There was this hope that Hollywood would be about empowering women in year 2015. The only bright spots for women empowerment from movies and TV, so far, have been Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road and Detective Ani Bezzerides from True Detective’s season 2. Well that is at least the most popular narrative we have these days. Plus, the recent research by University of South Carolina proves the appalling state of affairs as far women in movies are concerned.
But let’s hold it right there. Is it completely true that we haven’t seen headstrong, independent and empowered women in Hollywood this year? Well womenfolk should be happy because there have been more women-centric movies this year than what many anticipated.
Women-centric movies released so far this year
Pitch Perfect 2
Mad Max: Fury Road
The hero was Max (Tom Hardy) and the movie should have been about how he saved the post apocalyptic world, right? No! It was all about Furiosa (Charliez Theron) and her heroics to save the other women. I can’t remember the last time I saw a woman with such will and determination in any movie. Kudos to Charliez Theron for taking this role and owning it!
She isn’t Ethan Hunt and she isn’t James Bond. She is Susan Cooper, a CIA operative who successfully evolves from a desk agent to a field one and does so remarkably well.
A picture is worth a thousand words and the story is no different for Trainwreck’s poster shown above. It says that the woman (Amy Schumer) can’t be stopped and would do whatever she wants to do. The guy (Bill Hader) can only be amazed, astonished and astounded by the woman. The woman takes the foreground while the man takes the background. Do you want anything more to prove this shows women as confident and independent? If so then I humbly request you to watch the movie!
A woman (Amy Poehler) gets to become the best emotion (Joy) in this Pixar movie, the only girl-centric movie by Pixar after Brave. Is this is a sign that women are slowly and gradually being given the importance they deserve?
Women-centric movies to be released this year
So the 70 year old intern Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) gets to learn a thing or two about marketing in the virtual world by a young entrepreneur called Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Tell me this isn’t about empowering women. The movie which is slated to release in September this year not only shows a confident young lady but also shows that women can teach men a thing or two.
The Daenerys Targaryen (another powerful woman) of The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is the leading lady of The Hunger Games franchise. The girl is so powerful and strong, she even defeats men. This is glorifying women at its level best.
SISTERS, RELEASING DECEMBER 2015
Nothing about the movie so far suggests that it would be about emancipating women. However, the movie is still a very good addition to the number of women-centric movies that have or would release this year.
Beyond 2015: What the future holds
And if you think that this is a one-off year then I would like to mention that a plethora of movies based on women would release in the next year too. Among the more prominent ones are Hale Berry’s Kidnap, Natalie Portman’s Jane Got a Gun, an all women Ghostbusters and a female 21 Jump Street spinoff. This is excluding Harley Quinn’s comeback (in Suicide Squad) on the big screen after a really long time!
Women would also dominate feature films in 2016 and that is a good sign for Hollywood.
Some would rightfully argue that it is not just the female actors who need a strong presence in Hollywood. Behind the cameras too, women are neglected: there are fewer women directors, actors and writers. My response to this is that LET THINGS RUN THROUGH THEIR NATURAL COURSE. Feminists should show some patience here and shouldn’t force the issue. Mindsets built over years can’t be changed with a snap of a finger. Showing impatience would only breed clash of thoughts. Now we have “Meninists” protesting feminism in Mad Max: Fury Road as an example.
I am not pro-feminism or pro-menism. I want to be a neutralist (if it is even a concept). Yes women need more important roles in Hollywood but jumping the gun isn’t the way to do it. There is great room for improvement but the situation with women in Hollywood is improving for the better and needs to be acknowledged.