Lessons from “Beatriz at Dinner”


I am fascinated by the tube. I always have been. Right from when I was a child. I recall, how my parents literally had to tear me away from the screen several times. I was that glued. Infact…the saying then, was that, if I wasnt careful, I was gonna end up on TV. Hahaha. Go figure.

I watch mostly all genres. Movies, Series. Horror used to be a fave…but I outgrew that. Same with romance movies…I find them too sappy at times, except theres a load of humor in it. Top on the list for me are super-hero movies, fantasies, espionage (cue in James Bond and Ethan Hunt), action. However, a sense of humor always nets it for me. I love to laugh. And my humor is kinda quirky…so, while I am drawn to the obvious funny movies…I am right at home with dark comedies.

I am also searching for something when I watch movies. No matrer how silly, theres got to be some takeaway from it…right? Not like I am a nerd …but…please…let there just be some sense. At least. Hahaha.

So, when I stumbled on the synopsis of “Beatriz at Dinner”…and read dark comedy…I was like waoh! Then I saw the cast…Salma Hayek, John Lithgow and Connie Britton…I was like …double whammy.

I first stumbled on Connie in “Nashville” and since then, I have been a fan. John Lithgow is a comedic genius and Salma…heats up the screen everytime.

Now, its not a new movie…relatively. 2017, actually. So, I know by watching it just a couple of days ago, I sorta came late to the party. Lols. But bear with me.

Boy oh boy! I knew it was going to enthrall me. But I wasnt expecting such depth hidden in such a seemingly simple story.

An isolated vegan holistic healer played by Salma who finds herself unplanned in the midst of rich, uppity folks in the home of her client played by Connie. Everything seems okay…you know…classic case of rich meets poor. The nuances were there. Beatriz (Salma’s character) was largely bemused by all, with sort of a smile plastered on her face while she stood on the sidelines watching and observing. The rich guests mostly ignored her…until Connie’s character drew her in.

Meanwhile, Connie’s character (I forget her name) was smitten with Beatriz’s abilities and as her client could not stop gushing to her female friends about how amazing she is. She obviously believed so much in Beatriz.

If I might add…I have NEVER seen Salma look this plain. Like…she was transformed. Everything that earned her her sultriness was intentionally downplayed. They tried sha…but you could still feel it. Chaii…when you have it…you have it please.

So, back to the story. Beatriz was doing well and it appeared she was blending in quite well too…until she encountered John Lithgow’s character. Waoh! A standing ovation for Mr Lithgow. I doubt if anyone else could have nailed such an obnoxiously yet fun character. He is an in-your-face, what-can-you-do-about-it eccentric billionaire who is on his 3rd wife (I think), loves life (except when he is hunting), loves power and of course loves the thrill of making more money.

Somehow, her facade came crumbling. Turns out she isnt as put together and serene as she appears. No! She is strugggling inside. There is a darkness. Something she yearns for but hasnt quite gotten. She doesnt understand. But she is missing something. Yet…she has been living her life believing her purpose was to heal the world. That has been her reason. She loved animals (hence her being vegan). And was angry at John’s character for being a hunter and proudly showing off his kills. Somebody killed her goat at the beginning of the movie, so she was still sensitive about that.

She tried to get them to understand why the world needed healing and shared an unsolicited story of a rather disturbing moment between her and her dad. All the while, sipping on wine.

Naturally, not the sort of convo rich uppity guys wanna have at dinner. Right? Suffering people? Homeless people? Nah.

The wine was beginning to get to her. And more crumblings. She wasnt a happy soul. Connie’s character was now beginning to show her doubts…her discomfort was showing especially as she had sang Beatriz’s praises to high heavens.

Beatriz didn’t understand how and why they could be so insensitive to the plight of the world. Cant they see the world is dying? Its easier to desteoy than to build. Why not build? Why not heal? Why add to the already damaged world? Cant they hear the cries?

Yup! She dampened the dinner party alright. But the rich guys…being good sports that they are…laughed it off…and moved on.

Aaaand…she had to leave…

While waiting for the tow truck Connie’shusband had angrily ordered, John’s character came out to make a call, saw her and walked over to her.

The world is dying. Yes. We all are dying. Yes. But why such darkness? Loosen up, be free? This life will be gone eventually, why not enjoy it? (Note, I am not quoting verbatim…but that’s the general thrust of his words to her).

She suddenly realised…her purpose was not to heal the world. But to rid the world of those who hated it. John Lithgow’s character became the embodiment of what was wrong with the world. If she could only kill him. Then the world will be free.

She then killed him. Stabbed him in the neck. With a letter opener.

No! I know right. They got me too. She had only imagined doing it…but my lawd…it looked so real. Gosh

Anyway, she left with the tow truck. On the way, she had an epiphany…came down from the vehicle. Went into the ocean and supposedly drowned. Not without having a look of peace and surrender on her face.

Meanwhile, the dinner party was going well. They lit umbrella candles and released into the dark sky…they were happy…and each had a look of peace on their faces.

A poignant film. I havent stopped thinking about it.

What did I learn?

When you have a hunger to heal the world, look inwards, is there something in you that needs healing?

Are you running with a purpose so big it consumes you? Keeps you in a bubble and isolates you?

Do you suddenly see those wjo are not as passionate as you as the enemy…and you judge them?

It is impossible to heal the world. God is still trying in that regard…then mere mortals? Be wise! Taking up such a project can swallow you up…an inability to see the results you desire will cause you to feel depressed and frustrated.

No matter how passionate you are about your purpose and healing the world, when you leave, the world will continue, as though you were never in it…and memories of you will fade in time.

Do not forget who you are. Self love is key. Building healthy relationships is the support system you need to push your purpose.

When pushing your purpose be realistic and be clear about your goals.

Yes, the world needs healing. But it can only come from those who are filled with light from the inside.

Live life, love life. Be kind. Be positive

That way, you wont be consumed to the point your purpose kills you after robbing you of the joy of living.

I guess what I am trying to say is;

Be Purpose Driven with Smart Execution and Intentional Living.

If you wish to see it…the movie is on netflix. You will thank me. If not, I owe you a drink.

Thanks formreading. Cheers