Monday, May 5, 2014

The Blue Jasmine - Movie Review

Woody Allen springs a nice surprise. Cate Blanchett is Jasmine, a rich socialite who has travelled to San Francisco to stay with her sister until she finds her feet. Her husband has lost his money, got arrested and as we find out later, dead. What does rich and beautiful and classy Cate have to do with ordinary Ginger of working class tastes is this - they have both been adopted by their foster parents. Obviously both think differently. Cate always wants class, looks different,  talks and walks different. Ginger cannot but think beyond the working class. Cate is dreamy. Ginger, feet on ground.

It unravels that Cate's rich husband has not only cheated Ginger and ex-husband who had won a lottery but many others in his realty business. While Ginger's marriage breaks up thanks to their dreams going up in smoke. Jasmine's husband is finding ways to cheat the system and keep his ill gotten wealth. He is also cheating on his wife. Unhappy with his many liasons Cate gives him up and he gives himself up. Jasmine is alone and broke, and lands up with her sister.

What happens with the clash of cultures between the two sisters is interesting. Cate is delusional and dreamy even if it means deluding herself and others. Ginger believes her for a while and almost falls into the trap Jasmine is stuck in before she saves herself.

What is intriguing is the way Woody Allen goes into the minds of both women, their aspirations and their blocks. Ginger is saved by her mediocrity as she accepts all, and sees happiness in what she gets though it is not the best. Cate might find a way out for herself or she might die. The two sisters remind you of the developed nations and the undeveloped ones. Cate Blanchett is brilliant and deservedly won the Academy Award. The movie would not have held without her portrayal of Jasmine aka Jeanette. Having said that the casting is perfect.

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