Sunday, January 30, 2011

who'd have thought? tangled kisses better the disappointment left by the black swan

so i'm the biggest angriest feminist-sledgehammer wielding bitch in the universe when it comes to cinema, we all know this by now. but i will be the first to raise my hands and lower my head when it comes to disney. i went through my under-grad 'i'm going to write angry essays about patriarchal depictions in disney fairytales' phase, and got over it pretty swiftly too.
so i drag my manly half along to the cinema to see disney's newest addition to the princessy cannon, and what is actually their 50th animated feature (impressive wha), which is of course, tangled. yeah yeah, starring mandy moore, i know, get it out of the way. it's grand, just pretend it's not her yeah? yeah
so, i was absolutely pacified by the whole thing. lovely. just sheer disney fluff: looks utterly gorgeous, excellent physics in it, really funny too but not in that shrek pop-culture reference way (someone else said that on the internet somewhere and it was the first thing i noticed as true: the humour is classic and not time-specific). the little chameleon, pascal, rocks my world entirely. here he is

check him out, pretending to be a flower, the little squish. i mean there are obviously going to be gender issues with the film: but rapunzel is actually a bit of a bad-ass, and is quite brave for someone who is essentially a shut in. it's an adventure story which grows into a love story, but not over-bearingly so. there are so many fun action sequences that i wasn't really that pushed on the burgeoning romance.
HOWEVER. the songs?  ....just didn't gel with me. did not fit in. i mean, they were good, and seriously funny in some instances, but i just don't know if disney should keep beating the musical horse so hard. the songs are just unmemorable these days compared to the ones in the classics. i'm not going to nerd out too bad, but really, i think i'd have just left the songs out.

also, the insane mother-figure was really great. i love evil-stepmothers. i learned all about their function during writing my thesis last year and since then i'm like, hell yeah, they're necessary, they're there for a reason, they're helping children deal with inner resentment towards their mothers.

my main reason for not getting feminist angry at tangled was that yeah sure, the protagonist offers more than her freedom to save her lovely thief boy in the end, in fact she offers to go along without even a fight and continue supplementing the immortality of her evil stepmammy, like she really is giving a lot up for him etc etc (i'd like to think that was just a ruse to be allowed the opportunity to save him - check out how spoiler free this review is) BUT. i think it was more about the spirit of adventure, freedom, and growing up than it was about love. i don't know. it just didn't piss me off the same way that other films that put women in a position where they sacrifice everything for love did. there was something in it that was so utterly harmless, so completely 'lets just come along for the ride and isn't the iguana cute' about it, that i couldn't get angry. perhaps it soothed me where i'd been let down by the black swan, maybe a part of it reminded me that even after a degree laced with film and social critical theory, i can still just go to the fucking cinema, have a little laugh, have a little cry, and look at some pretty damn pictures. it reminded me i can switch off the inner critic and have a good time. give my brain a big disney lollipop and make me forget everything. yes please. i mean, not every day or anything, i like being stimulated and challenged and all, but sometimes, you just need to not think during a film. be....entertained (remember that?)

but in saying that, maybe there's something wrong with me and i should go back and read the mad woman in the attic again.

my next blog post, which i will whack up tomorrow, will chronicle my birthday weekend and an especially interesting saturday night when me, the man, and 4 of our friends (none of whom previously knew eachother) all sat in and got drunk and made a 'guide to men' for a newly single mutual friend of ours. it's a list of 75 rules of single life. i was too drunk to be feminist and they're too funny to be kept in a drawer forever so i have to share them with the world. hold on to your seats and get ready to be horrified but yet, somehow, enlightened

bang bang


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