Friday 18 August 2017

Why We Need to Stop Making Women-Only Reboots

Women in film has been a huge discussion lately, particularly in the last few years. Films such as Ghostbusters and Ocean’s Eleven (not yet released) having reboots with all-female casts, with a pressures for a future female James Bond being applied from lots different areas (including actors who want to take on the iconic role), has put the issue into the spotlight and have been named as huge steps forward for feminism. Really?

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I personally am not a big fan of the idea of women-only reboots, particularly that of films that are already iconic and adored by millions of loyal fans – women most definitely included within that fan base! The characters that these women are taking on are already well established, setting them up for failure in the audiences’ mind as they have pre-built expectations of what the character should be, leaving the actor little room to interpret a character they may want to experiment with. There will inevitably be some disappointment. And fingers will point at the fact that that character is now a woman, not the way she is written or the plot of the actual film or the direction. If there’s a woman involved, that’s seen as the only problem.

I enjoy the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters. I find it fun to watch, have seen it a few times and no doubt that I’ll see it many more times in the future. It’s a family favourite now. My dad, a huge fan of the original, even said to me that he likes it as much as the original. You can imagine how much I was impressed by that statement. But I enjoy the original as well. And I don’t necessarily feel like the reboot really brought anything to the story overall. For a discussion on this film, in particular, I would definitely recommend watching Hazel Hayes’ video on it.

I’m fed up with all-female casted reboots of films that don’t need it. For some reason that is viewed by a lot of the media as a breakthrough in the name of feminism, when it really isn’t. We need to first ask ourselves how diverse these apparently progressive films are, and the way they present women of all backgrounds as well as the reception they receive. Suddenly switching male characters to female ones doesn’t do much in reality – in fact, it seems lazy. Why implant femininity on characters that have been pre-made in a more masculine way when you could just make a brand new, well developed and interesting female character? An original that has no pre-conceived perceptions attached to her.

I just want people to stop recycling male characters and start creating believable, representative and interesting fictional women that audiences can get invested in. That’s all I want. Plleeasssee...

If you liked this post you might like: 'Women's Fiction'

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