Going by Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s previous directorial venture, Little Women seemed a dramatic departure; yet, on closer look, they aren’t such poles apart after all. Both are jubilantly spunky works, comprise of stirring feminist subtexts, filled with unwavering exuberance despite the interpersonal conflicts, and feature ferociously independent-minded protagonists. An adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic semi-autobiographical novel, albeit with some artistic licence in merging the book and its author, the film focused on the multi-layered camaraderie of the March sisters – Josephine aka Jo (Saoirse Ronan), a free-spirited, rebellious and confused girl-woman with a gift for writing; Amy (Florence Pugh), a complicated, conflicted and yet resolute wannabe painter, with a love-hate relationship with Jo as much for her natural talent and carefree demeanor as for the fact that their wealthy neighbor (Timothée Hal Chalamet) she’s in love with is besotted with Jo; Margaret aka Meg (Emma Watson), whose love for fashion and the stage are contrasted with her desire for a conventional family life; and Elizabeth aka Beth (Eliza Scanlen), the most sensitive and warm-hearted of the lot with a passion for the piano. And then there’s their incredibly charitable and affectionate monther, Marmee (Laura Dern), who is the anchor to their lives and whose character was based on the author’s own mother. In an interesting artistic choice by Gerwig, the film is chronicled using a non-linear narrative structure, which made it tad tricky to follow at times, but nicely enhanced the film’s lush emotional quotient by smartly juxtaposing moments of joy, fun and elation with sorrow, pain and loss. The movie was uniformly strong in the acting department, with Ronan being the most memorable of ’em all.
Director: Greta Gerwig
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/Romantic Drama