Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Wedding Banquet

The Wedding Banquet is an extremely progressive movie for being shot in 1993. I could not believe some of the scenes of physical affection that the movie included. Also, I found it interesting how the first image of Wei Wei the audience sees creates a sharp contrast in her abrasive personality to the non-masculine Simon and Wai-Tung. At the beginning, she seems far more masculine than any of the male characters. The movie obviously revolves around relationships that are not considered acceptable in the Asian community. In turn, the movie deals heavily with the theme of the unique Asian feelings of always having to meet expectations and a fear of ultimately being a disappointment to the family. Wai-Tung is gay and the girl he is initially set up with through the matchmaking company has a white boyfriend. Both characters find common ground in the fact that neither knows how to tell their parents about their relationship status. In response to the last poster’s comments on why Wai-Tung’s parents are uncomfortable with the fact he is homosexual, I think that it is not only because they fear the end of their line, but also because of Feng’s point of Asian parents seeing homosexuality only as a white disease (276). Asians refuse to see homosexuality as an issue existing within their communities. Asian Americans strictly adhere to the idea of capturing the American dream and being successful with a family and children. There is no place for homosexuality in their blueprint. Also, most Asian families are heavily influenced by the church, and this probably contributes to this sentiment.

One of the other parts of the movie that struck me the most (outside of the homosexuality theme) was the emphasis on how getting married was all for the parents and elders of the community. There were certain lines like “If [you are not getting married for your parents], for who?” Also, Wai-Tung is bluntly deemed a bad son in front of everyone upon his hesitation to accept a wedding banquet. Obviously, there is a major emphasis placed on respect for your elders in the Asian household, however, I was caught off guard as to how prominent this was for a wedding ritual. Finally, I would say that I was annoyed by the fairy tale ending. It just does seem like it should be that easy for everything to simply fall into place when it comes to such a serious topic.

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