Archivo de la categoría: Cultura Pop

Honey, I shoehorned heterosexuality on the kids

Let’s all agree on this, the media doesn’t like to portray queer children. We can have lots of wonderful and nuanced gay couples flourishing in front of our eyes accompanied with some transgender characters in our TV shows, but don’t even think about getting a beautiful coming out story of a child with an identity crisis, because kids watching it might “get confused” and ask things we’re not prepared to answer as the grown-ass adults we are.

We don’t like to confront the things we’re not able—or don’t want—to understand. That’s why most of the audiences, especially parents, get usually startled when even a hint of queerness stands out on their children’s TV shows because talking about it will automatically imply we want our children to be themselves and live a full life instead of living within the borders of the idea of life we have for them.

We like to see our children depicted as five-year-old heterosexual boys holding hands with five-year-old heterosexual girls yearning for long-lasting relationships since the first day they were born and dreaming with being home-steady moms and dads who provide for their families. Basically, the perfect family picture.

And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad with wanting to have the family, the house, the children and the dog visualized in the future. The problem here is that the media is not capable to look beyond that stereotype, especially when our reality is really different and far from it. Every day, there are more and more queer children embracing their identities and feeling good about themselves than we can handle, and that scares us.

That’s why most TV shows, especially the ones that have a younger audience, prefer to depict their children as heterosexuals —especially men— from the very beginning. In fact, they would probably establish them as such on the first or second episode of the season to leave no doubts about it.

We can’t have a little boy on television who is sensitive and caring without clarifying upfront his heterosexuality. We also can’t have a child who doesn’t have a romantic interest (or even intentions of having one) without giving them one immediately, because being single would probably mean that they’re indecisive or gay. Sadly, that’s a direct reflection of our reality and the ways we reduce children’s identity.

Nowadays, is really easy to find stories of little boys falling in love with little girls —and not the other way around— from a very young age in TV shows, as opposed on investing in creating meaningful stories that centre on them being alone and discovering themselves; that would leave no space to believe that they are nothing but heterosexuals. People actually prefer to create a love arc between their little heterosexual children before considering the idea of, I don’t know, letting them be children.

There isn’t a better example of this than the characters of Jackson (Michael Campion) and Max (Elias Harger) from Netflix’s Fuller House (2016): a pair of thirteen-year-old and seven-year-old boys respectively, who have been problematically paired up with several girls since episode one of their three-season run, with lots of excuses, narratively-wise, to justify this.

Jackson has been portrayed, from the very beginning, as a teenager experiencing his wonderful blossoming into manhood, and as such, he has been doing it with the help of his manliness. The problem with it is that his character is constantly reduced to his heterosexuality and his “manly appeal”, making it his only recognizable trait. Jackson’s arcs have always been about him trying to make girls like him. If we strip him out of it, there would nothing left of him, leaving behind a blank of a person.

Max’s heterosexuality, on the other hand, is so frustratingly shoehorned, that any story −and believe me, there are lots of them−that develops around him and his love life automatically feels superficial and out of character. Why? Because he is portrayed as a sensitive child that is in touch with his emotions and, as we have learned, emotions and sensitiveness are not usually related to manliness and heterosexuality in boys.

The people behind the show is so invested in proving that Max is heterosexual that they have essentially devoted all of the entirety of his season 2 and season 3 arc into orchestrating a feud between him and his neighbour over the love and attention of a girl, named Rose (Mckenna Grace), —who’s title actress looks always uncomfortable— in order to become her boyfriend. It’s important to mention that none of them has asked her if she would like to date them or even if she’s interested in any of them.

Something similar has been happening on another Netflix show, Stranger Things (2016), where it seems that the love lives of a group of thirteen-year-old boys are more interesting than the mysteries surrounding them. Or at least, that’s what the creators of the show, the Duffer brothers, have been trying to tell us on the two seasons that have been aired.

First, they stripped Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) of all agency by giving her the role of Mike’s (Finn Wolfhard) love interest on season 1’s finale, then, they brought a new girl character, called Max (Sadie Sink) to fulfil the role of the Smurfette of their group that Eleven left when she was gone, and with no other reason to exist than becoming Lucas (Caleb Maclaughlin) and Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) love interest and object of desire.

Also, like Fuller House, Stranger Things has their very own Max problem with one of their leads, Will (Noah Schnapp), who is also a sensitive, caring boy who also happens to be in touch of his feelings and the only one who has not being paired with any other girl. But, as he becomes more and more important, I can already see him meeting a love interest for season 3, especially because lots of media outlets and forums devoted to the show have been asking to the creators to have him be a gay character.

What’s really dangerous—and also disingenuous, I might say— about the narrative that the creators of these shows are trying to tell, is first, that girls’ only purpose in this world is to become a symbol of heterosexuality for adults to use as love interests in order to justify the heterosexuality of their boys and, second, that children need to be paired up before they have the chance to even try to think about themselves, their identities and what they really want.

Representation will always matter, especially when it comes to children and their identities, if we want to set a good example, we need to depict them as to how they really are and not by the idea we have of them.

 

 

 

 

 

Visibilidad y producción de sentido en el cine con actores y actrices transgénero

Si tienes conexión a internet y has estado al tanto de las últimas noticias del mundo de la cultura pop, sabrás sobre las últimas noticias de la contratación y consecuente rechazo de Scarlett Johansson para retratar a un hombre transgénero en la película de Rub & Tug . Seguro te estarás preguntando ¿Por qué la gente y los medios están haciendo tanto escándalo por algo que parece ser tan sencillo y simple como la representación de un personaje en manos de una actriz que se dedica a hacer eso? ¡No temas! Que yo estoy aquí para explicarte.

Antes de meterme de lleno en el tema, me gustaría primero hacer una pequeña pausa y hablar un poco sobre la performatividad y la creación de sentido como preámbulo explicatorio. Como todos sabemos, el lenguaje es la forma más inmediata  y sencilla con la que los seres humanos nos comunicamos, al intercambiar ideas por medio de un sistema de formas y símbolos compartidos.  Cuando decimos algo, sabemos que el receptor nos va a entender porque esperamos que cuente con la misma estructura simbólica y de procesamiento de formas simbólicas que nosotros. Al comunicarnos, estamos produciendo sentido.

¿A qué me refiero con producir sentido? Esto hace referencia al proceso que realizamos al transformar y adaptar una idea en nuestra mente en una frase u oración que tenga sentido y coherencia para que el otro pueda entenderlo al momento de recibirla, sin necesidad de contar información extra. En cierto modo, al producir sentido estamos creando una realidad; y precisamente de esto se trata la performatividad, cuando enunciamos y nombramos algo, lo volvemos real.

Una manzana no es una manzana en nuestra mente hasta que la llamamos de esa forma, de la misma manera,  una persona transgénero no es transgénero hasta que la nombramos, hasta que le damos sentido y significado en nuestra mente. El proceso de nombrar a algo o alguien no solo crea sentido, sino que visibiliza lo que nuestra conciencia no había considerado o tomado en cuenta en cuanto a formas simbólicas se refiere. La performatividad es, en esencia, la representación de la realidad.

Es por ello que creo que la idea de la performatividad se adecua a la perfección a la hora de tratar de entender a las políticas de identidad y los problemas subsecuentes con los que se está topando Hollywood  con ellas. El cine, al ser también un lenguaje, está destinado a producir sentido y crear realidades al nombrar lo que está poniendo y representando en pantalla.

En la actualidad existe una gran variedad de actores y actrices transgénero capaces de dar vida a cualquier papel que se les requiera ya  los que ni siquiera se les está considerando para hacerlo. También existe todo este grupo de actores y actrices cisgénero a los que se les están dando aquellas oportunidades y a los que se les están otorgando papeles de personajes transgénero sin dudarlo, muchos de ellos aplaudidos, reconocidos como personas valientes y merecedores de diversos premios por ello.

Si a los actores y actrices transgénero no se les está brindando las oportunidades necesarias para aparecer en alguna película o interpretar cualquier papel, ¿por qué ni siquiera se les está considerando a la hora de realizar audiciones para un papel de un personaje transgénero? En un ambiente sobrepoblado por hombres heterosexuales que son representados una y otra vez en diversos filmes por actores cisgénero, debería de haber también cabida de las voces trans para participar en los espacios y tomar los papeles que se les han estado negando.

Lo que Hollywood hace al darle el papel de un hombre transgénero a una actriz que no lo es, es producir sentido y crear una realidad. Con ello, las grandes casas productoras están enunciando explícitamente que las voces diversas no existen y, por lo tanto, son invisibles y no tienen cabida en el medio. Por supuesto que una actriz como Scarlett Johansson puede interpretar un personaje transgénero sin lugar a dudas, pero ese no es el problema. El verdadero problema es el rechazo e invisibilización sistemática de la diversidad en el medio al desaparecer las voces trans.

Seguro estarás preguntándote —y lo digo porque he leído este tipo de argumentos numerosas veces— “¿Entonces qué sucede con los actores y actrices digamos, caníbales, que no fueron considerados para el papel de Hannibal Lecter en Silence Of The Lambs o las amas de casa que no buscaron a la hora de contratar actrices para The Stepford Wives?” Yo te respondería que una cosa no tiene nada que ver con la otra, porque  1) como suele pasar mucho actualmente, estás confundiendo estilo de vida con identidad de género,  mientras la primera se decide, la segunda es algo con lo que se nace y 2) ni los caníbales, ni las amas de casa han sido catalogadas como un género cinematográfico ni han sido sistemáticamente utilizadas como herramientas narrativas a la disposición de un actor o actriz que en busca de “intepretar un papel valiente”.

Por ello, resulta importante y muy relevante celebrar los avances que la televisión ha comenzando a lograr con series como el nuevo proyecto de Ryan Murphy,  Pose, que cuenta con el cast más grande de personas transgénero en la historia de la televisión, o Transparent —a pesar del casting de Jeffrey Tambor como una mujer transgénero— que le ha otorgado grandes papeles de personajes transgénero a actrices transgénero o Sense8, una de las primeras series en darle a una actriz transgénero un papel protagónico, o la más reciente noticia de Supergirl, la cual contará una superheroína abiertamente transgénero, interpretada por una actriz transgénero en su siguiente temporada.

La representación  es importante, sobre todo cuando se trata de un medio y un lenguaje que crea y produce sentido con cada producto que lanza al mercado, como lo es el cine. Si el entorno social donde nos desarrollamos está lleno de diversidad y voces alternantes, resultaría coherente ver eso reflejado en la pantalla grande por personas que lo viven día a día en carne propia, no solo por la capacidad que tienen de incluir su experiencia en su interpretación, sino que también porque ya es hora de que comiencen a habitar los espacios e intepretar los papeles que sistemáticamente les han sido negados una y otra vez.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hereditary and the selfless mother/selfish woman dichotomy

Warning: This post includes MAJOR Hereditary spoilers. Proceed with caution.

As I previously stated , the mythical mothers in cinema history have the tendency to be represented as these selfless individuals who are capable of putting everyone else before them and who would do everything for their families, specially for their children.

What’s really dangerous of this portrayal is not the very idea of selflessness, but the assumption that motherhood is inherent to all  women and, even worse, that it constitutes the definition of womanhood.

With this trope, movies are telling us that women need to be mothers in order to fulfill their purpose, that women need to be mothers to feel complete and that there’s really nothing else for them to do in this world but to deliver babies .

From rom-coms to dramas, movies go out of their way trying to beatify their mothers’ purpose on their stories. But there’s actually one genre that has been subverting this trope all along: horror movies.

I’m talking about horror movies, not their suitable cousin, slasher movies, where the mother figure is commonly the first one that is willing to die, literally, for her family at any time, as she is always available for screenwritters to use as cannon fodder in order to increase the body count to up the movie stakes.

Unlike these films, recent horror movies, like The Babadook (2014) or Good Night Mommy (2015), have helped to change the ways cinema represents their mothers  by portraying flawed maternal figures that are tired of the inherent responsability that comes with motherhood and are acting on it in sadistic and vicious ways. Everything but mother-like.

Fortunately, the wonderful jaw-dropping Hereditary (2018), falls right into this place, too. Specially when it tries to unpack the trials and tribulations  behind  the difficult relationship between its protagonist Annie, her mother Ellen, and with her children, Charlie and Peter.

From the very beginning of the movie, Annie lays it all for us at her mother’s funeral: she really loved her, but their relationship was complicated and really difficult to process, Ellen had her secrets and was a really secretive person whose husband died young at the hands of a mental disease and a son who went mad blaming her for placing the voices in his head. Clearly, she did not embraced the stereotypical idea of motherhood.

Later we discover that not only did she offered up all her family —specially her grandchildren— as a sacrifice to bring back a demon from hell, but that her first attempt involved using her husband and son as a mean to achieve her goal, but eventually failed.

With Ellen, the movie paints a character that  goes against everything the mother trope stands for. She is someone who’s purpose goes beyond her inherent motherhood and a cult leader who also happens to have children. She is the antithesis of the selfless mother: the selfish woman; that’s what happens when a mother stops thinking about her children and starts thinking about herself.

In fact, not only does she has a particular aim whose very process involves putting herself and her cult interests first and foremost before their family and their well being, but she carries along with it without even considering it or flinching. Ellen’s purpose on earth is clearly not putting their children first, as society expects her to do. She sees her kids as tools to find meaning to her life,  not the meaning itself.

Ellen, as a character, is easy to portray because her motivations are clear and directly comes from a subverted trope. Annie, on the other hand, is a more complicated, and nuanced, individual. She tries to act like an overbearing mom with Charlie, her younger daughter, but the ghost of her mother, and her consequential heritage, lingers with her.

Annie loves her children, but she also knows —on a subconscious level— that there’s something wrong with them. Charlie represents the first embodiment of the demon her grandma is trying to bring back to earth, while Peter is the masculine body that later will be used as a vessel for the same demon to occupate.

Annie’s character represents perfectly the dichotomy of the selfless mother/selfish woman on a conscious/unconscius level as a criticism against the expectations that society has towards women. A mother know on a conscious level that her selflessness must be part of her daily “job” but, on an unconscious level, she will always try to fight back all these ideas bestowed upon on her, by separating the idea of motherhood from her very own construction of womanhood.

We learn, as the movie goes on, that Charlie was Annie’s mother favorite  child as she always wanted to fed her since she was a little baby; that was the main reason why Annie smothered her so much, to kept her away from her.

Annie also didn’t want to have Peter, her oldest son, as she even tried to abort him on a failed attempt. She also tried to kill both of her children on a sleepwalking night by showering them on kerosene and lightning a match before walking up.

Annie is overbearing and smothering with her children on a conscious level because it’s the only way she understands how a mother should behave, but she is also selfish, on a unconscious level, by doing what it has to be done  for the sake of her family and against her mother’s wishes, by trying to get rid of the evil her children will become in the future.

The great thing about Hereditary is that, not only does it give us the opportunity to get excited about an inteligent horror movie with nuanced symbolisms to talk about, but it also offers a great way to understand the stereotype behind motherhood and the different ways that some women are capable of carrying along in order to break this mold in numerous and fulfilling ways.

Tenemos un problema de perspectiva en Hollywood.

Es un hecho, Hollywood sigue siendo una máquina fílmica sexista que le interesa poco el punto de vista femenino detrás de sus películas y que, cuando sucede lo contrario, le da la espalda a las directoras y realizadoras al momento de reconocer su trabajo.

Aún cuando miles y millones  de veces se ha intentado mostrar y demostrar la importancia de la perspectiva femenina en el cine actual, el punto de vista masculino sigue siendo el imperativo en el mundo de las películas, tanto delante como detrás de cámaras.

Esto no es más que resultado directo de la sociedad en la que vivimos, donde la perspectiva masculina es la hegemónica y donde las experiencias de vida, así como los relatos e historias, son tomadas en cuenta desde el punto de vista masculino.

Con ello, no quiero decir que contar con una mirada masculina detrás de un proyecto es algo necesariamente negativo, sino que, más bien, el exceso de perspectivas similares no solo acapara y monopoliza el discurso, sino que propicia , voluntaria o involuntariamente, que el resto de miradas se pierdan en el camino.

El problema, entonces, radica en la unilateralidad de visiones. Todos los días nos enfrentamos a un mundo donde las historias que vemos y consumimos a diario son vistas con el mismo lente, y contadas con la misma voz. Un mundo donde la falta de representación femenina nos condiciona a creer que la realidad y la perspectiva deben ser alineadas con y hacia lo masculino.

La incidencia masculina hegemónica en la creación de películas influye al discurso fílmico, en gran manera, de diferentes formas y con una enorme variedad de aristas, donde la dirección, el guión, la producción e incluso la actuación se ven afectadas.

En el caso de la dirección, el punto de vista masculino es tan permanente y recalcitrante que incluso existe un término (a veces derogativo) para nombrar a la perspectiva (casi siempre) sexista detrás de la cámara masculina: The male gaze. 

The male gaze se puede identificar de diversas formas en una película: en el vestuario que usan los personajes femeninos, en la forma que la cámara encuadra y decide enfocar a los cuerpos femeninos o, incluso, en las actuaciones reductivas de los personajes femeninos.

El mejor, y más actual, ejemplo de ello puede ilustrarse de manera clara en la modificación de la armadura de pelea que usan las Amazonas en Wonder Woman, dirigida por Patty Jenkins, y los bikinis ajustados que usan en Justice League de Zach Snyder. Misma película donde el trasero de Diana Prince es protagonista de una cantidad exhorbitante de tomas.

La dirección de un filme no es la única víctima de la mirada hegemónica masculina, el guión también lo es. Debido a que la escritura corresponde a la espina dorsal de una historia, es común encontrar una representación errónea y superficial de personajes femeninos. Una película que no tiene voces femeninas que cuenten historias diferentes, solo propicia la creación de tropes* reductivos y personajes sin forma ni caracterización.

Uno de los tropes más usados, voluntaria o involuntariamente,  en las películas es el de The Smurfette Principle , aquel donde, tal como en la caricatura de The Smurfs, es común encontrar en un filme a un grupo de hombres protagonistas con una gran variedad de historias, y experiencias, masculinas por contar y solo a una mujer que los acompañe. Cuando este personaje tiene un papel principal, usualmente es relegada a ser interés amoroso, cuando no lo es, se reduce a un objeto que ayuda a avanzar la historia a algún lado.

Este trope surgió como respuesta práctica de Hollywood a la falta de personajes femeninos en sus películas. A final de cuentas, para ellos resulta mejor tener una “voz femenina” que funcione como depositario de todas las fantasías masculinas, que ninguna ¿no es así?

A lo largo de la historia ha existido una increíble variedad de Smurfettes que se han catapultado como intereses amorosos o motivaciones de nuestros protagonistas masculinos favoritos: Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts) existía en Ocean’s Eleven solo para fungir como interés amoroso y motivación personal de Danny Ocean, Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) correspondía al avatar de la población femenina que buscaba representar Now You See Me , Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) tomó su lugar en Now You See Me 2 y Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) se convirtió en interés amoroso de Hulk en Avengers 2 de forma tan precipitada que ni siquiera el equipo creativo detrás de la película se molestó en crear una historia de fondo de valor para ella.

Tomando de nuevo el ejemplo de Justice League, Diana Prince también representa a esa Smurfette rodeada por un grupo de hombres, y cuyo fin es reducido en solo una escena cuando pasa de ser la líder del grupo a convertirse en un interés amoroso para Batman. Lois Lane y Martha Kent, por otro lado, son representadas como los objetos de deseo de Superman que lo motivan a ayudar al equipo y, por consecuencia, a avanzar la historia.

Existe también un tipo de escritura que intenta evitar usar a The Smurfette Principle en sus guiones:  agregar a 2 o más personajes femeninos en su historia. A simple vista, esta acción parece apuntar a querer mejorar la representación femenina en las historias, sin embargo, el problema radica en la forma en la que lo hacen.

Bajo el punto de vista masculino hegemónico los personajes femeninos solo pueden convivir en una historia de tres formas diferentes:  a) alejadas unas de las otras,  b) juntas pero discutiendo solo sobre sus contrapartes masculinas o c) siendo enemigas mortales.

Eleven y Max de Stranger Things son el mejor de ejemplo de la conjunción de estas tres variantes. A lo largo de la segunda temporada, los hermanos Duffer colocan a dichos personajes en puntos alejados donde pasan la mayor parte del tiempo sin conocerse y distanciadas la una de la otra. Eventualmente, las dos cruzan caminos, sin embargo, al hacerlo, crece una enemistad fuerte entre ellas debido a un malentendido y una disputa por Mike, el amigo más cercano de la segunda y el amor platónico de la primera.

Por ello, y muchas otras cosas, es que es importante contar con una variedad de perspectivas detrás de las historias que consumimos a diario y nosotros como audiencia podemos hacer mucho para que esto comience a suceder. Como primera instancia, podemos comenzar apoyar los filmes dirigidos y escritos por mujeres y cuestionar los que no.

Mi sugerencia es que, la próxima vez que veas una película, serie, videojuego o producto audiovisual de tus creadores masculinos favoritos, comienza a considerar las siguientes interrogativas: ¿La historia cuenta con más de un personaje femenino? ¿Las tomas se encargan de encuadrarla a ella de frente y enfocándose en su cara no en su cuerpo? ¿Hay más personajes femeninos que la acompañen? ¿Comparten escenas juntas? ¿Hablan entre ellas? ¿Son algo más que enemigas? ¿Discuten sobre algo más que no sean sus contrapartes masculinas?

Con esto en mente comenzaremos a exigir más de nuestros directores masculinos y daremos más espacios para las creadoras femeninas que tanto necesitamos en nuestro contexto actual.

*Atajo de storytelling que ayuda a la audiencia a entender algo instantáneamente.

When fame gets in the way of love: a musical tragedy.

It seems that love and fame are difficult —or even impossible— to get along with. At least that’s what some movies, particularly musicals, have been trying to explain us all along. In their worlds, failed artists are meant to find love only by sacrificing their passions.

Nowadays, films’ stance on the artists’ love life is like this: you either are very lucky to find the love of your life and spend what’s left of your days to devote yourself to his or her hapiness, or you succeed on achieving your dreams by following the path you are always meant to walk. You have to choose, you can’t have both.

There’s no better way to illustrate this than with Jason Robert Brown’s  The Last Five Years, adapted to film by Richard LaGravenese, and Damien Chazelle’s Lala Land. Movies where their protagonists   —all artists, by the way — have to face the tough decision of living a fameless life by staying together or embracing the success that is coming their way, but only by themselves.

In The Last Five Years’ movie adaptation, Cathy (Anna Kendrick) is a musical theater performer who is looking for an opportunity that can finally take her out of her waitress job. Jamie (Jeremy Jordan), on the other hand, is a writer looking for a publishing house who would want his book.

In Lala Land, Mia (Emma Stone) is an actress who is looking for an opportunity that can finally take her out of her barista job. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz lover who wants to open his own club where he can play his own music.

They all have dreams to fullfill and places to be, but life — and love, at some extent— eventually gets in their way.  Both couples fight to stay with each other along the way, but success, as we will learn, is a tricky thing to achieve and it does not wait for anyone or anything.

What’s really enlighting about contrasting these two movies is that we have the possibility to understand how two directors can represent different scenarios, and perspectives, of the same problem: the one with the couple that begin to have problems as soon as one of them becames famous, and the other couple that strengthens themselves by supporting each others dreams but fell off the wagon half way anyway.

Whilst Jamie succesfully manages to sell his first book to a famous publishing house right after he starts dating Cathy, she is not getting callbacks at all. In fact, she is just stuck between her job as a waitress and her summer gig in Ohio. She is happy for him but, as he becomes more and more famous, she starts to feel more like a failure. She doesn’t want to be the one that’s left behind.

There’s more than the eye could see with their relationship’s problems, Jamie’s success in no way feels like a threat to Cathy, but rather a constant reminder of her failure and her impossibility to follow and achieve her dreams. Cathy’s insecurities stems from society’s need to validate women by their hability to carry along with their household activities they’re supposed to do, instead of accomplishing their goals.

Their real problem, though, is their unwilingness to communicate with each other. They are really afraid to let the other down, because they really love each other. And when they actually communicate, their only purpose is to hurt themselves.

Cathy and Jamie, in fact,  sing to express themselves. They use music to express their deepest and inner thoughts, and to reflect their expectations, like a daydreaming blowoff valve.  She wants to be independent, succesful and in love, but, at the same time, he wants to be a good provider, a succesfull writer and a charming womanizer.

Mia and Sebastian’s relationship functions the other way around. Both of them are unsuccessful and very lonely when they actually start dating. What’s really great of their relationship is the support and motivation they have with each other. Neither one of them want to see the other one fail, on the contrary, they want them to be happy and fulfilled people.

It’s really their inhability to feel empathy for one another what pushes them to break up. While Mia is incapable to believe that Sebastian would do anything to follow his dream —even if this means to play on a mainstream band and touring— he is clueless about her weariness and constant disappointment that all her failed auditions make her feel.

In the end, they all are idealists, and it’s really interesting to understand that the one thing these four people share, apart from their desire to be famous, is the way they grapple their lives by putting all their expectations before reality. They want to be in an ideal relationship, one where empathy and communication are something to be expected from your loved one.

As we can see, all of the four characters  are always constrained and forced by themselves to live between two worlds: first and foremost, on a fantasy land where they can have it all, and, later, on the real world, where love and fame can’t get along.

In fact, one of these musicals strenghts is their capability to toy with their narrative in order to show their portagonists’ life expectations by using different formats to evidence the stark constrasts between their titular couples real lives’ and their fantasy worlds.

In these movies, achievement and happiness are related with a fantasy/dream world  were their expectations are fulfilled, whilst failure and disappointment are paired with the real world. Both LaGravenese and Chazelle even depict these particular moments with different colors and shades along their stories; whereas the blue and gray filters are in charge of showing failure, the yellow and white ones are destined to bathe the screen with color when an achievement is made.

There’s certainly something tragic behind this argument. This is a world  where idealists are bound to always be normed and constrained by their expectations if they want to follow their path towards success. Even if this means to sacrifice love in their lives.