Watching movies is my favorite passtime. I learned most of things watching movies. Recently I watched movie Monalisa Smile. I have to say that I was influenced.
Watching Monalisa Smile brought me the energy and optimism I was missing in my life. Basically this movie is female oriented as the name suggests. It tells the story of Cathryn Johnson who is newly appointed teacher in Wals college .This college only enrolls females .The college runs on traditional methods of teaching. Cathryn being an Art History teacher tries applying new methods. This agitates faculty members as well as some students. Cathryn is free spirit who doesn’t think the only job of women is to make their husband and family happy. She encourages women to think beyond the traditions. She makes her students to put their own perspective towards certain things. I was so much influenced from her character. I also did teaching for few months in my leisure time. And it’s a great feeling to be a teacher. You are making directions for the young minds. Cathryn does that making her students to think beyond the horizon. There are so many young students with their own stories. Some come from broken family. Some are socially awkward .But they are young and driven. They are just caught with social barriers .We can relate to this a lot.
When I told I am doing engineering , people around me had their own ideas. You are a girl, you should do nursing, Why is there a rule for the subject choice according to the gender? Why is there a social pressure for women who want to study and be someone who they wanted to be. Its a shame we are still living in ancient time where male power dominates female power. The civilized society should understand that the profession of women should not be stereotyped. Let her do what she wants and how she makes a difference. Let her come out of the four walls .Make her educated. Groom her in the field where she is very much interested.
These ideas which were already in my head got life when I watched Monalisa smile. The actresses played their parts so beautifully. I became their fan instantly. The movie somehow represents the issue of Nepalese women who are made to believe that her career choice should depend upon the married life and her husband. It is not that .This concept should be entirely removed. We require women like Cathryn who are not afraid of change and brave enough to overcome the obstacles that come afterward. If change is positive, it leads society in direction of development. To make such positive change we should not stay silent. We should raise voice and encourage women to take full education in their interested fields and help to build a good society.
The part only played only by women is not sufficient for the women’s development. It is most essential for the male population to understand that women are not the only marriage and family material. They are beyond that. They want to equally participate in the area where males enjoy putting their ideas and efforts to make a project successful. If they understand and support women in their family, friends, girlfriends and relatives. It would make a huge difference.
Let’s not create a boundary line for the women by making a list of things she must do and she must not do. Let’s clear our head and be free both male and females .Giving critical, technical, social freedom to the todays women, we will have zero percentage of regret. In fact we will be enjoying very much progressive results.
In Monalisa Smile, we have student named Betty who is student news reporter editor. She is young, smart, talent and straightforward. First she seems to hate the idea of teaching technique of Cathryn. She even insults Cathryn in many events. She tries to hurt Cathryn emotionally. She is from a rich family. Her mother teaches woman’s life starts with her husband and it ends with husband’s family. She even believes that degree from the college education is to just maintain the social status. Hence, she marries o young wealthy and handsome bachelor. But at the end it is known that she is unhappy. Her husband doesn’t love her and he is cheating on her. She becomes frustrated and returns to her mother’s home. Her mother sends her back to her husband’s home saying that she must convince her husband to be at home and make him happy.
Then Betty goes to Cathryn.Cathryn supports Betty’s decision to file divorce against her husband. She encourages her to apply to law school. Betty leaves her husband’s home and lives with her friend Giselle. In the course of time many young students become familiar with her. She inspires all of them. I think an inspiring teacher helps to change the personality of the students. They inspire young people to be great people in the future.
In my personal experience, I once had a great teacher. He used to teach us Nepali subject. He was not into traditional method of teaching. So, his class was very interesting. Even the lazy students were attentive in his class. He encouraged us to be more creative. Due to his encouragement I was able to write poems that I could not have written in the ages. He taught us to be more optimistic towards life and live with the fullest. He taught us that not to lose hope in bad times. There will be bad times but it is not always so. We should bring the courage to face the difficult situations and always act wiser. My teacher, Mr. Narayan Adhikari had much more to shape up my personality. I am always grateful towards him.
Teachers like Miss Cathryn and Mr Narayan are needed in our society to bring a dynamic change in the society. Society deals with men and women living in it. The society like ours which is in the verge of change asks for the men and women with dynamic ideas and actions. We all should work together for the society. There is a saying that “united we stand and divided we fall.” By taking in account of this saying we should start working from today onwards.
Watching Monalisa Smile I remembered my past and it brought me back to the current scenario I am in. This movie inspired me not to be afraid of my dreams due to the social pressures. It has encouraged me to be happy and be a wise woman with dignity. It has given me the strength to face the obstacles that will come across when I want to make my dreams come true. The famous painting of Monalisa by Leonardo Da Vinci has painting of Monalisa whose smile is so beautiful that it wins hearts of people even after centuries. That smile is the strength of a woman to flourish her charm even in the hardest of times. Let us keep that smile with us always.
PS actress playing Cathryn Johnson is Julia Roberts and I love her more now.