Movie review: Mayday – The catwalk
Do you ever feel like too many movies rely too much on heroic, adventurous male roles and the Damsel in Distress? I know I love a good action movie with strong independent women playing the hero role for themselves. If you too, Help (2021) is a gripping and thought-provoking film that portrays daring and shameless women doing just that.
In Help, women discover who they are, what they want and how they want it, with nothing to hold them back.
In the film, Ana (Grace Van Patten) leads an unhappy life, too controlled by a mean man. Then she accidentally stumbles upon the perfect getaway – being accidentally transported to another dimension. It was there that she met Marsha (Mia Goth) – the leader of her new girl gang, Gert (Soko) and Bea (Havana Rose Liu). These are three girls with vastly different personalities and backgrounds, stuck in a never-ending war, coming together to do bigger things.
Believing that this was officially her path in life, Ana is considered a natural sniper by the team and experiences life freely, living by her own standards for the first time. When she realizes that she’s on a dividing line between heroic and unbalanced, she realizes that’s not who she is and that she needs to find her way home – quickly. And with the help of her new friends – along with the cool recluse June (Juliette Lewis) – she may stand a chance.
Writer-director Karen Cinorre focuses on portraying women as individuals with their own history, their own choices to make, wars to wage and no time to wait for someone to save them. She takes normal, genuine women with no special superpowers and turns them into capable warriors, pushing back against stereotypes of what we might be used to seeing.
Cinorre explained how stereotypes keep young women from reaching their full potential, always feeling limited by the way female characters are portrayed.
“Movies have always told women and girls who we are, where to go, even what to dream of,” Cinorre said. “It’s time for a new story, a new myth.”
Full of beautiful landscapes and artistic and enchanting shots, Help makes it an artistic and aesthetic film that is appealing to watch. From the thoughtful framing to the shots capturing the still beauty of nature, this makes for a high contrast film. The film uses sets that mix war and nature, but also pushes for a different new genre combining both military action and fantasy.
Most importantly, the film has powerful female roles that prove that you don’t have to conform to societal norms to be seen as useful and important. One of the main lessons from this film is the power that friendship can have and the effort you will put in for the people you love. The film shows women who are tough, rebellious and liberated, but still loyal to each other. You don’t have to be one or the other – women can be both strong and supportive.
To verify Help out on VOD October 1!