The Narrative Problems Of Feminist Propaganda In Modern Film

Desember 27, 2020

Oleh: Muhammad Alif Faturrachman

(Founder Mediatikusastra) 
Image Source:

In this modern era, it cannot be denied that films are one of the best media for propagating or simply changing the way the audience thinks. Many certain movements are competing to insert or include their ideology or even promote something that was previously not normal to becomes something normal and acceptable in society. Moreover, many movement has succeeded in gaining new follower and symphatizer to support their agenda. Likewise with the movement of modern feminism that tries to spread the spirit and awareness of women's struggles through the media of films, especially Hollywood productions.

The feminist women's movement tries to emphasize that women and men are equal. However, there are certain blunders in some parts that actually make the impression that those feminism oriented films are nothing more than an ideological imposition and rather than an impressive work of filming arts. For example, the Charlie Angel Reboot film in 2019 was an adaptation of the classic film of the same title. Charlie Angel tells the story of 3 secret agents who fight against crime, although the original film and the reboot film do have the same "premise" there are differences in the execution which ultimately have a big impact on the response of the audience. The original Charlie Angel film built its character with an interesting storyline, the 3 female characters in the original film were able to capture the sympathy of the audience through their own characters instead of emphasizing that their gender was female. This is certainly different from the Charlie Angel reboot, which seems to force it to show that women can be, great women, and women are more than men. The narrative style which tends to focus on the "gender" of the characters and not the "characterization" itself turns into a boomerang and creates a negative image that films with the theme of feminism are just propaganda boxes that have no artistic impression at all. If you look at the income alone, Charlie Angel, which was released in 2000, managed to earn up to 200 million dollars with a production budget of around 96 million dollars, while the Charlie Angel Reboot film with a production budget of 40-50 million dollars only generated an income of around 73 million dollars. Through this amount of income alone, it can be seen that the enthusiasm of the audience is completely different.

READ ALSO: Post Feminism As Literary Criticism

We can also find similar issue in another film called Ghost Buster Reboot which was released in 2016. This film also adapts the original version which previously told about 4 men who work as ghost hunters. However, in the reboot version, the 4 male characters are replaced with 4 female characters. Of course, this is a bold decision and certainly requires a neat execution if this film is to be successful as the original version. The decision of gender-swapping the 4 main characters is intended to show that women are also able to deal with the problem that men have to face. While it is true that this might be work as it will empower and encourage women to also deal with a problem that men have to. However, things did not turn in favor of the creative decision of gender-swapping as it resulted in a bland and boring characterization because of too many scenes that focus are on the gender of the character rather than building the personality of the 4 women lead character that is supposed to captivate the audience. In the end, the Ghost Buster Reboot resulted in disappointment due to the flat characterization of the 4 new main characters and the impression that the emphasis on gender rather than the character is back to be the main cause of the many backlashes for this film.

Quoting from an article on the titled All-female Ghostbusters remake: Is this a feminist win or fail? An art professor who is also a comedian named Mina Liccione argues that filmmaking is not supposed to be about gender but films should emphasize more on the story. In this contemporary era, women are free to do something or become something and this should no longer be a question. In narrative art tells a story through many media. If the lead character happens to be a man, that's great. If the main storyteller happens to be a woman that's great too. It's really all about the story and its purpose. Race, gender, nationality, or the actor shouldn't make a difference. It's about who will honor the story the best, then build from there.

With that being said, it is the unbalance proportion of the element on the feminism film that cause the sudden backlash trends among film audiences. The narrative story-telling should be the main focus of the film itself then followed by what message that are going to be delivered in order to create not just an educating film that promote feminism and to empower women but also enjoyable by wider audiences including men and women who watch the film for entertainment purpose only. 

Therefore, it is still acceptable and appropriate to include feminism on mainstream form of entertainment such as filming industry to spread the awareness of women struggles. However, the feminism movement needs to improve its efforts in conveying messages through film media properly. There should be a balance between the elements that build a film into an attractive work such as plot, characterization, etc. with the message of feminism that is to be conveyed. By prioritizing the narrative of the story as the main feature to attract the sympathy of the audience, then the use of female characters with deep and believable personalities will be very able to attract the audience's interest and sympathy so that the message of women's struggle or gender equality that is wanted to be conveyed can actually be realized without damaging the story-telling of the film itself to avoid backlashes from the wider audiences, and also accepted by many different layer of societies. 




Muhammad Alif Faturrachman kerap disapa dengan panggilan “Alif”, “Alep”, “Toad” adalah seorang pemuisi amatiran serta salah satu Founder dari Mediatikusastra. Ia memiliki passion di bidang desain grafis dan komputer dengan jejak rekam petualangan sebagai lulusan “terbaik” dari SMK Negeri 1 Sungailiat, sebuah gelar yang sengaja ia klaim sepihak agar terdengar prestis. Kini, takdir membawa Alif ke jurusan Sastra Inggris di sebuah universitas negeri di Indonesia, dimana ia harus meninggalkan mimpi menjadi seorang game developer atau seorang desainer grafis dan apalah itu mimpi-mimpi yang pernah ia impikan.


You Might Also Like

0 komentar