Tag Archives: Movie

Taking A Feminist Stance

I’ll be completely honest – this wasn’t the blog post I had planned for today.  I had a post all ready to go that is well formulated and structured, looks nice and has good content!  But last night, I watched a movie and I feel that I just HAVE to comment on it.

The movie I am talking about is a silly one, it likely won’t have much of a far-reaching impact, and it probably doesn’t even deserve to be spoken about, especially in its own blog post… but maybe it does!  Maybe it is EXACTLY media like this that SHOULD be talked about and thought about!

So, last night, after a long day, my mom and I decided to check what Netflix had to offer us in the way of some light-hearted entertainment.  We ended up choosing the first thing we saw, a film called ‘Like Father’.  We watched the little preview that Netflix gives you if you hover too long at the top of the page, and it seemed perfect for us; a fun, light comedy.

Here is the premise of the movie: we meet Rachel, a ‘workaholic’ for a big corporate advertising company, on her wedding day.  Up until the moment she walks down the aisle, she is sending emails and making work calls, and ultimately, it is for this reason that her fiance decides to leave her jilted at the altar, not being able to see a future with a woman who is this dedicated to her job.  Now for the sub-plot: Rachel’s long-lost father, who left his family to follow his own career path when Rachel was only 5 years old, has turned up to the wedding.  After things go pear-shaped at the ceremony, Rachel and her father end up reconnecting, get very drunk, and find themselves on the cruise ship honeymoon that was intended for the newlyweds.  Together with the help of a team of quirky characters on board the ship, including a gay therapist, an elderly couple, and of course, a comedic supporting African-American couple (I mean, could they have tried any harder to tick all their token boxes for this movie?!) Rachel must face the fact that it is because of her priorities, and her work-life balance, that things haven’t worked out for her, i.e. that she hasn’t been able to get married.  The question remains: can she really change all this and learn to put her phone away so that she can find happiness ( which means finding a man who will finally marry her)?

I just couldn’t really believe the movie I was watching – it felt like it belonged in the 90s, not in 2018!  Here we are presented with this character, Rachel, who is pretty much a  total bad-ass!  She works incredibly hard and has earned herself a great job (in a corporate company – never an easy task for a woman which shows tremendous strength of character on her part).  She’s ambitious, she has goals and dreams and she puts them above any man!  She is committed, she somehow manages to find the time to always look amazing and she also invested in a romantic relationship – I mean, wasn’t the fiance the idiot for not realising until his wedding day that her number one priority was her work and that he would never get her top spot?! It seemed to me that she was always clear about that!

However, this movie sought to portray her as a complete failure!  It was always deemed to be terrible when Rachel attended to work calls and emails on her phone.  The fact that her fiance left her at the altar was HER fault, because of her shortcomings.  And they made it pretty clear that if she didn’t change and realign her priorities, she would end up like her father and live a miserable and failed life.  Because marriage = success, happiness and fulfilment.  I just can’t find the sense in this.

What is perhaps even more shocking, is that the co-writer and director of the movie was a woman!!  We have to look at the movie in the context of what is happening in our world today. Women, and especially women in Hollywood, are finding their voices!  Time’s up! Do we really want to use our voices to preach this old-fashioned, out-dated message about women only finding happiness in men and not in their own personal work? I so believe in the ‘women empowering other women’ movement, and I think it is really important, even more so in 2018 and with someone like Trump in the Oval Office.  How could the woman who directed this movie be OK with putting her own heroine, Rachel, down like that?!

Maybe I’m being too hard on the movie, maybe one could say that is was just meant to be a shallow, light and funny movie and not dissected in any feminist way.  But isn’t this the whole problem?  That this is the kind of comment that our society can make about a woman and that it can just be allowed to fly because it’s not ‘serious’ or ‘real’.

Maybe I am the one to be criticised because I chose to watch it.  Alright, I accept that.  I didn’t need to engage, and I have worked really hard at disengaging from things I find toxic or that I don’t like online or within my own connections, so why would I choose to watch this movie, and watch until the very end?  Well, maybe it was some kind of outraged and morbid curiosity.  Maybe I am still a product of our society and, whether I like it or not, I simply can’t escape from being taken in by these ridiculous, glamorous, white Hollywood stories.  But it has certainly provoked me to think more about this, what I engage in, and to be more aware of what progress really is, or isn’t, being made.

 

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6 Reasons Why I Loved ‘Atomic Blonde’, And Why I think You Should See It

It’s not often that I recommend new movie releases, either here on my blog or to people in real life, because, well, to be completely honest, I find most of what I see at the cinema to be pretty mediocre at best.  I absolutely love seeing movies in theatres – I probably go to the cinema about once a week – but I have to admit that it’s never really because of a movie itself that I enjoy this hobby; like many other people, the reasons that I love going to the movies so much are because of the fun experience, the social aspect of watching films with other people and, my huge weakness, the buttery salty popcorn 🙂  It is extremely rare that a movie ever makes a real impact on me or truly captures my attention.  BUT, just every now and then, I am totally caught off-guard by something fantastic.

The other day, I saw one such movie, ‘Atomic Blonde’, and… I LOVED IT.  After thinking it over, I decided that when such a movie comes into my life, one that I think about long after the showing, that I want to go back and see again immediately, that I play the soundtrack to over and over again at home, then I really have a personal duty to inform others about it!  I have ordered my thoughts about Atomic Blonde into 6 concise points or reasons why I particularly loved it and why I think you should go and see it right now.  Enjoy!

  1. Strong Female Lead.
    A while ago I started to notice a trend in my decisions when it came to choosing books/TV shows/movies etc.  I discovered that I am highly partial to anything with a strong female lead, and this is totally fine by me!  I love a girl boss, a top-notch heroine, a fierce femme, and I’m not ashamed to admit that such a character as this can either make or break a storyline for me.   The lead role in Atomic Blonde, played by the goddess that is Charlize Theron, embodies all of the above.  She is a bad-ass spy, she’s dangerous, smart, intense, sexy and generally all-round awesome.
  2. Set in Berlin.
    When a movie is set in one of my favourite cities in the world, how could I help but love it!  Maybe I felt a personal connection to the movie because I have been to so many of the places that were featured in it, or maybe it’s just because I KNOW how cool and hip Berlin is and this gave the film an extra depth for me.   The city of Berlin would be, in my opinion, a brilliant backdrop to any movie, but gave particular significance to this one because of the era in which it was set.  This brings be to my next point…
  3. Berlin in the late 80s.
    So, the plot of the movie is centered around the rise of the people in Berlin in the late 1980s , which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  In Atomic Blonde, we got such a feel for the atmosphere in this city at that time, and it was incredible!  It was an era of punk/grunge/rock, underground parties, drugs, living for the NOW because you didn’t know if you would be alive tomorrow, power to the people…  Seeing this story unfold in the movie made me WISH I could have been there to experience it all.  One line in the film really stuck with me; ‘What a time to be in Berlin’.
  4. Music.
    I absolutely had to feature the movie soundtrack in this list because it is a complete winner.  The lineup includes music by David Bowie, REM, Eurythmics and German/Austrian Artists Falco and Nena among others.  The music captures the energy of the 80s, it drives the storyline of the movie, it brings the characters to life.  I wasn’t such a fan of 80s music before seeing Atomic Blonde, but it’s pretty much been on it our house every day since and it just makes me want to DANCE all the time!
  5. Fashion.
    Atomic Blonde is dripping with sex and sensuality, and I am pretty convinced that the sizzling, smoking, fashion in the movie plays a large role in that.  Long trench coats with sunglasses, racey metallic dresses, lace stockings and hold-ups and patent black high-heeled boots star throughout and I love it all!
  6. Twisty-turny plot.
    OK, so, I wouldn’t put the plot itself at the top of my list of reasons to go and see this movie.  We have all heard of the undercover spy agent completing a complex mission in a foreign country before.  However, I will say that there are a few surprises in this movie and, without spoiling anything, the twists and turns that we are taken on make for quite a ride – don’t write the movie off as just another average spy thriller.
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