Little Women Review

Muskan Singh
  • 4/5
Little Women is a real deal

Greta Gerwig’s 2019 Little Women is the adaptation of novel of the same name by Louis May Alcott. Oscar Nominated Little Women is a novel turned film directed by Greta Gerwig is the 6th one after previous versions came in 1917, 1918, 1933, 1949 and 1994. Each version portrays a different story of March sisters. The narrative revolves around Jo March and her sisters Meg, Amy and Beth in Massachusetts during 19th century. We get to know about the life of March Sisters where they are at their home with their mother and their father is off to fight in American Civil War. The four sisters are coming of age in the world where women have many limitations of what they could do. They are meant to marry a wealthy man to lead a happy and secured life and raise children.

But Jo who is an aspiring writer rejects the idea of marriage and prefers to be a spinster. While Meg being the oldest and the most responsible kind among March sisters prefers stable love. Younger to Jo, there is Amy who attends school and have shown shallow and villain characteristics in few circumstances. Whereas Beth being the most saintly good one of the March family is too shy to go to school and taught at home and loves to play Piano for her family. The film also has character named Laurie, grandson of Mr. Laurence who is home tutored by Mr. John Brooke. Laurie met Jo at dance and later become friends leading to Marches and Laurences become family friends. The plot picks up when Meg gets married to John. And Laurie proposes to Jo.

This film is a unique manifestation of hope, belief and rationality. As the film has achronological order unlike the previous versions, it was shot in different lighting to show different time period with warm yellow tone for their past life and cold blue tone for the present one. The way the four sisters interact with each other in rough and tumbled manner shows their interesting bond and chemistry. Gerwig has introduced the idea of author Louis May Alcott herself with Jo as the character to collapse the space and make it look what she actually had to go through being an author. The latest version of Little Women starring Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Timothée Chalamet as Laurie has been applauded by many and casting Laura Dern as Marmee March (mother of March sisters) and Meryl Streep as Aunt March (wealthy relative) has been considered as the master stroke as they can do no wrong. Gerwig gave the Amy’s character space to breathe and become more self-assured unlike the beginning where she was a grumpy child.

The film is a real soul pleasing piece. Watching the family’s domestic struggles and still finding the best of every situation makes it worth a watch. So if you haven’t watched it yet, it’s available on Amazon Prime.

Few of the most effective scenes are:

• Before Meg’s marriage Jo gets really upset of getting distant from Meg and started convincing her to call off the marriage to which she replied, “Just because my dreams are different than yours doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.”

• Amy’s speech to Laurie about marriage being an economic proposition is one of the most powerful scene.

• The moment when Jo expressed about no one will be interested in a story of domestic struggles and joys on which Amy said, “Maybe it doesn’t seem important because people don’t write about them”

• The emotional breakdown of Jo leads to scene where she told her mother about what women want and what they are capable of is too emotional yet strong. She said, “I just feel like, the women, they have minds and they have souls, as well as just hearts and they’ve got ambition and they’ve got talent as well as just beauty. And I’m so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for”