Last month my grandson and I went to a movie together. It was a cool thing—for me, anyway. Going to movies was a big part of my life when growing up. The Saturday afternoon matinee being revered as much as hot dogs, apple pie, and white picket fences.
The movie was the World War II drama, Dunkirk. Normally, I’m not a war movie guy of the recent variety. Indeed, war is gruesome and brutal enough without presenting gruesomeness and brutality as an art form. From others who viewed the movie, I was informed it was not such.
The movie offered as complete of a depiction as possible about the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers trapped in the city of Dunkirk with only the sea to their backs and death in their faces. It accurately portrayed the desperation, hope, and anguish of those beleaguered men and times.
A day or so later I read a review of the movie claiming the lack of strong female leads or presence detracted from the story. In other words, accuracy, honesty, and truth would have had to somehow be sacrificed for the sake of inserting female roles to make it appear women were as brave and plentiful as men during the evacuation of Dunkirk.
Nothing bores me any more or turns me into a critical skeptic any quicker than pinning a love story where none exists or tossing in women or an ethnically diverse cast member where none existed to begin with. Just as I don’t expect to see a Norwegian in the middle of a tribal conflict in the Congo, I don’t expect to see a Watusi on a long boat with Lief Erickson pillaging the Hebrides. Thus, I don’t expect in the future for a female to be added to the crew of Apollo 11 for the sake of gender equality, nor an adaptation of Little Women with a conflicted but otherwise normal trans.
This also leads me to all the previews of upcoming movies my grandson and I had to endure; you know the snappy one liners, explosions, and titillating flesh scenes. Near the end of the 30 minute sensory overload was the Al Gore movie, Another Inconvenient Truth. There was a collective audible groan from the audience.
These things all relate; it is the manipulation of honesty, truth, history, science, etc. One of the reasons I seldom go to movies anymore is that they no longer entertain; they preach and try to manipulate and send a political or social message and bend the light in order to do so.