Finally, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has come out with its first stand-alone female superhero film. Captain Marvel has been aptly released in cinemas on 8th of March, the day the world celebrates Women’s Day. After the half-assed compensation that was Ant-Man and the Wasp, young Marvel fans deserved a film with a strong female role model as the sole lead.

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I did it for you, superstar

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The film has been directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Boden is the first woman to be hired by Marvel to direct a film. I will not applaud this, since it’s been long overdue. Boden and Brie Larsen teaming up is one of the best things that has happened to female superheroes since DC’s Wonder Woman. 

The Story 

The background of Captain Marvel is astounding. A fearless US Air Force pilot finds herself equipped with superpowers after the crash of an experimental test flight. She is presumed dead on Earth but revived by the Kree empire. 

In both spheres, Carol Danvers played by Larsen, encounters superiors (mostly men) repeatedly asking her to not be emotional. This aspect is introduced and reintroduced throughout the film as the protagonist’s growth curve. 

Women everywhere, know the term ’emotional’ all too well. We have been silenced, seen as hysterical, and our opinions have been deemed invalid all because we show emotion. Being sentimental has been the Achilles’ heel of being a woman and has held us back historically. The double standard of allowing males to exhibit extreme emotions and being perceived as ‘only human’ while women as ‘crazy’ needs to be cancelled!

Unlike the majority of superhero films where a love interest is introduced as the means of motivation and sentimental ties, Captain Marvel credits female solidarity.

But this quality of being emotional is what pushes her to shut down the haters and embrace the emotionality of her background which she then uses to discover her true purpose. And why shouldn’t she be emotional? The woman has lost her human life, her idol, her best friend, been kidnapped, stripped of her memory, and then forced to relive the trauma again. May I point out, not a tear was shed by Larson’s eye throughout the film.

Supporting Characters

The film is a powerful portrayal of the courage embodied by its female role models. Danvers’ own personal hero is a scientist in her division who riskily researches and develops technology with the goal of ending intergalactic war.

Following her death on Earth, Danvers leaves behind Maria, her best friend who is also a pilot played by Lashana Lynch. Maria has a daughter, Monica, who idolises her mother and encourages her to pursue the brave mission of saving those in danger by way of setting an example for her young daughter. 

I am thrilled about this best friend dynamic that propels Danvers’ journey to being Captain Marvel. Unlike the majority of superhero films where a love interest is introduced as the means of motivation and sentimental ties, Captain Marvel credits female solidarity. My only qualm comes with the lack of commentary on Danvers sexuality. But since she is depicted as a highly independent, complicated character, I give props for characterisation and will let the lack of potential non-heteronormative romance slide. 

The male gaze has successfully been averted in this film which forces you to focus on her unbreakable and mind-blowing spirit.

As for the men in the film, it was a pleasure to watch Samuel L. Jackson’s brilliant comradery alongside Larsen. He isn’t the brooding and stoic S.H.I.E.L.D agent we are tired of seeing, but he is the blatant cat-person we deserve. Yes, the film features a cat named Goose (more correctly known as a flerken) who is vital to the plot and more importantly the favourite pet of Nick Fury. 

Also read:Why The Women In Black Panther Deserve Their Own Film

The film as a whole has a beautifully diverse cast including Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou and Gemma Chan, our favourite Crazy Rich Asian.

The Costume

We must talk about the costume because cinema has this notorious habit of thinking women are not interesting enough characters unless their tits are out. Speaking of, I love it! Captain Marvel’s suit is the epitome of what women would wear in combat. We need support, we need full coverage and the Captain’s rubber suit looks impeccably comfortable.

It’s simple logic, a female superhero’s suit should be inspired from what women wear to the gym – stretchy not tight, sports bras not push-ups. The male gaze has successfully been averted in this film which forces you to focus on her unbreakable and mind-blowing spirit.

And may I just add, the helmet mohawk is an absolute fan favourite. An empowering moment for women who don’t fit into society’s oppressive frame of femininity.

Also read: Wonder Woman And The Refreshing Absence Of The Male Gaze

In conclusion, I hold Boden and Larson responsible for breaking through Marvel’s glass ceiling in fantastic fashion to finally cater to theOthers’ in the audience. 


Featured Image Source: GeekTyrant

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