Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Movie Review: Thelma and Louise

So not unlike Fujiko Mine I had trouble connecting Michiko with themes especially in contrast with Fujiko which despite my original  idiocy screams "I am woman hear me roar!".  While Michiko & Hatchin has themes the purpose of the story itself seems to be more about being a fun ride rather than making the audience think about stuff. Of course there is stuff to think about but with a few exceptions the show itself doesn't dwell on them.

I had to take a long think. Trying to figure out in light of my feminism revelations on The Woman Called Fujiko Mine what exactly Michiko & Hatchin was trying to say if anything about feminism. There are a few scenes in that show that make it clear yes it does in deed have something to say but I was struggling to get a consistent treatise the same way I did with Fujiko.

And then it hit me. The show is more or less a whole plot reference to a film (well two films) I had yet to see. A movie that has become the codifier of the female revenge flick.

Heck the more I think about it in lot of ways Hatchin, Michiko's 10-year old daughter and the load's, very existence is to deconstruct this movie. A walking reminder of why the whoooo outlaw4life attitude of Thelma and Louise is kind of stupid especially as a mechanism societal rebellion. I ... have a couple of problems with Thelma and Louise. And in a lot ways Michiko fixes some of them so that's something I'll get into later when I actually talk about that show.

You know what screw it. The movie's dramatic parts are over-dramatic and unravel the artifice of film, revealing itself to be a fantasy. That might be the point with the ending but in a weird way Michiko is the opposite. Don't get me wrong the show can be incredibly over the top. It markets itself as Brazilian exploitation anime after all but when it wants you to feel, when it wants to be serious, it's less cartoony than its live action counterpart.

Now that I think about it most of the craziness is segregated to the show's many many action beats.

Also and this is kind of harsh to say on my part but both of the leads in this movie at least start it as relatively privileged. It's not the same thing but as a young black guy I live with the fear that if I get into some serious shit and have to call the cops they might not believe my story. That's a real fear I have and is one of the reasons I try to keep my nose clean. I can't afford bail and the best I can hope for is an overworked underpaid public attorney. That said even I'm privileged enough so that I can more or less avoid the type of "shit" I'm talking about. The they're armed and have vajayjays mania especially from the middle of the movie on just seems nutty. On the other hand the they're armed and black mania ehhhhhhh.

I'm probably off base here but the idea that 1990's Geena Davis couldn't gain the ear of a sympathetic cop or is even in a position to distrust the system that much just doesn't hold up for me.  That's probably my own sexism talking as I know that is a problem in rape cases.  And the fear of not being taken seriously with an allegation of rape because of intoxication is completely legit, all the same I can't help but think about what if this movie was about Precious instead who probably wouldn't have even thought about calling cops let alone rationalized reasons not to.

That would be a different movie.

It makes a lot of their rebellion for rebellion sake in the second act seem less like a reaction against an overbearing patriarchy and more like whinny indulgence to make the middle class audience feel good. Michiko & Hatchin on the other hand talks directly to poverty, child slavery, gang warfare, objectification and prostitution.

That along with the point about being over dramatic makes its point about female impotence against the patriarchy hard to take seriously. It's as though every dude was written solely to screw over the ladies so the audience can vicariously empathize. Michiko on the other hand is more along the lines of, "Hey this is tough world and shit rolls down hill. Kids get it because they're weak and women get it because (at least according to the show) they have to look after the kids. Damn biology."

Of course again that's more about the show than the movie.

You know the more I think about it the less I think of this movie being a reaction against the patriarchy and more Regan era conformity/conservatism as a whole. And my difficulty in getting into the movie is more because I'm of different denomination than its choir. When I'm thinking about such conservatism allows for infringement of rights in the name of snuffing out divination from societal norms I'm think more along the lines of poverty due to unfair resource allocation,  social discrimination, police beatings  and good old fashioned lynch mobs.

Getting bummed because an old lady is scowling from a diner window just seems silly. I'm sorry but at the end of the day this feels a lot like one of those made for TV Lifetime dealies and I can't stand those for all the reasons I already outlined.

Then again Django Unchained aka Die Honkey Die is on my list so who am I to talk about revenge fantasy movies.

P.S. By the way, this movie features the most polite armed robbery and car jacking I've seen put to film. It made me want to go "so that's how a middle class white Texas house wife robs a liquor store. Awww look she think she's a hardened crook now. Ain't that just precious." That might what be what broke the movie for me.

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