Changeling -- True Manliness

Changeling illustrates the world's desperate need for godly men.

Morally wishy-washy men sabotage the lives of Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) and her son, Walter. Her husband leaves her as soon as Walter was born because he feared responsibility. Then a man kidnaps and killed Walter. Then the men of the LAPD compound her problem by refusing to do their jobs, practically guaranteeing that no one will ever find him. But Reverend Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich) dares to stand up for her. Then a single detective investigates a homicide that his superiors told him to forget about. Finally a well-known lawyer represents her for free, thus helping her win those ground-breaking, legal battles.

Changeling demonstrates the way that women and children tend to be victimized in the absence of morally sound men. It is a dependable phenomenon that men, especially father figures, dictate the world's standards of moral integrity. When women and children are forced to resist injustice on their own, as was the case for Christine Collins and a few little boys in the movie, this inevitably means that men are failing to be moral strongholds that they should be.

The most fundamental thing a man can do to be truly "manly" is maintain his moral integrity. If, for example, every father fulfills his most basic job as a father by caring for his family, then children will grow up in healthier environments and eventually become healthy adults. But fathers who fail to exemplify a decent moral standard for their families not only betray their loved ones, they set a negative precedent for their children, who then pass spiritual dilapidation on to their children.

Another movie, Catch Me If You Can, also demonstrates the effect morally defunct fathers have on their sons. In addition to divorcing his wife, Frank Abagnale (Christopher Walkin) teaches his son, Frank Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) to avoid paying taxes whenever possible. Thus, Frank goes off into the world with little or no idea about financial or social responsibility. He follows his father's example to the Nth degree by not only avoiding the government, but by becoming an international con-artist. At one point in the movie, Frank even asks his father to "ask him to stop" and he will. But his father wouldn't, so he doesn't. Ultimately it was Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), the uncompromising FBI agent (representing the law/justice) who emerges as the father-figure Frank never had, but desperately needed.

***

The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
-- Genesis 3:12. (Sin's emasculating effects become evident as Adam tries to blame Eve for his deliberate disobedience to God.)


5 comments:

darkcitydame4e said...

Hi! Patrick Roberts,
Thanks, for the very indepth and interesting look at the father figures in both films. (The Changeling and Catch Me If you Can.)

The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

-- Genesis 3:12. Sin's emasculating effects become evident as Adam tries to blame Eve for his deliberate disobedience to God.

Btw, I wonder if God blamed Eve too? or did God know that Adam was
easily led into temptation on his own?

Tks,
TD

Patrick Roberts said...

it seems like God held them both responsible, but each one's level of responsibility is evidently different.

"The Curse," i gather, relates to the differing roles that men and women had before the Fall, only now the former peace between men and women has been put under strain; i mean, men and women where originally meant to compliment each other perfectly, but now it's difficult for people to strike a harmonious balance with each other

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Patrick: no question there is a dearth of real men in this country and especially in the church. Wild at Heart's whole premise is the need for men to recapture their story. "All men have a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue." Good post.

Ed said...

Your right the acorn does not fall far from the tree.

Mr. Rush said...

You always present a unique way of viewing movies. I like that.