A Post About Popping Penguins & Hearts

randomlychad  —  June 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

>heart to heartphoto © 2006 Divya Vibha Sharma | more info (via: Wylio)

Recently, my wife and I saw the film, Mr. Popper’s Penguins. It’s apparently based upon a children’s book of the same name, which having never read it, I can’t comment upon.

Having seen the film, I can say this: the movie has heart. And honestly, that’s what’s important to me: how much, or how little, heart a film (or book, or whatever) has. While not a great film, it’s nevertheless a good one–because it has heart. (I realize this is a very subjective opinion, but hey!, it’s my blog). Anyway, it’s better than any film about a man turning his New York penthouse into a penguin house has any right to be.

I say this because again, despite the silliness inherent in the plot, it’s really about a man finding his heart. In fact, the backstory is a sobering, and altogether too real, one: a little boy, Thomas Popper, for all intents and purposes, has grown up without his dad.

This had emotional weight, had resonance, with me–because I grew up much the same: without my dad. I imagine with the divorce statistics being what they are, I’m not alone in this. But I digress.

With this framework, it’s very easy to see how the character of Thomas Popper turned out as he did: shallow, an overachiever, disconnected from his kids, divorced, and lonely.

And what did it take to break through his defenses, his carefully constructed veneer? Penguins. Penguins sent as a final gift from his explorer father. Thomas Popper learned, for once, to care about something–or someone–other than himself.

I see this altogether too often in children of divorce, this drive to protect the self. Indeed, I’ve lived it. But again, I digress.

In learning to care for the penguins, Tom found something fragile and unexpected: his heart. And in so doing, he found his way back home–past his careful constructed persona, and into the arms, and hearts, of his children and ex-wife.

In finding his heart, he got the one thing he always wanted, but dared not hope for: a second chance.

And like It’s a Wonderful Life before it, that’s a beautiful thing.

Thanks for reading!

Question: have you seen this movie? What do you think of it? How have you reclaimed your heart?

Comments

comments

randomlychad

Posts Twitter Facebook

Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,962 other subscribers