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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Tangled, a review (and an unrelated confession)

I had lost faith in the newer animated films for children. I find Rapunzel Tangled to be a nice offer. It's probably nice for regular reasons (if you don't get too political and don't think about it too much). It has a strong female lead. She's independent and smart, and beautiful with short hair (a first since Snow White, if I remember correctly). But you do have to ignore the fact that they built her as a perfect housewife with Stockholm syndrome, possibly bipolar (or worse, just stereotypically teenager-ey), whose next big dream (after "seeing the lanterns") is "hooking up with and marrying the first man she ever came across, presumably a Don Juan."

There are lots of questions left unanswered, which I'll pose but leave alone: Why is the new focus of her life the man she married? How come there's no Anastasia Romanov outcome when she's brought to her real parents? (Bear in mind that the witch Gothel was the only one who knew who she really was). Shouldn't it be fair to say that the witch had a thing going on for her when she protected the flower? She could have just offered to heal the queen (knowing how to work the flower) and she could have even made herself rich if she'd offered to heal people. It's not like the flower was dying anytime soon and its powers didn't seem to be limited. Who's to say she's really happy with Eugene/Flynn?

This has nothing to do with why I liked the film. I liked it because it had a Broadway musical component (imagine my non-surprise when I looked it up on Wikipedia and found out the soundtrack was composed by the great Alan Menken). I was actually pleasantly surprised by the good singing and songs. I was even taken back to my childhood days when I thought bad guys always got the best songs. I saw a Lady of Shalott twist in the story. I... thought I had more reasons to like it but it seems that "go on watching the film instead of writing the ideas down as they occur to you" wasn't a very good strategy for a review. At any rate, it was a nice film. I wouldn't be mortified to be stuck with a little girl wanting to watch it.

Wait! One more thing. Don't suppose I'd thought of it until just now, but it's worth noting. The characters (read: Rapunzel and Gothel) are quite complex, for their "simple" purposes. Kudos.

In other news, I have a confession to make, blog. Smallish one. You know how I don't exactly have a lot of pocket money and I promised myself I'd afford luxury when I have a job that can pay for it? Well... I got some time by myself today at the shopping centre and ventured by a Chanel cosmetics counter. I just wanted to see what the Rouge Noir lipstick looked like in real life. Swatch it. Try it on my lips, test the formula. The lady at the counter was helping someone else and she only just aided me with something to try it on with. Then a middle aged gay man came to help me. He said the colour suited me, that not just anyone could pull it off but I could. White lies you'd tell customers to get them to buy your wares. Not that I was unaware. He offered me the lip liner and lip gloss to go with it, he showed me a dark purple nail varnish (and I showed him the actual match to the colour, "Vamp.") He let me try the lip gloss (just exquisite, I don't think I'd tried a lip gloss that good, ever) over the (sheerly applied over less than perfectly primed) lipstick. Just the fact that he treated me like I might buy the lipstick and related items (as opposed to shooing me away, knowing it was out of budget) made me feel like I was worthy of it. The colour really is divine and it feels as expensive as it is, it makes me feel glamorous. So, I caved and bought the lipstick (but just the lipstick... I'm very tempted by the lip gloss, though). 

It appears I'm helpless in front of a gay man trying to sell me cosmetics. Unlike other lipstick colours (all bought clandestinely, except all a fraction of the price) I didn't lock myself in the bathroom to see what it looked like in perfect opacity. I looked for pictures of swatches online and decided it's a colour that should suit any skin tone, not just the paler ones most people showed. Good enough reason to put it in the bag of gifts I'm keeping. For my sister (unless she decides she'd rather have some other colour, in which case I'm keeping the lipstick and receipt and am willing to change it for anything else she likes). I want her to have one luxury item. The luxury item. When I first showed it to her she also thought what I did (oh-so-chic!). There's a chance she'll like it as much as I did. Now I wait until I have a job and I can buy perfumes.

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