Brooklyn Movie Review: A Touching Immigration Story

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Brooklyn (2015), directed by John Crowley takes place in New York City during the 1950s. The film is a romantic historical film that is based on the novel of “The Same Name” by Colm Toibin. It tells the story of a young Irish immigrant named Eilis Lace who emigrates from Ireland to New York City, Brooklyn seeking a better life. Lace leaves everything behind including her family, friends and most importantly the comfort of her mother's home for the promise that American holds for her. Eilis lived in a small town in Ireland and worked part time during the weekends at the shop operated by Miss Kelly. After struggling to find full time employment in Ireland, her sister Rose wrote to the Irish priest who lived in Brooklyn requesting Eilis a trip to the land of employment.

During her travel to New York city, Eilis suffered sickness and as a result, she was mistreated and isolated from the rest of the people on the voyage. Upon her arrival to New York City, Eilis shares an apartment with other young women that are also newcomers and are seeking employment. Eilis encountered many hardships trying to adapt to her new lifestyle. One of them being her first job at a department store that required her to communicate with customers. since Eilis was new to the job, she was shy and didn’t do well handling customers.

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As a result, she got criticism from her supervisor. Despite Eilis’s troubles, Father flood was compassionate and helpful towards her; helping her enroll in an accountant course. Eilis life gets even better when she meets her lover. Tony Fiorello, an Italian American man that Eilis meets at an Irish dance becomes close to Eilis and they eventually begin dating. After some time, Eilis hears that her sister is deceased which led her to go back to Ireland for her sister burial. However, before she leaves, Tony convinces her to marry him. Eilis agrees and they get secretly married. She then travels back to Ireland for some time and tells her family about her marriage. After that, she leaves her family in Ireland, and comes back for her lover. On her way back to Ireland, Eilis encounters a young woman who reminds her of herself when she first traveled to America. Eilis knowing the struggle of being an immigrant traveling to a foreign country; offers guidance and helps her through the voyage.

I believe that this is a great movie to watch because it paints a clear picture of emigration during the 1950s and the endeavors emigrants faced on their voyage to the United States. It follows the life of the protagonist from home (Ireland) to American and the struggles of being away from home. It also portrays the hardships of choosing to be closer to your family or being away with more potential to succeeded. This movie truly reflects on the lives of emigrants, especially the part where they shared an apartment. I see this with my co-workers who are also emigrants. They all have roommates because they are unable to solely pay rent. Furthermore, the idea with Eilis showings her shy demeanor; I’m able to see that with my co-workers as they are new to the job and are unable to speak proper English.

I would most defiantly recommend this to my classmates to watch because it truly takes you in a journey of an emigrant's life during the 1950, and unveils the struggles that immigrants go through that we can’t see. The aspects that this film covers include ethnicity and gender, of course emigration. Eilis, a naïve female from Ireland was obviously not treated the same as a female American because of her ethnicity and her gender limited her job opportunity. The theme of his movie is that life will try to take you down, but you have must be persistent to see brighter days. Eilis life was very simple and lacked a goal, but when she came to America things tremendously changed for the better. She got a job, was able to get education and got married to a man that can provide for her.

However, before the bright days appeared in her life, she struggled. She was mistreated during her voyage due to her unexpected sickness, she was criticized by her supervisor, and lived in a shared apartment where she couldn’t do what she pleased. I personally believe that the film presented life as an emigrant in the 1950 as accurate as possible. In addition, the film was produced in 2015, so obviously things changed in terms of the technology present in the movie.

The visuals were clear due to the technical advancements in 2015. Nonetheless, the movie was historically significant and portrayed the journey of an emigrant young girl from Ireland to New York City, Brooklyn and the impact emigration had on her life.

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