The Boy and the Beast (2015)

Discussion thread for the movie The Boy and the Beast (2015)

To me this movie is the best encapsulation of Peterson’s wisdom I’ve found in shortform media.

I’ve done up a tweet storm of the biggest takeaways for me over here:

I’d love to discuss it with other people who have seen the movie. I think we could fill a 3 hour podcast discussion with this movie alone.

Here are my detailed time by time notes:

  • 3:00 - intro to boy
  • 4:00 - mouse / chiko
  • 4:20 - run away
  • 4:30 - dad abandoned him to his mother’s family, desire to be strong, feeling of abandonment
  • 6:00 - I hate everybody
  • 6:30 - appearance of shadow
  • 7:00 - introduction to trainer
  • 8:00 - introduction, hate, brat, curiosity
  • 9:00 - lost in the big city, police say need parents, escape
  • 10:00 - spot the crevis
  • 11:30 - donkey person, fear
  • 13:00 - pig man, no need to have fear - humans and animals occupy different worlds, perhaps because animals can become gods and humans can not
  • 13:30 - introduction to trainer - doubting the trainer
  • 16:00 - rules of apprentice, no crying - comradery and privacy, new name Kyuta (ren is his real name, missing mother, starts crying)
  • 19:00 - argument of eating eggs, learning obediance, resistance
  • 20:00 - introduction to other kids
  • 20:30 - introduction to hog, bickering over willpower versus responsibility - shock over human kid
  • 22:00 - humans appear weak, but they harbour darkness in their heart, they can get possesed by it, and become a terrible monster - he’s just a scrawny kid, there is no monster in that boy (lack of responsibility) - dual
  • 23:00 - rules of the duel, swoard must remain sheathed - more doubt over the trainer - kid escapes again
  • 23:30 - trainer shows off, is called a fool
  • 24:30 - cocky turns into humility
  • 25:00 - upgrade
  • 26:00 - crowd cheering for hog, bear is all alone, bear falls, crowd cheers, keeps fighting
  • 27:30 - boy yells, darkness unleashed in support of bear - cowd shock - belief in bear causes bear to be shocked and lose
  • 28:00 - rabbit appears, and calls it silly - hog worrys that bear can’t handle the responsibility therefore shouldn’t have the opportunity - rabbit says he will assume responsibility if it doesn’t work out (allowing growth)
  • 28:50 - hog concerned about human becoming consumed by the darkness - rabbit replies not every human becomes possesed, some are able to escape it
  • 29:10 - hog disappointed in rabbit (a goody toosho) - boy remorseful over the trainer, trainer acknowledges his own weakness in shame
  • 29:50 - boy admires bear’s strength, wishes to train under him to also become strong (see 4:30) - boy submits by eating raw eggs, showing trust, and faith, this emboldens bear and inspirits him
    30:45 - training begins - boy fails but tries sincerely and with conviction, his conviction is laughed at by the monkey - bear insults monkey, pig mentors bear
  • 33:00 - you have to grab hold of the sword inside your soul, you have one don’t you? - boy is spiteful at the weird suggestion
  • 33:50 - monkey does more disparagement to kid (there is no place for you here - orphanage), pig does disparagement mentorship to bear
  • 34:10 - boy asks hog what he should do as his apprecentice with his master gone - you clean, so you can train
  • 35:00 - interaction with the villag
  • 35:30 - hog son bullys human, my dad says you are bad and become monsters, I won’t wait. ichirohiko says look how weak he is, he will never become a monster - hog son says my brother (ichirohiko) is so strong, he can move things without touching them, show him - ichirohiko says father says I should only use my powers for good, and I do what my father tells me, and if I do, I know I will be like him someday, a great swordsman, just like father (an orhphan with a false story - flash forward)
  • 36:30 - mentor returns, happy, gives hard truth that the boy is weak and pathetic, boy agrees and wishes to be strong, and acknowledges that bear is pathetic too because he is lazy and irresponsible, a loser who doesn’t act like a master (you get angry t oo easily, you give up too easily, you are a stupid loser)
  • 38:00 - more doubt by pig, bear exclaims doubts to monkey, monkey says end it - you don’t have to be responsible, you don’t have to hear ahrd truths that make you angry - that insuffeciency angers bear - rabbit appears and compliments bear’s training, that training never stops no matter age or experience (a pun on the physical and emotional similarity)
  • 39:00 - rabbit gives letters of introduction to all the wise men
  • 39:30 - training takes place - too slow, too slow, too slow
  • 40:00 - what is true strength? an illusion, having someone to scratch your back, being as still as a stone to escape reality, the right timing - bear is disappointed - boy communicates that he learnt a lot and that stength can be a lot of things - bear: some things you have to figure out on your own - boy: because you can’t explain it - bickering about the real faults of each other in failing to integrate each other (which eventually allows them to lead to integration - by tearing down what is false and weak, they can build up new strength on pure foundations - alan watt’s mess vs order) - pig/monkey you can always find the energy to argue (good, this shows they are always willing to grow beyond their horizons)
  • 43:30 - boy confides doubt in pig, pig encourages, communicates bear was also orphan and didn’t learn how to raise a student/son - he had to become strong without any help, that is his greatest stength and weakness, and as such, he fails to take instruction nor give it - despite that, he is still capable of wisdom
  • 44:00 - bear confides in monkey
    44:45 - boy wonders about figuring things out for himself, envisions mother guiding him - be your master, do as he does - boy now immitates master (marketers falsely equate this with fake it til you make it - not, BE your master, BECOME your master - nothing about that is fake)
  • 46:30 - body language immitation - they are getting better at imitating - pig: the duckling and the duck (fascinating, the ducklings learn by following the mother) the child and the father
  • 48:00 - more parallels with father enjoying the son imitating him - monkey and pig now believe
  • 49:30 - boy now immitating father subconsciously - I can’t see, but I know
  • 50:00 - boy now challenges father, and does well - boy says we can work together, I still have much to learn, and I can teach you what I have learnt - cementing a new mentor-mentor relationship - the teach each other how to teach each other
  • 51:00 - monkey: doubt that stubbordness can be broken through, pig: bear never had anyone to follow, so he woudln’t know
  • 51:30 - boy can now defend himself against the school bullies, takes down hog son, hog son now worships Kyuta as Kyuta is strong and hog son likes strength (blind alleiance to strength)
  • 53:00 - ageing timelapse - hog surprised at how well human is going, rabbit says he is most impressed by bear, hog acknowledges, rabbit which is master which is apprentice
  • 53:30 - now there is a line of people wanting to be apprenticeships
  • 54:00 - still fighting
  • 54:30 - hog son now wants to see even fight, ichirohiko is insulted by the idea
  • 55:00 - Kyuta ends up outside in real world again, goes to library and tries to read moby dick, discovers girl
  • 56:30 - girl stands up against noisey people in library, they bully her outside (we can do whatever we ant to do), try to tease boy, boy kicks their ass, bullies run away
  • 58:00 - it doesn’t matter what school you go to, there are always bullies - violence isn’t the answer, but thank you, you saved me
  • 58:30 - girl says she can teach him how to read, both very happy - boy balances fighting with studying
  • 1:00:00 - moby dick metaphor - not just about revenge over leg - a battle against himself, the whale represents the captain, a reflection against himself
  • 1:00:30 - you are a good student, you are a good teacher - boy says fighting is bad for teaching, however girl says she wishes she fought with her parents, it would have taught her independence, she doesn’t know herself nor does her parents, so she is now trying to find herself and has a plan, feels relieved communicating it - girl says boy should go to college
  • 1:03:00 - scholarships
  • 1:04:00 - father reunion idea, after all this time, it was this easy… finds father, is disappointed that father doesn’t recognise him, father does recognise him, they reunite! father cries and apologises for his shortcomings
  • 1:06:50 - will I be normal now?
    1:07:25 - human against hog boy imagary - human and bear fight, human wants to learn more about being human, bear says you are not strong yet, boy says he will live with his real dad, and pins bear, bear is shocked
  • 1:09:00 - Kyuta is strongheaded, girl is supportive but concerned
  • 1:09:10 - bear is disappinted that new appretincers, the dozens of them, are all pushovers - pig: this will be hard on bear, he thought of himself as Kyuta’s father
  • 1:10:00 - father and son reunite properly, father wishes to thank bear for taking care of him so well, and to do the diginity of taking responsiblity officially - Kyuta now realises things are moving quickly - father tries and starts clean - that offends Kyuta, Kyuta retaliates that father doesn’t even know Kyuta, so how can you want to start fresh if you don’t know me - hate comes out, father is shocked - boy realises he over-reacted, and apologises, and retreats - father is hurt and concerned
    1:11:45 - return of the hate from self hate, and an inconsistent self story, disintegration - the hole in my heart returns
  • 1:13:00 - runs to the library, girl is there, Kyuta wonders if he is boy or beast or a monster, scares the girl, the girl says this isn’t you, boy enrages, girl slaps him, and hugs him, and consoles him, everyone feels that way sometime, it’ll be ok, I know how you feel - Kyuta thanks her for calming him down - girl gives him bracelet, remember I am on your side
    1:14:45 - boy returns to village, big festival - hog boy shows up - date for the big match for new lord - hog boy says he doesn’t see his own dad much, his dad is always training - come with me, we can watch the match together and cheer our father’s on, no matter who wins, we are still friends - brother shows up, and uses telekensis to hurt Kyuta, and projects wishes from fears on him - Kyuta notices a hole in his heart
  • 1:16:00 - the contest
  • 1:17:00 - rabbit, for 9 years I could not decide, so I decided to become the god of decisiveness
  • 1:18:00 - bear: it would be better if Kyuta was here
  • 1:18:00 - must never draw the swords
  • 1:19:00 - bear goes all in at the start, hog and monkey are worried
  • 1:20:30 - repeat of 27:30, pig: say something encouraging, boy: get up you fool, you are pathetic, you have a match to win, bear: I don’t need to listen to you, I have a match to win
  • 1:22:00 - rabbit, boy and bear are now fighting spiritually as one
  • 1:22:30 - ichirohiko gets angry at Kyuta for interfering
    1:23:30 - bear wins - kumatetsu - boy and bear bicker and high five - bear is crowned new lord - hog says he is worthy - rabbit worries about sword missing - sword stabs bear, bear is horrified and asks Kyuta what is going on - ichirohiko says look father, witht he power of your sword and my telekensis we have made things right, and a bunch of insults - heart of darkness appears, and he kills bear - hog is angry at son - Kyuta’s darkness appears - rabbit says resist - chiko distracts Kyuta, Kyuta notices bracelet, and calms down right before ichirohiko realises he would have died, and that makes his hate become all consuming, and disappears - Kyuta faints, and flashbacks to practice time, wakes in animal hospital
  • 1:28:20 - hog; I’m sorry, Ichirohiko - rabbit acknowledges Ichirohiko was a human, as no animal has that power - origin story - hog would raise Ichirohiko like an animal and never tell him of his real human self/soul and hoped ignorance would win, oh how a fool he was - constant lying to his son about his true nature, constant false hope, the progression into darkness - the more you tried to convince him, the more he doubted himself, the more it festered like an unclean wound, it became anger and strengethed the darkness - who knew the world of animals could create such darkness in a human heart
  • 1:30:00 - rabbit: Ichirohiko is no longer your boy, until the darkness is driven out, nothing can be done - Kyuta is going to save the day - hog/monkey have doubts - Kyuta says thank you for caring, but I need to do this - calm restored, empathy, flow, control, responsibility, independence
  • 1:33:00 - pig and monkey compare Kyuta’s growth and are thankful of it
  • 1:33:00 - boy informs girl, girl wishes to help, boy says he girl helped him realise how big the world is, learn things he never has, boy says farewell, girl offers again
  • 1:34:00 - Ichirohiko appears, and scares girl, boy asks girl to run, girl won’t let go, they run, boy throws girl to protection, fight ensues, Ichi starts transforming into a whale underneath the ground - and destroys anything it touches - Kyuta must learn how to protect the girl in the face of the dragon, girl must learn how to elevate the boy in the face of the dragon
  • 1:39:00 - boy contemplates suicide, to kill the whale - girl says how happy she is with him, and how together they give each other strength, and that is what is important, that they are fighting the dragon together, and to never forget that
  • 1:40:00 - the animals notice the conflict is affecting their kingdom, they bicker about that is why humans aren’t allowed in the animal kingdom (probably reference to earlier god reference) - bear appears, everyone is shocked, he asserts he needs to be fighting, not lying in bed - I will be there to give my strength to him so he can win his battles - I may be a fool and a slob, but for him I can be strong!!! - the true father figure - rabbit acknowledges this means reincarnation - bear acknowledges with no grace of doubt
  • 1:42:30 - the whale reappears to confront the boy and girl - girl tries some feminine love and humility and compassion (that trio is important, modern feminists/progressives forget that combo) - we all carry darkness inside, you can face the darkness and overcome it, not swallow it up, you’re not going to win
  • 1:44:00 - kruta goes to sacrifice himself, apparently not hearing what the girl just said - the girl realises the plan - boy: you are I are leaving now, we are not fit for this world! - girl: don’t let him beat you! (in spirit, not strength)
  • 1:45:00 - bear appears as a sword, the sword in his soul (the integrated history, purpose, and truth), the soul fills his darkness and heals it - empowered, Kyuta sheaths his sword (Peterson references this a lot) - with bear inside him, the boy is in flow, the sword in his soul mentors him, guides him, through flow, to conquer his obstacle, focus, do not hesistate - the sword’s blade strikes, the whale falls
  • 1:48:30 - a non-lethal blow, it killed the whale, but ichirohiko is still alive - we are the same, we were raised by beasts, but born with human hearts - flash foward, ichirohiko appears healed with a blank memory, with the bracelet upon him
  • 1:50:00 - ascended bear and boy bicker and giggle
  • 1:50:30 - news reports cover up the real story
  • 1:51:00 - boy and monkey - if you train hard, there may be a very slim chance you can become strong (not everyone has what it takes to be a hero, but it ist he attempt that matters)
  • 1:52:00 - girl appears in animal kingdom, with book, and university application
  • 1:52:30 - fireworks
  • 1:53:00 - boy and real father reunite, pig and monkey narrate: boy left the valley of the beasts, and never drew his sword again, but even so, there is no stronger swordsman - he can overcome any obstacle that will stand in his path, though he won’t do it alone - mother: I’m so happy for you ren - outro to bear laughing