“If You Had the Chance to Change Your Fate, Would You?”

Brave. Pixar. Strong Woman. Pure Magic. Love

These seven words are my “less than 140 character” review of the movie Brave. I loved it. Trust the creative minds at Pixar to develop a plot that combines a strong female character, a mother-daughter relationship and a look at breaking with tradition, churning it all together into the magical movie that is Brave.

We saw the trailer for so many weeks before the movie was released that we had memorized the lines; the more memorable ones being “If you had the chance to change your fate, would ya?” said with a lovely Scottish lilt and “I’m Merida and I’ll shoot for my own hand!”

If you had the chance to change your fate, would ya?

To briefly summarize, the princess Merida is the eldest child of her parents (King Fergus and Queen Elinor) and the time has come for her parents to invite suitors to compete for her hand in marriage. Being a free spirit she’ll have none of it and seeks to find a way to change her mother’s mind. The result is a change she never intended, resulting in consequences that make for a clever plot, an evolution of the mother-daughter relationship, a challenge to the custom of arranged marriages and the “growing-up” of a girl.

Merida is delightful as the strong-willed, red-headed heroine, as skilled at archery as any man, an agile horse rider and full of personality. In true Pixar fashion, the characters are so cute that you want to eat them!

As one who goes to the movies to feel something I was not disappointed – rather I was enveloped in the emotions of the film. It helped that Julie Fowlis, a Scottish musician, took me into another world with her Celtic song “Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird A’ Chuain”.

I realized as the movie drew me further into the plot that I wanted my daughters there with me. Most mom/daughter relationships go through their stages of connection, disconnect, and finally a hope of reconnect that will transform into a unique friendship. The film was a beautiful picture of coming to terms with the differences that can present themselves between mothers and daughters; those that threaten to destroy, particularly when emotions run strong. Yet when worked through, they make the bond more enduring. Coupled with that is the quiet pride that a mom feels when she sees her daughter become a woman in her own right, displaying strength and resolve, those life gifts that take them so far. The part during the film where you know Queen Elinor is feeling this sentiment is captured with great humor but telling you would be a spoiler so I’ll leave it at that.

So to Annie and Stefanie – My brave girls-turned-women – When we’re all together in a few weeks we’ll go see Brave. And I am convinced that both of you, like Merida, will “Shoot for your own hand!” and hit the target.

16 thoughts on ““If You Had the Chance to Change Your Fate, Would You?”

  1. YES, I would! I would never choose to be dragged all over the countryside, never living in one place more than a few years~i would be around family and friends~I would not want to give up growing up overseas, but definitely would gladly give up the chronic illness, depression (since childhood), the insecurities….

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    1. Thanks so much for your honesty. I think it’s really hard to be willing to say what you loved, yet juxtapose it with what you wish wasn’t a residual affect/struggle – thank you for voicing this.

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  2. Fate…destiny…God’s purpose…I think they’re all the same. Interesting discussion here, even though I’m rather late…

    I enjoyed this movie, as did my children (my youngest is a 4 y.o. boy), for the action and humour mostly. But it was also an excellent stepping board for a discussion with my children on obedience, respect, responsibility, forgiveness and love as well as the Biblical admonition not to engage in sorcery or witchcraft.

    Human that I am there are times that I want to change my fate…but the good Lord has plans to give me a “hope and a future”. I am grateful that He forgives me my lapses when asking my “if only’s”, as if I didn’t trust that all that is happening in my life is to fulfill my destiny on this side of eternity.

    Thanks again for the pingback. I enjoyed reading your blog and will come back for some more :-)

    Warmest regards from the Philippines (even though its a chilly 24C tonight),
    Mary

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    1. Mary – I’m so sorry I missed this comment. And it doesn’t matter how late you are to the discussion. You’re always welcome. I like how you used this as a stepping board for a discussion. It’s easy to think some of these films are totally benign and get lost in the music and fun instead of realizing they come with some serious messages that need to be addressed.
      I too have my many lapses of “if only’s….” They can be lethal. Enjoy your tropical warmth – how I miss that!

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  3. The answer to your blog question Marilyn is “NO”. I grew up in a home where one of my father’s favorite comments was, “There is no ‘if only’ in God’s program, referring of course to a Biblical worldview of God’s sovereignty. I have used this phrase often myself as an encouragement for choosing a life of faith which relies on my freedom of choice to make moral decisions and live with the consequences, good or bad. On the other hand, fate (what will happen will happen and there is nothing we can do about it) implies a resignation to life’s outcome that eliminates our human intelligence and free will, which would then cause us to be simply a slave to any outside influence. The caste system of Hinduism and the submission to the will of Allah in Islam traps people in this depracating sense of “fate”. I for one am thankful for the freedom of fear and unique sense of hope offered by my Biblical worldview and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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    1. Well articulated thoughts on fate. I hear you for at heart and beyond the cartoon and Pixar creativity the idea is a direct contradiction to the Sovereignty of God I hate it when people say to me “It must be fate” or “the stars” etc. To me nonsensical given the level of detail that goes into creation and thus a picture of a Creator that cares about every detail. Good reminder as was Sue Ann’s below. Thank you.

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  4. I so wish they hadn’t made it so scary!! Every parent review of the under 8 crowd said way too scary. :( I love the empowering message of the movie and wish I could take the girls! Hopefully once it comes out on DVD we can fast forward through the scary parts and enjoy the beauty and wonderful messages!

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    1. I agree with you. There were 3 or 4 times when my husband said “Can you imagine bringing younger kids to this?” You’re so right and it is frustrating. Here’s a great movie but spoiled for kids who should be able to see it. I have to say, I am always so impressed by your wise parenting. There’s also something about a DVD on a much smaller screen that makes it significantly different.

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    2. With our permission, our babysitter took our 5- and 9- year old girls to see Brave. My 9-year-old who is often easily frightened was fine.My 5-year-old sat on Megan’s lap during one scene.I worried we’d pay with sleepless nights (as we did after watching ET – I’d completely forgotten the government investigator part), but we didn’t at all. Now I think I’ll have to take them again (or rent it), so we can watch together.

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      1. Oh yes – see it with your girls! So fun – my 16 year old son just got back from watching it and he loved it! A very versatile film for sure.

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  5. Marilyn, the movie was truly inspiring. What I enjoyed most was the fact that it was a multi-generational movie. It spoke to individuals of all ages – sons/daughters, mother/fathers/grandparents. The sons were liberated because of the heroine’s decision. It is important while being true to self to always build bridges to family, friends as well as strangers. One of the few cinematic gems that I will purchase on a DVD once it is released. Petra

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    1. I’ll be purchasing it as well! I like your reminder of the importance of building bridges, something that’s often forgotten in our search for “self”. So glad you liked as well!

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    1. I think I agree with you. I think it’s all in both big and little decisions that we make translating into our unique life journeys. And the “if only’s” can be deadly. Thanks so much for commenting.

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