FILM

SHREK: What love's got to do with it

A summer hit that goes beneath the surface

Good movies entertain and inform. They also may resonate with spiritual themes—themes that speak to the heart, and remind us of the indomitable spirit of humankind and of our Godlike nature. Shrek, the wonderful animated summer hit by DreamWorks, is such a movie. Its underlying spiritual messages about beauty, happiness, home, and love make it worth seeing for reasons that go beyond the fact that it's a fun-filled, popcorn-eating romp.

Based on a book by William Steig, Shrek is a laugh-a-minute action/adventure romance, and a great family movie. It is structured like a classic fairy tale, full of clever inversions, twists, and turns. The semisweet ogre-hero, Shrek (voice by Mike Myers), who has a beastly exterior and a poor self-image to go with it, wants one thing in life: to be left alone. But his privacy is disrupted when a decree by vainglorious and power-hungry Prince Farquaad (voice by John Lithgow) banishes "defective" fairy tale characters to areas outside the walled city of Duloc. They end up in Shrek's swamp, camped on his doorstep.

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