Bridget Jones's Diary – Reality In A Nutshell
Bridget Jones's Diary was one movie that I saw just for two main reasons – Renee Zellweger and the hype around it that I had read at the time of its release. In 2001, I felt that I was not old enough to see this move in its true sense. And now, I feel I made the right decision, for it was not possible for me to appreciate the depth and logic of this movie then.
Bridget Jones's Diary is an adaptation of the novel by the same name, written by Helen Fielding. It speaks of a middle-aged British woman Bridget Jones, who at the age of 32 can be described as uninhibited, uncensored and unmarried. She drinks heavily, smokes heavily and loves spending time with her gang of friends. But as she sees every other woman around her getting settled down, she resolves that she will not be spending another Christmas alone. And that's where the diary comes in. She keeps track of her weight and the number of smokes and drinks she has at the point of writing. She pens down all of her thoughts.
But hey, the movie is not about the diary – it's about Bridget. When her boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) at the publishing house starts flirting with her, she gives into his wishes and feels euphoric about their relationship. She also keeps bumping into Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), whom she hates at their very first meeting.
One day, she discovers that Daniel has cheated on her. She leaves him and even her job (that scene is too good, shows the power of a resolved woman). She joins the TV industry as an interviewer. Once she is sent to interview an important case, where the defendant's lawyer was Mark Darcy himself. He arranges Bridget for an exclusive report with his client, which makes her the most famous person in town in just one night. Mark expresses his liking for her just the way she is. That was a very strong statement, which Bridget remembers all along. Mark comes to her home for Christmas and she enjoys his company in cooking a meal, till all her other friends bump along.
And Daniel comes back into her life. This really stokes the anger of Mark and both of them have a street fight. Imagine, a middle-aged woman, who did not have a boy-friend till last year, has two hunks fighting for her now What a turnaround Daniel loses the fight and is beaten to pulp. He wants to come back into her life, but she declines, shooting at him the same words that he once told her that we are all still looking for that something. And when she realizes that Daniel was the guilty party and that Mark was innocent, she comes back to Mark in the most romantic fashion.
The movie seems typical, but what makes it so wonderful is Renee's great performance. An American woman playing the role of a middle-aged British woman? That sounds preposterous, but that's what happened here And never for a moment did she let us realize that she was American. It is also not easy playing a role that embodies real life so closely. What? The movie shows reality? Really?
Well, studies show that more women are single in their thirties now than ten years ago. The rise has been dramatic. I don't know what the reasons are. There are more men than women, so how come so many women are single? Are they concentrating too much on their careers? Or are they doing so deliberately? Or have all the men suddenly decided to be single or in open relationships?
Women enjoy the freedom that they have. They would love to have it forever. They feel that marriage brings with them responsibilities, kids and all sorts if inhibitors. But they must realize that they are the queens of the household. The only role that men play is to provide for the children. They also feel marriage brings with them lots of responsibilities How can that be?
Men, in general, are always afraid of losing their wives. It's true that women are more loyal to men (though this scenario is also changing gradually, thanks to feminism), but men are more afraid of breaking a relationship. They feel scared as to what would happen to their lives if their wives leave them. Women don't feel scared; they feel the need for men because they need them. That's all. Don't ask me what this means. It's just natural law. India may not witness this phenomenon exactly, but it is the state of mind of many European men and women.
How many men have had affairs and yet did not want to end their relationship? History shows many examples. But then, what is the point of having an affair? Is it just for the thrill of having one or the risk that makes it more exciting? I will never know. But one must realize that all relationships have a time period after which both the persons involve feel the need for change from the routine. It's upto them to make things happen so that the relationship runs smoothly.
Back to what I actually started with. The movie was well made and I really liked the way the movie ended. I generally like romantic comedies (not too mushy stuff) but this one lived upto its hype. And all those English Pundits out there please do not crib. I spelt the movie is spelt just the way it was spelt. I made no mistake, the fault is not mine.