When women spell trouble
The female of the species is deadlier than the male.
NOT quite sugar and spice and all things nice, girls aren’t always the angels they are made out to be. Stereotypes and screenwriters typically cast females as the more innocent, righteous and dependable of the two sexes. However, as they grow up and encounter more people, boys will tend to learn the hard way what Adam eventually figured out about Eve.
Not all girls will return affection, a phone call or even a favour. True, some men may be Han Solos but it really is a galaxy far far away before you come across a true Princess Leia.
While films and television shows are the key culprits nowadays which tend to place women on pedestals of virtue and propagate the notion that they can do no wrong, there is a small number of films that tell it like it is: More often than we’d like to acknowledge it, women are trouble.
They ignite wars (like Helen Queen of Sparta in Troy), break up bands (like Penny Lane almost did in Almost Famous), pit werewolves against vampires (like Bella in The Twilight Saga: New Moon), piss off supernatural beings (like the female lead in almost all typical horror films) and I’m pretty sure Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps would’ve had a woman take the blame for the recent global financial crisis if it wasn’t historically inaccurate (as far as we know …).
Some films revolve entirely around crazy chicks and their whimsical, devastating ways as well as the havoc that they wreak in the lives of their loved ones.
Take Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for instance. The film may have been a period martial arts drama about Wudang warriors but upon closer inspection it essentially revolves around one very spoilt aristocrat girl, Jen (played by the delectable but moody Zhang Ziyi), with a severe identity crisis.
Throughout the film, Jen cannot decide if she is a rich man’s daughter, arranged marriage bride-to-be, thief, warrior, bandit’s girlfriend or starry-eyed lover.
Seeking out a life of adventure and rebelling against everything she can, Jen not only disappoints her family and their best-laid plans for their precious daughter, breaks the heart of a devoted desert bandit but also manages to shatter all hope of two long-time lovers (played by Datuk Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun-fat) finally getting together. By the end of the film, you can’t help but be astonished at how much carnage one messed-up pretty girl can cause.
Even little girls, typically portrayed in films as the epitome of innocence, can turn out to be insidious characters with destructive effects on the lives of those dearest to them.
In another period drama, Atonement, set in pre-war England, 13-year-old Briony Tallis has a crush on the housekeeper’s son Robbie, who is in love with her eldest sister Cecilia.
Briony stumbles upon Robbie in a compromising position with Cecilia and when a family friend accuses someone of raping her, Briony steps in to falsely implicate Robbie. What follows is the hardship and tragedy Cecilia and an imprisoned (and later enlisted for war) Robbie face in order to continue their innocent interrupted love affair, all due to the spiteful and naive Briony.
We are made to think that men are prima- rily to blame for the demise of relationships. Men may philander, fall victim to vices or be just plain clueless about affairs of the heart, but really is there anything more toxic than a relentless, scheming, unpredictable chick?
The legendary Gone With The Wind, yet another period piece, would’ve been a much shorter and more pleasant story if not for the balmy Scarlett O’Hara.
Having experienced a civil war, financial ruin and childbirth, Scarlett still doggedly clings on to the selfish hope of scoring with her crush Ashley who happens to be married to someone else.
Meanwhile, everyone around her seems to die, including her own daughter and she succeeds in driving away her husband, the roguish Rhett Butler, who after years of putting up with her frankly can’t bring himself to give a damn anymore.
In the film When A Man Loves A Woman, a husband who does give a damn, Michael (Andy Garcia), is married to an alcoholic woman named Alice (Meg Ryan).
Although her husband is good looking and is a loving father to their two children, one of whom is from a previous marriage, Alice risks losing her family due to her alcoholism.
Michael continues to be supportive and when Alice finally gets through rehabilitation and returns home, the family is still strained and Michael ends up getting the blame for it because he was supposedly too used to his wife’s bad habit.
Yet another film which features a good guy unfortunately saddled with a crazy chick is the teen romance film, Crazy/Beautiful. Kirsten Dunst plays Nicole, the crazy one, while Jay Hernandez is Carlos, the impoverished struggling straight-A student with a promising future who is on the verge of messing up his life due to his choice of love interest.
Somehow Carlos is able to stop himself from free-falling along with Nicole who is perpetually suicidal and suffering from a severe lack of parental attention. He also manages to change Nicole for the better and inspires her to be a better person.
While the films mentioned above help to confirm what some of us have known all along about the female of the species being more dangerous than the male, what would we do without them?
I suppose all we can do really is to heap them with compliments, stay patient and understanding and try not to go crazy or die in the process.
Sibling rivalry: Briony’s (Saoirse Ronan, lying down) little lie about her sister’s (Keira Knightley) boyfriend causes so much problem in Atonement.
The eyes have it: In GoneWithTheWind, Rhett Butler becomes so fed up with wife Scarlett O’Hara’s girlish nonsense that he leaves her.