I was so psyched when this came out, I literally jumped at any offer to watch it, and so I watched it twice – soon to be more perhaps. Fair warning now that this may contain spoilers, although this would definitely have to be my top pick for the month when it comes to movies. No, not because it’s mainstream, but because Captain Marvel is simply a good movie.
I approached this film with an open mind because the truth was that a lot of people on social media were calling it out as a feminist film and particularly hated that Brie Larson was our contending star. Personally, I like her as an actress; each movie I have seen her in, starting with Silent Hill: Revelation, hasn’t done anything to make me dislike her. That being said, I do not incorporate an actor in character with their life as a person, and so I do not know her views or how she is outside of her films. As with the Michael Jackson scandal about Neverland that’s been going around, I like to seperate the artist from their art, purely because art is a character of the artist – you cannot expect them to be what they act as simply because everyone, including myself, tends to put their best foot forward when it comes to being in public.
For those who follow the Marvel Comics and movies, it was fair to say that this particular ‘chapter’ was predictable – simply because everything that we have seen has already happened in future, and we can make assumptions about the universal state and who the characters of right / wrong can be. It’s always a pleasure to see a character understand that they were wrong and adapt to do the right thing, although there have been circumstances where our villains come from doing the wrong (Anakin Skywalker from the Star Wars saga and prequel movies is a famous example of this).
I will briefly touch on cinematic devices purely because I want to talk about the morals within this narrative. Script wise there was, of course, some cliches with every superhero narrative, but at the same time if we look at the context and timing of Captain Marvel’s creation, it’s very fair for it.
Sticking to the good old times (1900s, so not really that old) when Blockbuster was still thriving, Captain Marvel incorporated the sass that a superhero in that day and age should have. It was a very nostalgic film, and allows the audience to reminisce the days before technology was extremely popular and accessible. Mis-en-scene was thus fantastic in my opinion, costuming for Captain Marvel in particular was very neat – and exactly how Fury describes it; laser tag like. I believe that there were some scene cuts during the introductory scenes that were a bit choppy for my taste, although I can understand the need for it when there is a comedic note to be instilled.
Morally this film takes us to a time where everything was okay. People still had to deal with their insecurities and work hard to rise up the ranks, and there was still discrimination. It takes us to a simpler time where people knew what they were fighting for an they fought in their own little ways to make their day go by – as we can see through Captain Marvel’s friend, Maria Rambeau, who again is just a normal woman with a daughter who had to face the fact that her friend disappeared for six years with agencies trying to cover up the incident where she was last seen, and understood that in the airforce at the time, testing the aircrafts would be the best shot they got. I do not believe this is a moral lesson just for women, but for everyone who struggles to rise up. In fact, that’s the whole reason why Carol Denvers was where she was.
It is fair to say that this is a feminist film – although that does not have to make it bad. Soundtrack wise, majority of the songs were famously created by women – I gushed so hard when I heard TLC’s Waterfalls because that took me back to an age where life was easier. Some people, I have noticed, disliked the soundtrack during the main fighting sequence purely because it was No Doubt’s I’m Just A Girl. Um, sorry, did I miss something here? Captain Marvel is literally just a girl who was taken from her planet and trained to become as well as believe that she is a Kree. Not only that, but she is a girl who just keeps standing up even when she is knocked down.
All those sequences in her memories where she sees men push her down or even when she is just standing outside a store and a motorcyclist decides to ‘compliment’ her – these are things that happen on a daily to women, even if we don’t like to admit it (Hell, I was coming home last night when I got catcalled!). It’s not an unnatural thing even if you do not see or hear about it yourself. For women, Captain Marvel is nothing new or special, but it is putting what happens commonly as a forefront even for a couple of seconds. Does this annoy certain people? Sure, but even though this wasn’t central to the plot, it is treating Captain Marvel as a normal, everyday person – which, in turn, does make it a feminist film. There’s nothing to make her special (aside from her powers, but that’s with all superheroes) or even ‘above’ other genders.
If I were to give Captain Marvel a rating? Maybe an 8 out of 10 as a whole, partly because Samuel L. Jackson was much softer than I expected, especially when it came to a damn ‘cat’. Not to say that I hated Goose, I loved that little monster, it was just…strange (most likely because we see Fury as a really rough and tough kinda guy).