I recently re-watched the old children’s movie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Though it is, as I’ve said, primarily a movie for children (my little niece liked it), there is one wonderful, beautifully rich scene that is haunting me. I’ve embedded it below. There are many details and metaphors here that run deeper than the surface of the scene (which itself is fun). I have theories and thoughts (shocker), but rather than pronounce them, I’d thought I’d just ask the questions that prompted them.
- What keeps the dancer turning on her music box? If she yearns so much for love, why not step off the box and go out into the world?
- Is she really yearning for love, or is love just a metaphor for life, for feeling alive?
- Why does the marionette stop and look at himself in the mirror, interrupting his song and his courtship of the dancer?
- Is it not sad and funny that she never responds to his entreaties, but that when he stops and gets lost in his own reflection, she gives him a shove?
- If she truly yearns for love, why at the end does she pull her hand away when he tries to kiss it?
What do you see,
You people gazing at me?
You see a doll on a music box that’s wound by a key
How can you tell?
I’m under a spell
I’m waiting for love’s first kiss
You cannot see
How much I long to be free
Turning around on this music box that’s wound by a key
Turning around and around