Back in February this year, I took my little brother to see “The Lego Batman Movie” and we really enjoyed it. Going to the movies is something we do together on a regular basis; it’s our special bonding time.
In fact, today, we went to the theater to see the new release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. But I want to reflect on something that stirred in my mind about the Batman movie.
I know I saw the movie months ago, but I’m just now finding the words to put to the wide array of thoughts I had about the movie’s surprising depth. The steady stream of laughable moments keeps the content lighthearted, but I took notice of the profound character development of Batman/Bruce Wayne.
He’s a loner. He is portrayed as emotionally distant, egotistical and self-preserving. There is one of many scenes in the movie that Batman denies and avoids facing his greatest fear, which, Alfred claims, is having a family again.
Batman keeps himself safe from experiencing the pain of losing loved ones again, like he lost his parents, by focusing only on maintaining his own dual superhero and rich guy lifestyle and status.
Another particular scene toward the end of the film that stood out to me is when Bruce is shown a montage of how rude, selfish, and arrogant he is when he’s wearing his Batman mask. It’s then that he finally confronts the dark parts in him, the ones that push other people away, and begins to embrace vulnerability in relationships.
The conflict lurking inside the secrecy of Batman’s heart is one that everyone on the planet faces in one way or another. Just like Batman, we all experience traumas or painful situations that drive us to build mechanisms that help numb negative feelings.
My simple and main takeaway from this movie is that sort of like Batman changed and unmasked himself so he can learn to give and receive love, we will also avail ourselves to love and become who we truly are meant to be.
We all have masks we put on to protect ourselves. The masks that we wear are all the things that we do or try to be, in order to define ourselves but it does not line up with God’s definition of who we are.
We can only truly be ourselves—the real person God made—when we take off our masks and connect with ourselves and others in the spirit of love. If you haven’t seen The Lego Batman Movie, grab your kid, go see it, get ready for lots of laughs and a heartwarming story.