Film Analysis - The Joy Luck Club – Prajakta Kanegaonkar Who can define culture in its exact sense! Every person carries his or her culture, values and nationality in the heart only to take it with them everywhere. They always add it to the culture around them and get added in return…
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Going ahead this becomes a major point of clash between the two generations, none comprehending and understanding other’s view point. For the women in the film ‘The Joy Luck Club’ we see this struggle going on constantly. In this essay based on the film, we are going to analyse this clash of culture as strong as generation gap and how the women in the film try to bridge the gap in the relations with the help of their values and cultures. This film is based on the novel by Amy Tan by the same name. This was completed and released in the year 1993 and received critical as well as mainstream acclaim. This movie and the book is based on the lives of four Chinese women who came to America because of some or the other reason and settled there. They came together and found the club called ‘The Joy Luck Club’ indicating that they would always find joy and happiness wherever they go and would not let circumstances affect them. The story could have happened anywhere in this world. Howsoever torn we are with the extreme circumstances around us we don’t give up and nor should we. The name of the club in itself is an indicator of the ever going hopeful attitude of the ladies who have formed the club. There are many stories that go on at the same time in the film. Unlike the book the director of the film has to make choices about which character to bring to surface and which one should relegate at the background. Irrespective of a few characters going in the background the weave of the story is not loosened. In fact all these characters contribute to the protagonist’s sketch very beautifully. The purpose of including Jing-Mei in the club is to tell her about her half-sisters in China, whom her mother longed to be reunited with all her life. The seamless flow of the story begins at this point. The story is not about Jing-Mei fulfilling her mother’s last wish. The story narrates the highs and lows of her relationship with her mother, of broken moments, of tears and joys and most importantly of discovering her mother all over again. The story ends with Jing-Mei meeting her sisters and introducing them the mother they never had. The journey of a relation begins with self-discovery and acceptance of our own self and then the closed ones around us as they are. This journey is portrayed beautifully in the book but is also conveyed with same passion by the actors through their excellent acting and by the powerful media of cinema. The movie impacts the audience as much as the impact caused by the book on the reader. History and traditions are carried forward by the women of the society all around the world. This handing over happens seamlessly through stories, through teachings of pride, memories and is blended beautifully in the upbringing of the children. When we go through the stories of the club members, it becomes increasingly apparent that the cultural gaps between America and China would never be fully reconciled. The question arises when women in the film are trying to blend into a new culture of individualism, freedom of speech and decisions and free thought they are unable to let go of their Chinese ties and traditions. Surprisingly each of them has been a direct or indirect victim of the same ties and tradition. The daughters Jing-Mei, Lena, Waverly and Rose are all American women, because they don’t want to be a part of their Chinese heritage. This is what worries the mothers in the club, while their trying to preserve the Chinese traditions
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“Film Analysis - The Joy Luck Club - Prajakta Kanegaonkar Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/visual-arts-film-studies/1393087-film-analysis.
As one of the mothers formed a club in China, the name of the book is reflected by this club nomenclature. The mothers try to share their past experiences with their daughters who have grown up in a different culture. While Suyuan Woo formed this club in China during the period of Japanese invasion, she continued the same, even after migrating to America.
Her narrative also serves as a bridge between the two generations of story tellers, and she provides voices for both herself and her recently deceased mother, Suyuan. She wonders: “What will I say? What can I tell them about my mother? I don’t know anything.
The author states that The Joy Luck Club concerns two generations – mothers who immigrated from China, and their daughters who were born and raised in America. The director shows these basic themes, as well as many others, in a variety of techniques. The movie goes back and forth from the present, and back again to tell the stories of these women.
This essay analyzes these two overriding themes of the novel: (1) relationships of mothers and daughters, and (2) generational differences. The final section of the essay discusses the importance of respecting and understanding previous generations, as exemplified by the narrative.
Unlike Jing-mei, Waverly’s narrative represents only the younger generation of the narrators since she has her mother Lindo to speak for herself. In China, Jing-mei finds a new side to herself that bonds her strongly to her mother; a side that she had previously ignored as an American.
Jing-mei and Waverly happen to be two important characters in the story, being the daughters of Suyuan Woo and Lindo respectively. The irony is that irrespective of their disparate personalities and talents, the predicament of Jing-mei and Waverly tends to be similar in many ways.
The film captures beautiful hues of human emotions and also captivates the life of Chinese immigrants in the United States, their joys and sorrows, grievance and gaiety along with their rise and fall. The film is co-written by Amy Tan and Ronald Bass and it stars Ming-Na, Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom and along with many others.
Over the years, Asian women have viewed by many as "submissive sex objects" (www.boston.com). There are a lot of glossy magazines all over the world depicting the beautiful, seductive, and outstanding figures of Asian women. Not only have that but there were a lot of films produced, western and eastern, showcasing Asian talents in sexual arena.
And because of this, is Hollywood changing its' perception on Asian culture I don't think so.
We cannot deny that Asians are a cultural minority in Hollywood TV and film industry. In most films, unless the show is about Asians, you can hardly see any Asians in the cast.