“Birds of Prey” blends feminism with action

Imani Muhammad

“Birds of Prey,” written by Christina Hodson and directed by Cathy Yan, is a high energy, action packed and comic-book themed film about Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) finding herself after her breakup with the Joker, highlighting issues in our society like the dynamic of criminalization and power.

This is clearly shown at the beginning of the movie when Harley Quinn explains that due to her connection with the Joker she is immune to consequences of the law.

However, Harley Quinn quickly realizes that she has lost this immunity when she broke up with the Joker. Alongside this, Harley Quinn learns early on she has a lot of enemies of her own.

This realization sends Harley Quinn on her journey throughout the movie as she tries to avoid the law of Gotham as well as her enemies.

In the film, the Black Mask, a club owner who protects criminals, wants possession of a diamond to own Gotham and monopolize the entire city and Harley agrees to search for the diamond in exchange for Black Mask’s protection.

The plot of this movie asks the audience to evaluate patterns of crime and power in their everyday life through the lens of the city of Gotham.

In Gotham, like in many cities, gangs or in this case the Mafia, gain in power by giving protection and owning businesses The Black Mask essentially does the same thing in “Birds of Prey,” which continues Gothams issues of  horrible crime and corruption.

This search for the diamond that Black Mask desires, and the overall plot of the movie, is done with a non-chronological telling of the events.

While some may think that this type of storytelling can feel confusing, I felt that based on the main character, the non-chronological order was intentional and added to the comic-book feel and voice of Harley Quinn.

Due to the utilization of a main character naration, the story moves quickly and is able to tell many characters stories.

Another thing that I enjoyed, and other D.C. fans probably did as well, was that Harley does all the fighting techniques she did in the cartoon in this “real life” version. This action was emphasized through the use of slow-mo cinematography techniques.

The overall color palette of vibrant yellows, pinks, blacks, purples and reds used throughout the film adds to the overall high energy of the film and highlights Harley Quinn’s personality as well, which was a great touch.

Outside of the main character, the storyline serves a prequel to the “Birds of Prey,” and how the group of powerhouse women got together. A plot that focuses on a large female cast can encourage young girls to step into their own power without the help of menmen.

This focus is powerful because a plot that is centered on a large female cast can serve as a female anthem and encourage young girls and women on how to step into their own power without men.

Overall, I would highly recommend “Birds of Prey.”

The most effective elements to this movie are the energy, color usage, and narration style. These alongside a story centered on  the realism of being a woman in society create a powerful film.