Wonder Woman: A Film Review.

Wonder Woman was an action packed, emotive, empowering and wonderfully plotted film.

As the first superhero film to be directed by a woman in the DC universe, along with it being a superhero film focussed on a female lead, it swept its way to the tops of peoples to watch list. It proved to be a highly anticipated film that pleased and wowed audiences. I was incredibly excited to watch this film, Wonder Woman is not only a strong, intelligent, emotive, fierce, loving and self-sacrificing woman, she is also grounded in human feelings, despite not being one of the race she defends.

Continue reading “Wonder Woman: A Film Review.”


Passengers: A Film Review.

Note: Can I stress that this review is not a reflection upon the actor/actress themselves. This is my view of the film and the characters, not an attack on Jennifer Lawrence or Chris Pratt. Both of whom, I like.

Passengers was a strange film.

What started off as a film with Jim (Chris Pratt) waking up after the star ship he was in, Avalon, which was carrying 5, 000 people to a new planet, called Homestead II, malfunctioned and his hibernation pod opened, 90 years early. Of course, we as the audience feel sorry for him, being trapped in space, with no one else to speak to, except an android. He begins to drive himself insane, trying to find out why he woke up early, soon realising there was something wrong with the ship. Unable to get into the controls room, as he does not have access, as an engineer, he tries to break through to reach the ship’s command centre.

He fails and realises that he is going to die alone, while the rest of the passengers and crew go onto Homestead II. Unable to go back into his pod, he opens the airlock and attempts to kill himself. He is unable to and breaks down into tears, haggard and broken. Then, he discovers Aurora and starts to take an interest in the sleeping woman. He stalks her while she sleeps, reading up on her profile, developing an obsession with her. Jim wakes Aurora, a complete stranger, he has developed a sickening fascination for, without her consent, without her knowing him at all.

Jim took Aurora’s life from her – there is no way to go back to sleep and they’d die on the ship, or at least, grow old and die before much else. Jim’s decision is very troublesome, because while living alone for a year on a ship that he couldn’t fix, knowing that he’d die alone, would force someone to the brink of suicide, or attempting to wake another up, it is still not a choice that he should’ve taken from Aurora. Condemning someone else to his fate was not fair, even if he was slowly dying from isolation and despair. To bring someone else down with him, is unforgivable.

What is even worse, the film seems to romanticise this, as they fall in love with each other and he does not tell her about waking her up. Not only was her life taken from her by a stranger, the love arch of the film seems to try and rectify that, by showing Jim as a good, kind man.

But that does not excuse the very awful decision he made – to wake her up.

When she does find out that he had woken her up, she tries to kill him but finds she cannot. Unlike Jim, she is unable to take another’s life, but shuns him, telling him that he’s sentenced her to death, because there is no other alternative. However, when a crew member wakes up, he gives them his access band, before dying of internal injuries (his pod malfunctioned too), and Jim and Aurora are forced to work together to fix the ship.

They manage to but Jim dies in the process and Aurora resuscitates him. She decides that instead of using the infirmary facilities as a hibernation pod for herself, that they’d live together and she finishes her book, for the passengers when they wake up 88 years later.

In all, I agree with many critics who have called the film “a creepy ode to manipulation” (Rebecca Hawkes) and that Jim’s decision was a “central act of violence”, which the film tries to justify, by the companionship formed between the two. It is stalking – he finds her pod, sees her and then reads up on everything he can find on her, all the information the ship has of her background, to the point where he feels as though he knows her.

Alissa Wilkinson called it a “fantasy of Stockholm syndrome”, where the captured person, in this case Aurora, “eventually identifies and even loves the captor”, due to forced mind manipulation among other things.

Once more, the obsessive actions of a character, seem to be brushed over by painting their intentions as good and wholesome ones. By presenting the character’s obsessions and actions as ‘love’. Not for what they truly are which is abusive, manipulative and frightening.

Suffragette: A Film Review.

At school, in History we studied the Suffragette movement, the thinkers and activists that rallied for women’s votes and how the process moved from country to country. Women were beaten, jailed, force fed, whipped and shunned from their families all because they wanted to be heard.

They were looked upon as though they were illiterate, they weren’t given the same opportunities as men (and this still occurs today), all because they were female. Watching the film Suffragette brought me to tears, because while it shows what was happening in the U. K., this is what was happening all over the world and still is – women are constantly ignored, belittled and abused.

Women living in poverty, in places of war and third world countries are still treated horribly. To them, just being treated as a human being is unheard of, made to serve the man and only the men in their lives. Told to live their lives a certain way, that they can’t have a voice or a role in anything that affects their lives, because they are female – it all still happens. The problem hasn’t magically disappeared. We do not have equality. We are not living in an era of post-feminism.

Women, and by the term women – I mean all who identify as women, no matter their race, sexuality, background, country, all who identify as female, no matter if their bodily sex at birth was male and are now defining themselves as who they truly are – are still not treated with the same respect. Equal pay is still a problem. Jobs and political standings for women are still limited. Education for women in countries outside of the ‘first world’ as it’s called is something people are killed over. Women’s voices aren’t heard – whether she’s campaigning for equal pay or for the right to her family, or her freedom, or her education, her money, her life – they are ignored.

Women who live in third world countries, for example, in the Middle East, have lives that are far different from the men in their lives, and those around the world. Whether she’s campaigning for the right to drive, or speak her mind, or wear what she wants, in countries distant from ours, she’s made to keep quiet. Issues like rape, domestic violence, honour killings, murder are some of the worst things we’ll hear happening to women, but they happen and they happen all over. So, to say that there is no need for feminism, or the movements seeking equal rights for all people, is quite ignorant. You only need to turn on the news to see the amount of abuse happening overseas.

The film Suffragette might be looking at another time and telling a story from the 1900’s, but it’s one that was a major step in Women’s Rights. Gaining the vote was one step, we may have come far but we are nowhere near equality. There are women around the world living in conditions – a lot of us, if not most of us, will never have to face – purely because she is a woman.

I’m not saying that there is only an injustice in this world towards women. I’m notsaying that rights for the LGBTQ+ community are completely and totally won. I’m notsaying that only women are victims of rape, domestic violence, war and poverty. I’m notsaying that racial crimes and inequalities are no longer evident. They are. They all areThere is still such a long road for equality. 

What I am saying is do not belittle or ignore the people still campaigning for women’s rights. They’re not taking away yours, they’re not taking away men’s rights, they’re not shunning racial issues that need to be addressed, they’re not ignoring women or people of colour, they’re not pushing away issues to do with sexuality and gender, they are trying to make the world a better place for women and in turn for all people.

They’re saying: this shit still happens and it’s happening to me and to women across all countries. They’re saying: it’s happening to all people. They’re saying: no matter what your gender, race, sexuality, religion etc, you should be treated fairly, as an equal human being. They’re saying: stop ignoring us and listen. They’re saying: don’t we matter?

Ghostbusters: A Film Review.

For some reason, this film was hated from the start. Why? People might say it is because of the trailers that didn’t really show much or didn’t seem as entertaining as it could be. But really, when we get down to it, it was because they were four women.

And because of that, the film was judged right off the bat. If it were four men, would the same thing have happened? No, I don’t think so. People may not admit it, blame it on something else, on the writing, on the direction of the film, whatever they use, whichever excuse they come up with, the fact of the matter is, they came up with these assumptions before having even seen the film.

Now, having actually seen the film, I can say, realistically, the film did have certain things that I didn’t like. But I am saying this as someone who has actually seen the film, someone who can make an informed decision, not just based off the fact that there were four women being the Ghostbusters and not four men. And none of the reasons I have for disliking bits of the film, have to do with the fact that it is women playing these roles.

My issues with the film were just that some of the jokes weren’t that funny and they played a little too much on stereotypes – for one thing having the only black woman (of the team) be loud and eccentric. When have we seen that before? Pretty much all the time. It would be fine, if black people, when shown in films, were given the diversity of roles that white people are given, if there was a spectrum of characters a person of colour could play. But that is not the case.

How many times have we seen the nerdy Asian technician?

How many times does the Asian character have an accent that is deemed funny by western society?

How often are black people in films seen as criminals?

How often are they featured as comic relief, loud characters, or just there to take on sillier, less important roles?

A lot of the time is the correct answer.

However, what I did like about the film was that the only character there that was seen as ‘eye candy’, purely there for their silliness and good looks, was the male receptionist.

How many times have we seen the stereotypically dimwitted receptionist, who is pretty, but also an airhead compared to the people she’s surrounded by? All the time.

But how many times has this person been a male?

Exactly, you can’t really answer it. This film took away some standard film tropes – there were no real love interests, the male was the character just there for looking pretty, and instead of the women in the film having to rely or be swayed by male characters, they led the action and were a team themselves.

Also, can we just appreciate the awesomeness that is Holtzmann?  I absolutely loved her. I came away from the film, loving her more than anyone.

Suicide Squad [A Film Review].

A/N: I just want to preface this by saying that I am a feminist, I believe in equal rights and I most certainly believe a person should be able to dress how they please. However, there is a problem with the way some female characters have been handled in the media, especially in films etc. This is just my open ended review of Suicide Squad and some thoughts on it. 

While, I believe a woman should dress how she wants, it is becoming a running trope that the female superheros or villains are unnecessarily sexualized, for example, having them in clothing that is more revealing compared to her male co-leads – especially, in scenes where it just does not fit what is happening – a battle, for example. 

Suicide Squad hasn’t been getting the best reviews as of yet, but I have to say I really enjoyed it. At first, I’ll be honest, I was apprehensive, worried about the things that I’d heard. But I was surprisingly and thankfully proved wrong, it was bright, colourful; intense and action packed, with a dark, twisted edge to it, which was brought to the surface wonderfully by Harley Quinn and the Joker. The film sets up the characters quite well, I did enjoy seeing each of their backgrounds, their stories came to life in harrowing, strange flashbacks and stayed that way throughout the action, an undercurrent for the audience to feast on while the action swept them up in a fast paced, never ending story line.

To see a few familiar faces (that being cameos by certain characters), was fun. The film itself, aside from the gore and disturbing torture scenes, was fun, in an oddly morbid way. These are characters you wouldn’t otherwise root for and yet, in this film, you do. No matter what their past crimes were, it leaves you feeling slightly unnerved. The one character I came away loving the most (as you’ve all probably seen), was Harley Quinn. I absolutely loved her. She was eccentric and hilarious, radiant and dark, evil and kind, in her own strange way she stands by her friends, tormented by her old love, constantly conflicted with their abusive and brutal relationship, but in the end, it is her loyalty to her friends that wins, over that of the Joker.

In regards to the portrayal of women, I found that with Harley Quinn, it wasn’t to demean her, it was yes, to explore the fact that women can wear what they want – but also challenged those that have a problem with that and highlighted the way people react to a free, expressive woman. Not to degrade her, but to battle the notion that a woman should be a certain way. This film highlights society’s negativity surrounding female sexuality and body image, the gawking women receive, the comments and looks, to bury them and say, ‘fuck you, this is me’, and whatever anyone says about Harley Quinn, she is true to herself.

And that’s an important message for women, that though she was strung along by the Joker, falling for his charm, she did not become his object, his toy. No, she was his equal, his partner, and he did not own her. She owned herself, her body and her somewhat fragmented mind.

If there was any question about her sense of person, this film helped to clear that up. Harley Quinn does not belong to the Joker, she may love him and he may love her, they’d die for one another, kill for one another, probably kill each other, but while he’s running around after her, she’s her own person, and he’s the puppy chasing after his love, not the other way around.

However, I will say – sexualizing women in films and TV shows has been a long and brutal battle for those against it – the constant need to sexualize a person, in a situation where it is clearly not necessary and there just to objectify and ridicule a person, should not be there at all.

If you are to sexualize women, then do the same for men (or at least, to the same level). If not, then stop it. For both sides of the coin, no one should be objectified and gawked at because of their appearance and mostly importantly, without their consent.

Being expressive and free, much like Harley is a right that everyone has. A right that a person themselves consents to, that is not the problem. The problem starts when it issomeone else making another dress or act a certain way, for no reason at all.

The problem with this, is that in most tropes, if a woman is dressed a certain way, it is not to empower her or brush off sexist views, it is to sexualize and demean her. It is to make her look weak or stupid in comparison to her male co-leads. 

Should women be allowed to dress however they want, without judgment? Yes.

What about if she’s the only female lead and she’s made to dress in outfits that make her look silly in comparison to her male co-leads?

If women are to be shown this way, shouldn’t the same happen for men?

Shouldn’t male characters made to dress a certain way be there just for ‘eye candy’, much like the women that are subjected to the same treatment?

Should sexualizing characters stop all together?

When does it become sexualizing, rather than freedom of expression and body image?

Is it sexualizing if in a situation where it clearly does not make sense, or would not be wise/realistic (i.e. the views on the way Wonder Woman was dressed in battle), or is that her own choice and we should respect that?

If so, why isn’t Batman or Superman running into battle in their boxers?

The point being, the act of unwarranted, unneeded sexualizing of a character is something that makes my skin crawl – seeing a female lead objectified, solely on the fact that she’s a woman, while all the men in her life aren’t dressed as so – it’s something that doesn’t sit well with me.

That being said, if she’s dressed in whichever way (perhaps, like Harley) and has no problem with it, works it and owns it, it does not demean her, or justify another’s actions towards her, then that is empowering.

That is saying – what does it matter what I’m wearing? The way I’m dressed is not an answer for the way you react.

In other words, a woman’s clothing does not justify sexual harassment, assault or rape.

And that is something, I believe, Harley’s character helps to question – she may choose to dress however she pleases, not to gain the attention of her male peers (she openly asks ‘what?’ when they look at her getting dressed), but to make herself happy.

I Am Other. 

I am the outcast,

I am the person judged because of my appearance,

I am held back from opportunities,

I am neglected and abused.

Who am I?

I am the women, who were force fed,

When they tried to stand up for their rights,

I am the women tortured and kept in institutions because men thought we were insane,

I am the women who were abused, victimized and killed because of our gender.

I am the women raped and ignored,

I am the women let down by the justice system,

I am the women followed, catcalled and bullied,

I am the women paid less.

I am the Jewish people victimized, raped, abused, tortured and killed,

I am the ones trapped in concentration camps,

I am the children killed in gas chambers,

I am the soldiers that died on the front lines fighting for freedom.

I am the blood split on the green lands,

I am the poor souls taught to fight and battle,

Only to die for a corrupt justice system and tyrannical government,

I am the broken, the lost and shunned people.

I am the black man lynched because of his skin colour,

I am the children forced to slave away in chimneys for money,

I am the children born into slavery,

I am the women lost and alone, after their children and husbands had been stripped away, taken by the slave traders.

I am the frail, the ill and sick,

I am the disabled, sneered upon because of my disabilities,

I am the girl in a wheelchair,

And the soldier with no legs.

I am the Indian child forced into slavery due to the caste system,

I am the Indian woman raped and murdered,

I am the man with dark skin,

Forced to beg for food, and money, because of his skin colour.

I am the man who loves another man,

A woman who married a woman, 

A young mind willing to explore, 

I am open and free, but shunned and killed by you.

I am the Native Americans stripped of their homes and culture,

Pushed into other lands,

By upper class, white men,

I am the other.

Who am I?

I am those you have deemed unworthy of equality.

You Are Beautiful.

They say, ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’, so why then are we taught by various kinds of social mediums what is beautiful and what is not? Isn’t the ginger girl in your class, who is bullied and is told she is from Hell, because she has reddish hair, isn’t she beautiful? Isn’t the black girl who sits at the back and always gives you a smile, even if she’s having a bad day, beautiful? What about the Asian girl who believes that no one will love her, because media tells her that being blonde, light eyed and thin is attractive? What about the young man who is deemed plain because he does not have light eyes, or luscious styled hair, or rock hard abs? He’s tall, thin and wears glasses, has brown eyes and curly black hair, a button nose but because he has scars on his cheeks and forehead due to suffering quite badly with acne as a teenager, he’s deemed ugly.

Beauty is not a man with a chiselled body or a woman with a ‘thigh gap’, you want to know what beauty is? It’s that smile you see, it warms your soul, it’s that laugh you hear on a dark night, it’s the light touch of a friendly kiss against your skin. It’s the stories they tell you to help you sleep, it’s the songs they sing in the morning and the hugs they give you at night. Beauty is the poetry she can recite, the words she writes, the books she remembers. It is the instruments he can play and logic he retains, it is the wit and intellect she holds. Beauty is not only physical, it is actions, voices and thoughts. It is in the inner workings of the mind, the soul. It is not gender stereotypes or constraints. It is not wearing frilly dresses or tight suits for work. Beauty is anything you want it to be. Not what society tells you.