We all love a good movie. There’s something about the rush and the excitement of a good plot and all those well-written female characters. Oh wait, that last thing is so fictional it’s not even in the movies.
Why isn’t it, though? Why did we stop having female characters? Why did the women disappear and where did they go?
Yes, We Haven’t Had Female Characters in Years
Right now, you might be thinking this whole piece is a hoax. We’ve had female characters, you’ll say.
We’ve had Nelly Karim and Hend Sabry in El-Feel El-Azraq and we’ve had Menna Shalaby in Torab El-Mas, among others.
We have a female character in every movie! We see them on the posters all the time. Then, we pretend to never really notice when they disappear inside the film, two seconds in.
Take the first one, for example. Spoilers ahead, of course.
So, we’ve all went to see El-Feel El-Azraq 2 expecting a legendary performance from Nelly Karim because that’s what we expect. Her role in the first part was minimal, so now this made sense.
In this movie, though, we barely scratch the surface. Yes, she’s possessed and yes, she’s having fights with her husband and then…nothing, of course. Karim Abdelaziz is there to save the day. She just gets to look demonic and haunting for two hours.
Of course, we’re not slandering these roles or these actresses. We already know them and know what they’re capable of. We spend Ramadan after Ramadan obsessing over them and their works.
We just have a few questions, though.
Was it their movie? Were they doing something instead of loving the hero and assisting (or hindering) him? If there was more than one of them, did they do anything for their own good, for their own development as characters?
We’ll save you the repetitive answer. It’s a no to all of these.
Now, characters don’t have to be the lead to make the movie theirs but at least give the woman a purpose. When she doesn’t have a purpose, she will become nothing more than a straw-man. She will be only there to ensure the status quo of two-women-per-movie policy.
She might have potential and she might be entertaining. She will never, however, hit all the expectations you’ll have for her, leaving you high and dry with disappointment.
We All Know Why This Happens But Let’s Talk About It Anyway
It all comes down to the recent idea of cinema being the big boys’ playground. We got to the cinema to watch them run around, blow up cars in fancy suits, and meet beautiful one-scene-only women.
We don’t want to watch the female-led stuff because they’ve fallen out of favor. Every one of those movies is always about some “big life issue” and is always “feminist“.
That’s the worst argument you can have, however, because those films represent life.
That’s it, really. It’s life and in life, women make decisions and they have impacts on peoples’ lives. Shocking, we know.
We Don’t Want Much Really
In these trying pseudo-indie versus action cinema times, we’re not asking for much, if you think about it.
We just want more than one speaking female character and, hey, if she’s not degraded or slapped around, that’s always a plus.
We want her to be there as more than a shoulder to cry on. We want to see her make her own decisions. Maybe even disagree with the hero every once in a while because, guess what, he can be wrong.
We just want her to be human, really. That’s all.