Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Popcorn and a Movie: Tangled

(Since I'd alrady posted a review of my 2010 Book of the Year, I thought I'd post a movie review today).

Disney's newest fairytale, Tangled, was one of the cutest movies I've seen in a while. The story is loosely based on the fairytale Rapunzel.

Before Rapunzel was born, her mother was deathly ill. In order to heal her, the king ordered his men to search for a healing flower that had grown from a drop of the sun that had fallen to earth. They found it, but earned the wrath of a lady named Mother Gothel, who used the flower to keep herself young. Mother Gothel decides to steal Rapunzel when she discovers that her hair holds the healing power of the sun-flower, but only if it isn't cut.

Years later, Rapunzel is eighteen and very, very eager to get out into the world on her own. But "Mother" won't let her leave her tower. Enter Flynn Rider, a rakish, over-confident thief who tries to use the tower as a hideaway. Rapunzel promptly clocks him with her trusty frying pan, hides his treasure and bullies him into taking her out to see the lanterns set every year for the lost princess. And so their adventures (and love story) begins.

I laughed until I cried during most of this movie. The animal "sidekicks" were, of course, unrealistic but completely lovable: Maximus, the police horse with an attitude; and Pascal, Rapunzel's cute chameleon. The soundtrack was beautiful. The scene when Rapunzel finally sees the lanterns was so gorgeous that it almost brought tears to my eyes. The characters were fun and unique and well-built.

Of course, the film had its issues, namely an old man playing Cupid (wearing a diaper), Mother Gothel's curve-hugging outfit, a "healing incantation" disguised as a pretty little lullaby, and Flynn Rider's comment that a "little rebellion is healthy." However, those are little and nitpicky. The two things I remember most about the movie are sweet and wonderful and, quite frankly, amazing.

The first is when Flynn comes to rescue Rapunzel toward the end of the movie and is fatally stabbed by Mother Gothel. Instead of allowing her to even heal him, he cuts her hair, making all the healing magic in it dissolve. Wow. It was an exquisitely wonderful scene with something that's not often seen anymore--a hero who is self-sacrificial even to the death.

The second, and the one that made the most of an impression on me, was when Rapunzel's real parents, the king and queen, are getting ready to light the lanterns for their missing daughter's birthday. The devotion of the parents was wonderful to see, but what made the scene a tear-jerker for me was the king. He doesn't speak in the entire movie, but as his wife adjusts his cloak, movie-goers see a single tear running down his face. To see that tear spoke volumes of his sorrow and devotion that giving him lines wouldn't have done. Beautiful and exquisite! It ranks among my top favorite movie scenes ever.

So, my recommendation? Go see this movie. Buy it when it comes out. I give a hearty 5 stars to Disney's Tangled!

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