Laura, it does feel like a heroine’s journey, doesn’t it? India → NYC → India. An interesting dynamic is that in actuality, Isabel is returning to her past, something she has run away from for decades. Yes, she ran all the way to India, however, the past never left her, witness the fact she works at an orphanage — my guess, an attempt to assuage guilt she feels about giving up her daughter (Grace).
What I find interesting is this: Has she changed in any substantive way? J. Campbell says the whole point of the hero’s journey is the heroine returns a
“transformed individual.” Certainly, what Isabel comes to learn about Grace and Oscar, people from her past, and Theresa, someone important in her present, upend Isabel’s status quo, a new set of facts. But as she stands there in the final scene watching Jai play soccer with his friends, I wonder what she is reflecting about. She has to go back to NYC in order for the $20M to be funneled to the orphanage over the next 6 years. In so doing, she will presumably be a part of Grace and Oscar’s life, as well as Theresa’s twins.
I’ve yet to see the movie, but the scene right before she is found gazing at Jai playing soccer, she is in her old room. This is how the moment is described in the script:
Isabel walks back in her room, alone. ON HER FACE as she
gathers herself emotionally.
Something across the room catches her eye. It’s a little
mirror she kept over her wash basin. She sees herself in
the reflection. Lets herself look. It’s one of those
naked moments, where you can really see yourself.
My question: What does she really see?
Something to mull over as we progress through the script analysis this week.