February 08, 2018

"Let it Go" (metal version)

As I observe in my review of Frozen,

"Let it go" sounds like an anthem for the self-esteem movement. Except that, by the end, it's clear that Elsa "being herself" will kill her sister and destroy her kingdom. Elsa doesn't need to "let it go." She badly needs to get over herself.

Actually, it's worse than that. Strip away the family-friendly Disney animation and the lyrics read more like an anarchic scream.

It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I'm free!

Hey, there's a nurturing moral code for all you youngsters out there! Nothing against Idina Menzel, but this cover by the goofy and talented Leo Moracchioli better fits the substance of what is actually being said.


What kid doesn't want to believe that the rules apply to everybody but himself? Except these days too many adults are singing that song as well. Yeah, we all do it. But let's not pretend it's a good thing.

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Comments:

# posted by Blogger Joe
The segment you quote is extremely contextual to the first verse and first half of the second version and the movie. I do think it captures teenage sentiment--the notion that everyone is holding them back--here, it's even more specific; kids see a girl frustrated and held back by circumstance and finally being able to express herself.

It helps that the entire scene in the movie is tour de force of visual design and execution. (Unfortunately, the rest of the movie doesn't sustain the energy, design and quality up to that point. But neither do a lot of movies, Lion King being another good example.)

(It would have been funny in the movie to have have the song, there be a stretch of silence and then see Elsa leaning on her arm, drumming her fingers and looking bored.)

PS. The theme of breaking free, which then leads to disaster, is a fairly common plot because it's a fairly common human sentiment.
2/12/2018 10:34 AM
 

# posted by Blogger Katherine Woodbury
The comment about Elsa looking bored reminded me of Cordelia ascending to heaven in Angel. "I'm bored" are exactly her sentiments! (It's also the way I feel about every environmental or political utopia I've ever read about. I think I'd end up like the aliens in Star Trek: Voyager who extract violent images from their visitors' heads as a relief from the tedium of niceness.)
2/14/2018 9:46 AM
 

# posted by Blogger Eugene
The irony of Elsa's big production number is that, having declared herself "free" and built herself a castle (occupancy: one), she does . . . nothing. Anna naturally becomes the focus of the film because Elsa's character arc after that pretty much flatlines.
2/14/2018 7:51 PM
 

# posted by Blogger Joe
Do note that Elsa was already doing nothing, which is rather dreary.
2/16/2018 2:49 PM
 

# posted by Blogger Joe
In other words, Elsa went from doing nothing while not using her powers, to doing nothing... while not using her powers.

Anna wasn't doing much either. What makes her character fun is that she isn't dour about it.

(And what did Elsa eat? And where did she sleep? Restrooms?)
2/16/2018 2:52 PM