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Joy (2015) Movie Review

Reviews Thoth

Joy (2015) Movie Review


(Note – I’m thinking, in case you’ve not read my previous reviews – these words in parenthesis throughout the review – are my inner thoughts… which I’m fully aware that you’re reading into… Snoopers!)


I thought…

*‘You can’t always get what you want – The Rolling Stones’, plays softly in his movie-meditation chamber, as he communes with this week’s movie*

“… Joy? Is this one of those happy-for-the-heck-of-it movies?” – Before the movie. After the movie, I’m thinking, I couldn’t stop contemplating on what it actually took to find joy in life. Real joy.

(I usually start with an image of a Google definition. However, I’m thinking, I can’t completely agree with the general definition of the word ‘joy’, especially in context to this movie, so…)

I should start by introducing Joy – the protagonist (based on an actual person – Joy Mangano, the inventor of Wikipedia… No, of course not, but that’s where you can find out who she is). However, I’m thinking – the side characters in this movie provide the real context for the film… It is thus imperative that I introduce Joy through her family…

*rubs temples*(…Oh boy… I’m thinking, I’m feeling a  bit woozy… I need to knock it off…) *knocks-head-with-levitating-stick*

… Eh-Ehem… So I’m thinking I’ll tell you, Joy is a divorced single mother of two children. She lives with her divorced mother, whose cooped up in a bedroom watching soap operas all day. She has an elder half-sister who works at an auto body shop, owned by her divorced father. And the husband she divorced, a failed-to-be-Tom-Jones, lives in the basement of her house in a friendly capacity. There’s the sweet-grandmother whose only joy in life is Joy, who she believes is destined for greatness. And Joy who handles this complex house is also divorced from her job.

(And, I’m thinking, how can anybody go from being so divorced from joy? To become an innovative product-inventing Joy – “the unanxious presence in the room…”)*rubs paining-head*

Uhhh anyway… what’s interesting, I’m thinking, is that all of the characters I mentioned have real life counterparts, except for TWO. One character is entirely fictional and another is a composite of multiple people from the real Joy’s life, courtesy – David O Russell, producer, co-writer and director of the movie. And I’m thinking, strongly, that these two made-up side-characters (which may go relatively unnoticed), are the most important ones in the movie. Which ones are they? Well, they are …

*Feels faint*(… Woah! I’m feeling really weird… But the movie meditation must continue!… So Joy… I’m thinking is… I’m thinking… I’m …) *Goes into a trance*

Thoth in Trance-Elation –

“Joy isn’t simply a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.  

Joy is Jubilation.

It is happiness –

through a fair sense of ownership,

through a deep sense of understanding,

through a simple sense of accomplishment.

Joy is the harmony that breaks free from the encroaching cacophony.  

It is the immediate feeling after success acquired,

despite self-doubt and the disbelief of others .

It is knowing – A Truth.  

Joy is winning. Not the race. The Respect. The self-respect.

And no this does not mean that Joy is the same as ego…

Joy is that pure, non-competitive, wondrous thing –

that you feel when you win,

before the ego or the consequential life takes over.

It is that feeling.

And if that fleeting feeling could be captured and embodied after the event,

then you’d accomplish in reality what we’d believe only possible in the movies.

For then you’ll truly become the ‘unanxious presence in the room’,

and then you shall be Joy… “

*normalizes out of trance* (… I’m thinking… that’s truly what this movie at its end made me feel and learn) *song in the meditation-chamber switches to Bee Gees – To Love Somebody*

Eh-Ehem… So where was I?  

(My head feels so much better now)

I’m thinking I told you who the two vital minor-characters of the movie (according to me) are? Yes? No? Well, let’s assume I did and let me explain to you why, I’m thinking, THESE TWO are so important –



(and I, Thoth, vouch that this movie is a must-watch movie-meditative experience, if you’ve had ideas)

Have you ever had ideas that seemed too big, too idealistic or too beyond your reach? But for some reason, you can clearly imagine yourself achieving it? Like an alternative reality right before your eyes, ripe for the taking, I’m thinking. Almost all of us innocently pursue this promise of greatness at first, yet as we know – only a few of us manage bring the fantasy to life. What happens to the rest of us?

I’m thinking, many of us stop dreaming big and start living to just make a living. We start believing we’re no more than regularly employed or “unemployed housewives”, husbands, individuals. Some of us become Walter Mitty’s – I’m thinking (like I discovered when meditating on my The Secret Life of Walter Mitty review), wherein we enjoy imagining the extraordinary, reading about it in a book or watching it in a movie. Yet all the while we’re strengthening our refusal to believe that “the ordinary meets the extraordinary everyday”. And some of us just become practical pessimists.

But how is this related to the two mystery characters I’ve made such a big hype about?

(What’s a story without a build-up eh?)

Well, I’m thinking, both characters represent alternatives to what Joy can become in the movie, if she gives up and stops believing in her ideas –

One is a hard-working pessimist who believes in the impossible more than life’s possibilities, who’d rather believe that great ideas were the same as Santa Claus. The other is a lazy pessimist that’s so afraid of failing, or the fact that “the world doesn’t owe you a thing”, that they’d rather just curl up in a room, left alone to live the rest of their lives through their TV (computer or video games).

I’m thinking, both of these types blind themselves to life’s disclaimer, which clearly states – ‘Safety – Not Guaranteed ’ (another movie I can’t wait to review). And so risking all for great ideas is what makes life worth it. In fact, I’m thinking, these alternatives are what any of us can doom ourselves to. And, I’m thinking Joy is a movie that’ll show you why and how you shouldn’t.


I don’t have to think twice to say – I unequivocally disagree with both these great movie-reviewing entities that I so love, on this movie. Joy for me is a lovely, emotional and yet creative must-watch movie about a true story – which won’t inspire you, if you don’t let it.


This review contained no spoilers, I’m thinking, except if you count me telling you that Jennifer Lawrence (who I can’t help but accept as my favorite actress after this movie) – “picks up the gun”


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