The empowerment of women in America has reached new heights in 2019. From the diverse group of women recently elected to Congress, to the increasing amount of women working in STEM fields, to the Oscars recognizing the work of strong female leaders in acting and the cinematic world.
Joining the ranks of female excellence, Marvel studios Captain Marvel features Marvel’s first female lead superhero, joining the MCU alongside their numerous other iconic superhero movies.
Captain Marvel follows the story of Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) – played by Brie Larson – on her journey of self-discovery, and in her realization of both her conflicted past and the boundless strength, power, and confidence borne of the adversity that she endured; embodying Girl Power and Women Empowerment.
Following the currently growing trend of female representation and the recognition of female excellence and power, Captain Marvel’s release during Women’s History Month on International Women’s Day served as a special gift to women everywhere, celebrating a shared sense of newfound pride and power. The portrayal of Captain Marvel as one of the most powerful heros to hit the big screen is a victory for women everywhere who have found in Carol Danvers both positive representation and a good role model.
Out of the 21 MCU Marvel Studio Movies, Rotten Tomatoes ranked the movie 14th best, with an overall rating of 80%. Opening weekend, the movie made $153 Million, ranking second in Female-Led Hero Movies, between Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Hunger Games. Captain Marvel also ranked third in highest opening sales ever in the month of March.
Captain Marvel not only is affecting the MCU by being the first female lead movie, but through its plot as well by revealing answers to many questions that have plagued the minds of Marvel fans since the birth of the MCU, along with divulging the greater significance of such references as the tesseract and expanding the boundaries of the Marvel Universe further into space and entirely new worlds. The movie brings up a great question, what is next for Marvel?
Captain Marvel has built great anticipation for Avengers: Endgame and reinvigorated its passionate, expencant audience and has confirmed that Captain Marvel/ Carol Danvers will be playing a significant role in the upcoming Avengers movie, releasing April 26, 2019.
The story, taking place in the 1990’s, fits differently into the MCU timeline by jumping back a couple decades and providing more background knowledge, laying the foundations for MCU movies further on.
The year that the movie takes place plays a significant role in the feminist ideals of female empowerment that Captain Marvel exemplifies. As Carol Danvers discovers her obscure early life as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, she recalls her past struggles with being one of only two female pilots permitted to serve in a profession dominated by male pilots. Despite the misogyny that she faces and the constant onslaught of being told she will never be good enough, she finds a way to excel nonetheless and fly higher than anyone could have predicted, ultimately overcoming the demining environment surrounding her.
Captain Marvel further develops the idea of overcoming one’s struggles by illustrating multiple life battles that she has encountered, both those she remembers and has forgotten, to show not only how Carol Danvers kept getting back up on her feet no matter what she encountered, but representing the ongoing fight that women have gone through with achieving equality and not giving up, no matter how many times they are pushed down. Carol Danvers further represents the fact that her powers are not the only thing that makes her special and a hero, because she was a fighter long before she had the-constant judgement and belittlement throughout her life, representing how she was constantly misjudged and seen as inferior despite her persistent strength.
Following past trends of the Marvel movie Black Panther and its #BlackPantherChallenge, Frederick Joseph, the creator of the #BlackPantherChallenge, also implemented a #CaptainMarvelChallenge that inspired a GoFundMe page to raise money to help underprivileged girls go to the movie, to experience firsthand, not only the superpowers of Carol Danvers, but the representative empowerment of women. Brie Larson has been an active part in this campaign. In the past two months, the campaign has raised over $63,000 and climbing.
Having a female director, Anna Boden (along with male co-director Ryan Fleck), was crucial to the development of Captain Marvel as it created a lens through which the audience could view the movie through the eyes of the demographic being represented. Boden took away standards that female movie characters usually face in films. She eliminated the over sexualization of women, an all too common theme in many movies in Hollywood, and the lack of a romantic subplot for Carol Danvers helped keep attention on over lying ideology of the movie. Boden was able to break boundaries and create a more realistic depiction of women views.
Captain Marvel is a must see movie. Not only does its plot development, comedy, action, and introduction of new superpowers make Captain Marvel stand out, but it’s address to today’s and history’s strong women who never stop fighting, and always find a way to get back up on their feet, is showing the power that women possess.