Academic Master


“The Joy Luck Club” Film Analysis

The clash of different cultures in a country and territory can lead to multiple challenges as well as various opportunities to polish personal skills. The film “The Joy Luck Club” is such a piece of drama film that revolves around the life stories of four women. The film depicts a relationship of four Chinese-American women characters with their mothers, who are Chinese immigrants living in Sans Francisco, USA. These four women, namely Lindo Jong, Ying-Ying St. Clair, An-Mei Hsu, and Suyuan Woo, formed Joy Luck Club, where they meet and play the Mahjong game. The film depicts their past lives with intermissions of ongoing film scenes. Each of them had faced many hardships, sexual assaults, social abuse as women, and humiliation by male partners, and troubled family life and war episodes even at a very tendering age. Some women lost their sons, and some had lost their daughters before they came to the USA as Chinese immigrants. After starting a new phase of married life in America, each of these women has a daughter. Their only wish and hope are to make their daughters brave and capable enough to lead a happy, satisfied and successful life. But in contrast, the movie depicts that their daughters face various challenges on cultural, linguistic, social, and economic fronts. Their lives are disturbed, panic, and full of anxieties and feelings of failure even after a long struggle. Throughout the movie mother-daughter bond among them gets strength, and eventually, their conflicts come to an end till the last scenes of the movie.

However, the movie reveals that communication among people who have different cultural backgrounds becomes a norm. The cultural and communication concepts that are depicted in the book “Intercultural Competence: Intercultural communication Across Cultures” are applied to the said movie. The cultural difference and competencies among people can breed harmful consequences. For example, the character Lindo in the film settles in the USA and has a son and daughter. Her daughter, Waverly, becomes a chess champion. Lindo tries to show off in the street on her success, and Waverly screams at her mother and loses confidence to win again. Similarly, the intermingling of people having different cultural backgrounds can lead to humiliation at a party before another. For example, in the movie, Waverly takes her mother to a family dinner, but her mother’s dining habits are ashamed in her friend’s circle due to cultural differences. She becomes annoyed at her mother. Meanwhile, intercultural competency and intercultural communication competency can lead individuals to failure and becoming pessimistic. For example, the character in the movie, Suyuan, wishes to see her daughter as the best guitarist. Still, her daughter, June Woo, cannot perform well due to cultural differences on the part of her mother in American society. She becomes so pessimistic that she wishes to be dead like Suyuan’s other twin daughters.

Moreover, as far as the critique regarding this film is concerned, it is a marvelous depiction of cultural differences and challenges molded herewith. The lens of the movie depicts real cultural experiences and real-life cultural and communication competencies on the screen. The positive description at the end of the movie leads and directs humanity to overcome racial, ethnic, cultural, and communication differences around the globe. Overall the film earned a handsome positive critique reaction. However, the film bears criticism to show immense negative portrayal of male characters predominantly Asian male community. Meanwhile, speaking about the technical aspects of the movie, it is an excellent presentation of the content relating to burning issues around the globe. The application of modern techniques and technologies enhanced the audio-visual value of the said film. The resolution of the movie, film structure regarding the order of scenes, depicted locations in multiple sets, and intermingling of different cultural aspects became this movie a masterpiece.



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