Female Empiratement

Here’s a great review Rosie wrote in Facebook – I thought it was definitely worth sharing here:

10:41pm Wednesday, Jul 4
Yes, I saw it. I’m sure you did too. Pirates of The Caribbean, Part Trois. It was a predictably enjoyable romp through Disney’s battery of ethnic stereotypes. However I found the surprise surrealist moments worth their weight in gold bullion – any movie that can roll out that many minutes of Johnny Depp ordering himself around a pirate ship manned entirely by his doubles and make it work gets a bottle of rum and a chain of shrunken heads from me!

Really however I found it to be one of the more effective feminist stories I’ve seen for a while (or perhaps I’m just desperate for positive female storylines after reading Hedda Gabler and the Oresteia – see my blog for those discussions!). Strong females are hard to come by nowadays and weirdly, by not making it an issue at all, Pirates achieves what I had formerly thought of as the unachievable: powerful people who happen to also be beautiful, effective, and self-actualizing women. Very cool. Sure, Keira Knightly doesn’t unclench her jaw/unpout her lips unless she’s screaming about the death of some ex-lover, but if that’s what she has to do to be both tough and sassy at the same, heck, I’ll forgive her. After all, the gal’s fight scenes, military prowess, and milky-white-bare-thigh-at-sunset matches that of any of the men on the show.

The other female in the story is played by Naomie Harris (you’ll remember her tough ass in 28 Days Later), luminescent as the mysteriously powerful Tia Dalma. What? A witch? Played with tender positivity and darkly-sourced strength? This has got to be a dream. Amazing portrayal of a great character.

And sure, you might say “Two Women in the movie?? Come on, that’s no great leap for womenkind”, but you’re ignoring the prominence, self-sufficiency, well-developed, and overall story-wide equality with the men in the script.

(Oh wait, I lied, there’s two Chinese pirate ho’s, 1 Asian-Aged-Geisha Pirate Captain who just screams a lot, and two pasty european prostitutes, to round out the picture, but I blame Disney for all of them!)

(Surprise: Link here to see a random post from my blog.)


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