Friday, January 12, 2007

In the Cut

In the beginning of In the Cut, the main character, Frannie, is writing a book about slang. She says to her friend that "Slang is either sexual or violent," to which her friend responds "or both." This exchange helps set the tone for a movie that explores a lot of sex and violence. In the Cut has been accused of being misogynistic, but I disagree. Some have made objections to Frannie's desire for a man who she thinks could be the serial murderer who killed her sister. However, I think Frannie is supposed to be a very sympathetic character, and that it seems to make sense that she could fall for man who is a detective who is therefore supposed to be safe. The real character the audience is supposed to dislike is Malloy's partner, who establishes himself as a sort of villain from the time we meet him because he is clearly a misogynist. He acts very sexist when Frannie first meets in him the bar – he dismisses her and continues talking to Malloy, making obnoxious womanizing comments.

I did think it was ironic that Campion made this film after the scene in the piano where they are putting on a play where a man murders his wives and the Maori people object. In class, we interpreted this as a critique of western society where violence, particularly against women, is often used in entertainment. In the Cut contained a huge amount of violence towards women.

The colors red and green were prevalent in this film and probably took on several different meanings, but I guessed that they represented Frannie’s confusion. She didn’t know who to trust in the movie and while she was falling in love with Malloy it was easily possible that he was the murderer. This made it seem like the red and green lighting were sort of her simultaneous feelings of wanting to stop out of fear of the possibility of him being the killer and wanting to go on with the sexual relationship out of love for him.


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