Yesterday night, I went to see the movie with an apprehension, that I shouldn’t have, after seeing the negative comments (mostly from men) about it. Produced by Cathy Yan, a woman, the movie was directly underrated. Not surprised, the movie was good (better than some others DC movies). In this article, I specially want to talk about how women are showed and above all, how the movie highlights all the stereotypes about action movies.
A CLASSIC ACTION MOVIE
To set the tone, the movie is a typical action movie. Crashed cars, multiple explosions, guns and corrupted persons. Harley Quinn is the center of the story. The movie starts with a Harley Quinn dumbed by the Joker. This is the main highlight : Harley Quinn is no longer Joker’s property and this makes her vulnerable. Being with the Joker gave her this immunity against the entire city. Quickly, the bad villain is identified, Black Masks (played by the actor Erwan McGregor) who is the new boss of the city. With the typical « let me help you to find what you want for my liberty » Harley Quinn is into some deep s****, nobody to protect her. But the movie is beyond the cliché of the lost girl, fighting for her liberty. Harley Quinn is not the only woman struggling in the movie and secondly, the movie is about « sisterhood » and it establishes something that I rarely saw in the comics movies : free-minded women.
… BUT FIGHTING FOR WOMEN DIGNITY
Birds of Prey is, as you can see on the movie poster, a movie about women. Harley Quinn is the essence of this rebellion. But her researches for Black Mask’s led her to meet other women, combatting for their recognition in the city of Gotham. Beyond, the stereotype of a panel of multi-colored women, the movie managed to not make them look miserable and turned around women unity. Because at the end, they face the same issues as Batman and other men superheroes : the harshness of the world. And that’s what I liked about the movie. The villains have no mercy and Harley, Black Canary, Huntress, Renée Montera and Cassandra Cain have these double standards : free themselves from patriarchy and gain their dignity. We can predominantly see that nearly all the women in the movie are under the « control » of powerful men in their jobs and in terms of hierarchy position. Harley has lost the privileges of being the Joker thing, she has never been respected by him and the world showed her that she is nothing without him. Black Canary, the Black Mask little singing bird, lives though his leadership : he upgraded her status after seeing her fight multiple men at the same time and gave her this marvelous privilege of being his car driver. Huntress, the daughter of a mafia clan where all of the members are dead, has been saved by one her family guard, who took her to Sicilia and transformed her into a multi-talented avenger and fighter. And finally, Renée Montoya is the cherry on the cake. A brilliant inspector in the Gotham police, mistreated by her male colleagues and even by her ex and female colleague. Her chief takes all the applauds for her work and she gets nothing. This proves that men represent a barrier for women greatness but even women. And also, they are all doing jobs and tasks, sociologically and culturally done by men.
All these women battling for their respect, gained their forces and positions from men and that is the main thing that I have saved in my head. Wonder woman raised by superwomen warriors, once in the human world, is only seen as a beautiful woman until she won her respect by fighting harder than men. And how can we forget women in the Marvel world. Black shadow or Storm, whom still don’t have their own movies, are always in the their male colleagues shadows even though they surpass them most of the time. Bird of Prey is maybe one of the first Comics movie led by women where I said : « okay, that’s great ». They were on their own and they reached each other, tired of all the bullshit. It’s stronger than sisterhood, it’s about « okay men can’t handle it, let’s see if we can ». And they handle it. The second thing that I liked about the movie is how they portrayed and revealed the stupidness of action movies. The outrageous brutality sometimes unnecessary, the bad villain plan that we all now (the world domination). Because why Fast and Furious films have respect seriously and not Birds of Prey ? Because Birds of Prey is about women.
Birds of Prey is funny, sarcastic and intelligent. In the city of Gotham, it’s pretty rare to see women win. And the final team of Birds of Prey is ready to impose itself. This eternal fight women against men is finally senseless, they will always have to cohabit and feminism is not directly against men but against the endless women disrespect in all its forms. Birds of Prey shows an another aspect of being a strong woman in this world. The first thing to do is respect yourself. The second, to not ask or wait anything from anyone.
Sometimes being alone is the ultimate step.
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