The Dressmaker – indeed, a “revenge” movie

A glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

As written here, The Dressmaker describes itself as a revenge-film, a darkly funny movie about a woman who returns as an adult to a town that mistreated her as a child. She of course has returned not only a striking beauty, but also with a phenomenal sense of style, and an understanding of how to use her sewing machine to make not only herself but any other woman who is willing to hire her into the most stunning woman in the room. It’s not long before her skill allows her to become newly integrated into this community, and even to, seemingly, find a measure of healing.

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Insurgent (with some Spoilers, for those who are still interested)

This post is about Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, but first, let me diverge…

Recently I’ve been around some deep conversations about The Hunger Games. There are many in my circles who don’t like the franchise (books or movies) on the basis of the premise alone—children killing children. It’s a perspective I can completely understand. I mean, I don’t like children killing children either. And that’s not a joke or anything—that reflects a lot of terrible stuff that’s going on in a lot of the world, with child soldiers and so on.

Still, there are many others who don’t mind The Hunger Games and even enjoy it, presumably because it’s a gripping story with lots of action, drama and heart. Some say they can excuse the premise because the killing isn’t glorified. I’m not completely sure that’s true—I think it might be glorifying it a bit just by making something about it—but at the same time I can agree that the movies (I’ve never read the books) certainly seem to agree that what is going on is really really terrible.

I think that’s the thing that gripped my attention with them. It was clear from the beginning of the first film that this world was terribly unjust and wicked, and it’s largely because I’m really hoping I get to see Katniss Everdeen tear it to shreds that I have been sticking around ever since.

All that leads us to Insurgent, which got mentioned in those same conversations as an alternative take on the some of the same ideas from the Hunger Games. Of course, we knew that much—the story has been accused of being a massive rip-off of the Hunger Games, and certainly it owes some of its popularity to the fact that the Hunger Games has helped make this kind of story kind of big.

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