The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

mp’s rating: 3 / 5 stars

It’s been a long time (not) since I cried like this when I watch a movie. I didn’t know the reason I cried though, I think I am just too melancholy for things like this, but my sister said that it is because I am too sanguine thus my emotion fluctuates so easily. But it reflects how good the movie is. At least, for me ;).

“I killed my mother when I was four years old, that’s what I knew about myself. She was all I wanted and I took her away. Nothing else much mattered.” – Lily

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Secret Life of Bees (2008) tells a story about a young girl named Lily (Dacota Fanning), who accidentally killed her mother when she was four. Growing up with her abusive father, she ran away with her nanny, Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), who was in trouble due to the apartheid politic that took place during that time. Haunted by her guilty for killing her mother, Lily tried to find peace under the care of August (Queen Lativah), a bee farmer, who was actually her late mother’s nanny. There, she found the secret life of the bees – the life that she never knew existed, full of hope and most of all, love.

It took me some time to realise that the movie was over, and digesting the movie is another thing that I need to work out how. Until now I still don’t know what to write, because I guess the movie has so much to tell about. I’m still not sure of what the ‘secret life of bees’ is. Is it the fact that life is unfair and all we can do is make the best out of it, or is it that life that has so many complicated things underneath the ‘calm water’? Or is it a common fact but not a common practice that what people aim to have in this life is love?

“There is nothing perfect,” August said from the doorway. “There is only life.”

What are ‘bees’? They produce honey, they have a queen, they can sting but after that they’ll die. What can we learn from these ‘bees’?

“Most people don’t have any idea about all the complicated life going on inside a hive. Bees have a secret life we don’t know anything about” -August

I think the part that makes me sad the most is at the end of the movie, when finally Lily’s father found August’s house and tried to take Lily home. In the beginning of the movie Lily’s father lied, “The truth is your mother ran off and left you.” But that was a lie because her mother did come back for her. He lied, “Because she did not come back for me.” This is really heartbreaking. Lily’s father loved her mother. He just didn’t know how to express that love. He just wanted his wife to be with him, thus he used violence. When Lily’s mother ran away, he searched for her everywhere. He just didn’t find her.

How many of us just don’t know the right words to say, or the rights actions to do, and end up doing the opposite of what we want to? How many of us just don’t get that second chance to prove ourselves, and we become reluctant and hence lose hope of making ourselves walk the right paths again?

…I feel sorry for Lily’s father, I really do. I actually admire this character because in the end he just wanted to be with his daughter, who ‘just looks like her mother’, but he knows that it’s best for her to be with August and thus left her there. I think he is hurt, although he tried to cover it by saying, “Good riddance.”

Lily may never feel a mother’s love. But now she had three. She believed that when her father said, “Good Riddance,” he was really saying “Lily, you’ll be better off here with all of these mothers.”

A really heartwarming movie indeed.

And here’s the soundtrack ;)


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