Friday, November 8, 2013

Joy Luck Club (1993)

Joy Luck Club"The Joy Luck Club" is a ground-breaking film with universal themes that anyone can relate to regardless of age, gender or nationality. Truly epic in its scope and haunting vision, the movie is also deeply heartfelt and familial, enhancing its ability to speak to the audience in myriad, boundless ways. This is an intimate portrait of two generations of Asian women the mothers who risked everything to create a better life for their daughters in the United States. At this juncture in American history, the movie resonates more than ever by reminding the viewer of our fore-mother's immigrant experience. In doing so, "The Joy Luck Club" serves as a vibrant contemporary document on freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Ming-Na Wen (now known to millions as Ming-Na or Deb Chen on NBC's top rated drama "ER") is superb in the central role of June, greiving for her recently deceased mother with the 3 "aunties" who miantain her place at the mah-jon table. Their gatherings continue, with June's presence, and in the process form the backdrop from which these women's personal stories and life-journies are shared. Each auntie and their now-adult Americanized daughters explain their often-harrowing attempt to escape Communist China and their difficult transition to an American way of life in the U.S. Tears flow in both generations, not only for what has been lost, but also for what has been found here a society with different values that challenges these women in unexpected but nearly universal ways. As both generations and all eight women eventually share their stories, the viewer literaly steps into each life, aware of where the characters end up, yet fully experiencing the challenges each of them faces. Set against the backdrop of June's trip to China to find her long-lost sisters (whom her mother was forced to leave behind in one of the film's most powerful sub-plots) "The JOy Luck Club" can be ANY family's story, regardless of how long they or their ancestors have lived in this country. In doing so, it succeeds at building bridges to the past, while staunchly looking ahead to the future. This is the sort of film that embraces real life and human themes, but also puts a face on what it means to be a zero-generation immigrant, or an exile in a land far from one's home and culture. Like the current spate of Latin and Soviet block immigrants and the last century's explosion of new Americans from Europe and Africa, we recognize through the characters the meaning and value of freedom, family and peace as well as the unimaginable challenges our elders faced in coming to this land of opportunity.

The cast of Asian-American actresses is uniformly superb, straddling a delicate balance for the viewer that requires they be both accessible AND remote at once. Although long seen as a "woman's movie" the film deserves to be widely experienced by all people, including men, who might otherwise reject the film as nothing more than handkerchief fluff. In fact, since few similar films exist with central male characters, "The Joy Luck Club" stands as a film I believe many men would embrace if they give it a chance. The film speaks for our fathers and brothers, not just our sisters, mothers or wives. This is grand, epic storytelling with a heart, beautifully directed by Wayne Wang and amazingly accessible in every way, due to its stellar cast. Had there been a Best Ensemble Oscar designed to honor the contribution of a group of actors at the top of their form, "The Joy Luck Club" cast would have surely been honored.

A magnificent film that fully captures what it means to be an American of any descent.

(2008 HOLIDAY TEAM)Having not seen it since it was in the theater, I forgot just how good "The Joy Luck Club" is. The story of each of the women is personal and engaging. Different lives and pasts leading to the same destination, each road is harsh and lined with perils. The film is a nice blend of period piece and modern drama.

I love the dialog ("She will know I am waiting like a tiger in the trees, now ready to leap out and cut her spirit loose.") Visually, the film is almost too pretty. The women are all heart-breakingly beautiful, and each setting is dream-like in it's perfection. However, what could be a flaw is a strength, due largely to the quality of the actors. Each of the characters is strong and individual.

It is a very touching story of mothers and daughters, of hopes and fears. One of my favorite character actors, Victor Wong, even has a small part. A good film all around.

Buy Joy Luck Club (1993) Now

This tearjerker adaptation based on the book by Amy Tan, is about four Chinese mothers and their American born daughters, and how the distinct cultural chasm in their upbringing, play into their daily lives.

The flashbacks into the young lives of each mother is masterful storytelling filled with rich imagery.

But it is the everyday struggles of modern life with their daughters and the conflicts between them that most will easily recognize. In this way the movie does not exclude the general viewer from identifying with their own personal relationships with their mother, spouse, or friends.

This is one of the best technically engineered movies I have ever seen. The way in which the lives of the characters are weaved together is nothing short of genuis, and the movie slides flawlessly from the present to the past and back to the present again

The story of each mother's youth is both heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time, and with their somewhat broken english offer up an amazing amount of simple yet profound statements and insights as they tell their story and try to impart upon their daughters wisdom gained through both suffering and sacrifice.

The modern day entanglements of each daughter and their often tense relationships with their moms, show us in the end that no matter who we are, or where we come from, the bond between a mother and daughter is often a complex enigma, full of conflicting emotions.

Throughout all this, the main underlying issue is the trip to China one of the daughters is about to embark on, to meet for the first time, two sisters previously abandoned in wartime China while at the same time paying a personal tribute to her own mother.

If I had to flaw the movie it would be the constant onslaught on one?s emotions right up until the very end.

Nevertheless, I still give it 5 stars although I am sure this movie will appeal more to women.


"..and on that day, second wife's hair began to turn white"

"All around me I see the signs. My daughter looks but does not see. This is a house that will break into pieces"

"But Lena had no spirit, ..because I had none to give her"

"I like being tragic mom... I learned it from you"

Read Best Reviews of Joy Luck Club (1993) Here

Overall, I like this movie. I've seen it a couple of times, and it's a heart-tugger.

As a second-generation Asian American, I could definitely relate to issues of trying to reconcile having parents of a previous generation and growing up "westernized" in the States. It can be difficult to strike a balance when Asian and western cultures and values appear to be so different. So I thought the movie portrayed this dynamic very well.

However, the movie's portrayal of gender relations between Asian men and women is awful. It's just way too one-sided and gives no depth to the characters of the Asian men. The movie characterizes Andrew McCarthy's character a white guy as the only "good" guy, while the only good Asian character is the father who plays the more stereotypical Asian grandfather type. If anything, this movie just reinforces stereotypes of Asian men not only with roles they play in movies, but sadly as they relate to gender relations.

Want Joy Luck Club (1993) Discount?

This film reveals the complex mother-daughter relationships of four Chinese families whose roots from the past intertwine within the present causing conflicts and misunderstandings in their lives. Once the stories from the past are told and understood within the context of ancient Chinese culture and values, the mother-daughter bonds of love become even stronger and indestructable.

The stories of the four mothers are told from the cultural viewpoint of the past as flashbacks throughout the film. The viewer learns boys are more revered than girls, a daughter is given in an arranged marriage to a boy from a wealthy family and she is expected to be obedient to her husband and servile to her mother-in-law. The mother-in-law expects a grandchild and blames the daughter-in-law for failing to produce offspring, not recognizing or accepting her son's part in the problem. This particular story was cleverly resolved and had a happy ending due to the creative efforts of the daughter-in-law who used superstition, religion, and cultural values to get out of this unhappy marriage. In another life story, a young attractive daughter is raped by a wealthy businessman, her parents disown her not believing this story. They thought she allowed herself to be seduced due to his wealth. To sustain herself, she became his fourth wife, a concubine but also produced a son, an heir ...whom the first wife took ownership of, as if he were her son. The real mother was not allowed near her own child. Eventually, she proved herself a worthy daughter by a sacrificial ceremony done for her dying mother. Later she reunitd with her first child, a daughter, whom she raised within the businessman's household where the mother enacted an even more heartbreaking sacrifice ...

All the stories from the past are connected in some way with the problems the Chinese daughter's are experiencing in their adult lives. Through flashbacks in time, each daughter recalls her own past and how she felt pushed to do things for her mother, trying to please her, yet feeling unworthy. The film blends the stories of all the characters in a very creative and unique manner helping the viewer understand how the context of Chinese culture became the foundation of love on which all their lives are based.

June one of the American-raised Chinese daughters begins telling her story and the relationhship and conflicts with her mother who had recently passed away. The roots of the misunderstandings become more clear as the viewer learns about June's mother's life in China ... June learns the expectations her mother had for her, the hopes and dreams for her American daughter were part of an unresolved loss her mother never spoke about to June. June learns about a very painful experience in her mother's life which forced her to make decisions no mother should have to make ... However, due to a letter written by Auntie Lindo to June's relatives in China, June is reunited with her mother's secret past. This is the point where everyone who views the film will need a handkerchief or tissues... Erika Borsos [pepper flower

Save 15% Off

No comments:

Post a Comment