Reflections on the Silver Screen: Hogtied
Director: Mark Palansky
Penelope Wilhern’s problems are as plain as the nose on her face, literally. Born with the nose of a pig, Penelope believes she will never find friends, love, or joy. Penelope, the movie is a coming-of-age quirky comedy that traverses the woes of Penelope’s attempts to break a family curse. Decades earlier, a scorned witch cast a spell that the first girl born to the Wilhern’s would inherit the face of a pig. The key to unlock the curse? One of Penelope’s own kind must love her just the way she is–nose and all.
After eight long, unsuccessful years of trying to woo a blue-blood into marriage with a hefty dowry in order to be rid of her wrinkled sniffer, the reclusive Penelope feels broken, ugly, and alone. The world and her mother told Penelope that beauty was having a normal nose, and finding acceptance and love depended on fixing her outlandish face. The fictional movie Penelope reveals common falsehoods in real life. The world tells us that we have to have the “right” body, house, grades, or achievements to be truly desirable and loved. The protagonist’s adventure reveals that the worth and beauty of a person is far more than her abilities or looks.
For Penelope, the spell isn’t broken with the kiss of a fair prince. So she sets off on a journey of self-discovery involving a monstrous public debacle and a one-eyed dwarf reporter–a bloodhound journalist seeking fame by trying to expose Penelope’s shocking secret.
When her piggish portrait headlines the local paper, she learns that friendship and love are based on attitudes of the heart such as kindness, loyalty, and selflessness rather than a perfect proboscis.
Penelope initially lets her physical appearance determine her identity, worth, and outlook on life. She finally comes to terms with her fated piggy nose when she realizes it’s not the power of the curse that determines her fate but rather the power she gives the curse and that she shouldn’t let others determine her identity or value. As disciples of Jesus, we can be reminded by this film of our identity in Christ. Although the world may try to establish our beauty, purpose, or success, it only influences who we are when we give it the power to do so. But God tells us who we are and whose we are. We are beloved; we are beautiful, and we are His.
Notice: While Penelope is a PG-rated, family-friendly film, there are some instances involving gambling, alcohol, mild language, as well as a brief kissing scene.