Rio – Movie Review

Rio – Movie Review

Review by Stacey Tuttle

“I like my cage!”

Blu, a Blue Macaw from Minnesota is travelling in Rio de Janeiro with his beloved owner, Linda.  He is safe and secure in his cage, and has no inclination to leave it when two birds stop to visit with him and encourage him to leave the cage and see Rio…really see Rio. 

“This is where you are from!  It’s where you belong!”  They encourage him.  But, Blu likes his cage; he likes Linda; he cannot fly, and he is terrified at the thought of losing the only life he knows, or, at least, the only life he can remember.

The two birds were right though.  Blu was from Rio.  He did belong there.  Blu was born into Rio’s jungle paradise.  And while just a baby he was captured, stolen and shipped off to America to live a life in captivity.  But, since his captivity was friendly, his captor kind[1], Blu had no intention of leaving it.  He was comfortable with his limitations and his cage.  So much so, he didn’t see it as captivity at all.

Eventually, through a series of mishaps, Blu learns how to fly, meets another bird of his kind (and incidentally falls in love with her), and discovers again the jungle he was made to live in[2]

Does this story sound vaguely familiar?  Does it remind you of anything?   Can you think of anyone else who was created for a jungle paradise?  (Or maybe a garden paradise?)

Blu’s story resembles our human story.  We were created for paradise too.  God put Adam and Eve in a garden, but the Thief came to steal and destroy.  He didn’t “steal” Adam and Eve exactly, but he did deceive them so that they had to leave the Garden of Eden.  And then, a few gazillion generations later (give or take a few) you and I came along.  We were born into captivity.  We have never known the paradise we were made for. 

Sometimes we may sense that we must be made for something more.  Sometimes, like Blu, we wonder why we have wings (so to speak), when we haven’t ever been able to fly.  We sense that we were made for more, but we don’t know what, or how to get there. 

Or, maybe we are so content with our captivity we don’t even recognize it as such.  We have never thought of a better life, never longed for the jungle, or for freedom.  Freedom from what?  Our life is pretty good!  Sometimes good is a more dangerous enemy than evil.  If our cage was awful, our caretaker evil, we would fight to get away.  But when our cage is convenient, our limitations comfortable, our captor kind, we aren’t unhappy enough to dream of anything else. 

It’s not that Blu’s situation was bad.  It wasn’t.  At all.  But, a life indoors in a snowy climate, living in a cage and never flying isn’t what Blu was made for. He was made to fly, to live in the jungle and be with others of his kind.  He was made for more than he was experiencing.  And as soon as he tasted the freedom of flying, the “more” that he was made for, he knew life wouldn’t be the same again—he was never going to be content with a cage and a flightless existence anymore.   

The same is true for us.  No matter how comfortable your life may be, or how contented you may feel, there has surely been some whisper of “more” in your soul.  Maybe you’ve lost a loved one and something in your spirit rebelled that death just isn’t natural.  Maybe it’s a hearing about tragedy in the world which makes you question what is wrong with the state of things, makes you feel they aren’t as they should be.  Maybe it’s finally achieving some dream(s) that you think will be the “end all, be all” and bring satisfaction to your soul, only to find that you are still not satisfied, something is still missing.

I don’t know what it is, but I wager that something at sometime has made you question if maybe you were missing out on something.  That something is Jesus.  We were created to live in relationship with Him – in paradise, no less.   And, like Blu, once you get a taste of flying in the jungle, once you get a taste of that life with Jesus, you will never be content with anything less again.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Have there been times in your life when you sensed you were made for something more?
  • Do you feel that you have been a slave to sin in your own life? 
  • What kind of captivity do you think is worse: friendly captivity, or hostile captivity?  Why?  What are the dangers of both?
  • Do you feel that your captivity (if you’ve been aware of it at all) has been friendly or hostile?
  • What are the limitations in your life?  Are you comfortable with those limitations or do you resent them?

For more thoughts on “friendly captivity” check out the review of Fast Five!

[1] Linda didn’t capture him, but she did end up taking care of him.  She had no idea he had been stolen from the jungle, just FYI.

[2] For those of you who wonder about Linda, his owner, she falls in love with an ornithologist in Rio and is able to give Blu his freedom, but still maintain her relationship with him as she too lives in the jungle now.