, a stay at home daughter picked on Tangled. I’m not surprised. It is, however, a little disappointing. The review by Amanda Reins is aptly titled Mangled because that’s exactly what it does to a beautiful film. I highly doubt that Disney knew that they were giving Rapunzel some of the traits of a stay at home daughter. Believe it or not ladies, the real world does not revolve around Vision Forum, the Botkins, or Ladies Against Feminism. To again take a quote from It’s a Wonderful Life, “You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter. In the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider.” You might want to read "Mangled" before reading this...otherwise, my response might not make sense. :-)

First, the beginning of the film showing Rapunzel’s skills is a pretty accurate depiction of homemaking and I found it very sweet. She seems to enjoy what she does with her time but realizes that there’s way more to life than baking, ballet, and chess all alone. Is there something wrong with that?
One of the worst parts of this review is where it brushes aside the facts that Rapunzel is kidnapped, locked in a tower, and emotionally abused! “Of course, we could overlook this because, after all, Mother Gothel is really just a wicked captor bent on using Rapunzel for her own ends. But, the fact is that Rapunzel’s actions are carried out in the understanding that this is her mother and it’s really not until the last few minutes of the film that she finds out otherwise. Theirs is the relationship which is modeled throughout the film as mother/daughter.” (For some reason, whenever I read that I feeling like yelling, “Mother Gothel locked Rapunzel in a freaking tower!!!!” Anyone else feel that way? :-D) What was Rapunzel supposed to do? Never seek help? Stay for fear of disobeying her mother figure? There is no one in the tower to mediate for her! Mother Gothel is emotionally and verbally abusive! In fact, it’s clear that Gothel only sees Rapunzel for her hair. She objectifies Rapunzel’s hair and ignores the fact that Rapunzel is a living human being with hopes and dreams of her own. In a line from “Mother Knows Best” Gothel sings, “to keep you safe and sound dear” while cradling Rapunzel’s hair. Creepy, yes? The advice often given in abusive relationships is “get out and get help” and that is exactly what Rapunzel does. “If we’re prepared to say that Mother Gothel’s sins are inexcusable, we must be prepared to say the same of Rapunzel’s.” What “sin” has Rapunzel supposedly committed? Rebellion due to leaving home? I guess this “sin” is too great to be excused for any reason in the eyes of a stay-at-home daughter.
I think the paragraph about the tiara symbolizing purity is reading too deeply into the scenes. It’s a tiara; Flynn stole it, and wants it back. It could be valid that a girl watching could parrot Rapunzel’s response to Flynn about something different but I doubt that this would be the movie anyone would think of regarding ways to lose purity. Sometimes, stay at home daughters react to things that normal people would never notice and this makes me think that they are focusing on their own perfection and purity just a little too much. Be it in life, a film, or a novel, it almost seems like they’re waiting for someone else to make a mistake so they can pick on it. They are so sensitive to any idea of impurity that they are far more imaginative and dark than I would ever think of being.

Of Flynn and Rapunzel’s relationship, Reins writes, “Their relationship is one of mutual, self-serving interest.” Yes it is... at first. Then it becomes something much more special―full of mutual respect and sacrifice. “He’s a helpless, sensitive, emotional male- an accessory to the capable, brilliant, amazing Rapunzel.” Apparently, sensitivity and emotion in men are considered qualities of helplessness by Miss Reins. (That’s pretty sad. I hope, if I'm so blessed, that my husband is sensitive and emotional when he needs to be someday.) I honestly don’t see Flynn as an accessory to Rapunzel. To me, he’s an important character; without whom, Rapunzel would never have been able to succeed in her adventure or even start at all. In a way, each saves the other. Flynn saves Rapunzel from mother Gothel, twice in fact, and even sacrifices himself for her freedom while Rapunzel saves Flynn's life and also inspires him to leave his life of crime and think about what really matters. Throughout the film, Rapunzel accepts Flynn for who he is and helps him to overcome his past. Of course a stay-at-home daughter would not like him because he’s not the perfect prince type. They like to forget that people are flawed and that everyone carries emotional baggage. “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?” Proverbs 20:9. See: Seeking Perfection.
The saddest part of this review is the end: “In the end, Rapunzel is finally reunited with the king and queen and as the film closes, we discover some final lessons- that good governments reward sin and indulgent parents are real parents. Flynn is embraced, his thievery ignored, and welcomed, as Rapunzel’s new husband, a prince in their kingdom.” Heaven forbid we forgive anyone! Forgiveness and mercy are traits which must not be acceptable or familiar to Miss Reins. Jesus ate and talked with sinners because He had mercy and He always makes it clear that they leave their life of sin behind when they believe in His name. Rapunzel’s parents accept Flynn by showing him mercy and obviously, Flynn leaves his life of sin behind. This is a beautiful story of redemption because it shows the power and healing effect of Christ’s love and mercy.
Again, I am not surprised that a stay at home daughter did not like this film. I knew it was coming. Why? Because Tangled is too close to their own lives. It comes too close and it scares them. And because they can’t like it or don’t understand it, they decide to pick it apart. Badly done, Miss Reins, badly done.



Shelby Courtney said...

Your board is showing...

Shelby Courtney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Deb said...

Well said, Ingrid.