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Rocky View Publishing reporter glad to see strong female characters in lead role

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 11:13 am

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Iíll admit it; I watch a lot of movies but rarely do I see a film that depicts women as a combination of powerful and desirable. I recently saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and was delighted to see the portrayal of Katniss Everdeen as a strong, take-charge and kick-butt kind of young woman, who was still extremely likeable and better yet still feminine.

The movie, of course had the seemingly mandatory love triangle between Katniss, Gale and Peeta but it was only a minor blip in the overall movie. The majority of the film focused on Katniss trying her best to keep things together for her family and district, and then fighting back like a charging lion when President Snow forces her back into the Games where she must fight for her life to be the last tribute left alive.

Clearly, Iím not the only one who appreciated a strong female character as the lead, the movie opened with a $161.1-million take in its first weekend in theatres. This opening broke the November record set by The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

successful opening weekends are about the only thing The Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga have in common because the Twilight series relied heavily on the naÔvetť of teenage girls and their tendency to overlook a decent storyline in the presence of a pretty boy.

That being said, I will admit I too fell victim to the allure of the Twilight series and not only saw all the movies but also read all the books.

However, I did so in shame and knew what I was subscribing to was a fairy tale land where love is all that matters and really does have the ability to conquer all. In hindsight, it is easy to go back and look at Twilight through different eyes, which unveil Bella and Edwardís relationship as extremely unhealthy and on the verge of stalking if not domestic abuse.

Bella completely shuts down without Edward in her life. She forgets friends and family that loved her, overlooks positive opportunities and fades away to the point she puts herself in physical danger just to feel something. She needs Edward to be a full and complete person, and that is the take away I fear young girls might believe is true to their life and relationships.

Katniss Everdeen on the other hand, leaves Gale behind to fight a battle only she can. She steps up and becomes a beacon of hope for an entire nation.

She saves Peeta, yet again, from certain doom and proves that female leads can be strong, opinionated, heroes and be a successful box office hit.

However, Katniss remains the exception as other blockbusters like the new Thor sequel continue to throw women into the damsel in distress role and I must say I find that highly disappointing. Without spoiling anything I can tell you Jane Foster, Thorís girlfriend, is transported to Thorís home dimension of Asgard because she needs Thorís help. In typical blockbuster fashion, Jane is unable to defend herself and relies solely on her big, strong man to keep her out of harmís way.

Now, Jane is one smart cookie, sheís an astrophysicist for goodness sake, but that important character trait is grossly underdeveloped and she does nothing in terms of figuring a way out of her situation or fighting back. Instead, she spends the majority of the film hiding behind Thor even though she was infused with an ancient being that allowed her the ability to cause harm to others.

Now I know one filmís success wonít change an industry that tends to relegate females who kick-butt to the role of sidekick, but it is a start and Iím glad to see it.


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