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The Man Who Invented Christmas: A Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas

This review was written by my daughter. Although the 12 Days of Christmas has come to an end, the generosity of the season and the lessons learned through Scrooge, and Charles Dickens himself, are worth taking with us throughout the New Year. Please enjoy…

The movie can still be seen this week at the Northgate Reel Theatre in Boise.

The Man Who Invented Christmas: A Review

This movie is great for all members of the family, young and old. On Christmas night, my grandparents, parents, and I went to see The Man Who Invented Christmas. Upon realizing the importance that this movie portrays, I went to see it a second time and yes it is worth it. These are my takeaways.

In the story, which is biographical of Charles Dickens’s writing of A Christmas Carol, we meet the main influences of his writing. Dickens is struggling with debt after three flops and Oliver Twist, so he confronts his publishers. Why is he not receiving any money? The answer is simply that there isn’t any. Deciding that he needs a new story, Charles sets off finding inspiration. He meets several people who comment on the poor, “Are there no workhouses?”,  and when walking home one night a man offers to sell his two poor children for work. This causes him to be extremely angry and he goes to chase the man and save the children. He loses them, but stumbles onto a graveyard with a funeral going on. Only one man and the pastor are there. He overhears two workers talking and learns that the man who is there was his business partner. No other family. This is what sparks his imagination. He runs home and to his office, writing the plot as quickly as he can. But when he takes it to his publishers, they decline. They cannot print a Christmas book in 6 weeks, especially one that has not even been written yet. So Charles decides to do it himself. As he writes the story, his source of feedback comes from a maid in the house who loves to read and from whom came some of his inspiration. The writing goes well but he cannot finish the ending. As this happens we see his past, a father in prison and him in a factory. Because Dickens cannot admit this to himself or other people, the part of him that is an angry little boy, he cannot finish his story. He does not believe that people can change. Eventually he comes to the realization that that is not true and finishes the book in time for Christmas.

“It’s as if there are two of you. One who is kind and gentle and a secret self that no one is allowed to know or question,” Mrs. Dickens tells her husband. Charles can’t admit his faults yet, or that change is possible. But I think we all have a secret self that we don’t want anyone to know about and that prevents us from truly changing. As we welcome the new year and make strides toward self improvement, I think we must admit to ourselves and to others our hidden secret self. Because only then can we truly change and make ourselves the best we can be.

So go see this movie before it’s gone, or rent it. You won’t be disappointed.

Abbey Swaim

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