Girls on Film: Why the latest reboot of Charlie’s Angels doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes.
It’s easy to think of Charlie’s Angels as a film packed with socio-political undertones.
After all, we are living in a time where feminism and gender equality are both given a lot of attention thanks to social media. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.
Director Elizabeth Banks (Just a Little Heart Attack, Perfect Pitch 2), however, feels that people tend to overthink what this latest reboot is about.
“I happened to make an action movie about corporate malfeasance that also happens to star women and everyone’s like, ‘What a political statement!’ And I’m like, ‘Is it?’ she said in an interview with the UK’s The Guardian, published on 19th November, 2019.
“If they were all men and it was the exact same story, it wouldn’t be very political, would it? I wanted to make a broader, appealing movie rather than something actually political.”
Charlie’s Angels latest reincarnation tells the story of agents Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott) and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska) who are all working for a private detective agency led by an enigmatic guy named Charles Townsend.
The trio is called to action to help solve a mission on new technology that threatens to harm mankind.
“I think that Charlie’s Angels generally right now, in the zeitgeist, feels kitschy and winky and campy,” Elizabeth told Digital Spy, an online entertainment platform.
“I really wanted to ground it. I really felt like the whole franchise needed… the action needed to feel real, that there were real stakes for the characters, but also balance it with what people expect from Charlie’s Angels.”
Not that the film is free from any hints of feminism. In fact, the 45-year-old director confessed adding elements of ‘sneaky feminist ideas’ throughout the movie.
But it would be a mistake to typecast the movie as solely promoting the ethos of women empowerment.
Elizabeth wants the film to be more general in its message. And she wants people from all genders identifying with the characters and what they stand for.
“I set out to make an action movie first, but that was a lot of fun. I think it is funnier than people expect it to be. Finding that right tone was the most important thing to me.
“I wanted the energy of the movie to feel very inclusive. I wanted to sort of say the Angels can come from anywhere.
“Charlie is not just a man anymore, but more of a movement. Charlie is more of an idea. That was an overarching theme in the film.”
Also starring: Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin and Noah Centineo