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‘Little Women’ has empowering themes

By Jayelin Haines

The 2019 motion picture, Little Women, has proven to be everything but little. This brand new take on the 150-year-old novel by Louisa May Alcott hit theaters on December 25, 2019, and earned a whopping $16.8 million on its first weekend. This wonderful narrative will unlock its viewer’s emotions and find a special place in all of its viewer’s hearts.

Little Women is the story of four sisters and their journey through their teenage years to adulthood. It takes place during the Civil War and the sisters’ dad has gone off to war. They are left to fend for themselves as a family while they are supposed to be building a life for their own outside of their home. It brings upon new challenges for them as they search for new life opportunities and fight for (and with) the ones they love. 

Greta Gerwig, the director of the film, does an amazing job utilizing the story’s core themes and characters and making them feel fresh. She takes the beloved characters — Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth — and uses their dynamic as a tool to create something that everyone can relate to. Brothers, sisters, best friends, and enemies – everyone has one or two of these and Gertwig does a great job of pulling out the emotions that come with having them. It turns each theme into one that is easy to connect to and forces viewers to reflect on their own experiences at the same time. This film is brimming with feminist ideals, the troubles of sibling relations, the many kinds of losses that life bares, and the kindred love between family. These themes also made long-time fans hesitant about how the newest installment would play out.

Many long-time fans of the book or the other movie adaptations had their doubts about the 2019 film, but the new formating made all the difference. The sequencing of the film’s scenes was confusing at first but as viewers settled into the grove of it, it was easy to follow. It was cut in a non-chronological way that it made it feel like a whole new side of the story. The structure was almost like how we remember the big events in our lives: small snippets of raw emotion and elasticity of what could have happened instead. It linked new segments of the narrative in ways that could have only been seen from the approach that Gertwig took.

The concept also leads to a brand new angle that none of the other films really had. It took the idea of having a main character and threw it out the window. All four sisters had a voice in this story instead of just Jo’s alone. Each side gave way to a new branch of the plot that made the escalation much more rewarding and added a connection that wasn’t present before.

If you’re looking for an admirable story with a great cast of characters then look no further than Little Women. This story holds something for everyone to enjoy and will stick with you for years to come. See you at the theater!

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