On Friday I took the girls to see Shrek – Forever after. The girls where excited about going to the movies and even more so how the glasses they where wearing would make Fiona come right into the movie theatre (3D is a marvellous thing)
The movie starts with this beautiful family day and Fiona sighing at the end of the day “I wish every day could be like this” and it is roughly. Shrek finds himself in the treadmill of parenthood and everyday life and before the kids first birthday he finds himself longing for the good old days, when he was feared and had time alone.
Pause: Isn’t this just how we see most marriages around us crumble, during this crucial time. The first year of a child, husband and wife dynamics are disrupted and this little thing, wonderful as it is, is demanding 100% time and attention. The woman withdraws her attention from the man and focusses solely on the baby. The man feels he has no place in the family any longer except as a bread winner and retreats into work (If he has taken his question to her earlier, am I a man? Then whatever the answer was before, now more than ever the answer is a resounding no! You can’t do anything right).
In desperation Shrek makes an agreement with Rumplestiltskin. He trades one day of his childhood for a day of pure mean lean green ogreness! As always with agreements the prize is higher than he expected. Rumple takes the day Shrek was born and so, Fiona was never rescued and his children where never born but worst of all Rumplestiltskin is now the king of Far Far Away due to an agreement made by Fionas parents with Rumple to end fionas curse.
Here is where the movie shows its brilliance. In making an agreement with “the enemy” Shrek, not only checks out, but actually goes of to relive the glory days, loosing his wife and children in the process.
Fiona, never rescued out of the tower becomes a strong but guarded (controlling, cynical) woman who does not believe in love anymore.
It is such an apt description of what we see over and over again in men and women around us. Not all men check out completely, not all marriages fail and not all women become controlling and guarded. But the brokenness is there.
Shrek really nails it when he says: “It wasn’t just that I wasn’t there for you to rescue you out of the tower, I wasn’t there for you every day after that either.”
So many men think that once you have gotten her past the dragon out of the tower, that the battle for their bride is over. Truth is it’s a battle we must fight everyday.
Shrek finally realises that he already had all he needed, that the glory days weren’t that glorious and that he now must step up and fight for his bride, his marriage and his family.
Shrek again strikes gold when right at the end he says: “Do you know what the best of it was? I got to fall in love with you all over again”
It is in the battle for our families we learn to love and appreciate what we have.
Shrek forever after is a brilliant movie! It is a fairy tale that echoes with truth and insight into life as it really is. Don’t miss it!