A solid C for Inside Man
The Representation Project is a movement that is bringing change and justice to the film industry. Injustices flood our minds from movies, TV shows, magazines, and add campaigns that subconsciously create gender stereotypes that effect our perception on gender roles in society. By taking the Representation Project pledge individuals are “challenging the status quo by transforming culture so everyone can fulfill their potential” regardless of race, gender, class, age, and sexual orientation. Understanding the misrepresentation media condones, many films standout in a negative light revealing the misrepresentation men and women receive.
The film Inside Man is about a New York City bank robbery that will go down in history as one of the most elaborate heist. Clive Owen, who plays the main robber, has thought of every possible scenario in order to pull of this robbery. His ability to stay one step ahead of the law frustrates Denzel Washington, who plays the negotiator and detective that has never failed New York City until this hostage situation.
Based on the Misrepresentation checklist, a list to rate movies based on equality of race, gender, and sexual orientation, this movie received a score of 5 and a grade of a C. While watching the film and being aware of the checklist I was not surprised, but if I was just watching this with my friends I would have not caught onto the issues that created this movie to have a score of a C. This just proves how our culture passively absorbs and supports injustices presented through the media.
One of the major misrepresentations in the movie was having no female lead role, let alone only showing three women in the entire movie. The only female that talked in the movie was Jodie Foster who was playing the high profile negotiator. Foster was hired by the bank owner to keep his secrete safe from the police, as she did her job she displayed no fear and power among the situation. Although Foster was only main female role she was portrayed strongly and not in the usual way women are portrayed in the media. When she had to negotiate with the robbers she had no fear and walked right into the building with only her goal in mind. But when it comes to the other women showed in the film, her role was reverted back to the “typical” women waiting around for the man. For example, th detectives girl friend was only shown wearing lingerie waiting around for him to come home in bed. One other time you could hear her voice but was not shown when she called him at work to make sure he was going to come home that night.
The men in the film were portrayed very stereotypically with both the villain and heroes being males, as well as, all males were shown in a powerful role. The detective, played by Washington, was shown as having the women and the job. Then the robbers were males who showed their power by robbing a bank. The film glorified men as being fierce, strong, and playing powerhouse roles, which just contributes to the dismorfia society has on gender roles.
There are many issues that the Representation Project would have with Inside Man, but there are a few positives that have been over looked. The films star, Denzel Washington, was an African American who was not reduced by prejudice, but was respected by his fellow deputies and Police Sargent. As well as Spike Lee directing the film further represented the African American culture.
The checklist for Representation Project is very eye opening and hits the major issues that usually films don’t have. With this being said, I think most of the checklist stands true, but some of it isn’t fair representation of a film. The checklist representing misrepresentation of men and women stands true, and I think it is easy to show women in a different light and have boys gender roles be so strict. The part of the checklist that I don’t believe is a fair representation of a film is requiring every film to have homosexual relationships in as a protagonist. Not every plot is suited to with hold a main character to be gay, just as every plot doesn’t have to have a female lead role. I think that the chart is useful as a guideline and that it should not be a “go to” on deciding weather a film is appropriate or not, but instead a conversation starter of how the film misrepresents gender, sexual orientation, and class.
The film Inside Man did not get a good score on the misrepresentation test which will create a lot of at home discussion!
Inside Man gets two pickles for such a low score and having only two speaking females in the whole movie!