Essay on the depiction of women as villains in three movies.
|They Live, Antichrist and Falling down are different movies with women as villains.
They Live was made in the 80s, Falling Down in the 90s and Antichrist in 2009.
They Live is about a man that discovers that aliens secretly control the world behind the scenes. Falling Down about a man who has a mental breakdown, in desperation he seeks to travel to his daughter's birthday party and causes chaos and destruction on the way due to people being rude, hooligans or attack him. Antichrist is a disturbing film concerning the relationship between a man and a woman in a private countryside cabin, after the death of their son.
They Live strangely enough, for an action movie has no romance whatsoever. The only main woman character in the movie, is a spy of the Aliens, the main character after finding out she has betrayed humanity ends up killing her. She is a deceptive woman who sells out humanity for power.
The woman is very negatively portrayed and it seems she is simply a trap. Usually in action movies, the hero and the woman get together but in this movie the hero shoots the woman.
Falling Down has a more restrained villain in the mother. She essentially drives her ex-husband mad. He is not a violent man at first. He never harms his wife or daughter yet she manages to get a restraining order on the man. The Man is driven to madness. He serves his country by helping to build missiles to protect from the soviets, he is thrown away when he is deemed obsolete and to reward him, society gives him a restraining order to keep him away from his daughter, due to a spiteful woman wanting it even though he has done nothing wrong. The main character is not the villain but in fact the tragic victim having gone mad due to society's cruelty and a spiteful cruel wife.
Antichrist on the other hand is extremely disturbing and the woman in it, is to put it simply completely insane. She abuses her child by deforming his feet, lets the child fall out of a window to his death, when she could have stopped it, she smacks a wooden block onto her husband's genitals, she then proceeds to drill a hole in his leg and puts a weight attached to his leg so he cannot escape. She then mutilates herself and is killed by her husband.
The woman in antichrist is a vicious lunatic and a danger to her own family. It is possible that her guilt over abusing her own child has driven her mad and that she justifies her madness by claiming all women are evil, the truth is that she is the evil harmful mother and that instead of being a good wife she attacks her husband after he finds out that she abused their son.
These films I believe are a part of the loss of masculinity in western society. They Live depicts aliens using a woman to attack man, Falling Down a society where men have restraining orders against them just because a woman wants it and antichrist depicts a woman as a vicious lunatic that must be put down like a rabid dog.
Maybe these films are an attack on feminist aspirations. The feminist wishes for strong independent women but in these films the strong independent woman is a villain. In antichrist the woman gains independence by mutilating her child and Husband. Strong independent women who disrespect their husbands are negative in Falling Down and Antichrist. In fact Falling Down has the man state to his ex wife that in certain cultures a man is allowed to kill his wife if she insults him.
In They Live the woman is not even seen as marriageable material or to even have sex with. She is simply a deceptive villainous enemy that is shot for her betrayal.
These movies are about men asserting their masculinity against an enemy. The enemy either being a system that promotes disobedience towards the man or a lunatic woman that is in need of being beaten by her husband. The loss of power by rebellious women seems to be a theme in Falling Down and Antichrist. Antichrist seems to imply that the woman needs to be controlled and that the man is too soft with the woman.
Of interest is that the man is made insane in Falling Down due to society and a spiteful ex wife yet in Antichrist the woman is driven to lunacy due to being evil to begin with. The man is tragic whilst the woman is simply a psychopath.
These are all interesting movies. They Live is a brilliant action movie that makes one think. Falling Down a tragedy about a damaged man driven insane by betrayal and Antichrist a horrifying disturbing movie that is vicious but at the same time quite well made and thought provoking.