THE JOY LUCK CLUB
DIRECTOR: WAYNE WANG
USA 1994
CINEMATOGRAPHY: AMIR MOKRI
MUSIC: RACHEL PORTMAN
CAST: Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, France Nuyen, Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, Ming-Na Wen, Russell wong, Christopher Hugh
WRITTEN BY: Amy Tan, who also did the screenplay.
ONE WORD: The acting. Great story.


Few films follow the written word into the celluloid's without getting knocked around for the differences. There may be many different things between here and the book, but one thing is for sure.... it still is a magnificent piece of work. Maybe it is that the writing is so solid, and the stories are so well defined. And maybe the writer's presence was a great factor in the actors taking the work so seriously. The result is, even if you have not read the novel, that this is very good film.

It is the story of four women, one of which has just recently died, and their stories going back several decades, to when the families were pretty much destroyed by political upheavals, be they in America or in China. The results, are predictable. A string of dysfunctional offspring's, who also get to add their very own problems, as they are in another country altogether.

Each story, is told during a card game when the remaining three women tell their stories to the surviving daughter, to whom the yet another sacrifice has to be done. She gets to go to China and try to re-unite the family, something that the others could not do, for various reasons.

Wayne Wang, faithfully maintained the stories, and the really sad events that unite these women in the first place. But, even though time passes, it appears that the families are doing better, but they still have some problems. The daughters and sons still can not maintain relationships, and occasionally fail, not really because it is a fault of their own. The addition of children, only adds to the problems, which each woman suffers.

The film is a sopping delight, and you are forewarned that you need to take a dose of cleanex's with you. Few films can show so well what it is like to be a foreigner in a foreign land, specially one who is a sort of refugee.

Wonderful film and story.

4 GIBLOONS

 

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