Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flower Drum Song: Generation Gap

The Flower Drum Song was a musical performed by a nearly all Asian cast that told the tale of a convoluted love story. I thought the film did an excellent job representing the generation gap and how second generation Asian Americans can feel lost and confused. I thought one of the opening songs between the adults and the three kids about communication set the stage for the whole movie. Ta talked to Linda in the car about how he feels the tear between his American and Chinese halves. I found the many exchanges on views between Ta and his father mildly entertaining and thought the film did a good job showing how both styles of thinking had their pros and cons. The discussion in Screaming Monkeys about respect and how “filial piety cannot become a cultural excuse that absolves us from having to determine who we are and what are lives stand for” can be applied to the relationship between Ta and his father. When Ta makes his decision to marry Linda, while angry, his father does not go to the extreme extent of disowning Ta or anything similar to that nature. Ta learns on his own what type of girl he desires and that while his father may not be as assimilated into the Western world as he is, his father can still offer credible advice.

For the most part I was focusing on the old vs. new and did not see a lot of the female stereotypes come into play. With that said, I agree with Monica’s last reference to Feng’s quote on page 77 and her connection of Mei Lei illustrating the China doll figure and Linda as a representative for the Dragon Lady personality. However, I felt how the manipulative gold-digging female character was played made it seem not uniquely Asian. Therefore, I did not think a whole lot of it aside from the fact that it contained elements of a stereotypical love triangle involving someone who was arguably the most beautiful but was not necessarily interested in love and instead valued material possessions. It seemed that the movie was applicable to the section in Galang's book devoted to the Asian feeling of expectation (especially with marriage).

No comments: