Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy: "I am Groot!"

When you go see Guardians of the Galaxy for the second time [and you should, you Philistine], you probably won't cry as hard as you did the first time because you already know the story.

Probably. You might cry harder, though, because you are freer. You won't let fear or the common anxiety that the filmmaker will break your heart stop you from expressing deeper emotions. I know some films I did NOT cry at the ending on first viewing because I was in hopeful denial and wanted to see the resolution before I dropped my heart guards.

As Dr. Steve Brown, my favorite curmudgeon pastor noted: "You ever see a child cry AFTER mommy has found them? That's because children cry only when they know they are safe." That's me too. When I watch films at home and it is late, I find myself open and vulnerable then - not before.

So you owe it to yourself to see a great, fun, action-packed movie that has a moment of heart-wrenching love RIGHT in the climax and let your heart be warmed. By a tree that can only say three words.

Too good not to share. The Giving Tree re-done
by Isaac Goodhart
Three Words, Multiple Meanings
After being arrested and sent to The Kyln, a horrible space prison for the worst criminal scum of the galaxy, he tries to speak with our hero Peter Quill / Star-Lord.
"I am Groot."
"Yes!" says Quill over his shoulder. "That was as fascinating as the first 89 times you said it." [Addressing Rocket] "What is with 'Giving Tree'?"
"Well he don't know talkin' good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to 'I' and 'am' and 'Groot,' exclusively in that order." 

"Well I tell you what -that's gonna wear real thin, real fast, bud!"

Later, we catch on that though the words are the same, they mean different things. Like some Terran languages, the communication is in the tone, not the actual words themselves.
Rocket Raccoon: She's right, you don't get an opinion... What percentage [of a plan]?
Peter Quill: I dunno... Twelve percent?
Rocket Raccoon: 12%? [breaks into laughter]
Peter Quill: That's a fake laugh.
Rocket Raccoon: It's real!
Peter Quill: Totally fake!
Rocket Raccoon: That is the most real, authentic, hysterical laugh of my entire life because   THAT IS NOT A PLAN!
Gamora: It's barely a concept.
Peter Quill: [to Gamora] You're taking THEIR side?
Groot: I am Groot.
Rocket Raccoon: So what, "It's better than eleven percent!" What the hell does that have to do with anything?
Peter Quill: [to Groot] Thank you! See? Groot's the only one of you who has a clue. [Groot then eats leaf off of shoulder]

Those who know him begin to 'hear' what he means. Like watching C3PO translate for R2-D2 or Charlie Brown revealing what the "Adults" are saying by his reply. We get it. We grow to love Groot.

Then Groot chooses to do something to save them all, at the cost of his own life. Just as he begins, Rocket begins to cry and ask him why. "This will kill you! You'll die! Why are you doing this?!"

For once, he doesn't say "I am Groot."

He says "We are Groot."

Like Rain Man, these limited words work like a laser to pierce the damned selfish soul we humans are all cursed with. Groot loves them. They are one with him.

He doesn't mind. They are more important than his life.

Oh God, I am starting to cry.

"What is with 'Giving Tree'?"

He's Jesus, Peter. Yeah.

He's Jesus.

"I am."

So what?

"I AM."

So what? I've heard that a thousand times!

"I AM."

He's alive. Now. Present. Dying for you. Alive for you.

Dancing from the grave.

He is. We are because He IS.

Folks, the best part of Guardians of the Galaxy is that one character with three words broke the heart of every sane soul in the theater.

He was Groot.

And Groot was Jesus.


Cue Jackson Five, please.

p.s. BTW, The Giving Tree is also Christ - the Tree wants the boy's love by giving of itself, only wanting the boy to be happy. In the end, after giving all, what makes the boy - and the Tree - happy is that they are together, though the Tree has no more to give and the boy is an old man.

1 comment:

darkmark said...

Nice. And why not?

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