The movie is founded on Fannie Flagg’s work of fiction dubbed as ‘Fried Green Tomatoes which was acted at the Whistle Stop Café’. It is an influential story of four different aged women who existed at different epochs that is, in the 1930s and 1980s.This feature makes it suitable for different age groups to identify with.
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The film narrates the lives of Evelyn, a middle aged woman and Ninny who was an eighty three year old mature granny. The two became great friends after meeting at the nursing home. It was during their numerous encounters that Ninny narrated to Evelyn the story of an old famous town known as Whistle Shop (Gareis et al. 56).
She instigated her story by narrating the dramatic encounters of Idgie who was a cheeky but good hearted lady and her relationship with her lifelong friend called Ruth. Through flashbacks, we learn of the tribulations and triumphs of the two buddies while still following closely on Evelyn’s life.
The movie ends with Ninny moving into Evelyn’s house after having difficulties at her home. Throughout the movie, we are kept entertained by the mix of comedy as well as a bit of drama. However, for the critical viewers, there are several issues affecting the society that the movie puts across.
As the movie sets up we see Evelyn as a very disturbed lady. She considers herself fat and useless with low sense of worth .She makes fruitless attempts to capture the attention of her husband but she obliviously fails. The notion depicts the picture of various other people’s lives.
In fact, there are so many girls who struggle with their self-worth just because of their looks (Gareis et al. 60). Others are married women who try to bring back the spark in their marriage lives by doing appalling things. Evelyn in her case tries to attend class in order to learn a few tricks that might salvage her marriage.
Nevertheless, this materializes to be futile. It is just during a special visit to a relative who does not like her that she meets this lady called Ninny who restores her self-esteem. At this juncture, the movie is probably trying to explain the irony of life. It is from the sources that we least expect help that eventually salvage our situations.
The film also stresses the need to stand together as a couple despite your differences or misgivings about your partner. Since Evelyn’s husband paid little attention to her while at home, she could have chosen to remain at home while the husband visits his relative. After all, the relative did not want anything to do with her (Gareis et al. 63). Even so, it is through the visit that she becomes a friend with Ninny who later developed into being very beneficial to her. Thus, the benefit of friendship is similarly put across.
Marriage is supposed to be a happy union between two people and this portrayed when Evelyn puts more effort to bring back the lost splendor. Conversely, Ruth is trapped in an abusive marriage to Frank who opts to beat her up even when she is pregnant. The movie depicts a common household problem but encourages the victims to act. In this case, Ruth moves out of her matrimonial home to stay with Idgie. This again emphasizes the concept of friendship.
The type of relationship between Indie and Ruth is not very well spelt out as in the novel. The movie shifts from the original text, ‘might be its writer’s way of saying no comment’ to a controversial issue in a society which is of the same sex relationships. It could also mean that the writer acknowledges possibility of a strong bond between people of the same gender without any sexual feelings. Events in Ruth’s life serve as encouragements to Evelyn.
Furthermore, racism is a strong theme in the movie. In 1991 when the movie was being produced, the blacks in America were viewed as inferior to the whites and as a result they could never co-exist as one. This was associated particularly with people of the south which acted as the movie’s setting.
In the movie however, Idgie affectionately treats all irrespective of their race (Gareis et al. 72). Her generosity which should be a lesson too all in our modern societies is highlighted. Big George and Sipsey go into great lengths to protect Ruth’s son Buddy junior from being kidnapped by his father. They protect them with amazing affection despite their racial differences.
In a world where everything revolves around dollar, the movie portrays that wealth is not all we need but there is life too. Ninny is shown not to care about wealth or dream of fancy things. Instead, she prays to God to give her only that which is necessary. This probably implies that we all have a natural being we depend on and that we should not measure our lives by how much we have.
We should rather nature relationships like Ruth and Idgie as they are the real sources of happiness. The two are very contented in each other’s company. We must not let others limit our actions for fear of the consequences. Idgie is the daring type (Gareis et al. 65). She tries all sorts of pranks and though she gets into trouble at some points, she leads a very happy and fulfilling life.
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Finally, the movie emphasizes the biblical saying, ‘blessed is he who gives than he who receives‘. It is because of her generosity that Idgie is loved and leads a fulfilling life. Ninny’s story changes Evelyn’s life without her knowing and her (Ninny) deed is repaid in full volume when Evelyn offers her a place to stay after complications accrue in her home.
All these are issues and experiences that affect our lives as we grow. We should therefore look at them open-mindedly and let them improve our lives just as they did to the lives of the characters in the movie like Evelyn.
Gareis, Elisabeth, Martine Allard and Saindon Jacqueline. Fried green tomatoes: student workbook. Washtenaw County, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1998. Print.