Saturday, May 02, 2009

Poor princess.

A few days back, I happened to watch purely by chance Mona Lisa Smile in which Julia Roberts plays Katherine Watson, a feminist and forward-thinking Art History instructor in Wellesley, a women’s college in the US in the early 1950s. Though smacking at times of the feel-good chick flick aroma, a key sequence in the movie in which Katherine’s most committed student keen on joining Yale for a law degree suddenly does a 360-degree turnaround to opt for instant marriage instead made quite an impact on me. It reminded me of Grace Kelly. To me, Kelly’s abdication of a most promising career in insecurity-laden Hollywood just a year after winning an Oscar for The Country Girl (1955) and turning down the marriage proposal of co-star Bing Crosby to wed Prince Ranier III of Monaco has epitomised the compromise women the world over make in favour of marriage offering long-term security and a future as a virtual broodmare. Monaco, by the way, was a little known (till then) principality – and tax haven – in Europe which “in those pre-Jet Set days catered to the frantically idle über-rich and the Eurotrash who clung to them in an altogether more discreet way than it can today”. Like Kelly, I have seen plenty of women sacrificing their career and future on the matrimonial altar. For instance: and