We’ve seen many cases of the ‘good man, bad man’ syndrome. The idea of a bad man (or women) and a good man (or woman) fighting over a girl or woman to the death seems as plausible as a war-ravaged world full of children and babies. But, there’s a second type of struggle in our society – which may or may not occur in real life.
In a world of ‘bad’ men, and only ‘bad’ men: a bad husband who beats his wife often will have little to lose, but in our culture he’s almost never the guy on the bottom. He doesn’t have to do too much in order to ‘get his woman’ back, and even in a broken home, there’s a good chance that he will. Yet often the man is simply a victim of ‘the system’ who was forced into it for ‘his own good’.
This is one of the reasons why the new film Love and the Beast is so heart-wrenching. It’s a beautifully-made film of real-life heartbreak and a man who knows he’s done nothing wrong who wants to protect his family, but who is being forced into the system by forces beyond his control.
The film tells the story of Jack, a man who is now married to a woman who was his ‘good girl’ from his early teens. She is a ‘bad girl’, and her brother has decided to take his revenge on her with a life-defining assault. For their son and the family there is no way out.
‘The system’ is a metaphor for society – how it is controlled and ruled at certain levels. If we could break free of this system we could all live more peacefully and with more freedom. For Jack to win his wife back it must be done by convincing the family that their daughter is not the person she once was.
But who is doing the convincing? The film follows Jack’s family through a myriad of arguments, but the most powerful and revealing is a family visit with Jack’s wife for the first time. The scene shows us that a woman is at the heart of such complex relationships. She may be good for Jack in her marriage, but she’s also good for us, because she provides an important part of the family. This man and his family may not be what society would consider ‘normal’. But he has a choice to make.
This is ‘the good man, bad man’ syndrome and
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