I know that this isn’t a movie but I do believe that it deserves to be talked about. It is a 5-part miniseries that lasted an hour and a half per part. It does sound long but it was worth it. It is based on the Novel by James Cain, which depicts a mother during the Great Depression stuggling as her husbands leaves he, taking care of their children and finding her place in the working class. A few themes present that I find important are of Capitalism, Power, Loss, Tragedy, and Female roles. They are the most evident all throughout apart from many more in the film.
It is set in Glendale wherein Mildred’s husband, Bert, leaves her for another woman and begins a new life. She cares for her daughters, Ray and Veda. At the beginning, she has too much pride that she does not want to accept that she can only do what she knows how to do, be a domestic helper. For Mildred, it is embarrasing for her eldest daughter, Veda, to know that it is the only way for her to put food on their table. She works as a waitress taking tips while earning 0.25 cents an hour. She is also overprotective of her daughters, perhaps due to her husband leaving them and as for their feelings not to get hurt, she fends of anything that appear to be harmful for their upbringing. She becomes a success when she starts her own business by having her very own restaurant but is later blinded by how she does not see how Veda truly is as a person.
Veda however is a stumbling block in Mildred’s life because of her want of a lifestyle where she can have anything she wants at a given time. She wants to be prominent and acts as if she was a royal with an attitude. She talks like she’s one of the so-called accomplished women who can speak several modern languages, skilled with textile crafts, and has the exact air and manner of walking, yes I am referring to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She is very ambitious and does not show respect to anyone who is not in the same social standing as her or higher. She is a diva and grows up becoming a primadona as her voice is discovered by the one conductor who rejected her as a pianist. She betrays her mother when she sleeps with her second husband, Monty. She is let go by her mother in the end when she decides to move to New York, presumably moving in with Monty. Exactly as her voice instructor said to her mother about her being a Coloratura inside and out. She is brilliant in singing but as a person she has nothing to be proud of.
There is a constant war between Mildred and Veda after Ray dies from a high fever. When Monty enters their world, Veda is even more determined to achieve excellence in almost everything. She becomes a social climber as Mildred’s business becomes successful and the tension becomes great on Christmas day when Veda is disappointed to see that her mother got her a wrist-watch. They get into an argument and a slapping battle and Veda wins and starts smoking. Their relationship disappears as time passes by and when Veda moves out, Mildred becomes keen in knowing how her daughter is doing without her, wanting know if she is in god health.
Money is the source of almost every problem; the food, the business, music lessons, etc… Mildred refers to this when she disciplines Veda about snooping in her closet and making the help wear Mildred’s uniform. Veda criticizes her mother’s choice of work and how she was making thei situation even more worse by working like a lower-class citizen. Unfortunately, it is the only option for Mildred because it is the only thing she is qualified to do. She does not have a background on a particular profession other than domestic work. That is the only way for her to cope with everything that is happening.
I don’t know how it goes in the novel but I am planning on getting a copy myself. Overall, the stoy was great. The actors portrayed their characters well. Every seen made me feel what was supposed to be felt, sad when it’s dramatic and happy when it’s funny. The way the themes are presented through dialogue and actions is suited to make their points.