It was the last night that my sister will be in town, and I felt pretty cruddy. My intestinal tract felt like I was trying to digest a spiky ball, and let me tell you, it’s not comfortable. In her attempts to make last night a good last night together, she suggested we watch Trolls by DreamWorks.
Besides it’s all-star cast and candy colored felt/yarn/cloth like world, it’s got a pretty twisted mythos on what Trolls are good for.
You see, the are happy, energetic, and loveable things that have to hug every hour, sing and dance all day, and party.
There’s another group of intelligent beings in this candy and rainbow world called the Bergen. They are dull, colorless, depressing and vile things. A Bergen cannot be happy, at all. They seemed to be ruled by entirely negative emotions, greed, anger, self loathing, are materialistic and all those sorts of things.
One day, for an inexplicable reason, a Bergen eats a Troll. I mean straight up eats the other sentient being. Once ingested, a Troll causes the Bergen to feel euphoric and happy, something they seemingly are unable to do on their own.
This causes a great stir and Trolls are culled once a year and eaten so that every Bergen can enjoy happiness… one time that year.
Now this is explained in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the movie, so I haven’t spoilt too much.
So I watch this hour and some, neon, hairfilled good time of a rave, filled with good laughs, inexplicable glittery nudity, upbeat song and dancing, (loved it though everyone was highly auto tuned),Cinderella-esq themed film and I realize at the end that it’s actually an incredibly well done film.
I mean yes, the colors, graphics, and details are lovely, and just about every darn character can sing, but I’ll be darned if this movie isn’t representing our society today.
Constantly, in the movie, the Bergens are told they, “cannot be happy unless they eat a Troll.” That without this thing in their lives they cannot be whole or happy. They do not even try to aspire to being happy. They exist wishing and wanting but never being able to get it. This is what they are told and never question this belief. Once the chance to eats Troll arises, the anticipation gives a brief hope and then once gone, they only wish have the whole experience again.
This struck me because today, right now we are told so many things are the only ways to be happy. To have a partner, to get married is the only way to be happy. To have kids with your partner is the only way to be happy. To own this car, or this phone, or eat this food, or look this way, or buy this thing, these will give you happiness, confidence, love and acceptance, but only if you have these things, do these things, want these things.
And what if you don’t? What if you don’t want to eat a troll? One character almost met a sticky end for an action similar to this. This is the Troll Trap, if you will.
Do people not get ostracized, belittled, made less of when they don’t follow the pack? When they don’t try to fill that empty void with things, other people seem to notice. It’s about followers, it’s about poses, it’s about everything except accepting that you, just you determine your happiness.
I’m not talking that zen follow your heart to a higher state and choose not to be depressed bullhocky. I mean that you choosing to be true to you (as long as it’s healthy and consensual) (just saying) and live your way and stop looking for happiness from outside sources but within. (Just like the furry little pink one said)
Stuff doesn’t make us happy, not for long. Acquire, then own, well that’s over, time to acquire, and own again. Aren’t I happy with my watch, clothes, hair, and other objects?
Then we acquire people, followers, “friends,” and expect these superficial acquaintances will make us truly happy?*
What happens when they leave?
When the stuff isn’t enough?
What happens when you can’t buy it, or snort it, or drink it, or force it to fill a hole it simply wasn’t ment to fill?
I think that’s when, like the Bergens, we need to realize our own worth, our own happiness and what that truly takes. It’s been inside us all along. Making a real relationship with someone, having the knowledge you are enough, giving up things for memories instead… being content with being enough and having enough.
Maybe that leads to true happiness.
Or I suppose you could eat a troll everyday.
There is just one more thing the film makes me truly ponder.
Why is it that ALL the Trolls except the glittery, glitter farting Trolls are clothed?
I mean are the glitter farts so precious that the glitter Trolls are more revered and above clothes? I mean why are they all naked?
I really don’t know, but go rent the movie, it’s pretty good!
*Oobviously I have and I am sure many of you have meaningful, online relationships. I also use social media as a tool, don’t get me wrong. However I am a middle school band teacher, and I see and hear my students focused only on gaining disposable people for following etc. Often I hear them get worked up over these friends, compete over them, do things they shouldn’t for them and there are consequences.