‘Brooklyn’: One big step back for Female characters

I’m in my movie seat full of anticipation. I have my coke on the left and a box of popcorn strategically cradled in my right arm. I am so so ready for the film which has seemed to be marketed as the romantic masterpiece of the year. The academy award nominations had me fooled, the heart tugging trailer had me fooled. This film was no epic love story. This film was the tale of a wishy-washy girl who can’t function without a man to support her sorry butt.


Wishy-washy is on her way to America, courtesy of her sister and a priest who has sponsored her. Once in Boston, she’s struck with intense homesickness – now I was still with her here. The priest organises for her to take book keeping classes, since wishy has dreams of becoming an accountant. “Nice” I naively thought to myself, “this film could be a journey of self-discovery, or resilience, of her road to success and independence”. How wrong I was.

Wishy meets Loser 1 at an Irish singles dance. Yet, Loser 1 isn’t actually Irish – he’s Italian – claiming to have a ‘thing’ for Irish girls. Despite the almost fetishisation of her nationality she instantly falls for his wonderful eyes. After a few months of dating, Wishy

Because why wouldn’t you marry a guy you’ve only known a few months!?

finds out her sister has died. Ok, so this is the point in the film where it lost the plot. She wants to go home to look after her mother. But loser 1 is somehow convinced she won’t return to Boston – despite having WORK AND SCHOOL. Then, like an reasonable twat, insist that SHE. MARRIES. HIM.  So THEY DO and off she sails to Ireland. Except Loser 1’s fears were actually founded. Wishy meets Loser 2 (an actual Irish boy) and begins a semi-flirt-ooh-I-kinda-like-you affair. Wishy doesn’t even tell anyone that she’s married!

Ultimately, the crux of why I despited Wishy was that it seemed like she couldn’t stand on her own two feet without a man there to support her. She’s homesick in Brooklyn, oh here comes Loser 1 and the world is just peachy. Her letters to her sister are filled with her love Jumfor Loser 1, no mention of her job or schooling. Back in Ireland, she’s trying to adjust back to life there and grieve her sister’s DEATH – lo and behold Loser 2 comes prancing in. I could’ve respected this film if they added another dimension to it. If they made this a film about a repressed Catholic girl coming to terms with her sexuality, I could’ve gone alone with it. If the film was about her being caught in the cultural differences between Ireland and America, and women’s ownership of their sexuality, and navigating her way through life, I would’ve loved it. But the film was neither of these, the film was just a silly love story about some silly girl who plays with boy’s heartstrings.

“Why are you such a terrible person!?”

Wishy was not the complex character she could have been. Sure there was some character development. She went from being a bland sweet character to being a bland twat. I only feel for Loser 1 and Loser 2 who are left to deal with the mess she left behind.  I’m giving this film a 5/10