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Posted at: Jul 24, 2019, 9:06 AM; last updated: Jul 24, 2019, 1:51 PM (IST)

Super, women!

Welcome to the world of women superheroes where after Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, Natalie Portman is set to wield the hammer as female Thor and Angelina Jolie steps into Thena's shoes. Is this just a cosmetic change or reflection of new gender dynamics?

Mona

After all, tomorrow is another day... said Scarlett O’Hara, played by Vivien Leigh, in the famous movie Gone With the Wind. Going by the current power of girls on screen, the image that heroism is the sole prerogative of men is sure gone with the wind!

Last few days saw many speculations and announcements. The San Diego Comic-Con had Natalie Portman pick up ‘her’ hammer, Angelina Jolie taking on the mantle of Thena, promising to work ‘ten times harder’. On the other side, Bond fans were left ‘shaken, not stirred’ as Lashana Lynch is all set to step into the shoes of secret agent 007. While Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel set the tone, the new films set to roll have cemented women’s place as much in Bond’s domain as in the fantasy-fiction genre. 

“The narrative has changed from scent of a woman to strength of a woman and why not,” says writer-filmmaker Pammi Somal. “As women have showed prowess in professional sphere, so have they in physical strength. The world is sure ready for Natalie to wield the hammer.” 

Author-filmmaker Aditya Kripalani ensures this one flavour is here to stay. “Not much mumbo-jumbo about big studios being conscious of gender equation, coming to plain commercial aspect of it – we get women superheroes because the world wants to see them.” When he started writing some 13 years back with women protagonists, there were no buyers for such stuff. “I had to write, publish, sell — do all of it myself for the world was not ready yet.” Today as Chetan Bhagat jumps on to the bandwagon, it is sign of the change. 

Fiction to life

“More than a real-life representation of diversity, it’s more about bringing comic fiction to life,” says an avid Marvel Cinematic Universe fan Diveeja Sharma. ‘Sheroes’ have had a distinct place alongside the main heroes in the movies till date. Now that Endgame is over, it is time to explore more about the characters on the sidelines — be it Black Widow or even HawkEye.  “In terms of representation, Marvel has upped its game in introducing more female characters, such as Salma Hayek as Ajax, which originally is a male character,” she says.  Sumer Gill, IT professional, adds. “Real fun would be to watch an Indian woman play a superhero! Though I loved Wonder Woman, at heart it’s all love for the Iron Man.” 

And yes, she would only be too happy for Deepika Padukone to be the Iron Woman if that was to be. “Her physique, overall panache; she’s the right fit!”  

Future course

Not much of fantasy-fiction fan, Kripalani relates most to Batman. However, the Tikli and Laxmi Bomb maker who won Best Feature Film at the  Berlin independent Film Festival and the Best Film on Gender Equality at the UK Asian Film Festival, 2018, warns that with women superheroes the format is due to change. “A petite girl beating up 25 men wouldn’t do the trick, about time we establish positive role models.”

The dramatic Comic-Con announcement has sure created uproar amongst the MCU fans. While a woman is good, it’s about Natalie that they hold grudge! “I am all for girl power but then a woman wielding Mjolnir must fit the bill,” says Priyansh Gupta, a literature student. But some like Priyansh fume, “What next... LGBTQ super heroes?” 

“Only love can truly save the world. So I stay, I fight, and I give, for the world I know can be. This is my mission now. Forever,” says the Wonder Woman, and when it comes to cinematic girl power, it makes whole lot of sense!

mona@tribunemail.com

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