Did She Just Say The F-word? What a Feminist Looks For in a Movie

This issue, I want to do something different with this column – instead of ranting about the world’s injustices, I want to talk about something that made me really happy, that is, Ocean’s Eight. If you are familiar with the “Ocean’s” movie franchise, you know the basic plot of the movies. If you are not, I will give you a quick run down, because don’t worry, I didn’t know either. In the Ocean’s movies, there is always a Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney. Danny is a known criminal and likes to attempt impossible heists. The second part of the name of all Ocean’s movies, my friends tell me, come from the number of people partaking in the heist. For example, there were once 13 team members, so they called the movie Ocean’s Thirteen. There, now we are all caught up!

So, here’s what’s different about Ocean’s Eight – drumroll if you don’t know about it or can’t guess it – its an all female team of people committing a crime! Before we all take it the wrong way and get excited for the wrong reasons, I don’t condone stealing, or criminal activity of any sort. I just like the fact that people have finally accepted that women have the smarts and resources and team-spirit to mastermind an almost impossible heist! It was so refreshing to see all these women come together from different backgrounds and phases (on and off-screen) and make a movie that has barely any need for a male role.

Having been a bit of a movie buff for the early part of my life, I was really accustomed to the female lead only playing the protagonist’s love interest in a movie. I never really questioned it much until I got bored being under-represented as a female as well as a person of colour. It also didn’t help that movies incorporated only one body-type for women in all roles. But then I watched Ocean’s Eight. Eight females in one movie? Check. Diversity of race? Check! Mindy Kaling and her sense of humour? Check and check!

Anne Hathaway, one of the leads, interviewed on the Ellen Show for the movie and explained the atmosphere on set. Having become a new mum, Hathaway said she was really conscious about the way she looked but the director put her at ease by telling her they wanted as many body types up there as they could. All the other actresses also complimented the way she looked, and Rihanna even said, “’Damn, girl you got an ass… You got an ass just like mine!’” Hathaway told Ellen DeGeneres. “It was so beautiful to be surrounded by that much love and understanding. It was so great.” That’s body positivity in the best way imaginable!

Needless to say, the movie is definitely worth the two hours of your life. Just go watch it and be surprised because it will change your perception of women. While I have seen a lot of movie where female leads seem to not function well without a hero to save them, this movie makes a complete one-eighty from those pre-conceived notions. Women don’t need to be saved, women fight their own battles. That is how Debbie Ocean replaced Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eight.

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