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Film Review: The Joy Luck Club - Essay Example

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In the paper “Film Review: The Joy Luck Club” the author analyzes the film conveying the themes – generation gaps, suffering of mothers, the Americanization of the daughters, the old Chinese ways of the mothers, the obedience of the mothers, the lack of obedience of the daughters…
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Film Review: The Joy Luck Club
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Download file to see previous pages June is the daughter who is never quite good enough, and does not seem to have any outstanding accomplishments. Her dress reflects this, as she tends to dress very down-to-earth, in neutral tones. Her dress does not reflect a woman who is well-to-do, and it also does not reflect a character that is severe in nature, unlike some of the other women. June is not buttoned-up emotionally, and her naturalness reflects this. Waverly, on the other hand, is more like Ying Ying in the way that she dresses. Like Ying Ying, Waverly is repressed because her mother disapproved of her so much. Her dress and hairstyle, like Ying Ying, reflect this repression – perfectly styled hair at all times, formal dress at all times. She always appears to be on her way to a business meeting, even when she is hanging out with her family and friends, and this is symbolic of her character - perfect, cold, bitter. These are three examples of how the director uses costume, dress and hair to show the viewer the character of the women on the screen. Another technique that the director uses in this film is using music to separate the mothers and the daughters. Specifically, the daughters are portrayed either listening to modern music or having modern music playing in the background. An example of this is June, who is watching the Monkees when her mother demanded that she practice the piano. This is emphasizing the enormous gap between mother and daughter, in that the daughter is obviously Americanized, as shown by the fact that she is listening to this American television show. The words in this particular song is also symbolic of what the director is trying to say, in that the words talks about the “young generation, and we’ve got something to say.”...
Another example of the use of modern music to convey the theme of the Americanization of the daughters, in contrast with the old Chinese ways of the mothers is the usage of the song “One Fine Day” when Waverly’s mother is bragging about her on the street when Waverly is on the cover of Life. Once again, the symbolism is layered here, just as it was when June was watching the Monkees. The Life magazine is obviously symbolic of the Americanization of Waverly, and the fact that both mother and daughter are living in America, for Life is one of those foundational magazines about America. The song playing in the background is also symbolic of this. Everything about this scene shows the Americanization of these characters, yet the excessive bragging done by the mother somehow still make one remember that the women are Chinese. Therefore, this scene, while American, also has the remnants of Chinese, blending the two themes of Americanization verses the old ways seamlessly.
One interesting note about this film, at least with regards to the music, is how little traditional Chinese music plays throughout the film. Most of the music that plays iseither Western-style classical music or it is popular music, as in the examples above. This is true even when the characters are shown in China. One exception that is remembered is when June finally meets her twin sisters – the music that plays when she approaches the sisters is traditional Chinese, then it reverts again to Westernized classical music. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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