Drama Movie

Babettes gæstebud Babette’s Feast

Sometimes, the film to see a little more, you will find that the more exciting the story, the more like a puzzle. At the beginning, there are always some clues to find the way, the further you go, the clearer. When you put together the last fast up, look up, a magnificent or sad or what other kind of picture will open up in front of you. It is impossible not to be moved by such a scene.Watching a movie like “Babbitt’s Feast” is like putting together a picture like this.

The story takes place in a small seaside village in Denmark where no birds are born. The whole village lives a puritanical life under the leadership of an old priest. Such a life is slightly boring, but away from the war in Europe and the chaos of the metropolis, under the inspiration of God, the villagers all feel a simple and safe comfort. Of course, there were problems. The priest’s two daughters were born beautiful, and grew up in an authoritative family, so they were superb, and inevitably became dream girls in the eyes of the local young people. The more daring among them would try to find opportunities to get in touch with them; the more daring, they would simply come to the door and ask for marriage. But, as a father, the priest never took them seriously. “My daughters are like my left hand and my right hand. How can you take them away?” In fact, the priest didn’t have to worry about anything at all. The two daughters had been brought up in a strict family, and had already left their youth and future to their father. On a day-to-day basis, they wouldn’t even go to a ball, let alone a date.

The days go on year after year, until the arrival of the Frenchwoman Babette. Before that, there were ripples in the seemingly quiet life. Once an officer from the city, Lorens, was sent to this remote village for “self-examination” because he had lost his mind to play with things. Inevitably, he fell in love with one of the priest’s daughters. Such a love is destined to be fruitless. When he left, it was a painful farewell: “I will leave here forever, I will say goodbye to you forever. During my few days here, I realized how cruel and difficult life can be. At the same time I realized that there are things in this world… It will never be possible.” A few years later, he married a lady-in-waiting of a Swedish princess. At the suggestion of a friend, Papin, who “wanted to hear the sound of the sea”, came here for a break. By chance, he is charmed by the singing of another daughter of the priest. “There’s a diva here. She is destined to conquer Paris.” It must be said that artists are obsessive, or a bit paranoid. He unrealistically begins to give lessons to the priest’s daughter, intent on bringing her to Paris. The result was predictable. Another painful parting, satisfied only with the priest.

Lorens and Papin, I must admit, are two people who portray the harshness of religion, the sternness of the father and the sincerity of the daughter. But, as the plot develops, we find that the people who wrote the story are far more clever than we thought. Without Lorens and Papin, so to speak, there are two crucial links missing, and the picture would never have been put together.

The Babbitt that came on the stormy night was Papin’s arrangement. It was many years later, when the priest had already passed away, and the villagers continued the tradition of prayer, but the relationship between them was becoming increasingly discordant. At times, the prayer meetings even became quarrelsome meetings. The two elderly daughters sang hymns while the people below complained viciously about each other’s grievances. Babbitt’s arrival did not bring about a substantial change in the life of the village. This French woman from Paris, whose husband and children died in the civil war, was introduced to Papin in the middle of nowhere just to survive. It is not unexpected that such a poor woman is taken in by two sisters as their servant. To the owner’s relief, as Papin’s letter said, Babbitt was indeed a capable woman. Over time, the family’s savings grew rather than diminished by the addition of a new member. The poor people who were being helped by the priest’s family also found that Babbitt’s porridge was particularly good, even if it was salted fish.

Of course, a woman uprooted from her hometown, and from the big city to the corner of the world, life can not be good. But in the eyes of the village, Babbitt was always strong and optimistic. People asked her, “Don’t you miss France? She would jokingly reply, “Now my only connection to France is a lottery ticket.”

Little did anyone know that 14 years later, it would be this lottery ticket that would break the peace of the village.I think everyone has dreamed about how they would spend their money if they won the jackpot one day. Such dreams are always tempting, and while we think about our various plans, it seems hard to realize that if the dream really becomes reality, the strength of our heart will be able to hold on to the day when the plan is realized.

So, it was easy to imagine how excited I was for Babbitt when a letter arrived from France telling her that she had won 10,000 francs for her prize roll. The good guys had finally gotten their reward, and the hard times had finally come to an end. I sometimes wanted to get into the movie, to help her pack her bags, to tell her, go back to France, to your Paris, where there is wine, and music. Go back and marry a nobleman. With 10,000 francs, you can’t get married, and you have such a beautiful face. A little older, no big deal. How many times can you get your hair done, how many fancy fashions and cosmetics for 10,000 francs. If you don’t go back to Paris, go to America, where there is wealth and no war; or come to China, to Shanghai, where foreigners are in demand ….

A good story doesn’t always go the way we think it will. As I watched the movie, Babbitt disappointed me a bit. She didn’t choose to leave right away. In fact, by this time the sisters had already anticipated that Babbitt would not stay: “What comes around will come around. It’s all God’s plan.” Surprisingly, Babbitt didn’t say anything about leaving, but asked them to cook a meal for the village on the centennial of the priest’s birth, a “real French meal” out of their own pockets. The hosts hesitated. Such a request is indeed a bit embarrassing, after all, this is a Puritan family, and how can the host treat the cook to pay? But the two sisters have always been very soft-hearted, since from the beginning to the end of the story, the two people are like a bodhisattva to respond to requests, so the fate of the story of such a request will not be refused.

The next step was the preparation of the feast. In short, Babbitt went back to France; when he returned a week later, he came back with a whole boatload of animals, plants, all kinds of wine, and a big block of ice. Undoubtedly, these are the ingredients that Babbitt has chosen to make this meal. Now we’re just waiting for the meal to begin. In the meantime, there was another hiccup. Babbitt brought quail and turtles that really scared the two sisters who hadn’t seen much of the world. They dreamed at night of a beast roasted in the fire, which they had never dreamed of before. Then, they went to the village and cried in secret, “We really don’t want to say no to Babbitt, but we really don’t know what kind of meal she’s going to make for everyone…” The group finally agrees, “For the sake of the sisters’ health and love, no one should ever mention anything about food again.” As the story progresses, we can see how the villagers’ well-intentioned vow eventually disintegrates in front of Babbitt’s delicious food.

To be honest, it’s a pleasure to watch Babbitt prepare the meal, even as she carefully irons the tablecloths. In a village with much “rougher” living habits than Paris, this is a bit too extravagant, but it’s the kind of extravagance that brings us visual and gustatory pleasure. Nowadays, there are so many movies about food, but the one that can really whet my appetite, besides Ang Lee’s “Men and Women in Food” and Sickos’ “Age of Innocence”, is this “Babbitt’s Feast”, which is all about the details of “food” in the most elaborate movies. And this “Babbitt”, because of the French feast in the remote village, and especially mouth-watering – as if such luxury is not far from us ordinary people.

The remaining third of the story is set at the table. It’s one of the best dinner table scenes I’ve ever seen, no big opening and closing, everything seems to unfold quietly, but it’s so heartwarming. More interestingly, the storyteller deliberately called Lorens back before the meal. At this time, Lorens has become a general, and brought a Swedish royal old lady, which adds to the meal really what color? In addition, Babbitt finally did not leave here? What did she do before, who was it? And Babbitt’s meal brought what kind of change to the village? And so on these only let the viewer to reveal themselves. After all, each person finished the picture, in each person’s heart, the taste is not the same.

Babbitt’s Feast” was once an Oscar winner for best foreign language film. And it’s not just for the meal inside. It is a film about intercultural communication and interaction, and the religious element will resonate strongly with Western audiences. At the same time, the lines in the film hit home again and again. In the letter brought by Babbitt, Papin makes a touching confession that would shock anyone of a certain age: “Thinking of myself now – a lonely, ugly old man, long forgotten by those who worshipped me back then, I wonder if you (the sisters) have chosen a better path in life… What is honor? In the end we are not all going to that grave…”

Admittedly, for those of us who are not religiously inclined and know little about Western culture, the French meal inside is enough for us to munch on for a while.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button