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Blue Jasmine focuses on a wealthy woman whose life has recently fallen apart. She had built her life upon her husband’s wealth, and the film explores what happens when the rug is pulled out from under her. She does not cope well. While it’s interesting to see her fight the downward spiral, one can’t help but think about Alex Murphy and his transition into the role of RoboCop.

Maybe Murphy had a better foundation. He was a family man and a decent cop, and was wrongfully robbed of his own life. When Jasmine finds out her husband was a charlatan, she is forced to confront the fact that she never really built a life of her own. She had stopped communicating with her family years ago, and without completing her college degree, she has no job experience to speak of. In some ways, she is without her own identity. She’s able to move in with her sister, who feels a familial obligation, but Jasmine doesn’t seem able to “step down” in lifestyle. Repulsed by blue collar dating, standards of living, and job opportunities, she becomes socially poisonous; embarrassing and offending anyone she comes in contact with.

Much like Murphy in RoboCop, shadows of her past life keep creeping in. At first, it’s psychological – she recalls the events leading up to her husband’s arrest. She feels guilt about her complacence with his shady practices, and later, guilt about turning him in. Toward the end of the movie, she encounters real-life specters in the form of people she had burned in her past life.

RoboCop is a much happier tale, focusing on justice and revenge. After Murphy is tortured by memories of his family and encounters with his own murderers, he is able to overcome his digital restrictions and finish the job he started as a human cop. He’s able to embrace his new situation and move on. Jasmine just doesn’t have that in her.

Anyway, in comparison to RoboCop, BJ is a much more depressing movie. However, it is an interesting counterpart to RC as it shows us what can happen when our tragic protagonist isn’t given cybernetic limbs.

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