Feminism is one of the major forces shaping the social environment nowadays. It has transformed the previous sexist thinking about “being perceived to be good looking especially for men” (Hooks 31). Currently, women are perceived as personalities that can make independent decisions in the social and economic sphere. The present paper analyzes the film Kill Bill (2003) by Quentin Tarantino from a feminist perspective. In general, it is possible to state that the movie is based on feminist issues and the main character’s attempt to become liberated from her oppressive environment.
Kill Bill (2003) describes the story of the Bride and her desire to establish justice through punishing or killing various members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. The reason for her radical actions was the attempt of the Deadly Vipers to kill everyone present at her wedding. She aims at revenge and uses martial arts techniques to fight with her opponents. Moreover, she relies on just methods, while some of her opponents try to use some hidden weapons. In the second part of the film, the viewers find out that the Bride’s actual name is Beatrix. Finally, she disables Bill, using the secret Mei’s techniques (Tarantino). The Bride has received the opportunity to change her life completely and devote her time to her daughter.
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It is evident that feminist motives are present in the movie and are described in the most radical form. Quentin Tarantino creates the plot in such a way that using force and violence becomes the only way of establishing justice. Although some methods described in the film are not applied directly to the real world, they outline the underlying gender conflicts in a correct way. In the movie, women have some power and control, but the general hierarchical structure is such that Bill has established the ultimate control over the entire system. This system can be viewed as some allegory to the class structure created by men in the world. It seems that Bride’s strategies are different at various points of the movie.
When she was a member of the Deadly Vipers, she adopted the “reformist vision” of “demanding equal rights … within the existing class structure” (Hooks 37). For some time, Bill and the Bride were lovers, but she did not challenge the fundamental structure and hierarchy present in the Deadly Vipers’ system. However, after the assassination of the Bride’s close people by the Deadly Vipers, she had changed her mind. She began advocating the “fundamental change” of the system and establishing the “models of mutuality and equality” (Hooks 37). As Bill and his supporters were not open to such radical reforms, the Bride used force for her revenge.
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There are several female characters in the movie. They include the Bride, O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, and Elle Driver. Thus, there are four key female characters in the movie, while only the Bride is a positive one. The racial structure of characters is very diverse as there are people of European, Asian, and African American origin. It seems that the film’s director wants to create the model of American society and demonstrate that some gender-related problems are still present at all levels. However, the presentation of characters also reveals that white women’s “status is different from that of … women of color” (Hooks 55). For this reason, the white woman is selected as the protagonist in the movie.
Kill Bill (2003) passes the “Bechdel” test as there are more than two female characters and they have concrete names. The fact that the Bride’s name is concealed from the viewers for a substantial part of the movie refers only to the director’s style of generating a higher interest rather than the form of discrimination. Moreover, the fact that the Bride is the protagonist of the movie proves that her position and rights are approved by the film’s director. Moreover, the female characters have some conversations with each other, and not all of them are about a man. Even in the situations when they discuss Bill, the views expressed by the Bride reveal her radical position of opposing the hierarchical structure in its current form.
Kill Bill (2003) is created in a way that the issues of violence are crucial for the overall development of the movie. It seems that female characters experience slightly more violence than men. It is observed in the Deadly Vipers’ direct targeting of the Bride and all her close people. At the same time, the further development of the movie proves that women do not only experience but also initiate violence in relation to each other. Thus, violence is used as one of the most effective mechanisms for promoting justice in the movie. The impact of female sexuality is also considerable in the movie. In fact, the ultimate source of relationships between the Bride and Bill is the fact of them being lovers some time ago. However, Bill’s inadequate subsequent behavior has led to their radical opposition.
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The major message present in the movie is that the only way of solving the existing gender-related problems in modern American society is guaranteeing equal rights and social opportunities for the representatives of all genders. It should include not only some formal declarations or abstract statements but also the effective enforcement of these principles (Ziegler 232). One of the implications of the strategic improvement in this sphere is the transition from the state feminism to the market one (Kantola and Squires 382). Thus, women should play a considerable role in all social and economic areas.
Another important message refers to the female sexuality. It should not be viewed or examined from the traditional sexist positions. Women’s bodies, sexualities, and feminism should be viewed as objective characteristics of the modern world (Quataert and Wheeler 7). It will allow establishing the just social order when men and women can interact with each other on the equal and mutually beneficial basis. The biased men’s perceptions of women’s sexuality will not have a radical impact on the course of interpersonal communication and interactions.
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To summarize, Kill Bill (2003) contains a large number of traditional feminist motives. The director explains that the attempts of men to impose their will on women, especially with the use of force, will only lead to the growing violence and women’s more radical opposition. Moreover, the consistent application of the feminist views will always lead to the positive social results at least in the long-run perspective. The numerous violent scenes in the movie make the conclusion about the need for urgent social reforms, which is even clearer for the public. The diverse racial structure of characters in the film provides the analogy with modern American society.
Only the effective enforcement of gender equality will contribute to the sustainable social development. For this reason, sexuality and other related issues should not be viewed from a sexist perspective. Women’s role in society should continue to increase, and it should be present in all major social and economic areas. Moreover, it corresponds to the strategic interests of all genders as it may minimize the scope of interpersonal conflicts and make the social cooperation much more effective.