The ‘Joy Luck Club’-Movie Review

The ‘Joy Luck Club’ movie is a true presentation of a traditional women image through telling of the heart-wrenching stories of Chinese women who share their experiences and the troubles that each of them had to undergo and the lessons they had learned. The film’s scenes are clear as they come rushing off the screen in a flood of memories making it appear as if the film’s characters had been saving their stories, and had now acquired the right moment to narrate them. The film brings a moment of reunion that brings the past experiences alive by showing how the present gets affected by the children who in a big way suffers due to the past experiences of their parents.  The ‘Joy Luck Club’ is a strong and serious film with very moving and touching stories that focus on women’s lives, particularly on Asian-American that helped in bridging imbalances that many films had overlooked as only a few films during the 1990s focused on women’s lives.  Although not deep, the Joy Luck film clearly presents perceptions about the real lives of the women and certainly has an appearance of profundity to the viewers.

The film was written as a screenplay by Ronald Bass and Ms. Tan based on the Tan’s best-selling book in 1989 (Patrick &Wayne, 1993). Wayne the director of the film makes it simple for any viewer as he forcefully makes it both intimate and far-reaching, a lovely evocation of changing cultures and lasting family relationships.  The director makes sure that book lovers get delighted by the elegant way he had transferred the novel’s content to the screen. Additionally, the film is such that any viewer who has not read about the Tan’s  book previously, on viewing the movie would simply appreciate a stirring, multifaceted story, one that is outstandingly well presented.

The movie tells about a story of four women (Lisa Lu, Tsai Chin and Kieu Chinh, and France Nuyen) (Patrick &Wayne,  1993) alternates with the current experiences of their Americanized daughters(Ming-Na Wen, Rosalind Chao, Tamlyn Tomita and Lauren Tom) (Patrick &Wayne,  1993). The four women are born in China but later visit America together with their daughters. The film revolves around the experiences of the eight women both in China and America as it allows the viewer to compare the two generations in the widening circle of experience. The movie appears at the time when the origin of the Chinese women is somehow forgotten, and the fable on their childhood experiences is quite different from the culture they inhabit with their daughters in America.

The four women meet once per week to play mah-jong (Patrick &Wayne, 1993), and it is here where they narrate their experiences and compares their grandchildren and families.  As per the movie the four Chinese ladies have experienced traumatic journeys from the Pre-Revolution era in China to their current lavish homes in San Francisco, America where they meet for the first time (Patrick &Wayne, 1993). The film helps the viewer to see China as it was during the 1930s and 40s, before the revolution as those old days are not often spoken about, and compare it with the current China. In most cases the whole reality about ancient China before is unknown, but through the ‘Joy Luck Club,’ the viewer can clearly understand what was like being a woman during that period.

The narrator of the story is June (Ming-Na Wen), who is the daughter of the Kieu Chinh, who after the death of her mother travels to China and meets with her two-half sisters who remained in China (Patrick &Wayne, 1993). The film starts with a farewell party, and in the next scenes give flashbacks, which reveal the secrets and stories of the four ‘aunties.’ The director in an exceptional way through the different scenes moves between the present and past experiences, showing what was and how things managed to become what they are. The film utilizes different actresses playing the roles of mothers and daughters at various ages presenting many stories, but the film proceeds in all the scenes with a perfect clarity.

Indeed, the ‘Joy Luck Club’ film is one of the greatest movies that to a great extent manage to solve hard narrative problems by presenting itself as a serious look into the past experiences of the women creating a sense of profundity. Thus, providing a strong basis for parents and children to learn how one generation can become both inspiration and restraints for another generation.

References Patrick, M. (Producer) Wayne, W. (Director). (1993, September 8).  ‘The Joy Luck Club.’ United States: Buena Vista Pictures.

How to Write a Movie Review

How to Write a Movie Review: One Template

Five Parts (Paragraphs) of a Movie Review

Opening: Catch the Reader’s Attention

Think about how advertisements sell movies: “trailers” show you a few seconds of the movie to get you interested.

When you begin your movie review, make your own “trailer”, a brief, descriptive narrative. If you liked the movie, then your trailer should make people want to see it; but if you didn’t like it, the trailer should be something that shows why you didn’t like it. Therefore, you should begin your review by retelling an incident or moment from the movie. Don’t explain why you liked it or didn’t like it; make the reader like or dislike the movie through your “preview”. END WITH A THESIS: for example, “The Joy Luck Club was a(n) average/poor/strong/unconvincing/uneven (choose any adjective) film due to its X, Y and Z”; or “Although The Joy Luck Club’s X (criterion) is convincing/powerful, etc.), The Y and Z were weak/laughable/boring…’ OR STATE THE REVERSE DEPENDING UPON THE THRUST OF YOUR THESIS: “Although The Joy Luck Club’s X (criterion) is weak/unconvincing.), The Y and Z were compelling/powerful…”

X, Y and Z (not necessarily in this order) should be acting, fidelity to the stories, and a criterion of your choice (plot, musical score, theme(s)…

Second Paragraph: Take Care of Business

Near the beginning of the review, you have to tell the reader all the obligatory facts–the title of the movie, the director, the studio, the main actors, the year it was made (if you watched it on video), the rating. Also, in one sentence or two, you should provide a very brief plot summary.

Third and Fourth Paragraph: Critique the Movie

In these paragraphs, you discuss the quality of the movie by following your thesis (and the order of the criteria) in paragraph #1. Your job here is to convince us why or why not to watch this movie by providing specifics from the film. In these paragraphs, go into detail about what interested you/disappointed you about the movie. USE YOUR FILM NOTES FOR REFERENCE and write more about one or two characters who were intriguing or annoying/weak/ineffective; or critique the acting, fidelity/infidelity to the spirit of the book or setting. You must give specific examples of scenes/character/actors. For example, you cannot criticize or compliment the acting without evaluating a particular scene. NO UNSUPPORTED GENERALIZATIONS.

Fifth Paragraph

Rate the movie on a scale of your own devising. Who might enjoy this movie? Thumbs up/down/stars, etc. You might also suggest how the movie could have been improved.