Jasmine Women (2004)

Jasmine Women Poster
Original Title: 茉莉花开

Zhang Ziyi plays the youngest of three generations of women who leads lives in Shanghai. Joan Chen plays the great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother. The film recounts this family, the mistakes they make, and a cycle that the granddaughter breaks out of.

Movie Introduction
"Jasmine Women" is a 2004 Chinese drama film directed by Hou Yong and features renowned stars like Zhang Ziyi, Joan Chen, and Jiang Wen. The movie, through a three-part story, explores the lives, struggles, and characteristics of 3 generations of ladies in the very same household throughout different eras in China.

The movie informs the story of three sets of mothers and children. Each lady's life reflects the social and cultural expectations of females in China in three unique periods - pre-revolutionary 1930s, the Cultural Revolution era of the 1960s and 1970s, and the reform period of the 1980s.

The 1930s
The first part of the film presents Mo, a single mom in pre-revolutionary 1930s Shanghai. She is an actress at a movie studio that comes under considerable pressure to marry her employer. In spite of her unwillingness, she succumbs to the pressure and gives birth to a child named Li.

Feeling annoyed by her dissatisfied marriage, Mo persuices Li to end up being a film star, and with her assistance, Li quickly ends up being successful. Nevertheless, Li soon finds herself pregnant by her partner, an occasion that results in intensifying disputes with her mom and ends unfortunately with Mo's suicide.

The 1960s and 1970s
The story then transcends into the next period, set during the Cultural Revolution. Li raises her daughter, Hua, as a single mom after her partner dies by suicide, mirroring the disaster of the previous generation. Li, like Mo, experiences troubled relationships and marital difficulties. As Hua ages, she too falls for a married man and becomes pregnant. Nevertheless, Li supports her daughter through her trials, absolutely figured out not to repeat the errors her mother made with her.

The 1980s
In the last sector, Hua, now a liberated female in the post-reform 1980s period, raises her daughter, Mo, whom she named after her grandma. Regardless of previous tragedies, Hua makes every effort to preserve a healthy, equally supportive relationship with her daughter.

Cinematic Style
The director, Hou Yong, uses stylistic aspects to show the passage of time across multiple decades, such as color schemes, outfits, and set designs that resonate with each era's principles. Characters are likewise thoroughly developed, with each character's different personalities and life circumstances being strongly shown.

"Jasmine Women" centers around styles of motherhood, societal expectations, love, and the cyclical nature of life. It raises concerns about duties and pressures dealt with by women, resulting in a reflection upon the role of females in different generations and how social expectations have actually progressed with time.

"Jasmine Women" is a vivid depiction of three generations of women whose lives show the societal constructs of their times. Filled with tragic feelings, riveting drama, and lovely performances, it leaves an enduring impression on audiences by challenging them to comprehend the complexities of females's functions and identities within society. It weaves a detailed narrative tapestry that links the past, present, and future generations through their shared battles and hopes, making it a hauntingly stunning cinematic journey.

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