Ocean’s 8. It wasn’t an awesome (as in the “epic” sense) movie. It was fun and I enjoyed it. And here’s why.
First, what it does not have. There was no exaggerated aggression nor obscenity. There was no gratuitous sex or violence, and so no cringe-worthy scenes and therefore appropriate for my teenage daughter and I to enjoy.
What it has is an amazing star-studded cast comprising of Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham-Carter, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson to name just a few. Look out for the cameos in the movie! As with other Ocean’s movies, Ocean’s 8 focuses on a jewellery heist masterminded by Sandra Bullock’s character, Debbie Ocean (sister to Danny Ocean, George Clooney’s character in the other Ocean’s movies) and Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett).
What struck me most (and it took a while to articulate) is this – it is a movie about intelligent women using their minds and skills, far cry from when Ocean’s 11 first premiered in 2001. “Beauty” is not much of a currency 😉 .
The relatively diverse female cast portrayed women not as rivals for looks, power or wealth nor do they vie for the attention of men. The women do not bicker but collaborate to pull off a grand scheme.
The women have conversations but again not about their looks and men, except when in service of the scheme. They did not gossip and were instead, logical problem-solvers with heart.
Role reversal in the movie where the male characters were pawn, bait, red herring – whatever you may choose to call it, and not even the mark of the heist, was refreshing. I guess one of few movies which turns the table on patriarchal perspectives of social relations is a promising start.
Less than 20% of the audience in the cinema I was in were men (yes, I counted!) and they were there with their female partners or in a group comprising of majority women. There was no group of guys. Perhaps a movie with female leads is still considered a chick-flick?
Admittedly the script is not as witty as it could be, especially with its multi-talented cast. The directing by Gary Ross not quite sufficiently slick as Ocean’s 11 (under the direction of Stephen Soderbergh).
Nevertheless, a movie with an all-female cast which does not play to the stereotypes of “woman” has been a long time coming.
Just to prove my age, here’s a video on the same theme… this song is 33 years old!