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Analysis of 'The 40-Year-Old Version'

Richard Schertzer

Posted on June 8, 2021 13:06

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A short analysis of the 2020 film 'The 40-Year-Old Version'.

In the new 2020 comedy, The 40-year-old Version, the audience is introduced to Radha, a struggling playwright in New York who is trying to get her plays produced by a crooked and perverted producer (Reed Birney). 

Radha quickly becomes despondent at the thought of selling out just so she can get her content produced. As a way to pay the rent, she works as a playwright teacher at a local high school but has some serious issues with some of the students. 

Radha’s character arc is best exemplified through her work, but not her work as a playwright. It’s better understood through her work as an aspiring rapper. While stumbling a few times to get where she wanted to be, she opened herself up to new ideas and life experiences. 

Radha’s character bio hearkens back to those of Spike Lee and Woody Allen movies from the 1970s and 80s. The bio is about a down-on-her-luck character who is struggling to make it big in a prospective industry and feels that she cannot get away from the aggravating underdog syndrome that plagues her like a cloud over her heads. 

That all changes when she has an epiphany that she is destined for something more and something greater. Many of these character biographies often feel overused and possibly stilted, as they are rife with cliches that can sometimes bore the audience members. 

The 40-Year-Old Version is able to slightly transcend that stigma and that incessant character recapitulation. It may not offer much in the sense of story as it has a been-there-done-that type of feel, but it does ground the audience in the struggles of a playwright. This will certainly inspire others. 

 

Richard Schertzer

Posted on June 8, 2021 13:06

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