Friday, June 27, 2014

Perfect... Just absolutely perfect.

Here's just a continuation of thoughts on why I personally could not have been more satisfied with HTTYD2. It will contain spoilers or at least hints at them, so I'll use a "read more".

Man… I know this will sound a little like what EVERYBODY always says about their favorite movie… but I swear this movie felt like it was made for me. I've just NEVER been more sucked in, more emotionally attached, more scared, more grieved, happier, or able to relate and learn and mature alongside a character. I really feel like the film changed me, and for the better. It's weird to say that, but with Hiccup feeling so relatable (as I often say, he felt almost like a me that I can only strive for, a me I wish I could be but that I LOVE to be inspired by) I just cannot help but feel like this movie almost grew me up, helped me see things, helped me be willing to take up the mantle of responsibility that even I have been dreading.

It even broke my love for Toothless, just as it broke Hiccup's. And that was scary. I was feeling every bit as terrified, hurt, and betrayed as Hiccup was. I was feeling that same twisted sick feeling of terror and unbelief. When Toothless was stalking towards Hiccup, I had become so engrossed in the film that I had practically placed myself completely in Hiccup's shoes (the camera angles and gorgeous 3D helped), so I was feeling absolutely sick with horror... and then unable to believe who it was that was about to do such a terrible thing. The steadfastness of Toothless's character has always, always been one of the major draws of HTTYD for me. Toothless is practically the perfect friend I could only wish for, so to see him sort of lose that for a while was a true emotional rollercoaster for me... and I got to again relate to Hiccup in just how he was feeling, even down to forgiving Toothless like that. Because I too wanted to see that Night Fury forgiven, see him know that it wasn't his fault. 

My ability to relate to Hiccup tied in all the more with the continued father issues... because I have a great, great dad... but a dad who I am not exactly like. A dad who sometimes I butt heads with. But in the end... just like Hiccup said in the funeral, he's exactly the kind of man I would want to become. A man who is great, who is brave, who is selfless. To see Hiccup relating to Stoick in that particular way did many things for me. It made me see myself in Hiccup far more than I ever had before (and THAT is saying something), but it also made me all the more saddened by what happened to Stoick... because I felt like I was watching exactly how I would act if I lost my own dad... and it just stung all the worse because the character I love so dearly had been the weapon that took his life. 

Every emotion Hiccup was feeling I felt. I love him so much as a character, and I think it is because he is so real, so relatable. He may, in this film, sort of be a bit more confident, walk with a little bit more swag in his step, but when it comes down to it, he's so human, he's so genuine. His talk with Astrid at the beginning, his speech at his father's funeral, his deep, sad, beautiful words to Toothless, it all just let his heart bleed out, and it showed that behind that heroic front, Hiccup is still vulnerable, still feels, still worries about disappointing his father, is still humble, and still has that almost childlike love and thankfulness for Toothless. It just stabbed me right to the heart and made me love him all the more to see him struggle the way I struggle, speak the kinds of things I feel, and then in the end grow. And when he got Toothless back, when he broke him free, of course to me it was just the most exhilarating thing in the world. I seriously, seriously say that the film feels like Dean made it with me in mind. And I don't say that lightly, because I don't take putting myself in Hiccup's shoes lightly. He's twice the man I think I'll ever be, but in the few touch points I have with him, this film truly made it feel like I was the one being pulled into that adventure, given that friendship, tested, grieved, hurt, matured. It's weird to say it, but that is what it was, and almost no matter how good the third film is, I doubt I will be able to say that it is better than the second. I don't think the second is even necessarily better than the first, but after waiting so long, after growing so close to Hiccup, this second one shook me and changed me and drew me in and made me love HTTYD to a degree that I never have before, and that is something truly, deeply wonderful. I don't know many people who have had such an experience, but I feel like I've really been changed for the better, and that's such a incredible feeling. I hope it sticks... I hope I'll take being an adult every bit as seriously and courageously as Hiccup now does.

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