I’ve had a copy of this film since last year but never tried to purposely watch it on our movie time. I thought of it at first to be a mediocre family drama but it turned out to be an excellently narrated heart-breaking story of a kind-hearted young girl who’s tossed around amidst the relationship crisis of her unmarried parents.
The film focuses on Maisie’s plight when her parents separated and battled in court for custody. In spite of the arrangement made between the father who was an art dealer, and the mother who was a female rock icon, that each will have time for their daughter, both eventually became busy with their career leaving their daughter in the care of their new spouses. The father married Maisie’s former nanny while her mom married a bartender.
The film was translated into modern time setting from a book written in 1896 by Henry James depicting irresponsible parents. It was indeed saddening to see how many American families have neglected and disregarded the institution of marriage and importance of solid relationship between parents. In the U.S., about 50% of marriages end in divorce and many societal issues are attributed to broken and dysfunctional families according to researches.
The film – What Maisie Knew, gives a fresh reflection about the importance of families, the togetherness and presence of both parents in rearing their child, and the innocent and disturbed thoughts of a girl who is in this unfortunate situation. It stirs up emotion and awakens a person’s inner heart of its capability to truly love and care. Several times, there were scenes that can bring the viewer to the edge of his emotion and blame the parents’ stupid and immature acts.
Interestingly, the bleak possibility of the young girl’s longing for the companionship of her parents seems to have been saved through the care of her parent’s new spouses who got mixed up in the situation and were forced to look out for her.
This film allows us to reflect on the following issues:
1. Never let work rob off your time with your family. Other films portray that people overwork in order to provide for the family’s needs. This film however portray that the parents work for their self-satisfaction. They seem to forget that a little time spent with the family is priceless.
2. Relationship that starts wrong oftentimes lead to difficult consequences. The world we live today is defying upfront the moral standards as far as marriage is concerned. The film posts a proposition to us that going back and upholding the fundamental values of relationship and marriage saves us from lots of troubles.
3. People are capable of choosing to either care or not to care.
4. Important decisions oftentimes require a sacrifice which then unravels our true wants and priorities. It is oftentimes disappointing to witness how and why some parents would rather put their own convenience ahead of other more important things.
5. Family is the basic unit of a society. How a family thrives and how kids are raised affects the health of the whole society.