Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Few of my Favorite Women in Film

This is where it can get tough.

My last post was about my favorite women in books.  I only wrote about two for times sake.  Lord knows I could go on about this woman or that woman (Jo March, Ayla, Kivrin to name just a few more.)  Today's post is about women in film.

Do not get in her way!
I suppose I could go for the obvious.  Like Black Widow in The Avengers.  LOVE her.  Even tied to a chair, she is in complete control of her situation.  She doesn't have superpowers, she's just an ordinary (enough) woman with highly specialized skills.  She's confident in her ability to handle whatever situation she's in, except maybe when fellow Avenger Bruce Banner transformed into the Hulk; she was a bit unnerved then.  Her character hints at a tragic past in the movie, which from what I've read on the sequel for the movie, we'll see more of.  It's always interesting to see what events helped create these strong women.

Often times, they have no other choice but to be strong.  Life is hard, no matter who you are.

Ready to kick some zombie butt...
Another good example of this is Alice from the Resident Evil movies.  There is no way to take these movies seriously, but that doesn't diminish the character of Alice.  Dealing with amnesia at the beginning of the first movie, Alice handles things with far more spunk than I would.  As the movie progresses and she discovers her own set of highly specialized skills, she gets over her shock and quickly dispatches whichever set of zombies is plaguing her.   I hated that the movie turned dogs into zombies...it's disturbing, but this virus doesn't discriminate between species.  Alice was one of the few rare individuals able to adapt to the virus.  Alice was even able to defeat the Umbrella Corporation's attempt at mind control.

Another female character I like, isn't exactly one of the 'good guys'.  Isn't that how it goes sometimes?

Mirror, Mirror on the wall...
Charlize Theron's portrayal of Ravenna, the evil Queen from Snow White and the Huntsman is riveting (at least in my opinion). In this version of the fairy tale, Ravenna's mother cast a spell over her so that the girl would remain young and beautiful. Because that's the only way that a woman has value and power, right?  Ravenna fell prey to this lie, and magically sucked the youth and beauty from younger woman.  Her obsession to remain youthful and beautiful (and therefore powerful) drove her to cruelty and murder. Personally I felt her character had more depth than that of Snow White.  She walks with confidence, with her head held high, knowing that none can outshine her.  Even though her insecurity is that someone will come along someday and do exactly that.  This particular Queen had nothing to fear in this movie, but of course that's not how the story 'had' to go.  I was quite disappointed that the movie ended with her death.

Of course, these are all fantasy/sci-fi flicks and the scenario's aren't always realistic.  It's no surprise as my taste tends to lean towards that genre.  But I don't think that takes anything away from these complex women and their roles.

I do have other favorites.

Keeping Frank Moses on his toes...
One is Sarah Ross in the movie Red.  It's possible that an everyday customer service agent could end up kidnapped and fall into all sorts of adventures with a retired spy, right?  Especially one who fantasizes about that very thing happening because her real life is, well, boring.  After the initial shock and fear wear off, Sarah adapts to the excitement.  Even though her kidnapper didn't live up to her imaginary expectation of him (she thought he'd have hair) and their first meeting wasn't exactly a stellar first date (she's had worse) she does fall in love with him.  That doesn't take away anything from her independence or adventurous spirit though, because in the second movie she is frustrating her love interest (Frank Moses) with those very things.

Holding her ground...
Another favorite comes from the same movie.  Helen Mirren's ex-spy Victoria kicks some serious tail.  She is as calm and collected firing a machine gun as she is doing a flower arrangement.  To keep her retirement from becoming stale, she takes the 'occasional odd job'...after all, one can only do so many slower arrangements. She's not one bit phased that another ex-spy shows up at her home needing to be stitched up.  Although that's a bit of a stereotype, they make up for it by having the characters originally afraid to got to her for fear of being shot.  We learn that back when she was as spy, her loyalty was questioned because of her love affair with a Russian spy.  To prove her loyalty, she had to kill him.  She shot him three times in the chest, and we later learn that he did survive.  She is gutsy, efficient with her firearms, and at ease with her male counterparts.  Even though she has to drop back from the action because of a gunshot wound, she doesn't just curl up in a corner.  Yes, her Russian spy meets her at a locked gate and rescues her...but hearing Helen Mirren called bunny in Russian is well worth it in my opinion.

Sadly with the exception of Alice, the women I've listed are all side characters.  There is a rumor that Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow will be getting her own solo movie.   That would be pretty cool, even if she is dressed in her skintight black leather.  Whether this is an accurate representation of women in film, I can't even begin to say.

Do you have a favorite movie character you'd like to share?

2014 ~ year of changes

No comments:

Post a Comment