Many of us immediately thought of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” when watching Renate Rainsway’s Julie in Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World.” While “Fleabag” has become a hit hit, “Crashing” has been slow to bring to mind Fleabag’s lesser-known sister Lulu in the popular consciousness. The latter series came out in 2016, long before “Fleabag” or “The Worst Person in the World,” and had a similar preoccupation with Fleabag and Julie: an illusion of desire and a coming-of-age redux. The world may end several times in one’s lifetime as generational consciousness in the age of Twitter begins to follow revolutionary developments rather than evolutionary pretense.
A friend recently told me a story about when she first started going to college. He dated a girl, left her for a guy, only to break up with her to return to the girl once more. No one publicly called it a moral failure, but for a long time to come, he wondered whether he would be slowly teased as the “Confused One.” Even though it didn’t really have the sting of blasphemy, it became a kind of instant indictment. A woman as young as him was not allowed to test a shapeshifter named Desire; His passion must necessarily have value, an end goal, a strength, and a commitment.
The illusion and transformational desire is given only to women who have the time and social capital to consider life other than living. Julie, Fleabag and Lulu are all on different turns of the same road called Desire and luckily they have time to think about it. As the world revolves around a woman elsewhere, he realizes we’ve been lied to: it turns out that there is, after all, a singular way of being a woman.
Fleabag famously says, “I want someone to tell me what to wear every morning. I want someone to tell me what to eat, what to like, what to hate, what to be angry about, what What to listen to, what bands to like, what tickets to buy, what to joke about, what not to joke about. I want someone to tell me who to believe… I want that someone tell me how to live my life because till now [Father] I think I’m doing it wrong.”
Her sentiment is echoed more in Julie’s partner Axl’s voice than in Julie’s when she learns, one fine day, that her sexist “humor” is no longer as received with indulgent chuckles and nods. As he is “canceled” to an attentive, convincing Julie in an emotional scene, it becomes abundantly clear that the film itself did not intend to cancel it. “The Worst Person in the World” finds a tangled middle ground for all of its characters. Naturally, when it comes to debating status as the worst person in the world, Axel may be the more worthy candidate, but it’s Julie who does it.
Queer, class, and no maternal instinct
Even though Trier has said that ‘The Worst Person…’ is the story of a particular woman, not that of The Modern Woman, the perception by oneself and another, is a phenomenon that is perhaps more problematic for women in general. . At one point, when Aksel and Julie want children (she wants them now, she wants them at some point), he asks her what the constraint is: “What has to happen first?” A lack of maternal instinct and an argument over a male partner who wants everything to be on his terms (as alleged by Julie) are still things that don’t stray from the path of traditional femininity, not really. As such, Fleabag is a far more radical thinker than Julie. Fleabag’s quirkiness and sexual fluidity may have had something to do with it. Her confusion is not about finding love and questioning motherhood, but about the nature of her desire. Whimsical is so far from the offending path that, as an extension of it, one may be compelled or encouraged to examine more clearly the nature of one’s desire.
Worst Person in the World // FLEABAG pic.twitter.com/yP2UhuT1Bc
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) 22 March 2022
For example, Jacques Audiard’s “Paris, the 13th District” shows Nora (Nomi Merlant) discovering the climax of her desire as Amber Sweet, a woman who is literally a reflection of herself (at one point Nora is referred to as Amber). is mistaken for), which is as lonely, equally sweet, but free. In the final scene, as they finally meet after several video rendezvous, Nora falls to the ground, almost in the expression “la petite mort”. Before them, “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” features Clementine (Kate Winslet) asking the woman in question, giving an iconic speech against the manic pixie dream girl trope: “Joel, I’m not a concept. A lot of people think I’m a concept or I fulfill them or I’m going to live them out, but I’m just an ed-up girl looking for my peace of mind. Don’t give me yours.”
Julie and Fleabag aren’t the only heroines who are tormented about themselves. In Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2021 film “The Lost Daughter,” Leda (Olivia Colman) and Nina (Dakota Johnson) face a similar puzzle, but they’re deep in the web because they’ve already made their choice and once again They have to face it after facing the consequences. already appeared. Leda, as an older woman, sees her maternal instinct change and shape around her after she has already made and broken a commitment.
Lulu from “Crashing” is arguably the weakest of many, perhaps the most personal story of the three. None of what Lulu does is intended to be a statement; She is the one who is truly ethical, acting on instinct, not holding back painstakingly self-flagellating over any of her misconceptions. She ruthlessly rides the waves of her desire, watching with little or no self-punishment as Anthony, his best friend whom he loves or not, serves his fiancée Kate some curry that includes Lulu. has thrown up (that’s a long story). There is nothing virginal or “pure” about the nature of Lulu’s desire.
Crime, Punishment and Bollywood
I try to think of the confused woman in Bollywood movies and surprisingly, Zoe from Sara Ali Khan’s “Love Aaj Kal 2” comes to mind. The film has tanked for its many cinematic failures, currently rating 4.7 on IMDb, but in mainstream Bollywood, it may have to make do with this booming genre of heroines. Imtiaz Ali’s films are widely criticized for using women as agents of character development for men, but somehow, she too has films that portray female characters as lacking relationships. which are not necessarily solid. “Love Aaj Kal 2” was a confused film in general, and that is the reason Zoe was also confused. She confronts the false binary of career versus love that exists only for women and emerges from it fully, as the film provides a moral high ground to Veer (Karthik Aryan) in the form of self-congratulation who tells Zoe , “Come completely“. Although the message is not in so many words that a woman cannot be complete without being completely devoted to the man.
Zoe’s cousin is Deepika Padukone’s Veronica from “Cocktail”, who encounters music that is louder and more punitive. Veronica, unbridled in her sexuality, faces the most horrific punishments Bollywood movies can think of by meeting their abusive women: not men. In fact, Veronica loses it all—friendship, family, love, and the sheer, expansive urban loneliness of being alone, for the simple guilt of not being enough like Mira, a sage-like Mary Sue, played by Diana Penty. . Meera’s virtues, which include a blind, unquenchable devotion to a struggling husband, are eventually rewarded by the love of Gautam (Saif Ali Khan), a character who chooses to put Veronica to sleep but Meera for obvious reasons. To marry and marries without any reason. Callable properties in sight.
Queerness has just begun its ascent in Bollywood from being comic material to receiving the social-issue-film treatment. Yet, millennial women in India are riding the “streetcar named Desire” as strongly as they do anywhere else in the world.
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