Tag Archives: david fincher

Why feminists should watch Gone Girl

Art is not supposed to reassure our beliefs, it is supposed to make us reconsider them. So David Fincher’s latest thriller ‘Gone Girl’ has got feminists all over the world spiteful and aggressive. I haven’t read the book by Gillian Flynn on which it is based yet but I’ve been staying in constant touch with the backlash on the internet. I already know certain things thanks to the extensive discussions and my proximity with Tumblr- Amy and whatshisname are married, Amy gets kidnapped, police frame whatshisname, in the end he discovers that Amy is alive and killing it! But plot of the movie is not the point! The point is how it has affected modern society- clearly based on the above description Amy is a psycho and so all the “feminists” (I put that in double quotes because I identify as one myself but I disagree with them at this point) assumed that Amy is a representation of all the 3 billion women on the planet. This is absurd and ridiculous and fantastic at the same time. Because for the first time we actually have a woman who is worthy of being called a ‘villian’ and we also have women who are so appalled by it.

Here’s Amy looking like a completely ordinary student

These “feminists” are under the impression that no woman in the world can ever do anything wrong- that the possibility of having a fictional character who is so frustrated that she fakes her kidnapping is zero. They assume that every woman is happily married, happily sacrificed her career, happily making pancakes for her children, happily prioritizing her family’s needs over her own, happily compromising her dreams for her loved ones sake. I agree that a lot (almost all) women do it- some are genuinely happy but some aren’t and Any Dunne is one of them. Why do feminists think that any female character should only be portrayed in a positive manner? Why should she be either an innocent school-girl like Lolita? Why should she be a desirable outcast like Hester Prynne? Why should she be an independent professional like Bridget Jones? Why should she be an immoral whore like Anna Karenina?

*looks suspiciously at Jennifer Lawrence*

The answer is- because men find it attractive. “Feminists” have fought constant battles against being objectified, being stereotyped, being pushed into a category. Yet we divide ourselves into ‘Nerdy girl’, ‘Sporty girl’, ‘Girly girl’ or ‘Cool girl’ depending on which one we think men would find most attractive. I think this is where the flaw lies- the belief that we can only be one of those girls. Why can’t a girl have pink nail-paint on her hands while hitting a home run? Why should we assume that a girl who wears mascara cannot solve an algebra equation? Why should we have to choose between being ‘hot’ or ‘smart’ when we can be both!

Gillian Flynn’s writing is so straight-forward-no-cupcakes-no-unicorns, it’s definitely for the faint of heart!

Coming back to ‘Gone Girl’ Gillian Flynn has given us a remarkable character in Amy Dunne mainly because she is dark- dark, and twisted, and fucking unforgettable. We have had villians before but they were all driven by one thing- money, power or sex. We have never had complicated female villians such as Hannibal Lecter. There are so many male anti-heroes who are rapists, serial killers, criminals, con-artists, assasins in literature and our society accepts them immediately. The problem is not with society, the problem lies in us. Men know that one fictional character who eats babies doesn’t represent every man on Earth, so why can’t women be equally reasonable?

Isn’t that something all women have felt?

The argument is not if Amy is ‘good’ or ‘bad’- she has framed her own husband for murder, she is definitely bad. But this is where our own morals come in and the lines between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ get blurry. My theory is that those who have heavily criticized Amy, can relate to her the most. They can see their bottled anger, their dissatisfaction with marriage, their shattered dreams, their hidden insecurities reflecting on a woman who is externally perfect. They can see their own evils manifesting into a blonde, blue-eyed, beauty who anyone would kill to be with. Amy’s internal struggle is who they are and Amy’s exterior is who they are struggling to be. They hate her because they hate themselves. For the first time a female author has given us a female character that reflects the dark side of our sex and I think we should be supportive.

Author Gillian Flynn

Modern women have defined feminism to suit their convenience- today being a feminist means listening to ‘Beyonce’ and watching ‘Girls’.But the core of feminism remains that women are equal to men and that is why we should all be proud of Fincher and Flynn. We all have our own explanations of feminism and we are all entitled to it- but here we have something new, something fresh, something that can change the way women are seen. Flynn has given us a story that has got so many people taking, friends are sitting down over a beer and discussing gender roles, essayists are compiling words to squeeze in their thoughts over the portrayal of Amy. People after so long, have come to realize that women, too, can be complicated. That is the biggest achievement for David Fincher, not awards or earnings, but the satisfaction of making a generation aware that outside their feminine utopia where every woman is designed like a sims character- there is something powerful and dangerous.

See how it looks like he is literary manufacturing her the way he wants?

I think feminists should not be offended, defensive and hateful because a) basic human decency b) we have been complaining about not having better female characters in movies and now that we have one, we are saying she’s not up to mark c) my biggest reason why feminists should watch ‘Gone Girl’ is because Amy is not attractive. Okay she is gorgeous but men don’t fantasize about her the way they fantasize about Black Widow and I think that is a remarkably feminist component. So we can have sassy female villians as long as she wear high heels? We can have kick-ass superheroes as long as they wear skin-tight suits? We can have “strong female character” as long as they are played by curvy Scarlett Johannson? Nah, give us a woman who fucking makes men piss in their pants. Give us a woman is really is a nightmare and doesn’t just use is as a song lyric (#BurnTaylorSwift). Give us a woman who is can do anything to get what she wants (even fake her own death). Don’t give us a villian who fits in the men’s frame work if how a sexy villian should be, give us a villian who is genuinely dangerous.

Finally seeing it on Saturday!

We always complain about not having ‘strong’ female characters- immediately criticizing Bella Swan for being a mary sue. Now we have a ‘strong’ character in Amy, so watch if she is borderline psychotic? She is three-dimensional, well-rounded, described in painstalking details and chillingly realistic. Keep cribbing all you like but out of all the female characters in literature- Amy is easily the strongest.

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10 Movies you should be excited about in 2014

My tarot card reader said 2014 is going to be the year of the ‘Fab Films’. No she didn’t, I don’t believe in all that skull and globe paganism. But what I do believe in (apart from Rose Tyler) is films- the complicatedness and the simplicity and the mastery and the effect it has on human life. Very soon I will write a post on some of the best contemporary films I have seen( sorry Hitchcock) but now lets predict the future. My sixth sense says this year’s films are going to be better than last year’s. Don’t believe me? Check out these mind-blowing trailers and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about!

Long list gear up!
Long list gear up!

1) Interstellar by Christopher Nolan

I have to start off with my favourite director off course- Nolan has undisputably given us some of the best movies and biggest grossers in two decades now. After masterpieces like Momento, The Prestige, the Batman Trilogy and Inception- he gives us an out-of-this-world story(literally).

2) Gone Girl by David Fincher

Fincher is undoubtedly my second favourite- after giving me my favourite movie ever (Fightclub) he went on to present greats like The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

3) Unbroken by Angelina Jolie

I got excited last year when I found out that Jolie was making a movie based on Louis Zapperini’s life. Now that the trailer is actually out, I can’t wait for Christmas Day.

4) Fury by David Ayer

I haven’t seen any of Ayer’s films before but after Inglorious Bastards I am ready to watch any war film with Brad Pitt in it. The supporting cast of Shia LaBeouf (yes Shia, I forgive your antics because you are a fantastic actor) and Logan Lerman also looks pretty rad.

5) Boyhood by Richard Linklater 

They are calling it a ‘once in a lifetime’ phenomenon. Again I haven’t seen any of Linklater’s works but man that is one hell of a trailer.

6) The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby  by Ned Benson

Jessica Chastain from The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, James McAvoy from Atonement and X-Men Franchise- need I say more?

7)Clouds of Sils Maria by Olivier Assaya

I am excited to see Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz actually try something that is challenging.

8) Foxcatcher by Bennet Miller

This is my favourite film in this 10 films line-up because all three central actors are trying something they have never done before. After watching Miller’s Moneyball I honestly can’t wait.

9) The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank transporting three mentally challenged (bloody insane would be more appropriate) women across the country. Oscar Stuff right there!

10) Maps to the Stars by David Croenberg

David Croenberg- is there a need for any other reason. But surprisingly I am most excited about Mia Wasikowa’s transformative role in this film.

You go!
You go!

Honorable Mentions: These are also fantastic movies by brilliant movie-makers but they are just not my cup of tea. But that doesn’t mean you won’t like ’em. Check out the trailers!

Two Days One Night by the Dardenne Brothers

After watching Marion Cotillard in No Country For Old Men I can honestly watch her even if she’s doing a toothpaste commercial.

Magic in the Moonlight by Woody Allen

Colin Firth being the superb actor that he is, Emma Stone being Emma Stone. A typical Woody Allen periodic romantic comedy, too beautiful!

All in all, it looks like the movie theatres are going to be very crowded with one fantastic movie coming out after another. Also if you have some time (and understand Hindi) check out the trailer for ‘Haider’ by Vishal Bharadwaj. I am not very fond of the Bollywood films made in my country (I honestly hate them) but Bharadwaj is a fantastic film-maker and the story is based on ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare! I am so excited for this movie and thy should be too.