Broken Blossoms is a 1919 mainstream film. The main characters in the film include Lucy, Battling Burrows and The Yellow Man. The film has several themes that enable viewers to analyze various aspects.
Among the themes involved is that of suffering. This theme manifests itself based on the life of Lucy. She is a young girl, but has already endured a lot of suffering in her life. Most the suffering emanates from her father who abuses her every opportunity that he gets. Even the slightest of mistakes usually results to whipping regardless of whether it was intentional or accidental. This theme has been devised with the objective of trying to get viewers more concerned with the life of Lucy. It is a theme that elicits sympathy and hence would result to viewers being inclined to her. It enables the film to be emotional in various ways. Witchard (2009) asserts that emotional films tend to stir viewers and make them intrigued at all times. This aspect makes them desire to watch the film up to the end due to the curiosity of how it would end.
Another theme that is quite prevalent is that of “the good overcoming the evil”. The evil perception is demonstrated by the actions of Burrows. He is arrogant and abusive in many ways. Many of the times he is usually out of control, and only does what pleases him. He turns a deaf ear to anyone trying to tell him what he should be doing. His manager has tried to keep him on the right track so that he can remain focused, but this does not seem to help. He picks up fights with everyone. This is more of an aspect that is normally associated with mainstream films. Mainstream films tend to portray boxers as being arrogant in various ways. They are viewed as living flashy lifestyles from the money they make and care less about others. This might be a strategy that helps them make money. It is usually a common character when the plot of the film revolves around particular boxers.
In the Broken Blossoms, the good prevails over the evil. Burrows beats up Lucy and leaves her to die. He continues enjoying his alcohol as if nothing has happened. The Yellow Man comes to rescue Lucy, but it is too late. He is raged by her death, and empties a couple of bullets on Burrows. The evil aspects of Burrows are curtailed as he is killed. This is a great selling point for the film since many people can associate with it. From experience, I have come to learn that there are evil people out there. Doing good is never in their mind or vocabulary. However, their actions are usually curtailed at some point. I remember there is this time where we had a neighbor that was very abusive. He used to beat his wife regularly for no apparent reason. One day as he was beating the wife outside the house and accidently fell on his back and crashed his head on a stone. He just died instantly, and people who had gone to rescue the wife did not even seem bothered. It was more of a relief to the neighbors.
The theme of “the good prevailing over evil” is quite common with most if not all mainstream films. This theme has proved to sell favorably since people can easily associate with it based on personal and general experiences. This is the point where mainstream films have been termed as being predictable. People can generally envision this ending. Though it is favorable selling strategy since the films are providing the viewers with what they want to see. Not many people would enjoy seeing that the arrogant and evil people get their way at the end.
Witchard, A. V. (2009). Thomas Burke’s dark chinoiserie: Limehouse nights and the queer spell of Chinatown. Farnham, England: Ashgate Pub.
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