"Shining Through" deals with the 1930s, or more precisely World War II. I attended opening night and I can assure you this is one movie that will make you walk away feeling like a different person.
Written and directed by David Seltzer, the film was adapted from Susan Isaac's best-selling novel. The film stars Melanie Griffith and Michael Douglas.
Griffith plays Linda Voss, a Jewish German secretary working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in Queens, New York. Her portrayal of Voss is reminiscent of Tess McGill in "Working Girl." Voss too is a secretary who always wants the first scoop on a big story. While growing up she saw many early films dealing with the military, diplomacy, spies and romance; and throughout the movie, she makes references to these movies.
Once Linda Voss is hired by the OSS, she is introduced to attorney Edward Leland (Douglas). While performing her office duties, she notices that he is not the average man: he has many conferences each week; often leaves the office in a great hurry; disappears for days without prior notice and then reappears just as mysteriously. Linda types his letters, and notices weird, out-of-the-ordinary words hidden in the letters. She approaches him with her suspicions and learns that he is really an OSS colonel.
The movie is a drama, but also has romance and comedy spread in throughout. I liked it because it showed the courage of a German Jewish woman struggling to succeed, and doing everything in her power and control to achieve her goals. Today it often seems that Germans, Jews and women are all sometimes looked on as underachievers and are somehow different. If that is true, I hope this movie will show that times are changing.
I would recommend seeing "Shining Through." Even if you don't like the subject, I guarantee you will walk away learning something you never knew. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.