Dreamgirls Over & Over Again

So lately I have been watching Dreamgirls (the movie made from the original Tony award winning Broadway show). I have watched it over and over again. The music continues to ring in my head. When I don't have the energy to sit through the whole movie, I'll often skip through to just the musical scenes.

Now this is odd for me. I don't watch nearly any movie more than one time. I mean for me, movies are all about the journey through a story and the development of the characters. And once that journey has been taken, there really is no going back. The ability to see what is coming next ruins the movie experience for me. So I have been wondering what has been drawing me back to this film so often lately.

So today, I watched it again. Then with Molly, I skipped to a couple of the songs that really impact me. And I realized what has been keeping me going back. First, the music is terrific AND MOVING. It is easy to connect to the emotional content of the songs and thereby connect with the stories of the characters. And that is the hook. I have connected to the characters in a way that offers affinity to my own experiences.

The movie unfolds the dreams of 3 singers who manage to get a big break and eventually make it big in the music business of the late 60s. (It's an obvious homage to the Supremes.) But in their story, the lead characters in different ways find their individual dreams corrupted and/or destroyed in some way by their own blindness to the perils of the music industry. The movie ends with a reunion amongst all the lead characters (minus one who dies along the journey) and a resolution to the plot. The resolution is to learn to live with integrity to both real life and your dream.

So I think I know why I have been watching over and over again. And I hope by working it out in this post, I can escape the compulsion to watch it again. I think I have watching the movie in order to figure out where each of the characters went wrong. Where they made the mistake that took them down that path that stole their dream from them. Which feeling deceived them? What lie did they believe? How did they make themselves vulnerable to the selfish motives of the characters who surround them? What was going on inside of them that they could have changed in order to have avoided the pain of losing their dream.

I think what has drawn me to this dilemma is a recent season of God's moving Spirit, changing things in my own life. Correcting my course. Retraining my mind. Molding my passions. This transition has been tough to walk through. And the very human part of me wants to escape some of the effects of this change. And in fact trying to avoid the struggle of changing has created painful effects.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

These verses compels me to accept God's navigation of my life's journey with continued hope and constant willingness. It's God's dream I wish to chase instead of my own. My story goes dreadfully wrong when I chase the wrong dream.

And back to musical theatre. Andrew Lloyd Webber was quite wrong in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor dream coat. "Any dream" will not do. Only God's dream will do!


Peter P November 11, 2009 at 10:27 PM  

Great post, Bruce!

Now you've made me want to watch the movie and figure it out myself!

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