A teenager, in all their glory of being a renegade forgets to look at the seemingly lesser things around them that greatly shape their being in many ways. Having passed, myself, through such a stage recently, the film Lady Bird by Greta Gerwig, seemed to resonate uniquely with me. Lady Bird is the name that the protagonist chooses over Christine, the name assigned to her by her parents. It is in itself symbolic of someone who thirsts for freedom and believes that they are free and whole in themselves. Being under the shadow of her mother (which can towards the end of the movie be looked at as her mother taking her daughter under her wing), lady bird wishes to be like those who fascinate her, go places where she can finally start ‘living’.
Timothee Chalamet as Kyle Scheible, plays the role of a character perhaps very relatable to radical leftists. He could be seen as the personification of Faustus. Obsessed with piling up on knowledge, unaware of what’s really happening around them, reason and nothingness, deep philosophical rants and shallow or non-existent emotions, he could even be thought of as a pseudo-intellectual.
Moreover, friendship is portrayed as it is, without any glamour or glory. There’s always that one person who is more forgiving than the other, who makes the relationship actually work. Julie represents exactly that. The protagonist herself is deeply flawed and resorts to destructive games and deception to make herself more visible to a group of peers she considers to be ideal without the slightest idea that she was in for a rude awakening, which nevertheless is a part of growing up.
The overarching theme relates to the relationship that Lady Bird has with her mother. Like her father explains, both of them have ‘strong personalities’. In fact Lady Bird may seem to have got her fire and rebellion from none other than her mother. The finale, with Lady Bird getting into college, and being on her own, puts an end to the rosy picture she had in her mind about the outside world and deepens her affection for her home town, Sacramento. This coming-of-age story is a personal eye-opener and offers introspection and support to the ones disillusioned by the greener grass on the other side.