By JiSoo Chloe Lee

The movie Joy is based on a real story of a woman named Joy Mangano. The story of the film is mainly about Joy’s life overcoming various hardships to become a successful woman CEO.

To be honest, I do not think Joy is a well made movie. The whole story of the film was so focused on only to the Joy’s emotional and physical sufferings that I felt there is a little lack of solving Joy Mangano’s story in a more interesting way. Nevertheless, this film is special to me. Joy is the first movie I have watched in America. I went to the theater with my cousin sisters who is having difficulties between the school tuition and her dream. Also, for me as a senior student in college, it was very helpful to have a courage to make a first step to the world. The story of Joy Mangano was very hopeful and thankful for me and my cousins who are the women.

In this essay, I will firstly introduce the short summary of Joy. Then I will get into the analysis of the filmography, color, music, use of cameras, and so on which we have learned from the class.

joy30The film is mainly about Joy’s experiences to become a CEO, moving her story back on forth. The film structure is nonlinearThe story goes back to the past to show Joy’s childhood and then come back to the miserable poor present.  Also, JOY is filled with the conflicts that Joy experiences while achieving her goal. Conflicts happens not only between family members and friends but also with business partners and society itself.

Joy represents a strong woman in a matriarch family. She lives with the strange combination of the family members. There are father who divorced her mother, her divorced husband, her mother, her grandmother and her two little children. All of these characters are secondary characters.
The theme of the story happens because of certain incident. One day, she was cleaning up the broken wine glass. Joy gets the idea from it and make her own business item which is a cleaning tool named miracle mop. She made her mind to make her childhood dream come true which was to show the world a fascinating item. However, since Joy has no experiences in business, she suffer from a harsh wall of business. However, Joy does not easily frustrated by the thick wall of reality. Thanks to her family members and her decisive actions, she gets to overcome all the hardships. As a result, starting from the poor single mom, she become a successful woman CEO in America.
David O. Russell is the director . He starts his movie life from 1990s and is famous for having consistent values putting in his works. In Joy, Russell may have add some temperamental humor to show a sharp critique of the capitalism and worries about the modern society that is consist of desire of power and materialism. For example, there is some irony of the first scene of this film which might be the temperamental humor. JOoy starts with Joy’s mother watching a soap opera which is weird scandalous play. Joy looks her mother addicted to TV dramas in a pity and sympathetic view.
However, Joy’s success is also made up by the TV media, using the tactic of home shopping to sell her products. Although Joy is trying to be as natural as she can in front of the cameras, still she cannot be free from the luxurious illusion of the capital (money) which is surrounding all over her success. The irony is that while Joy gives pity looks to her mom who is living inside the television after the divorcewith Joy’s father, Joy also became a heroin as she walked into the media by herself.

When David O. Russell suggested to make a movie based on Joy Mangano’s real story, he said he wants to make this movie for many women in the world, as a fairytale for women. Also he said that Jennifer Lawrence is the only actress in America who can digest Joy’s role.

Thus, in this paragraph I will mainly talk about the characters part and major issues. Actually, this movie is only focused on Joy. Joy appears as a round character that shows no significant changes. From the first scene to the end, even from the childhood to grown up, she represents the confident and hardworking woman. However, I think Joy in this movie is not making the story enrich, but absorbing all the situations as her stake. There is no space for other characters to interfere between Joy and her reality because Joy’s emotion is so strongly appears in this film. While the scene process, the story gets more simple and rough.Lawrence’s acting was very natural and realistic so that made the viewers to imagine how Joy Mangano has really experienced and felt toward the real world. Joy’s character was well matched with Jennifer’s unique characteristics. Her features were well appeared through the Joy’s character. Joy acted by Jennifer seems like a center of the space who can only preside the story inside the movie. Fighting against the miserable society, all other characters around Joy seemed like faint caricatures. Joy’s family and friend exist and function to ruin Joy’s life or help her in the appropriate moments while watching her success. The ironic fact is that whenever the secondary characters are getting fainted, it is hard to concentrate on themain character, Joy’s emotion also.

joy5.jpgTo interpret Joy in a section of film and society, it is a film about a woman fighting against the world consist of capitalism and ruled by men. Time and place is an essential ingredients in any story and makes an important contribution to the theme or total effect of a film. JOY’s time is set up on 1980’s of America. At that time period, it was hard for women to be accepted by the society in business. However, no matter what Joy suffers, she finally overcomes and makes a progress toward her goal. When Joy went to explain her business items to the business managers, everyone ignored and did not pay attention to the items because of the fact that Joy is a woman. This shows that it was hard for woman to start a business in a society ruled over men. This film is certainly sending some messages to the women in the world. The success that Joy accomplished, really touched my heart because still in the world, also in South Korea where I have to live for my life, it is hard to achieve a dream especially for women. Most of the women in my country are sacrificing for their family by the time we gets old. However, after watching JOY, I think we need a change in our life too. We also need to think and love more ourselves.


joygun.pngSince Joy is mostly based on the real story, the colors, lights and music plays an important role to make the movie seems more realistic. While I was watching the movie, I thought that most of the temperatures that colors give is cold images. The light is deemed for the most part of the movie to appeal the miserable situations and hardship that Joy is suffering. However, at the end of the movie when Joy achieved her goal and became a business manager, she moved to much bigger house. Her house’s light was overall yellow that represents the warm images. When the couples with their child visit her for a help who is willing to make their own items to sell, she suggests the place to stay and encouraged them. The colors and the lights appeared in this scene of matched with Joy’s consideration to help them who wants become a successful business person as Joy did at the first scene.

For the music part, the songs from 1960s legendary rock band, Rolling Stones, jazz singer Piths Jerald’s songs and so on are inserted in the right situations that goes along with the stories. It stimulate the nostalgia of 1960s also.

joy11My favorites scenes are the ones that show Joy full of her determinations. Especially when she cuts her hair, wear sunglasses and walking down the street to live a new life, it was the part that Joy has nothing to lose more. She was desperate and confident of her decisions so that made her to bring back what was for her at the first moment. When she finished her missions, the images that snows around the sky and the song “I feel free” well matched to the scene that made all the viewers almost satisfied and delightful.

In conclusion, JOY is a story about chasing a success mechanically. Maybe what this movie wants to present was false of American dream. All the miracles happened in the film almost made the viewers doubt about its true fact. However, JOY is sending encouraging messages to the viewer who is about to start and challenge for something. The successful story of Joy Mangano, who started from difficult environment, attracts the viewer by giving a hopeful image. It also give sincere consolation to the youths in these days who live inside the constant competitions. Moreover I thought about that everyone need a true friend who can help me out when it is hard for me to go forward. The true friend is that no matter what I have or what I don’t have, who can still stay in my back and give me a chance and courage to progress their dreams.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s