Spoils for Annihilation
So, recently I watched the movie Annihilation and while I feel very lukewarm on the film (I think it was trying to say something but I think it ultimately fell flat) but there’s one thing that has stuck with me.
Gina Rodriguez played Anya Thorensen, the standout performance as far as I’m concerned and it the medic of the team. She is also the only lesbian character in the movie.
A lot of people may wonder why this matters; some may even say that she’s a “good” example of how to write a lesbian character, or rather, “a character who just happens to be a lesbian”/ While my feelings on thoughts like that are complicated my main issue with Anya Thorensen is the framing, specifically, her death.
Yes, basically all of the characters die, but Thorensen’s death is the most brutal and that is where I take issue.
During the movie, we watch Thorensen get attacked by a kind of bear-monster. We watch as she tries to get away, dragged back by the creature, get tossed around a bit, and then we watch the monster rip her jaw off and watch her corpse lay in a pool of her own blood.
Tuva Novotny’s character, Cass Sheppard, is killed by the same creature as Thorensen, but she’s killed off screen. Tessa Thompson’s, Josie Radek, simply…walks off and vanishes, and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Dr. Ventress…well I don’t know how I would describe her death but it nowhere near as brutal and violent as Thorensen’s death.
You see…when you have one queer character and then you go out and treat them with the most brutality…I’m going to side-eye you very hard.
No, I don’t think the director hates wlw or anything like that. I also don’t think that a queer character can never die on screen in a movie. But the brutality with which a queer character is treated is something I’m going to have to speak up.
I guess…I guess what I am trying to say is that creators need to be mindful of how they’re treating their queer characters. Pay attention to what you’re putting your queer characters through and how it stacks up to your straight characters.
Anyways…I hope I explained myself well enough in this post and I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. Things have been very busy for me lately. But I’m going to try to be more regular with my post.
My chapter reviews will be coming back and, since I want to speed things along, doing multiple chapters in one post and going forward.
Till next time~!