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On March 8, the most recent movie of the Marvel Universe was released in the United States: Captain Marvel. The film tells the story of Carol Danvers, whom we initially know as Vers. She is part of a team of alien warriors called Kree, who wage war against another alien race, the Skulls. Vers, played by Brie Larson, is coached by her friend and partner Yon-Rogg, played by Jude Law, who regularly talks to her about the importance of keeping her emotions under control. Vers suffers from constant nightmares in which she sees scenes from a past that we know she does not remember. Yon-Rogg advises her to repress those memories, as they will only trigger more emotions, which affect the lucidity of the warrior. Despite the advice of her friend and leader of her team, throughout the film, Vers will seek an explanation of these nightmares to restore a lost identity and we, with it, understand the origin of her powers and the war waged by the of her kind with the Skulls.
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The 90s aesthetics
The film takes place in the 90s, a time never explored by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which always balances between the Second World War and the present in an exaggerated futuristic aesthetic. We see a lot of almost caricatural references of this decade: Vers lands in a Blockbuster, she wears leather jackets and T-shirts of Guns & Roses, attends internet cafes and listens to "Come as You Are" by Nirvana on a turntable. But this 90s aesthetic surpasses these obvious references: the film manages to, even being an imagined universe in which there are spaceships and an engine that runs at the speed of light, to make these technologies, which do not exist today or existed in the 90s, they seemed to be from that time. Thus, computers and spacecraft also obey an aesthetic of this decade that goes very well with the rest of scenography and costumes and makes the story credible.
In addition, the setting in this decade lets us see a young Nick Fury, played by the great Samuel L. Jackson, who makes jokes, commits clumsiness and communicates through a beeper. This new interpretation of the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. It is very refreshing compared to the cardboard and one-eyed Fury that we have seen in the rest of Marvel productions.
Perhaps the most important reference I enjoyed was listening to the voice of Gwen Stefani in a fight scene: we see Carol Danvers fighting against those who want to dominate her and use her as a weapon while we heard in the background "Just A Girl", the success of 1995 of the then band of ska-punk No Doubt. In addition to being a shout against those who underestimate women, it is very cool to hear a woman's voice for the first time in an action scene, in which they usually play songs without lyrics or rock with male voices.
The vindication of emotions
Both in the flashbacks that Carol Danvers has and at the beginning of the film when she is trained by Yon-Rogg, we see that men have always told her that she must control her emotions to be good at what she does. Around the middle of the movie we learn that Danvers had a life on earth that he has no memory of before being a Kree warrior. We see scenes of her life in which she has been scolded and bullied since she was a child for trying to do "men's things." We learned, also, that before being a Kree warrior, Danvers had been a pilot of the US Air Force.
The film seems very obvious when staging this type of sexism with explicit dialogues like "this is a man thing" or "if you controlled your emotions you would be a better pilot, a better soldier, a better warrior." However, this condemnation of emotions, which we associate with the feminine, can be seen in every woman's day-to-day life. It always seems that any argument in a discussion had more validity and legitimacy between more 'rational' and less 'emotional.'
When Danvers and Fury meet, he can see right away that she is not only interested in saving the world but has a personal issue at stake. And yes, Danvers is looking for her past and her identity, she wants to understand who she is and, finally, remember. In one scene Fury tells Danvers about the importance of following "her instinct" and disobeying if his instinct dictates, the orders of a superior. Thus, the vindication of emotions would also be a celebration of rebellion.
The identity found in friendship
Danvers, then, in the investigation of her past, follows a clue: the pilot Maria Rambeau, who also appeared in her flashbacks by heart. When she meets her to ask about her past as a pilot, Danvers realizes that this interrogation is a reunion. It is in that reunion with which she had been her best friend in her life on Earth, that Danvers restores her identity and can remember. In the conversations with her friend she finds out who she was before and what she dedicated her life. Thus, it is in female friendship that Danvers manages to find herself.
She is a female character who makes jokes typical of superhero movies, a funny woman. This, unlike Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson in the other Marvel films, who is desperate to be taken seriously and therefore does not make jokes, which are allowed, for example, Tony Stark. Danvers, also unlike Black Widow, is not hypersexualized or linked to any man. She is an independent character who finds her identity in friendship with another woman and never in a romance with a man. It's hard to believe that Marvel has understood this much faster than the movies that the Academy awards.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón
Translated from "La Capitana Marvel y la amistad femenina "