Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Featured Performance: Molly Ringwald In Pretty In Pink

In all my years of watching films, I have rarely registered with and admired a character as much as Andie Walsh. She is admittedly a character with very few flaws (if indeed any), and numerous strong traits that distinguish her from the rest of the film's major players. Seemingly carrying the weight of the world on her brawny shoulders -- trying not to hurt her unhealthily obsessive best friend, battling the critics of her non-conformist ideology, dealing with her mothers abandonment of herself and her father, and struggling with that familiar obstacle of love -- Andie is the essence of teenage angst.

Molly Ringwald, best known for her role in The Breakfast Club, a fantastic and similarly themed portrait of prejudice and assumption that shed light on the social pressures of the adolescent, is freshest here, her graceful, dignified, and thoroughly natural demeanor aptly tuned to Andie's cracks and layers. The honesty of Andie, and her acknowledgment of having to confront problems and issues wherever they may arise helps to build this statuesque individualist with painful delicacies and youthful identity.

It's wholly natural to root for the outsider in life's common 'battles', on whatever scale, but Ringwald's Andie is never really an outsider. She may dress differently and think differently, but her liberated attitude towards society in general and the constraints it puts upon people is itself representative of one of the most relevant questions within the zone of adolescence. Ringwald's monument of Andie is seamless, her patient measured dignity an iconic gesture to perhaps the most enlightened, if not the most enviable era in which to grow up.

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