Monday, July 14, 2008

I've Seen Enough

This weekend I saw a film that I would like to explore with you in terms of feminism.

Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freemen, and some other people...

Here's what I liked: the special effects, the editing, the acting, the music.

Here's what I didn't like: the misogyny soaked dialogue, the thinly veiled display of a strong woman being victimized by herself more then anyone else


Wanted is about this guy, Wesley, who discovers that he is actually the descendant of assassins who's crummy life is uprooted when his father is killed by a rogue assassin. First off, it seems that in this world, the very worst thing you can call someone is "pussy" and to insult yourself you would ask, "why can't I just grow a pair?" Now, just in case someone stumbles on this blog who doesn't know why it is not OK to perpetuate the use of "pussy" as a derogatory term, I would like to explain it briefly.

To call someone "pussy" is to say they are weak and/or worthless. "Pussy" is also a euphemism for female genitalia. Therefore, to call someone a pussy in a derogatory way, especially a man, is actually a two-fold insult on both the person and women in general.

For a film that is solely geared at teenage boys (and those who think like them), you might say, "well, what did you expect?" Expect? I expect for films in this day and age to make a more conscious effort to stem the tides of misogyny and the degradation of society that comes with it. A teenage boy needs hear only three words (or see three images) to get him to go see this film: assassin, Jolie, and sex. If the knife wielding assassin trainer had repeated a term like "wimp" over and over again, the message would remain the same and the brilliant editing, music and pacing of the film would have carried it.

Hollywood needs to work on this. They are under the impression that their audience dictates what they film. Think about it. That's completely illogical. If Hollywood stopped making misogynistic films tomorrow, people would still go see the movies. In fact, they probably wouldn't notice anything had changed since it is so subliminal.

I was also disappointed in Angelina Jolie. Hugo Boffo remarked that it was her job so you can't blame her. No. I can't blame her for the way the film was written. However, while I agree that it would be hard to be a woman like Jolie in an industry like this one and not take part in misogynistic films, she is filthy rich! she owns a VILLAGE in SE Asia for goodness sake! She has the ability to demand appropriate language in the films she participates in. She has the ability to not work on films that shamelessly perpetuate misconceptions of women and their roles in our society.

So, here's the SPOILER: At the very end, there is a big twist and it turns out all the main assassins (including Jolie) should have been killed long before. So, the ever faithful Jolie wants to be true to the code and kills them all, then herself, with a single bullet. What a hero.

Here's my problem with that: first off, plot wise, there were lots of ways for her to save the day without killing herself. Secondly, here is yet another woman sacrificing herself to a greater good that has given her way less then she has given it (ex: it was their fault her father died because an assassin neglected to do their job, so she joins them and kills whoever they tell her to, no questions asked - kinda sounds like she gave away her humanity and free will, but whatev, maybe that's just me...this is similar to The Labyrinth in which Jennifer Connelly goes back to the real world, abandoning her chance to be queen to the Goblin King because it's the right thing to do...don't get me and HB started on the Labyrinth!)

Anyway, suffice it to say, I was disappointed. As usual. It seems I am cursed to be either disappointed in content or production...until I can make my own films...

1 comment:

Auntie Knickers said...

Well, at least now I know I don't want to see it. I'm a little confused about all the assassins and how they "should have been killed." In my worldview, there is precious little honor among assassins. Either they are guns-for-hire or semi- to completely-insane about politics. So this does not compute for me.
I think tonight I will watch The Day of the Jackal. Now if you want a film about an assassin, or a book, there you go.