A Miracle on 34th Street review: A movie about Kin vs. Trolls
A Miracle on 34th Street has always been my favorite Christmas movie besides A Christmas Carol. What I didn’t realize until last Christmas is that it’s probably the only mainstream movie to show Otakukin in a positive light, even to suggest that, even if we’re wrong, we may not be crazy after all.
Now hold on a minute, some of you are thinking, Miracle doesn’t portray otakukin.
Miracle on 34th Street is about a man who believes that he is Santa Claus (a fictional character) and the petty psychiatrist who tries to get him declared incompetent by the courts because of this.
In the beginning of the movie, we see Kris Kringle (our Santa-kin) complaining that a drunken department store Santa due to be in the Macy’s parade is behaving in a way as to bring shame to the Santa name. This action is virtually the same as any otakukin complaining about their character being role-played incorrectly, or used in deviant pornography.
Because of this, Kris is given the part of Santa in the parade (and later of department store Santa because of his excellent performance and demeanor) , by the woman in charge; a modern, liberated woman who believes so firmly in the rational that she won’t let her little girl read fairy tales, and has convinced her that Santa doesn’t exist. When Kris tells the girl that he *is* Santa, that’s when her mom makes him go for an evaluation with the company psychologist.
The psychologist is a mean, nasty little man with a world-view no bigger than the end of his nose; that is how he is presented in the film. Kris realizes the man for the jealous, inferior-feeling bully that he is, and tells him so. The whole interplay between them plays out almost exactly like an online confrontation between a kin and a troll.
Even when Kris’s real psychiatrist, from the old-men’s home where he spends most of his year is brought in to vouch for his sanity, like a troll, the psychologist keeps insisting that Kris is deranged. That he is dangerous to himself and others, despite the observation of everyone else around him, including real professionals that he is a well-mannered, intelligent, capable older man, and that even if he does believe he is Santa, even if it is not true, it is the otherwise harmless and even charming eccentricity.
When the psychologist’s ability to target Kris is taken away, he turns his lashing tongue to the slow-witted young Macy’s janitor that Kris has befriended, like a troll moving on to an easier target. When Kris finds out the horrible things the psychologist has browbeaten the janitor into believing about himself, Kris can’t help it, he reacts.
The psychologist seizes on this wholly justified outburst as a sign of insanity, (like a troll who has seen an otakukin make a single bad statement on a forum) and calls his mental health into question again, totally overreacting to the incident, and dragging the Santa-kin before a court that will try to judge him incompetent and put him in ‘professional care’.
Thankfully, the friends he has made come to his rescue, and prove him sane in an ingenious manner, by getting the post-office to recognize him as Santa Claus. Everyone’s happy, except the psychologist. The little girl gets her Christmas wish, and even the thoroughly modern mother is left thinking, maybe, just possibly, old Kris isn’t so crazy after all.
To me, the movie is a stirring portrayal of the struggle otakukin go through every day on the internet and at home, to be free from judgment of and persecution for their beliefs by those who foolishly think threat they are a deranged danger to themselves and others. I think that everyone who believes they know how crazy Kin are should be forced to watch this movie with that in mind.
And from a non-kin perspective, A Miracle on 34th Street is an important tale about the irreplaceable role imagination, belief, and hope play in all of our lives.
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