I took the kids to see the new Bridge to Terabithia movie yesterday afternoon. I am glad that we had a chance to read the book before the movie came out. It always gives me a sense of accomplishment, and is nice for the kids to use discerning eyes and notice differences and similarities.
The story is sweet and sad. It is a story about unlikely friendship, and sincerely loyalty. Two children, a boy and girl that need each other become friends and conquer the world - both enemies in the real world, and foes in the imaginary world of Terabithia that they create for themselves - an escape from their not so rosy reality.
I love the imaginations of the main characters, and the example of how a vivid imagination can be contagious. I like that a boy and girl can be friends, innocently.
One thing that was a little more exaggerated in the movie than in the book is when the female character, Leslie Burke goes to church with her friend, Jesse Aaron's family. On the way home they are talking about Jesus and God. She doesn't believe that God would "damn a soul to hell", yet she goes on to say that the story is beautiful. She tells Jesse that he has to believe it (evidently because it is his "religion") and hates it - but she doesn't have to believe it and thinks it is beautiful. It is one of those conversations that might make you uneasy if it weren't for the fact that it is incomplete.
The story is sad, and we can all relate to the sense of regret, and the sentiments of "if only" that resonate in the sadness. I don't mind a sad story sometimes. There is an understanding that into each life a little rain must fall (although some people seem to get a torrential downpour and others seem to get drizzle), that connects us all as part of the human experience.