Please go to Geek Speak to read more of what I had to say this month. I do one movie review and one book review, all on the theme of retold fairy tales. The theme was unintentional, but shows my uncanny knack for getting what I want to review around the usual editorial guidelines.
Honestly, I’m more pleased with these articles than with the bulk of the ones that have gone before. One of the things I like about writing for Geek Speak is that they allow me to really discuss a lot of topics that go unmnetioned on other geeky fansites.
These wolves, as well as the werewolf itself, are allowed to exist in this narrative because the village isn’t the sanctuary. The village in this retelling is the forest. Full of lies, deceits and betrayals. Before the whole story is out, we find out that no one and nothing is as it seems. It’s one of the lessons Valerie learns as she goes from an innocent child to a hardened adult (as do we all!): Home isn’t always the safe place we thought it is. Oftentimes home can be just as dangerous as the dark woods beyond.
In the end though, the movie turns the whole moral of the story on its head. Little Red Riding Hood the myth is all about fear of the unfamailiar and strange. It is the ancient equivalent of “Don’t take candy from strangers”. However, and without giving too much away, the monster is really within. It’s in families, in people’s flesh and blood. Looking at the news and statistics, we know that someone the victim knows and trusts very well oftentimes perpetuates the scariest violence. Instead of admonishing children to beware of Stranger Danger, this movie comes to a more chilling conclusion: that like Little Red Riding Hood in bed with the wolf, we could be sleeping with danger at any time.
One way that this book does differ from the fairy tale quite a bit is that you get both the perspective of the princess and the mermaid. Furthermore, the two women meet and forge a great friendship. It is only through terrible circumstance that they even compete with each other. However, they do retain the bonds of camaraderie. In fact, what I loved the most in this story is that the true love here isn’t between the prince and these women rivals. Indeed, Margrethe seems to love Lenia more than anyone else, and perhaps only fell in love with the prince because of Lenia. There is a lot of talk in the pop culture media about the phenomenon known as bromance, but this was really about the power of true friendship between women overcoming all obstacles. There is no doubt that the women do love the prince, but something inside me felt for the first time since watching Big Love that everyone could have worked something out (and been together) if only they had known the full truth at the right time.
…Coupled with a few glasses of mead and a chocolate cupcake (which is how I enjoyed it), it is a great companion on a rainy day, when you start to look at the water dripping on the windowpane, and wonder what it would like to swim underwater and turn to foam at the end of a long life.
Please read the whole thing! Plus, if you read the articles, you can find where I do an uncredited Haiku in regards to a True Blood character!