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Theme of Identity in Saving Face

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Protagonist, and Ma had been keeping secrets from their family making it hard for them to connect with others and come to terms with themselves. Motifs were seen throughout the whole movie expressing thoughts and feelings. For example, face, time and tight camera angles were the motifs in this movie. Throughout those motifs, face was the central motif.

Face was the central motif in Saving Face because it was the only reoccurring pattern that would show an individual’s identity. However, the tight camera angles in the movie made it captive for anyone to embrace their identity.

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The tight camera angles were able to show pain and scorn one was facing as they started to peal their identity away. One saw how hard it could be in being upfront and honest to themselves to others. When Ma had to explain to her father that she was pregnant with no husband, the movie captured Ma boxed in. In this shot, Ma was in a room, sitting down closed in by the narrow hallway leading to where she was sitting.

Her father was in the same room as her not seen, but only heard. This shows how the outside influences make it difficult to accept one’s state and affects making connections with others. Ma now felt she had to marry someone, even if she wasn’t interested in him. Wil witnessed her mother being scolded by her grandfather, making it more difficult and complicated for Wil to tell her family she was lesbian and going out with Vivian.

Throughout Saving Face, the motif time represents how time rushes and prevents the characters from making decisions they need to make for their identity. Saving Face represents time as both linear and circular because time continues to progresses in life but there is a repetition of the characters’ being themselves. Time ages for both Ma and Wil to the point that they are running out of time to change their lives that they continue to live repeatedly every day. The montage in the film shows that Ma is wasting her time with men she isn’t interested in. She goes on dates with an old friend when she’s actually interested in someone else. Time prevents Wil from making her decision because while she was sitting down with Vivian having a serious talk about where their relationship was going, the screenplay showed from sunset to twilight. This shows that expectations were being lost and time was passing by.

The central motif of Saving Face is “face” because it represents the characters’ identity. Saving Face is an expression to keep definition. Face is a motif because face is used repeatedly, especially in close-ups to captivate the person’s identity. In the opening shot, there is a close- up on Wil’s face which she is seen wearing beauty masks to hide her true identity. The beauty mask prevents Wil from expressing her true identity because the face mask shows that Wil is living a life with a false identity. Wil has not accepted herself for her orientation and continues to masks herself because she does not have the courage to take it off. There are also close-ups on Ma’s face which explains how she is hiding her identity by living a life that her father requests her to live by. The close-ups on the faces show entrapment of the characters’ because they are not accepting their identity and live by their family’s request.

In conclusion, the central motif of Saving Face is “face”. The motif face explains how the characters keep an identity that society enforces them to have, not an identity that they would like to be presented by. Even though time and tight camera angles were reoccurring patterns in this movie, it leads to the main point which is face. The characters struggle to come in terms to themselves and struggle to connect with others because of their secrets.

Cite this Theme of Identity in Saving Face

Theme of Identity in Saving Face. (2016, Jul 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/saving-face/

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