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Critical Response of Watermelon Woman Directed by Cheryl Dunye

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The shooting style of Dunye in Watermelon Woman is witty and boppy, dexterously managing to shoot and justify two narratives at one go, the one hovering around the search for the enigmatic ‘ Watermelon Woman’ , a pretty and undocumented actress from the 30s and the central character’ s personal life, working at a video store. The two stories intricately crisscross each other and in a way assume a form and life of their own as they gradually unravel. Dunye’ s film primarily comes out as a complex yet somewhat enticing insight into American history, delving on the relevance of cultural icons and issues pertaining to cultural representation.

However, the film sometimes confuses the audience going by the fact that it has a lot going on in it at the same time, thereby making the plot a little complicated with the haphazardly placed setting of the events, their order and duration, and the exact relationship between them. Still, Dunye has been able to manipulate the link between the plot and the story to facilitate a sense of drama.   The shooting style of Dunye in Watermelon Woman is witty and boppy, dexterously managing to shoot and justify two narratives at one go, the one hovering around the search for the enigmatic ‘ Watermelon Woman’ , a pretty and undocumented actress from the 30s and the central character’ s personal life, working at a video store.

The two stories intricately crisscross each other and in a way assume a form and life of their own as they gradually unravel. Dunye’ s film primarily comes out as a complex yet somewhat enticing insight into American history, delving on the relevance of cultural icons and issues pertaining to cultural representation.

However, the film sometimes confuses the audience going by the fact that it has a lot going on in it at the same time, thereby making the plot a little complicated with the haphazardly placed setting of the events, their order and duration, and the exact relationship between them. Still, Dunye has been able to manipulate the link between the plot and the story to facilitate a sense of drama.   To a great extent, the story relies on stereotypical contrasts and comparisons like the differences between the regular, curious and evolving character of the young black lesbian Cheryl and Tamara, her particularly stereotypical, a hardliner and close-minded friend.

The one big weakness in the film is that it predominantly intends to intrigue through the ingenuity of the exploitation of documentary techniques. Maybe it is owing to this that some audience may find themselves disappointed by the disparity and lack of correlation between the form and the content. What the forms in the movie Watermelon Woman seem to offer, the content sadly falls short of it.

One special thing about the larger theme of the movie is that it has definitely succeeded in emphasizing the emotional relevance and value of cinema. However, the coy romance engaged in by Cheryl and the wacky shots that she is continually subjected to, to a large extent dilute the overall impact of the movie, making it conveniently ingratiating for an audience with regular expectations, without being able to score the incumbent and associated political comments.  

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