Why Glenn Close’s The Wife Feels Tailormade for Indian Wives

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Why Glenn Close’s The Wife Feels Tailormade for Indian Wives

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

R

ecently, while watching the Oscar-nominated The Wife, there were moments when I could see my mother, aunt, or myself in Glenn Close’s titular Joann Castleman, the wife who sacrifices her dreams to ghost-write her husband’s success. So much about the film is universal that it feels like the story of just about every woman. The casual sexism that women invariably endure isn’t something that makes headlines in India but in The Wife, we have an entire film dedicated to what this persistent, toxic behaviour does to women.

There is a potent scene in the film where Professor Joseph Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), the celebrated author, wants to thank Joann in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. His wife hates the limelight that falls on her as an afterthought for every glory that finds her husband. So she asks him to refrain from going overboard with his praises but Joseph eventually disregards her request, which culminates into a fight that comes with dire consequences.

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