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  • Writer's pictureSeth Greenberg

What To Take Away From Birds of Prey

Director Cathy Yan includes a great message in the overall plot of her new movie Birds of Prey. After braking up with the Joker, main character Harley Quinn (Played by Margot Robbie) is confronted by almost every thug throughout Gotham due to the physical and emotional pain she has caused them. Without the protection offered by the Joker, Quinn realizes that she is on her own to defend herself. At the end of the movie though, she eventually meets three female protagonists which come to her aid. Together, they fight off all antagonists, including the narcissistic crime boss Black Mask (Played by Ewan McGregor).

Although the obvious main part of the film was to depict entertaining sequences of action accompanied with comical gestures, I believe director Cathy Yan wanted to also display the true ability and power of an independent women. At the beginning of the film, Harley Quinn is extremely distraught regarding the end of her relationship with the Joker. Due to being deprived of her protection by the Joker, Quinn is overcome with physical threats from thugs throughout Gotham. Also, the film's opening conveys the hardship Quinn will endure to successfully protect herself. Although acknowledging the difficulties ahead for Quinn, the audience can confidently predict the preservation of Quinn's wellbeing as a result of DC Comic's commonly used happy-ending storyline. As the film progresses, we can see Quinn confront those who threatened her, eventually defeating all her enemies. By highlighting Quinn's transformation from dependent to independent, Yan can convey to her audience the importance of acknowledging female self worth as well as the full extent of how trivial dependence is. After realizing her newfound independence, Quinn was able to hone skills as well as gain confidence and happiness. Depicting this might also have the affect of providing boosts of confidence to women suffering from recent brake-ups. In addition to the above, depicting a strong, successful, and female protagonist can empower other women to strive for and pursue their goals.

Due to not being female, I cannot say that these are 100% (with total confidence) the feelings expressed by women as a result of watching the film. What I can say is the column above expresses my belief of the effect Birds of Prey might have on women.

-Seth Greenberg

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