This has been a long time coming.
Ever since seeing the movie pop up on my Instagram, and then taking a deeper look into what it was all about–I knew I wanted to see the movie the moment it came out.
As soon as it came out to theaters, I bought my tickets.
Upon walking towards the auditorium, I saw a girl walking in that same direction, wearing a Colombian National Football Team soccer jersey and…
Not gonna lie, it was then that I realized it was a huge and monumental moment for not just her, but for all of us Colombians.
It may seem like something so small and coincidental, but to me that meant that there was a movie that would represent us in a positive light and that was Encanto.
It’s the orgullo (the pride) of finally seeing something from Disney and it being set somewhere Colombia–and that pride was something I felt the moment I set foot into the auditorium.
Anxiously and excitedly anticipating the movie.
I really don’t want to spoil the movie for all of you who plan to watch it, but I will give a little synopsis of what the movie is about, just so that you have an idea. This post will then go on to highlight what I got out of the movie.
So lets dive in!
What’s the movie about?
Encanto follows the Magical Madrigal family who live tucked away in the picturesque mountains of Colombia in a town called Encanto. The charmed place has blessed every child of the Madrigal family with a unique gift–every child except for Mirabel.
But as the movie goes on, Mirabel may become the Madrigals last hope, when she discovers the magic surrounding the town of Encanto is in danger.
Filled with quirky colloquialisms, this movie has the right amount of charismatic lightness to contrast the severity of the issues the family go through in the movie.
It delves into how not everything is as perfect as it seems and the importance of coming together in the face of adversity to enact great things.
So as I sit here typing and thinking about the best way to sum up this movie, below is a list of things I felt were key takeaways from the movie:
Throughout the movie, we see Mirabel’s character trying her hardest to be present in anyway to help her family, but as you see in the movie, she constantly has that push and pull between overextending herself and just being herself.
She feels loads of self-doubt and often wonders why she hasn’t been blessed with the gifts that her family members have.
She feels alone in all of this.
She realizes throughout the movie that she is just as special as everyone else in her family… as she is.
Too often in life, I feel like we all fall victim to overextending ourselves trying to impress people and then feeling like we have to be someone else or compromise our own authenticity for the sake of others.
There is a gift in authenticity. There is a gift in being who you are. So let that light shine and leverage that to helping others.
Not everything is as it seems
Mirabel’s sisters, Isabela and Luisa have these gifts that contrast each other.
Isabela is shown as this character who is effortlessly beautiful. Blessed with a gift to make flowers bloom, she is portrayed as a character with an abundance of grace and poise.
But underneath the surface, Isabela wants something different out of her life, she wants to express herself differently.
Luisa, on the other hand, is shown as this dependable and strong girl. Her gift is one where she has been blessed with incredible amounts of strength–she’s at the peak of athletic performance. She helps out everyone in the town.
But underneath the surface, she feels the weight of the world on her shoulders (no pun intended lol), emotionally she feels like she has to do everything because people depend on her and crumbles at the thought of being anything but strong and dependable.
It’s through this, that Mirabel begins to see that everyone has problems and nothing is really as it seems, but each manages their own issues in their own ways, as best as they can.
And as we follow her in the movie, we start to see her open up her mind more and more to the worth she has and in knowing that she is not alone.
The power of a community
Throughout the movie you see that the Madrigal family is big on helping the community.
From Luisa lifting all the donkeys to Julieta (Luisa, Mirabel and Lupita’s Mother) lovingly healing people with the food she cooks, the family each helps the community out in their own ways.
In this same way, this highlights something I love about the Colombian culture and it’s how united we are, especially in the face of adversity.
We all rely on each other–family and otherwise- when times get rough and the way people come through is something I’ve always found really beautiful.
Regardless of who the community is, whether it’s small or large, the scenes in the movie prove how important it is for familial communities as well as residential communities to come together and help build something greater.
All in all, I fell in love with the movie. I cried at some of the breaking point moments and laughed at the overall quirkiness and known colloquialisms.
Most of all, it brought me back to beautiful, colorful Colombia. All that it is, the magic that it has and its unique nature.
For once, I thought, people will see a movie that depicts Colombia in a more positive light.
I know this may be a long shot, but I really hope this is the first step in changing the conversation regarding the portrayal of Colombians in the media.
If you’re looking for something really cute and quirky to watch, catch Encanto at a movie theaters near you!
Sending a ton of love and light your way,