I managed to make it to the opening week of the new Beauty and the Beast movie. I must confess, the motive was to give my six-year old niece a treat b
I managed to make it to the opening week of the new Beauty and the Beast movie. I must confess, the motive was to give my six-year old niece a treat but in the end, it felt like I had an even swirl time than she did.
The rendition, aside bringing back fond memories, had a very inspiring and symbolic twist to it. Maybe, it’s been in the tale all this while but wasn’t that obvious because obviously, we are much older now and certainly, much more aware of our environments. Or just maybe, the goal of this rendition was to make it more relevant to our new era.
Either ways, the movie producers certainly deserve a huge thumbs up for a great work done! I took several lessons from the movie, which I intend elaborating soon but on the whole, I have learnt that there will always be something new to learn from old things – Sankofa. So why don’t we go down my memory lane together and see what you can also grab from it.
In summary, Beauty and the Beast captures the tale of two very different but largely similar characters: a young maiden called Beauty and an animal-like creature know throughout the movie as, the Beast. Both are in search for freedom, true love and adventure. Below are some inspiring quotes that have given new meaning to the movie’s soundtrack like never before. I would therefore go about this piece while weaving through the lyrics.
1. “Even a broken clock is right once or twice a day.”
This literally is the case (with broken clocks). But figuratively speaking, it tells us not to give up on people, not to underestimate people, to always keep an open mind (about people and situations), and to give people second chances.
2. “Forever, can still spare a minute”
No matter how conclusive an issue looks, you can always still give it one more try, one more take, one more push. The beast was cursed and was focusing on the “forever” bit of his situation without taking a moment to live in the moment – to take time to know Beauty, outside how she appeared to him in character. No matter how busy you are trying to focus on the “bigger picture,” take a moment and enjoy the little progress you’ve made.
3. “Your library can make a small corner of the world feel big.”
We are introduced to Beauty, a young country-side girl who, by virtue of her reading habit had been incited to literally “go see the world out there.” The world she’s always reading about. In what appeared as the village library, we are shown a tiny old, dusty and deserted building with just a little of over four or five books. As she dropped off the last of the books she had completed reading, she says to the librarian, “You know, your library can make a small corner of the world feel big.”
This quote re-visits some of the episodes and discussions we’ve been having so far on the Reading Women Series. Aside talking about the benefits of reading literary pieces by women, we also explore in general terms, how reading impacts one’s imagination. I grew up reading abridged versions of several English classics set in notable Scottish and Irish cities. Later in my elementary and teenage days, I explored other American favorites. These books, because of the realistic portrayal of their characters and societies, I always used them as my escape to the outside world.
Similarly, Beauty, who also happened to be the only girl who read in her village, had read everything her little library could offer. They might not have been much, but they still managed to give her that truly imaginative experience reading brings. And in the end, it is her stirred imagination that made her connect more with her Beast.
4. “I was innocent and uncertain, now I’m wiser and unsure.”
Every stage of life comes with several challenges. This quote tells us, there would never be the right time, moment or opportunity for anything. For many of us, the expectations of growing up always seem far-stretched and that is exactly what this quote means. Growing older and “wiser” doesn’t necessarily brings us all the answers. We must always give room for a little uncertainty in life. For us “religious people,” I’d add that this is probably where God comes in for us. You can still do everything right (live by the books) and still not have the desired results.
5. “We’ve made tough our beds, now we must lie in it.”
When I wrote recently about the life lessons from Bola Ray’s 40th birthday celebrations, I reiterated a critical reminder for us to strive to be “products” of our “choices” and not victims of our circumstances. This quote reflects that idea similarly. You’ve got to be conscious and deliberate about your choices, rather than “going with the flow.” It’s as simple as that. Be deliberate about everything.
When celebrities set out on their journeys, they first of all need to map out their career identities and brand, and make sure that henceforth, everything they do or say, everywhere they go and whomever they associate with is either building or reflecting their brand. You don’t have to be a celebrity to think in this nature. Live consciously.
The Beast, together with his servants (who had received their own share of the curse by been turned into a clock, tea kettle, a candle stand and a wardrobe), at a point, almost gave up on their efforts to break the witches curse. By this statement one of them made, they had accepted their fates to live forever as the objects they had been turned into. Living through life according to our circumstances can be very risky in that, we are hardly pushed to discover our true worth.
6. “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”
This is plain and simple. When Beauty and the Beast focused on their outward appearances and first impressions of each other, they couldn’t stand each other. It wasn’t until they began connecting on a deeper and an intellectual level before they finally uncovered how very similar they were, even though they looked nothing like each other.
Beauty was a reader. In her village, she was quite popular for only that reason; “the girl who read.” Even though that made her the talk of the town, it wasn’t for very positive reasons. She was considered a “know-it-all” and wasn’t necessarily a role model for younger girls. When she finally connected with the Beast, it was mainly because he was an even bigger fanatic of books. His library was a cathedral height room filled with books, in every corner; books from all over the world and even in different languages.
When they begun talking, they realized they were both interested in the same things and that their love for books actually made them see the world through one lens. They enjoyed each other’s company, they had the same aspirations for freedom, true love and adventure.
This one message from the movie is the reason I am sure I’m still not yet close to getting ready for marriage. The goals I have for relationships keep changing, mainly because, the more I explore on my own, the more my desires change. This is not to mean that I’m asking for too much in a man, but to say, that I am still in the process of finding myself, and I’d give myself time to make that happen.
7. “There may be something there, that wasn’t there before.” (Don’t be too quick to judge people)
This point reflects the quote about the clock. Upon their first meetings with each other, they both could swear they could have nothing but hatred for each other. To Beauty, the beast was a cruel and inconsiderate person who had managed to separate her from her dad. In addition to his poor table manners, he seemed to have a little bit of a temper. And to the Beast, Beauty was just an annoying spoiled brat! Yet, when the two decided to get to know each other outside their “first impressions” they realized they had more in common than they could have ever imagined.
8. “Can anybody be happy if they aren’t free?”
Freedom is quite relative, nonetheless, we can give room for some generalizations here. Many of us might never experience true happiness, because when it comes to autonomy, we haven’t yet quite understood the nuances. Our gendered and colonized background also worsens it for us. Freedom comes when we see the results of our choices and decisions. Emphasis being on the fact that those decisions were made from our own wishes and for our own personal fulfillment.
We grow up in a culture that forces many to live according to the dictates of others: parents, friends, outsiders. Usually, the goal is to please others and live in a way that makes others comfortable around us, never giving ourselves the chance to discover what truly makes us happy. In Beauty and the Beast, we are reminded that “happiness” and “freedom” go hand-in-hand.
9. “He might be a beast, but we all know who the real monster is.” (Sometimes the devil comes in very fine details).
The antagonist in this story is the handsome village hunk, Gaston, who gradually lets us into one of the major themes of this tale: “Appearances are deceptive/ Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Although he had earned his title as the most handsome, strongest and highly sort-after gentleman in the village, he ends up as the real Beast in this story. Through his shortcomings, we are made to consider and reflect on what it truly means to be human. Empathy, kindness, love, integrity; all very necessary traits of our being, were absent in him and rather surprisingly, found or exhibited in the Beast. Being human goes beyond “looking human,” and being a monster goes beyond “looking scary.”
Beauty and the Beast comes off as a children’s classic but really, the lessons in there were made for us all. Enjoy the latest rendition of this Disney classic’s theme song, performed by Ariana Grande and John Legend:
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