Agenda | Nov 21,2020
Some movies require a specific mood and environment for watching.
Sometimes, we want a movie to not be too complicated, but easy to understand, the sort where the story takes the audience on a fun and quirky journey. At the same time, it should not insult our intelligence. Fun is good, but the cost of a movie ticket — a cool 100 Br these days — should be justified somehow. We deserve more than someone slipping on a banana peel for our money’s worth.
Shadow in the Clouds is that compromise. It is a movie about an American soldier attempting to smuggle her baby but while trapped in a warplane turret and being harassed by sexist British soldiers. All the while, she fights Japanese fighter planes and the strange monsters that appear on the bottom of the aircraft as they travel over New Zealand.
The film stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Maude, a flight officer with a top-secret mission. She is to board the bomber plane, named "The Fool’s Errand," to deliver documents no one is allowed to see. Inside, she meets British officers dumbfounded at seeing a "broad" onboard. Since there is no place for her to sit, she is told to make herself cosy in the turret.
It is in this confined place that the best scenes of the movie take place. The camera does not leave the space for the better part of the first and second acts. It stays with her, sometimes intercut with images of the men as she imagines them talking to her through the radio.
The scenes in the turret can be read symbolically. Starting from her sighting of a monster — "gremlin" — at the bottom of the plane, which she relays to the other male officers, she also spots a Japanese fighter plane close by.
In both instances, they discount what she has seen out of hand. This is an allegory in how women's lived experiences are discounted without so much as a thought. Soon enough, in the plane, the male officers begin to suggest that the confined space is getting to her, that she is delusional. The fact that the fighter plane does appear and is later shot down by her from the turret does not change their attitudes.
In fact, all the turret scenes could be symbolic of psychological isolation in a patriarchal world. Her perspective is denied a platform - as when they disconnect her from the radio - and her story is challenged due to her position as a woman.
The turret scene does not last the entire movie. But it is after this that the film stops being a thriller. It mutates into a full-blown action movie, where the male soldiers are no longer the foe, but a gremlin that taunts them until they have to learn to fight it together.
Somewhere in the movie, it is revealed that Maude has brought a baby with her. Although unexplored by the disappointing, rather cartoonish, third act, it adds to the movie's theme.
Perhaps the whole movie is a metaphor for being a mother out of wedlock. The constant lies, as when she has to pretend she is carrying with her a top-secret document, not a baby, just to get a plane ride; the social ostracisation, as when she is made to stay in the turret; the constant taunting as sexually promiscuous; the lack of understanding and compassion; and finally, being left alone to protect her baby from whatever the world throws at her, as when she has to fight off a monster all by herself.
The film is no Thelma and Lewis. But for a monster movie, it is as close to being an allegory on gender relations as one can get.
PUBLISHED ON Jan 23,2021 [ VOL 21 , NO 1082]
Agenda | Nov 21,2020
Sponsored Contents | Sep 26,2021
Viewpoints | Jul 13,2019
Life Matters | Jun 08,2019
Agenda | Sep 11,2020
Editorial | Jul 25,2020
Agenda | May 25,2019
Agenda | Apr 17,2020
Viewpoints | Jun 29,2019
Commentaries | Aug 17,2019
Fortune News | 41682 Views | Jul 18,2020
Fortune News | 35453 Views | Sep 01,2021
Photo Gallery | 28170 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 26382 Views | Mar 17,2019
Ethiopia is at a pivotal moment in its history. Its future path is not only vital for...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
October 23 , 2021
Ethiopia`s civil war continues to rage, with no sign of respite or a prospect for a n...
October 16 , 2021
For many, the past rainy season was a critical moment in the life of the nation. One...
October 9 , 2021
Public offices have been having a field day in the past few years. From the Prime Min...
October 2 , 2021
Ethiopia`s Parliament will pick up a Prime Minister on Monday, October 4, 2021. The i...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
Friends help us make the most out of life, providing social and emotional support as...
Human societies have come a long way. Just think about it. It was only in 1888 that electricity in our ho...
October 23 , 2021
Beverage companies and commercial banks dominated last week's event held at the Grand Palace up at Arat Kilo. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD...
October 23 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
The central bank has instructed commercial banks to reinvest returns from bonds maturing next year and on...
Companies setting up data centres at the Addis Abeba ICT Park are embroiled in a dispute over lease payme...
October 23 , 2021 . By TAMRAT G. GIORGIS
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) left Ethiopia out of its economic growth projections for next year...
Or see contact page