Title: Blue Jasmine
Directed by: Woody Allen
What can I say about this film? Just to let you know, I did not start of this question because I didn’t know what to say… but because I have so many things in my mind I want to say that I quite don’t know where to start of. That is how I ADORE this film!
I was introduced to this movie by scanning through trailers in youtube. (Well, it’s kind of my hobby to just surf through trailer after trailer in youtube. You know to check, what upcoming movies seem interesting for the months or years to come.) And there it was, Blue Jasmine.
I was instantly intrigued by it and couldn’t wait to watch it. This is my fourth in a half Woody Allen movie and was quite not so sure it was because most of the movies I’ve watched had this slight tang of comedy but you feel it throughout. However has this subtle drama that actually fits in the comedy.
Fourth in half, you may ask? Because I watched half of Curb your Enthusiasm and I am sorry… I did not finish it. I was just bored to death with it. Didn’t see what was funny or entertaining. I really slowly feel asleep and as I woke up in about 5 mins… I saw the credits roll. But maybe I’ll try a second time because the first time I’ve watched Annie Hall…oh boy…oh boy… I was just utterly disappointed. I didn’t get why it was one of the “must watch” 80’s movie and romantic comedy movies. Didn’t understand it! Did not get the humor…nothing was coming to me. Then a few years came tried it again…and BAAAAM! I loved it! Understood completely the lovely story and style of humor (Allen was going for. I think it’s his signature thing), and the message!
This trailer however reflected somewhat different from other Allen films. It dealt more on the genre of DRAMA. Yes, comedy is present but drama is prevalent and I think that’s the reason why I am intrigued by it. It is something different…and has that interesting take on the story of how would a woman who is used to a life of extravagant luxury do when she has nothing?
I think this plot has been utilized millions of times… through different characters. A man, an orphaned child and etc. but this is handled by Allen…so the question is how will he execute it?
I like how it starts like an everyday thing.
Cate Blanchett’s character, Jasmine talks to an old woman on the airplane and have an endless conversation.
to descending on an escalator,
and even waiting for their luggages.
Then finally, she sees her family and runs at him.
And here comes Allen’s forte… This scene was just hilarious.
The scenes you see above, seem quite harmless. As I said like a regular, everyday thing. A non stop talkative woman talks to a stranger of her problems or her life and then give a funny kick, an old lady you thought was listening attentive and actually was to “polite” to not want to talk to her. Funny right? And we see this most of the time. And that is why its funny cause we can realate to it. BUT… this scene is actually is a quick sign what is to come in the film…and amazingly…you as audiences would not feel that because Allen wanted you to firstly relate to the character, second, make you feel “at home” because it’s a regular thing…right? In some ways, made you relate to the environment or the “old lady” (because really, we have those times we do get annoyed with those kinds of people)
What I liked about this scene was not only how the use of shots made you feel (as an audience) this is taking forever from Blanchett’s character, Jasmine, going on and on about her life but you get to understand some few details about Jasmine’s condition. This is where Allen’s writing come up and it was just mixed perfectly. To top it all of, Blanchett’s performance just made it more so real…to the point, Jasmine seemed so relate-able.
Speaking of which Cate Blanchett’s performance! I AM JUST SOOOOO AMAZED BY HER! I actually saw her in other roles…and of course she is splendid. In Elizabeth, Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings, Curious Case of Benjamin Button as Daisy Fuller, Brad Pitt’s love interest…and it seems… I’ve seen her in this “beautiful”, graceful, powerful, in all together characters…but in here… she broke down…she showed flaws… she made the character so real. Even though it was a drama she knew not to over act. She was just in that middle…sheer perfection of acting for this flawed character. And even though there were more hint of drama… you can still feel she is hanging on the comedy side.
There are times, in life… some people see your drama as a ‘drama’ and some people despite seeing your ‘drama’ sees it as quite funny…not in a “HAHAHA! I am making fun of your life.” but…see different perception of things because really if you did overcome that certain ‘drama’ in your life…you’d laugh about it and cringe how stupid you must’ve look.
THIS, I think was what Allen was going for. Yes, the story is tragic and heartbreaking HOWEVER… it is funny in a different perspective. Maybe this is his comment or perceptive of things.
However, for some people they don’t see that… they don’t move on. And this is what Jasmine’s fate. While other people moved on, she is still lost…she is sick… she is in a whirlwind of emotions.
And Blanchett just did it spot on! Can I just add… ( I know how amazing she is but…still cannot handle it), she just handled her character well that from a composed woman to this nervous wreck. And it is quite nice to see that she didn’t go for a snotty rich woman portrayal or the ‘donya mode’. She made Jasmine complex. Someone who seems beautiful but has so many flaws. Just gorgeously done! 🙂 *clap* *clap* *clap*
The transitions were also handled well. From the past to the present had a link together. Usually when these things happen, it’s quite confusing, but Allen handled it pretty well. This transition also helps on building up the story and the shocking subtle ending.
Speaking of the ending, or climax rather… the big reveal of the twisted plot. If Allen did not place the fact that Jasmine talks to people about her life… he wouldn’t pull it off how to ease in the fact that Jasmine does talk to people but for the reason she is suffering from a nervous breakdown. Because of this, she speaks by herself with no one around her. At first it was harmless, then as Allen ease it through, it seems quite funny when she did it in a party, then as the climax comes in…we see that it’s quite sad and pathetic at the same time.
And when the big reveal is slowly presented, we see that it was all along her fault. Learning that her husband is having affairs she pulls the trigger and calls the FBI. This answers the question if she did know about the crimes of her husband or was she also a victim. In here, we that she did know about however, because of how Allen lay the cards or how he story tell this amazing film, we see Jasmine as a victim or specifically, person v.s. person kind of conflict really.
In some ways she became the victim not knowing anything of his husband’s infidelity or that she blinded with all the luxurious things that the husband gave her or the glitz and glamorous lifestyle she has. She felt stupid and ashamed why she did not see it coming and that feeling of abandonment and humiliation post-separation and for that reason she pulled the ultimate desperation button… call the FBI…the twist… she knew about it and the one thing she did not know about is the affairs of the husband.
What I also love about this film is, compared to Austenland in my other post, this character is a stagnant kind. However, Allen wrote it beautifully. Despite being stagnant, he made her like that with a purpose. That even though there are so many chances to change she just simple cannot. You know why?
She clings on the past. A past that can never happen again. A past she can never move on. A past she cannot quite understand why she can never come back to. And a future that she cannot accept.
This made Jasmine so flawed…so real… so human. And together with Cate Blanchett’s acting…made it so 3-dimensional. A character so real…a character who we love to despise at the same love all together. Because we can relate to her. And no, not only her but people surrounding her.
We’ve had those instances we encounter these people and we that trough Jasmine’s sister, the old lady passenger, the guy who Jasmine almost married, her step son. Everyone surrounding her.
So, yes, even though she is a stagnant character… I love her. I love you, Woody Allen for creating a wonderful character and a spectacular film! 😀
My verdict, hell ya! I recommend you guys to watch it! 🙂 Lovely film, superbly cast, amazingly written and direction by Woody Allen! 😀
So go on, click on the play button on the trailer above and maybe watch the film! Because you won’t regret it! 🙂
Til the next film post,