Jennifer Lawrence’s Joy is about a smart, resourceful, working-class single mother defying odds to seize her entrepreneurial moment that she always dreamed of. Directed by David O. Russell, Joy is about the true story of a real-life inventor and single mother Joy Mangano, who got rich in the 1990s selling her own revolutionary, self-wringing mop on the QVC home shopping channel, while battling with condescending male corporates and various members of her own dysfunctional family. Even though Joy appears in the movie to be the glue holding together this mess of dysfunction, she seems to be destined for greater things in life than merely working with her half-sister and dad at her dad’s auto shop.
In a time where women are mostly objectified, it’s a breath of fresh air to see women being depicted using a strong figure. Joy inspires women like her, who come from a harsh background and discouragement, to determine their own destiny. Told in a very conventional way, this melodrama highlights the importance of believing in yourself. The movie has a little touch of Erin Brockovich, with the theme of a strong determined woman coming to play. There is a clear portrayal of strength and matriarchy in the movie, as its matriarchal essence gives it an undeniable aura.
Other than the strong theme of the movie, Russell’s familiar “let-the-camera-find-the-action” quality illustrates the chaotic family scenes very well. But if Robert De Niro wasn’t Joy’s father in the movie, the family scenes would have been distasteful. De Niro adds a comedic element to the movie, stirring emotions in the audience. On the other hand, the soap opera scenes in the movie are uncalled-for. They do not add anything to the movie and we believe the movie could have been so much better without them.
Strangely, Bradley Cooper’s appearance in the movie is dull and flavourless. We thought that the costars would work their magic together like they did in The Silver Lining’s Playbook, but Cooper’s role in the movie was unnecessary and not striking at all, as we expected it to be. Even though the theme of the movie is motivational, we believe that the characters and their experiences deserved a better portrayal (except for Jennifer Lawrence, of course).
So Jennifer Lawrence owned this one, as the movie wouldn’t have struck a chord with us if she hadn’t performed the lead role. Lawrence’s life-like acting makes the movie well rounded, and obliterates all the actors and actresses that are supporting her in the movie.