This post includes a character analysis of Jasmine Francis, the protagonist of the 2013 film “Blue Jasmine”. Beware of spoilers.
The 2013 drama directed by Woody Allen stars Cate Blanchett as Jasmine Francis.
In “Blue Jasmine”, Jasmine Francis is a former Manhattan socialite who loses everything after her husband’s arrest. Her husband, Hal Francis, is a con artist who defrauded many people of their money. After his conviction, Hal committed suicide.
Without anywhere else to go, Jasmine moves to San Francisco to live with her sister Ginger, who is dating a mechanic named Chili. Jasmine tells Ginger to get a more sophisticated man. Meanwhile, the widow meets a wealthy diplomat, Dwight. She lies about her past and starts a romantic relationship with him.
Nonetheless, the past always comes back to haunt Jasmine. One day, the widow runs into Augie, Ginger’s ex-husband. Many years ago, he won the lottery but lost all of his winnings because of Hal. When Dwight finds out about Jasmine’s past, he calls off the engagement and breaks up with her.
Heartbroken, Jasmine goes looking for her estranged son, Danny. He knows that Jasmine was the one who called the authorities, informing them about Hal’s crimes. She did it as retaliation for Hal trying to leave for a 19-year-old au pair.
Ginger and Jasmine have a heated argument. The latter leaves the house saying that she is going to marry Dwight. After that, Jasmine is homeless, unemployed and alone, talking to herself on a park bench.
Note: For those who are interested, here is another article discussing the meaning behind the ending of “Blue Jasmine”.
Jasmine Francis Character Analysis in “Blue Jasmine”
“Blue Jasmine” presents Jasmine Francis as a former upper-class individual who is now penniless. Despite losing everything, Jasmine maintained her expensive taste. She likes to dress herself in designer clothes and accessories, even though she can no longer afford them. While trying to rebuild her life, Jasmine copes with her anxiety and depression with excessive drinking and heavy medication.
In terms of personality, Jasmine Francis is narcissistic, manipulative and mentally unstable. The former socialite is the type of person who is only happy when she’s on top and the others aren’t. Not only that, but Jasmine also likes to manipulate others for her own benefit. Underneath her expensive clothes lies an individual with serious mental issues, making her sometimes delusional about her current reality.
Jasmine Francis’ Mental Breakdown
There are several events in “Blue Jasmine” that lead to Jasmine Francis’ mental breakdown. The first one would be Hal Francis’ arrest. Then, Jasmine’s move to San Francisco. Lastly, Dwight calling off the engagement.
After Hal’s arrest and death, Jasmine Francis had no means to support herself, which led to the collapse of her posh lifestyle. Moving into Ginger’s house forced Jasmine to confront her reality. From now on, Jasmine’s life is going to be much different from her previous life of luxury with Hal.
Just when Jasmine thought her life was going to turn around when she met Dwight, karma hits her. Augie, Ginger’s ex-husband, spilled the beans about Jasmine in front of Dwight and he dumped her right away. Seeing her “golden ticket” slip away from her fingers caused Jasmine to have another mental breakdown.
In hindsight, Jasmine sitting on a park bench talking to herself wasn’t her first mental breakdown. She wasn’t doing well before that. For instance, when Jasmine was talking to a complete stranger on the airplane that was already a red flag. A seemingly innocuous conversation was actually a glimpse of Jasmine’s deteriorating mental health. In that scene, she did nothing but reminisce and brag about her past, which shows how delusional she is regarding her current reality.
Jasmine Francis and Relationships
There are two main relationships explored in “Blue Jasmine”. The two key people in Jasmine Francis’ life: Hal and Ginger.
Jasmine Francis and Hal Francis
Jasmine and Hal are not the perfect couple that many think they were. While alive, Hal was having multiple affairs and flaunting his lovers around. Despite the gossip, Jasmine always turned a blind eye to Hal’s infidelity because she didn’t want to lose face. The final drop was definitely Hal’s decision to leave Jasmine for a much younger woman.
As a form of retaliation, Jasmine denounced Hal to the authorities, which led to his arrest and subsequent suicide. This hints that Jasmine knew for a while about Hal’s crimes but decided to keep her mouth shut because it benefited her. Aside from Danny, her estranged son, no one else knows that Jasmine was the one who sent Hal to prison.
Jasmine Francis and Ginger
Throughout the story, Jasmine and Ginger’s relationship has its ups and downs. Ginger always looked up to Jasmine, but the latter was never able to treat her sibling with the same respect. Jasmine always felt somehow “superior” to Ginger, making her disapprove most of her sister’s life choices.
However, when Jasmine lost everything, she had nowhere else to go but her sister’s house. Luckily for the former socialite, Ginger welcomed her despite what Hal did to them. After some time, the sisters reconnect again. But then tensions arise between them because of their different life values.
Jasmine Francis is a flawed individual and a complex character. She might be someone who knows how to dress well, but this woman has very little beauty inside her heart. Since Jasmine knew about Hal’s crimes, it’s also quite possible that she swindled Ginger and Augie of their money.
Nonetheless, Blue Jasmine and its protagonist are a great reminder that actions have consequences. Just when Jasmine thought she would be able to join the elites again, her hopes were completely crushed when she ran into Augie. In a way, Ginger’s ex-husband represents all of Hal’s victims and the aftermath of the con artist’s deceitful actions.
Another thing that contributed to Jasmine Francis’ downfall was her inability to take responsibility for her actions and confront reality. So, it seems that Jasmine prefers to remain delusional and reminisce about her past rather than actually take action to change her present.
Although Jasmine tries to turn her life around with Dwight, she still hasn’t learned her lesson. Marrying rich will only elevate your current life. The true key to financial freedom is to build something for yourself.
Now, did Jasmine Francis deserve that ending in “Blue Jasmine”? In a way, she did. It was an appropriate ending for someone like her. People cannot go through life without ever being “checked” for their actions. If someone does something wrong, they should make amendments. If they refuse to learn from their mistakes, then they should somehow receive a punishment.