Tuesday, 21 January 2014

There may be something there that wasn't there before. . .

Disney's "Beauty and The Beast" is my all-time favourite animated movie.  It has all the hallmarks of a classic and timeless tale of enchantment, adventure and love.  From the time that the movie was released, I actually can't recall how many times I've watched the movie.  Everybody has their "Linus blanket", something that soothes them or at least puts you in your happy place, and for me there is something comforting about being able to escape into a fairytale world that has the predictable happy ending, the pivotal turning point driving the story spurs the unlikely hero into action to save the damsel in distress (sometimes the damsel saves the hero because everyone knows girls can do anything).

What makes this movie really memorable for me?  The music of course!  This particular song, "There may be something there that wasn't there before" is sung at a point in the story when perspectives change. Up until that point in the story, both Belle and the Beast were established in their characters with their personalities, their interactions prior to this was abrupt, pained and surly at best.  I was fascinated in the shift in their feelings not only about themselves, but about each other.

The verses of the song is structured in a way that shows Belle setting the scene for the song, explaining the change in the Beast's demeanour and attitude towards her, that despite her initial reaction to his physical appearance, his kindness towards her makes him appear different, more pleasing to the eye perhaps as he appears more human with his acts of kindness, and it includes the Beast gifting Belle the library in the castle.  I mean what intelligent woman wouldn't be excited at the prospect of an extensive library at their disposal?

The Beast's feelings in his verse are quite endearing, when Belle doesn't flinch at the touch of his paw and the way that she looks at him has now changed.  I don't know what you think, but can you remember a time or situation where that has happened for you?  Some of you non-romantics are probably groaning right now but these are the things that memories are made of in relationships, that accidental touch, the subtle shift in the look in the eye and from that comes the wondering about what the heck that was all about???  Belle recognises this for herself that the change in her perspective of him is alarming and that even though the Beast doesn't meet the conventional stereotype of a Prince Charming but nonetheless she does find him charming.

Now, while all of this change or shift in these characters trying to reconcile their own feelings about themselves, let alone about each other is going on; the onlookers provide the final perspective in the story.  As outsiders looking into a situation, it is very easy to make assumptions (correct or incorrect) about what they see, is it real?  Is it being put on? What is happening here?  Why should I be so fascinated by this? Do I have a vested interest in a relationship developing here?

In the context of the story, the onlookers do have a vested interest in a relationship between Belle and the Beast developing because it will break the enchanted spell and their world will be restored to order.  In our own worlds, as onlookers, we may not necessarily have a vested interest in relationships between co-workers (or whatever context) developing, but in the event that they need some support, an ear to listen to their problems (with your permission of course).

So whether you're Belle, the Beast or an onlooker, enjoy those moments of excitement, uncertainty and confusion about your feelings.  Embracing those feelings helps to shape how you will deal with attraction or love in your life.  I guess all you can hope for is what the end of the song signals, a "wait-and-see" moment, while the protagonists figure out what to do, as the audience is treated to the final lingering of these words:

"We'll wait and see, a few days more
there may be something there that wasn't there before,
there might be something there that wasn't there before
there may be something there that wasn't there before".