Sunday, March 26, 2006

North Country

(fellow dangerous reviewer max has reviewed this previously)

cast: charlize theron, frances mcdormand, sissy spacek, sean bean, woody harrelson

i don’t know if it’s because of all the good movies i’ve watched recently or i’ve been expecting too much from this movie or i was just in a not so good mood while watching this that i somehow got disappointed.

it had a good storyline that’s for sure. charlize’s character estranges herself from a husband who constantly beats her and takes with her her two children. she finds work in a male-dominated mine where women are frequently sexually harassed. the women could quit anytime except they need the money just as much as the next man. charlize, caught between a rock and a hard place, refuses to quit her job despite the intimidation from her male co-workers and the indifference of management and decides to fight through legal means.

the movie is a case of strong people (whether physically, influentially, politically or whatnot) abusing their power to take advantage of the weak. well, the reader might say, what’s so special about that. that’s just an everyday occurrence. and i wouldn’t be able to argue with you. power-tripping happens in a greatly developed country like the u.s. and it gets even worse in third world countries like where this reviewer is living.

but here is where i like to think the movie differs: whereas the weak will just accept their infirmities and defenselessness, take what is given to them, turn a blind eye to the abuse they are receiving and move on, charlize’s character on the other hand, chose to make a stand and fight for her rights no matter how unpopular her beliefs and no matter how unpopular she was in the community. granted, the united states’s legal system is more efficient and justice is served out with less corruption that an individual up against a company has a better chance of winning than, let’s say having the same scenario in a third world nation filled with corruption like the philippines. but that’s not the point at all. charlize’s character, based on a real life person by the way, will fight and try to beat the odds no matter how harsh the situation. just because she is protected under the blanket of the u.s. legal and judicial system does not make her story less inspiring.

and thus, the movie asks us: are we content to be mere dead fish that swim with the current? are we both mental and emotional slaves to the will of the wind? do we forever bow to the powers that be due to lack of a backbone?

cause if we’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then we should make this film a challenge to our courage, or as in some people’s case, the lack thereof. remember, everybody has fears. it’s what we do in the presence of fear that’s more telling.

rating: 3 of 5 stars * * *
tear-jerking climax.


rmacapobre said...

heres the thing about the rape scene. i got turned on by it. i know its sick. where it my sister or friend, ill be repulsed .. but since its someone i dont know esp since i know its just pretend i thought it was hot .. im sick .. :(

roehl said...

i was turned on by the rape scene too. like you said, it was just pretend. i think this is normal. nothing sick about it.