Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hugo: This Child Belongs to Me

If you have the chance to watch the movie Hugo, I highly encourage that you do so.  After putting it off for a while, because I really "don't like movies with robots in them," we finally watched it last night. 

(I won't give anything away about the movie, because I really don't like when people do that, but I will let you know that there are no robots in the movie.)

However, my ears perk up a little bit extra when there are characters who are orphans in a movie.  Hugo happens to feature two characters who are orphans:  Hugo and Isabelle.  Both are orphaned for different reasons, which are alluded to loosely.  Hugo lives in a clock tower in the train station.  Isabelle lives with her grandparents.

There is a lot of conversation about machines working or not working and how broken machines are not able to fulfill their purpose.  And how all machines are made for a purpose.  And how all people are made for a purpose.  And broken machines are like broken people, unable to do what they were intended to do. 

The following conversation takes place:

Hugo Cabret: Everything has a purpose, even machines. Clocks tell the time, trains take you places. They do what they're meant to do, like Monsieur Labisse. Maybe that's why broken machines make me so sad, they can't do what they're meant to do. Maybe it's the same with people. If you lose your purpose, it's like you're broken.
Isabelle: Like Papa Georges?
Hugo Cabret: Maybe we could fix him.
Isabelle: Is that your purpose? Fixing things?
Hugo Cabret: I don't know. It's what my father did.
Isabelle: I wonder what my purpose is?
Hugo Cabret: I don't know.
Isabelle: Maybe if I'd known my parents I would know.

And my heart ached.  My heart ached for every kid who has ever struggled with that loss of a sense of purpose, because of a loss of parents.  It ached for my future babies, who may or may not have the opportunity to know their birth parents.  Who may or may not have the chance to have a continued relationship with them.  Oh, good God, how I WISH with every fiber of my being that they DO have that chance!  But I am also realistic in knowing that the circumstances that create children being placed for adoption are not the ideal circumstances.

Towards the end of the film, Hugo is sort of captured by the train station inspector (played by the ever-lovely Sacha Baron Cohen...yum!), and is going to be sent to an orphanage. 

Inspector Gustav: We'll let the orphanage deal with you.
Hugo Cabret: No! I don't belong there!
Inspector Gustav: Where do you belong then? A child hast to belong somewhere!
Hugo Cabret: Listen to me! Please! Please! Listen to me! You don't understand! You have to let me go! I don't understand, why my father died! Why I'm alone!
Hugo Cabret: This is my only chance, to work. You should understand!
Georges Méliès: I do! I do! Monsieur, this child belongs to me.

Ba-zing!  At this point, I was full-on bawling my guts out.  (As you get to know me more, you will find that this happens more frequently than it probably should!) 

There is nothing more powerful to me than the words "this child belongs to me."  And, it's not about claiming children or having children be possessions.  It's about children having a place to belong.  It's about everyone having a chance to belong.  I cannot WAIT to find my way to my little pumpkin pie (or pies) and say, "Hey world.  Hey orphanage.  This child...this child belongs to me." 

1 comment:

  1. You may say you cry a lot...but your blog almost always makes me cry. Particularly this post--I loved the book and am anxiously looking forward to watching the movie!