Kramer vs. Kramer

Kramer vs. Kramer ★★★★

So I'd been itching to rewatch "Kramer vs. Kramer" for a while. Last year I took a course on the maternal melodrama and we watched a few clips involving Meryl Streep's character, Joanna and Dustin Hoffman's, Ted. Essentially we viewed the selected clips through a feminist lens (college right?), but I wanted to watch it in its entirety. It helped that I'd seen the film when I was much younger and from memory, I recall finding Joanna as being somewhat villainous. Using this hindsight informed my most recent viewing and It became apparent just how wrong I was. It was interesting to examine the manner in which characters are presented and how as an audience, you are complacent in siding with the protagonist simply because they have more screen time. There is an organic gravitation to appreciate Ted, especially after seeing him develop through the first act. Yet there is also a natural impulse as a viewer to demonize Joanna, especially with such an apropos title as "Kramer vs. Kramer". So I attacked the film as an unbiased participant only to realize, it actually is pretty unbiased.

This is where the film succeeds, both are in the wrong and both are in the right. The film simply chooses to portray a moment where Ted can step up and become a father and the moment where Joanna has shortcomings as a mother. There's so much here to extrapolate on. I'm curious what others take away from this story and how they side with the characters, if they do at all.

Couldn't help but laugh at the poster in Ted's boss' s office that said something along the lines of "You Can't Have it All!"...Subtle!

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