Little Women offers new perspectives on classic characters


Kiley Duggan

Little Women is available to watch on YouTube, Google Play Movies and TV, Amazon Prime Video and Vudu.

In the midst of COVID-19, it is easy to get bored with the “same old, same old,” How much Disney+ and Netflix can you watch before you need something fresh and new? I hit that point and decided to venture onto Amazon Prime. Scrolling through rows of movies, I saw one that caught my eye. The 2019 edition of “Little Women.”

I had seen the previews and my March-family-loving heart was anxious to see the newest version of this classic. I was so excited. The movie was out, and it was mine! At the same time, I was a little nervous … would this Little Women miss the mark like so many other remakes?

Even so, I made my purchase, popped my popcorn, dimmed the lights and cozied up on the couch. As I anxiously ate my popcorn, the melodies began to play as the story I know and love began to unfold. Well, unfold … with a twist. 

This version of the story was taken from a whole new viewpoint I never could have imagined.”

— Kiley Duggan, 11

The newest take on “Little Women,” written and directed by Greta Gerwig, was fresh, colorful and moving. For the first time after watching countless versions of “Little Women” –TV series, movies and musicals–I finally found one that reaches number one in my heart. This version of the story was taken from a whole new viewpoint I never could have imagined.

Fragments of childhood memories from Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are cleverly mixed with moments from the present time. This communicates the various themes the story has to offer. This all-star cast took a simple story and played every high and every low so exceptionally viewers felt they were walking through life with them. The film was on fire with its character development. Characters audiences have known so long, and seen done in so many different ways, could now be understood on so many different levels (who knew Amy had a voice until now!)

Due to the rearrangement of the original timeline of the movie, the audience sees the characters and their lives differently. Because of the new structure, bouncing back and forth between past and present, the characters are able to highlight everything life taught them.

We see clearly in Jo’s struggle to pen her perfect story, she must be taken back to moments that life taught her true contentment, joy and sorrow. It becomes so clear that moving on, moving through life, and acknowledging that every moment was necessary to bring her to where she is, every moment was her story unfolding, was just waiting to be written. This was so beautifully displayed through Saorise Rowen, who played the iconic Jo March. 

The film was on fire with it’s character development.”

— Kiley Duggan, 11

Out of the many “Little Women” films and period dramas I have seen, it is easy to say this one was the most breathtaking. Everything from costuming to set design was so splendid. Colors danced across the screen pulling the viewers in, deeper and deeper into the lives of the March family.

One thing in particular that stood out was their simple house. The home was painted brown to match the earth, but on the inside, bursts of color, pattern and visual sentiment played to the theme of what this family brings to each other and the world around them.

Every outfit divinely showed each of the characters’ personalities and growth throughout the story. The movie could have been done with no acting, no words and still so sweetly be played while still maintaining the original splendor. The smallest of details are so powerful in this film.

For this particular version of Little Women, the casting was pure perfection. From Saorise Rowen, Jo is given a new, passionate spirit that has been missing in the many other takes I have seen on her character. Jo is now given new layers never seen before, but is still so true to the original story.

Finally, the credits rolled, as did my tears down my face.”

— Kiley Duggan, 11

Emma Watson so cleverly used every small moment to demonstrate the eldest sister, Meg. Although Meg is played down in this version, we see her as a subtle anchor to the family and a more glamorous character with her own set of struggles typically unseen.

Beth, played by Eliza Scanlen, added strength to her character, and served as a lifeline and champion for the family, even when she was not there. Finally, Amy played by Florence Pugh added boldness to her character. Amy portrayed a new heartfelt depth through her deep soulful voice, as well as ideals and opinions that transformed this once quiet and seemingly unimportant member into a spotlight. 

Finally, the credits rolled, as did my tears down my face. I was ready to hit rewind. I immensely enjoyed every moment of this new film. I would greatly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the classic story or to anyone who has not yet been acquainted with the March family. Greta Gerwig did well to deliver a unique take on the classic, in a simple yet powerful way that leaves her audience wanting more.