By Kenny Lo & Nancy Sanchez-Diaz
“Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” is quite a mouthful to say.
Due to a recent marketing maneuver, the theatrical version of the film gets a shorter name: “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.” The home release will revert back to its original name.
There are few people that can be considered “perfect” for a role: Margot Robbie was born to play Harley Quinn.
She nailed the personality so well that you will think it is Harley herself brought to life on the big screen.
The “Clown Princess of Crime” is back, and she is better than ever.
One would think that the type of storytelling told from Harley’s perspective should spell disaster, but surprisingly enough, it’s easy to follow.
Writer Christina Hodson tailored a script that was not only appropriate for the character, but one that made the most sense, because getting inside the complex mind of Harley Quinn is not an easy task.
Under Cathy Yan’s direction and supervision, the audience gets to feel the motivations of Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) as the heroines and anti-heroines continue to drive the story.
Getting these characters together for a team-up against an eccentric club owner who also happens to be the maniacal villain, Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), aka Black Mask, felt almost organic.
And when you see these ladies in action together, their chemistry is undeniable. It’s something to behold.
Given the type of language used and the “John Wick” bone-breaking-style fight choreography, there are a few good reasons why this film gets an R rating.
The movie follows lead star Harley Quinn as she seeks to forge her identity after her break-up with the Joker.
Without his protection, she‘s left to thwart off the target on her back, and it’s interesting to see how she deals with this new chapter in her life.
All the heroines of the movie find themselves dealing with their fair share of life problems, allowing for an especially heartfelt moment once all five female fighters get together for the common goal of kicking butt.
The movie tackles issues very relevant to women today, such as pay and occupational inequality, sexual harassment and mixed forms of humiliation.
In Renee Montoya’s case, she fails to get acknowledged for her successful contributions to the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department), and instead all the credit goes to a man in her force.
In the end, she stops trying to prove herself and ends up quitting to serve justice her way: as a Bird.
There is a thread of empowering, almost maternal moments, displayed throughout as the heroines take teen orphan Cassandra Kein under their wing, showing her how to protect herself from the villains.