March 05, 2014

Women-driven Bollywood Films

Coincidentally or otherwise, too many of my Twitter conversations end up in a blog post. This post too, got kicked off by a tweet-discussion with Dilnavaz about ‘women-driven Bollywood movies’. Always grateful to people for giving me filmi things ponder about, I wondered what, if any, the difference between […]

February 26, 2009

Zithromax Tablets


Zithromax Tablets, Pity the female villain.

Male villains can look forward to world domination, tons of moolah and all the power they can handle; females, on the other hand, spend all their time scheming to sabotage various weddings when they’re not forcing their daughters-in-law to mop floors while dressed in rags or nagging their husbands to death. And if somehow they manage to stumble onto a bitchin’ gig, they might just find themselves laboring under gallons of body paint and CGI because God forbid they show an actual live woman having the sort of fun men having been having for ages now (before getting blown up or dissolved in a vat of acid, naturally).

Male villains get cool names, all the chicks they can bang, and fly around the world like the billionaires they frequently are; female villains are typically the mom or the wife from hell, nobody loves them much less wants to bang them, and all their plotting and planning usually leaves them with a wrinkly face.

Chee. Who’d want to be a female villain, Zithromax Tablets.

So it's always nice to stumble across a proper villain in a dress. Especially when it's Glenn Close, 30mg Zithromax Tablets.

Every ten years or so, Close manages to play one woman character who is so dead-on perfect for that decade, it's absolutely uncanny. They're not your run-of-the-mill female villains; they embody everything we’re supposed to fear about women that generation. Zithromax Tablets, It’s no accident that they’ve become by-words in pop culture.


Fatal Attraction (1987) – Clearly, there’s something fishy about Alex Forrest (Close). She’s a sexy, capable, career woman who knows what she wants and when. She could have anybody at all but she inexplicably sets her sights on the charming (some would say smarmy but that's just Michael Douglas for you) Dan Gallagher.

Good ol’ Dan, our sympathetic hero, has a wife and little girl at home but when offered an illicit weekend with the sexy Alex, Dan couldn’t be more ready. The sex is amazing but once the weekend’s over and the wife is on her way back, Dan would like nothing better than to put it all behind him, Zithromax Tablets. 50mg Zithromax Tablets, This is when Alex informs him that she has some ideas of her own. Ideas she probably culled from a horror movie.


By the time the 80s rolled around, sexism was still rampant in the workplace not to mention the home, but change was definitely afoot in the gender wars. Zithromax Tablets, However, things hadn't evolved to the extent where strong, successful women working outside their homes were the accepted norm.

Close, dressed in those sexy suits with her hair done just so and the mascara smudging around her eyes so you wondered whether she’d just rolled out of somebody’s bed or was finishing up a long day at the office, perfectly captures the threat implied by women like Alex.

She is off the leash, so to speak, a woman whose sexual liberation conveniently masks a sexual predator; the ice queen who (spoiler alert!) could boil a child's bunny rabbit without a qualm to send her prey a message; the bitch who threatens to emasculate you because she is more powerful than you. Even her uterus, that sacred vessel of life, is a threat to this decent family man (who made one little mistake) and his innocent family.

Towards the end of the movie, Zithromax Tablets us, it really does transform itself from a thriller to a horror film, but that too is in line with its theme of a woman run amok -- she’s not just an evil woman, she’s a monster. She can’t merely be defeated, she must be eliminated because she will not stop, Zithromax Tablets. By the time she meets her end at the hands of the Good Wife right when things look very black indeed for the Erring Husband, it's turned deliciously 80s… yet Alex the Psycho is such a powerful image, she resonates even today.


101 Dalmatians (1996) – Who doesn’t love, and love to hate, Cruella De Vil. The woman so fashionably evil, she wants a coat made from puppy dogs. Beat that Meryl Streep, with your Prada-afflicted Priestly and whatnot. Zithromax Tablets, This is how the real De Vil kicks it.

Made at a time when America was obsessed with Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe (of Doom. Zithromax Tablets india, also, pantsuits), this anti-fur, pro-puppy movie has everything the mid-90s held dear -- the women are beautiful, smart and employed; the men are goofy, sweet and supportive; and animals are amazing; everybody just wants to wear plaid, cuddle and drink coffee by the fire. A new age had dawned, people.

On the evil side of things, Close’s Cruella is the kind of woman who might well have been Alex Forrest in the 80s but in the new decade, she’s found better things to do with her time than muck around with douchebags like Dan Gallagher. She’s no longer the kind of woman who’d stalk some bunny rabbit -- that would look crazy and she’s all about the image these days as people around her spruce up, realize what a sartorial embarrassment the 80s were, and begin to probe the seemingly unending limits of this new post-Cold War, post-threat (ah, remember those brief few years when it looked like everything was going to be sun and roses forever now that Communism was dead and everybody was rich?) world, Zithromax Tablets. When she needs her dirty work done, she doesn’t bother sullying her own hands with it -- she simply commands the hapless males to do it. And of course, they’re just bumbling idiots put on earth to screw up her plans, Zithromax Tablets overseas.

Cruella is, in fact, an updated version of an Evil Woman Prototype familiar to moviegoers of all demographics -- The Fashionista. There is something about a woman who is devoted to fashion that seems to set alarm bells ringing, no matter what their generation. Zithromax Tablets, How can somebody so frivolous, so committed to looks, so caught up in the exterior of a person, be anything other than Not Good. The easiest way to indicate a woman’s evil nature… well, is to give her a sexual appetite. But. A close second is to put her in a couture outfit. And give her a good manicure. Be it high school, high society or the Highlands, with those weapons she will enslave the poor male who is too much of an idiot to see the evil that lurks in her expensively clad bosom and then he will slowly descend into the bowels of depravity -- just the way she likes it, Zithromax Tablets. Muahaha.

Standing in stiff opposition are the bland yet delicious-as-bread pudding couple of Roger (Jeff Daniels) and Anita (Joely Richardson). They not only love puppies and want them to keep their fur, they want to adopt all the little puppies in the world and love them forever by putting out precious video games that teach other people how awesome puppies can be. 1000mg Zithromax Tablets, Puppies. Zithromax Tablets, Puppies. Puppies. They loves them. And we loves them. And we loves them even more when they make Cruella’s fur fly. Cue the happy ending: a mansion on a giant estate with a yuppie couple, their newborn infant and loads of doggies, Zithromax Tablets. I think we can all agree that’s pretty much the definition of 90s heaven. As long as someone else is wielding the pooperscooper anyway.


Damages (2007 - ) – As is right and proper in this postmodern, post-racial, lipstick world of ours, Close’s Patty Hewes is a much more complex character. For one thing, she’s on TV, where all the good writing is these days (seriously. Zithromax Tablets, Search and ye shall find). For another, she’s a lot more ambiguous as The Career Bitch than you’re used to, Zithromax Tablets ebay. Do I want her to win or do I want her to bite it. I’m so confused.

She’s a cut throat lawyer, the kind that makes you hope she will always be on your side, but there’s nothing funny or eccentric about her -- this isn’t your David E. Kelley lawyer who can be a bastard all day in court and then come back to the office and make your heart melt by his devotion to his pet frog or his bonding sessions on the terrace with a co-worker, Zithromax Tablets.

She frightens people, and with good reason, as we keep finding out. And yet, she’s obsessed with a case that has Erin Brokovich (without the boobies or the toxins) written all over it.

Like her protégée, the naive Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), we just can’t get a handle on this woman -- what is she capable of, what are her motivations, Zithromax Tablets mexico, and what does she want. It makes you think fondly back to the days when you knew that all a woman really wanted was a man in her bed and a coat made of intelligent puppy dogs. Zithromax Tablets, And then there are the other conventions that Damages plays with all the time:

Ostensibly, Hewes’ problems all stem from the male of the species. There’s the billionaire Arthur Frobisher (Ted Danson), who in another sort of female context would be the hero: rich, strong, charismatic, older man who is deeply concerned about the impact of litigation on his innocent family. The air thrums with tension if he and Hewes so much as mention each other. It’s just what you want in your Harlequin romance. Except for that part where he really is evil and they hate each other’s guts. You could easily see shades of the Forrest/Gallagher power struggle in this if you squint a bit, Zithromax Tablets.

Then there is her son, the delinquent Michael (Zachary Booth). He accuses his mother of being the ultimate control freak and rejects her. But is he being a normal teenager or does he just know her better than anybody else. Is Hewes that classic stereotype -- an exceptional career woman and a lousy mom. Zithromax Tablets, Or is he just yanking her (and our) chain. Should we be calling Hewes Mommie Dearest or is her son just a manipulative son of a bitch, 150mg Zithromax Tablets.

She even has a weak-kneed male second-in-command she likes to boss around and remind that he will never be anything better than an also-ran, Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan). He’s with her every step of the way and she can always reel him back in if he makes a bid for freedom, but can she really trust him. And if she can’t trust him, doesn’t trust him, then is it because control freaks can never fully repose their faith in another human being no matter how much they prove their loyalties or is it because he’s a weaselly weasel and she knows it. Can Hewes ever have a friend or are they all doomed to fail her, Zithromax Tablets.

It is, however, the very female Ellen Parsons who is her real counterweight. We first meet Ellen as the ambitious young lawyer with everything going for her and a serious case of hero-worship for the legendary Patty Hewes. She wants to be Hewes the way ingénues in stories like these always want to be the ice-cold bitch at the top of the pyramid who is everything they are not, but the closer she gets to the flesh and blood woman behind the reputation, the more she looks askance at her. 500mg Zithromax Tablets, The time honored graph for characters like Ellen is hero-worship -> disillusionment -> anger -> dissociation -> revaluation -> happiness/acceptance + new direction. Zithromax Tablets, See: The Devil Wears Prada for the perfect example. Ellen had made it all the way to disillusionment/ anger by the end of season one, but as season two begins, we see that too much has happened for her to continue along the traditional path. She’s come too far and done too many things for her to end up in a tidily smug place on this series.

As Close just signed on for another 6 seasons, I guess we’ll find out whether Hewes will get hers or not. If she does, however, then I bet Ellen is the one who seals the deal. Although storytelling conventions have changed since the days of Fatal Attraction, in the search for equilibrium on the gender scale I think we’ve arrived at a point where it simply strikes a discordant note for women of the chilling majesty imparted to them by Glenn Close to be taken down by some man. Even if he is William Hurt.

We can look forward to that in the next decade.

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