I recently watched Cyrano. It had been recommended by two people, so I figured there must be something about it. If you plan to watch the film in the future, I should warn you that this post contains spoilers.
Cyrano vexed me. Too many tragedies happened that could have been averted if people had the courage to speak up and then own the consequences. Instead, the film seemed to portray humans as cowardly and helpless when in love. And the protagonist died ceremoniously even after finding reciprocal love at the end of the day.
But first, let me give you some backstory; a synopsis of the film, if you will.
Cyrano (played by Peter Dinklage) was helplessly in love with a fair maiden called Roxanne. Though gifted with wit, words, and a warrior’s blade, he thought himself too physically unattractive to be loved by her.
Roxanne, having friend-zoned Cyrano, considered him her closest companion. She soon falls in love at first sight with a young army recruit called Christian, having never spoken to him. She enlists the help of Cyrano (a veteran) to mentor and protect Christian during his army training.
Cyrano informs Christian that Roxanne likes him and that the way to woo her is through words. Unfortunately, Christian isn’t a wordsmith and so, Cyrano ends up writing love letters to Roxanne on his behalf.
Long story short, Roxanne falls in love with Christian because of Cyrano’s letters and they end up married. By a cruel twist of fate, Christian (her husband) dies in the war and years later, Cyrano inadvertently reveals to Roxanne that he was the author of the letters.
It dawns on Roxanne that it wasn’t Christian’s looks that she fell in love with but his soul. And so, it was truly Cyrano she loved since the words came from him. Thus, she didn’t care what he looked like. Wahala!
Anyway, no one gets a happy ending and the film finally ends in bitter tears and death.
What I Learned
Sometimes, to see the treasures that are right in front of us, we need a paradigm shift.
Roxanne may never have loved Cyrano in the beginning. Let’s be honest. A woman who falls in love at first sight with a handsome man appears to prioritize external virtues. That’s why at first she friend-zoned Cyrano. She seemed incapable of seeing him as a lover.
However, for three years during the war, she received a daily letter from her husband, unknowingly penned by Cyrano. Sometime during those years, something happened.
She came to the realization that even if Christian came home maimed and scarred, she would still love him. She said as much to Cyrano. Those letters transformed her from one who required physical beauty to one who could subsist without it.
Roxanne changed. She became someone who valued the soul more than appearance. And this process took three long years.
Without this internal paradigm shift, even if she eventually discovered Cyrano wrote the letters, she wouldn’t have still loved him.
Connection Provides Fuel
I think another lesson we can glean from Cyrano is that a strong connection provides the fuel that makes people want to resolve challenges.
Words were Roxanne’s magic button. There was a point in the film when Christian attempted to speak to her without Cyrano’s words and it backfired. So, for Roxanne, it was the words that kept her going for three years despite a husband at war and an unconsummated marriage. It was words that helped her see beyond beauty.
Without a strong connection, there’s very little impetus to try to work through challenges or to see things differently. There’s no compelling reason to.
There is something about unrequited love. It can be painful, frustrating and futile. Or, it may be reciprocated eventually.
Perhaps the lesson we can all learn from Cyrano is that the problem is not us but the other person. You can’t account for taste, and they may not have the tools to arrive at a paradigm shift. We may also not have the magic button to facilitate this shift.
Thank you for reading.
PS: My Mastermind Groups are mentoring platforms where I help rising stars navigate generational wealth and build a business legacy!
For more, please read Values, Love And MoneySometimes, to see the treasures that are right in front of us, we need a paradigm shift. Click To Tweet
Enjoyed this? Sign up for my mailing list to get my weekly newsletter.