Written by Alexandra Gautier
The latest of several movie adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s dearly beloved novel, Little Women, has made an impression on viewers, both those familiar with and new to the story. With a star-studded cast including the likes of Meryl Streep, Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan, high expectations for he film were met and exceeded.
The story centers around the March family, comprised of Marmee and her four daughters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth, during the Civil War period in Concord, Massachusetts. At a local ball, the witty and intelligent Jo meets her best friend and love interest, Laurie. The pair have many adventures together and with Jo’s sisters, such as putting on plays, ice skating, and writing stories. Despite the cheerful and merry demeanor of the latter half of the film, tragedy strikes in the former with the increasingly unstable condition of Beth’s health. Unlike the novel which unfolds in a linear manner, the film’s story line cuts back and forth several years, with older scenes taking on a golden, sun-kissed quality to them, and scenes seven years in their future having a darker, more somber tone. Not only does this help to distinguish between scenes in the story’s timeline, but it is reflective of the rosy retrospection upon which we remember moments of our past.
The strong headed Jo, though living during the 1860s, remains a contemporary character whose struggles and triumphs resonate during a time where female empowerment is still very much necessary. Her existence is a statement that in order to be fulfilled, one must not look towards another person, but rather look inward and follow their passions. This film has quickly become a personal favorite, and I strongly urge anyone considering purchasing tickets to do so. Little Women is a testament to no matter how bleak things may seem; you are strong enough to endure them. As Louisa May Alcott wrote, “There is always light behind the clouds.”