Sunday, 5 June 2016
Character Gender Switch
The other day I was watching Ocean's Eleven (2001) for probably the hundredth time. It is one of my go to movies when I just want to watch something and I can't pick (the others are Dredd, Soapdish and Rear Window). While pondering why Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts) was with Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) in the first place or how those two even met, I thought, what if all the male roles were switched to female? The story would still work. The story is not based on gender, its a heist film with a bit of revenge. Think about it. Do the entire cast (apart from Roberts) really need to be male? You wouldn't even need to change any lines. Tess Ocean could be switched to male also. The only thing would be the name, Ocean, it might have to be the lead's maiden name. But that's a very small thing is a very big film/story. Personally, I think it could work.
This leads me on to the recent attack on female lead films that have been making waves. I'm sure everyone has heard about the Ghostbusters attacks. An all female lead cast instead of the male cast from the 80s classics. This vision of Ghostbusters has been damned by haters since the cast was announced. People hated it before anything was even made! I'll admit now that years ago when this was rumoured I didn't like it because it was called a 'remake'. BUT the upcoming film is a reboot of the Ghostbusters story while still paying homage to the classics. The film even has involvement from Ivan Reitman and Dan Aykroyd, this bring hope that the film will be good. With every new bit of news, posters, stills, trailers, the haters have come out and trolled the internet with their bs. I say, give it a chance before you damn it. I did that with Twilight. Watched it, hated it, end of story. But I suppose haters gonna hate. Or as Judd Apatow said 'Ghostbusters haters are probably Trump supporters'.
Unfortunately, the rally against female leads continued with the release of the amazing looking first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Felicity Jones is Jyn Erso, a solider of the rebel alliance, she takes the lead in this story which takes place before A New Hope. She, along with a group of other rebels, is tasked with stealing the plans for the Death Star. I;m sure everyone is aware of this film too and probably the negative backlash. Though not as big as Ghostbusters negative wave, Rogue One had the trolls commenting bs.
Saying 'oh great another female lead - really original Star Wars' is probably the one that stood out for me. I cannot comprehend a stupid comment like this. Aren't there countless science fiction and action films where the leads are men? Oh another male lead? So original Hollywood! This sort of comment and the others too, is beyond ridiculous. I've had a few Facebook arguments/discussions with someone but they just say the same old thing and try and sound clever while trying to belittle my opinion.
I had a few arguments surrounding female roles in film and feminism in general. Sometimes a fair point is raised but most of what is said is grandstanding bs. He says that things are exaggerated but I think its the opposite. There may only be a few comments visible but he is, in a way representing those unseen voices or 'haters'.
It doesn't stop there.
With the announcement from Gillian Anderson that she would like to play Bond, the internet has been slowly buzzing. Emilia Clarke has also said that she would like to be considered for Bond too and I think this is fantastic. Either of those two actresses would be brilliant in the role.
After my disappointment with Spectre, I said to my family, who all saw it and has similar ideas about it, why can't Bond be a woman? My Dad said back 'but, he's a bloke'. So? Why not have a female Bond? There was a female M - nothing wrong with that. Seeing that Gillian Anderson had thrown her hat into the ring, it felt like she read my mind. But I'm surely not the only person who was thinking this. Time Out had an article about all the actresses who they think could play Bond so I shared this on Facebook. That same guy wanted an argument/discussion, see below. This is just a snippet of what was said.
All I learnt from this was there is apparently 'NO NEED' for a female Bond. Who said anything about need, I WANT a female Bond. I would also be equally happy with a decent actor playing Bond, but I think now is the time for a female Bond to revitalise the franchise. His comment about Bond being 'an institution' really irritated me. I know it is but it doesn't have to be an 'old boy's club'. The comment that its not believable that a woman could fight a man and win. I think I was just sick. Please tell me if I'm crazy but that is a rather sexist comment, right? Female spies who are highly trained could fight a man AND win.
P.S. Remind me to just delete my FB account as I'm fed up with it.
With all this hate and closed minded-ness, I can only come to the conclusion that these trolls do not like seeing women in powerful, exciting, interesting roles. Women are only there to play the wife or the girlfriend or the neighbour or the secretary. Of course. Amy Schumer's brilliant awards skit rather summed it up.
I feel that there is still plenty of room in film and TV for great lead roles for actresses. So, in order to lead the way, I think Bond could and should be a woman.