Tom Cruise’s latest offering in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ series is being lauded for its slick action, daredevil stunts and as being a big cut above most films in the action genre. But is it the greatest action film of all times? Well, that is best left to individual opinion. However, being a woman with an opinion, even on something as trivial as the best action film ever, comes with a cost.

Film critique Sucharita Tyagi recently faced criticism (pun unintended) from some men, for saying that Mission: Impossible – Fallout isn’t the best action film ever made. One thing which a certain community of smug guys cannot get over is, women who watch action films and then dare to opine on them.

While the majority of men these days do not throw sexist jibes at women, at least when it comes to discussing cinematic experiences, the world isn’t entirely rid of creatures who think they are experts in a certain field because their bodies are full of testosterone. As Tyagi found out when some sexist beings called her out for her opinion on M:I 6.

One doesn’t need testosterone to understand action film

These sexist jibes stem from the stereotype that women only like to watch “chick-flicks” or rom-coms. That girlfriends make a big show whenever their partners drag them to watch an action film. Or that ‘The Notebook’ has sedated men more effectively than Zolpid. Some women do like explosions, outlandish stunts or too much bloodshed as much as some men like fluffy romances. But there is a cult of men who choke on their beer, every time a girl claims she loves Fast And The Furious, Die Hard or Rocky.

Apparently, our frail nerves cannot stand violence, loud blasts or bromance that is integral to action films. So, we aren’t deemed fit to even sit through action films, let alone opine about them. What such people forget is that you don’t need testosterone in your blood to watch and understand films. All you need is a genuine liking for the action genre. Many women like watching a good action film. As much as they like to watch a well-crafted romance, drama or suspense thriller.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Women who watch and opine on action films come under fire from some men who discard their views on the basis of gender.
  • Is there some complex rule about viewing action films, that it is understandable only to those with high levels of testosterone?
  • People who reject women’s views on action films due to their gender understand neither cinema or the concept of opinion.

This fact has now dawned on film makers too, that women form a considerable chunk of the audience for action films. While earlier women had an ornamental presence in such films, today they are getting meatier roles. Female actors claim some good stunts in action films these days. Movies like Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2, Wonder Woman and Star Wars: The Force Awakens have put female action leads into the spotlight and earned the respect and admiration of men as well. But trying to break the stereotype isn’t that easy, especially in our country.

It’s as if viewing an action film is subjective to some complex rule, which only manhood is privy to.

In fact, women who proclaim love for action films get branded manly. Men who make such passes on what we like to watch, make us appreciate those who don’t. Every man who discusses action films with us, or values our opinion deserves an applause. For simply not being sexist.

As for those who can’t look at our opinion because of their sexist blinkers – it is not us who isn’t worthy of appreciating action films. We love watching films like Mad Max: Fury Road, John Wick or Kill Bill. We know our Aliens from our Predators as well as we know our Goldfinger from GoldenEye. So stop mansplaining, if one film lover opines that M:I 6 isn’t the best action film of all times. She is a movies critic. It is her job to watch films across genres and critique them. If Tyagi’s popularity is anything to go by, then she is indeed good at what she does.

It isn’t that she doesn’t understand films, action or otherwise. It is more likely that your sexist mentality won’t let you accept her opinion. If anyone’s gender is all it takes for you to agree or disagree with their views, then you do not understand movies, action films or even the concept of opinion.

Picture Credit : Hindustan Times

Also Read : Objectifying Women Started in Hindi Films Right from the Word Go: Aahana Kumra

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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