Friday, September 13, 2013

Foreign Best Movies: Welcome to the Dollhouse

Welcome to the Dollhouse is credited as one of the best foreign best movies of the 90s. It's a surprising turn out, considering it was produced independently and had a very low budget.

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Dawn's life in her 7th grade is as miserable as miserable could be. She is deemed ugly and is constantly bullied by her classmates using old and uncreative antics that seems to only make her feel worse since she feels the bullies don't feel the need to think of new ways to taunt her. Her parents and siblings make it worse by simply existing.



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Bullying is a serious issue and one that everyone must pay attention to.

This movie, however, provides a different spectrum on the life a someone who admits she is a loser and accepts bullying as a "natural" reaction to her pathetic self. As a result, what the "pity" that the audience is supposed to feel towards Dawn is replaced with amusement.

Unlike many bullied children, Dawn accepts her status in school because she feels the ways she looks and the environment she is living in calls for it. She doesn't pity herself. Instead, she is irritated by it. She concedes that it is her responsibility to elevate herself from where she was.

She feels, and probably right, that she is held down by her family:
  • Her mother who always sides with her youngest sister
  • Her youngest sister who lives to annoy her and dance
  • Her father who  does everything her mother wants
  • Her brother who pretends not to care about women to concentrate on his studies

Her life is a recipe for disaster and she indulges to the mess. It is a refreshing take at how bullies take their faith. As oppose to resenting the bullies, Dawn sympathizes with them. The bullying, then, becomes a comedic act, rather than torture. As you go deeper in to Dawn's psyche, it does something even better. It allows you to look at bullies as the victims.

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As the bullies continuously try to make her life miserable, she takes it in stride. She gives little to annoyingly cool reaction that it subjects the bullying effort to vain. As they try harder and harder, they become more pathetic. It won't take long until you realize that the bullies are only as powerful as the fear of the people being bullied.

Her courage, however, may be unconscious. After all, she is highly occupied with desire to have sex. She chases after the popular high school drug dealer and when that doesn't work out, she goes after the man who threatens to rape her.

Her unwavering focus to a crooked cause may also be motivated her eccentric family. She is living in the midst people who seem to be devoted to so useless dreams and living by pathetically funny principles. The abnormality of her life is normal to her. As such, the daily torture becomes  normal for her. It becomes a way of life. And it is odd how it suddenly becomes familiar after all the seemingly extraordinary situations and reactions Dawn got into.

The resolution to all her troubles comes a surprising conclusion. One that's utterly familiar.

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