Sunday, March 30, 2008

Better Luck Tomorrow

I'm not quite sure what to make of this film. In some ways it reinforced a lot of stereotypes about Asians but in the same turn it also broke those stereotypes. Many Asian American viewers of this movie seemed to think it wasn't "raw" enough but I think if it actually did go to this "raw" extreme, it would just reinforce an extremist Asian stereotype. It seemed more effective to show Asian Americans as real people, not as polar characters like Bruce Lee and the Yellow Man. Although I don't think the average suburbia teenager is selling drugs and plotting how to steal computer equipment, I still like how it showed the effects of the model minority stereotype and what can happen if people don't take Asian Americans seriously. Overall, it seemed the film was making a concerted effort to relate to the Asian American experience but also seemed too confusing for the average viewer to really relate to.
In response to the questions about the lack of a visual role from parents in general, it seems to me that it wasn't really necessary to actually cast characters for the roles. The idea of the parents being major drivers behind the pressure to perform is inherent and partially assumed. In the end, I think its more effective that we don't actually see the parents. It helps to convey the idea that the constant pressure to meet expectations these model minority students face doesn't just come from their parents but from society in general.

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