Exeter’s Streatham campus has a university cinema. When looking, rather enviously, at the listings for this upcoming term, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was such a good range of options.
Although Captain America: Civil War passes dubiously, Finding Dory and The Nice Guys all pass the Bechdel Test, which just about makes up for the disappointing failure of Star Trek: Beyond. But there is one mighty film that stands out in particular, reigning high above them all – the new female-led Ghostbusters.
For me, this is one of the most profound films that I have ever seen, because this movie honestly changed my relationship with cinema forever. Why? Because I’m 19 years old and Ghostbusters is truly the first open portrayal of a relatable, likeable group of modern woman that I had ever come across in film. They are clever, fun and funny: they are real. The women of Ghostbusters are in control, they are part of a cool, quirky sisterhood; they are, without doubt, the future of film.
Together, the four protagonists represent an honest reflection of our 21st century society – women in academia, queer woman, plus-size woman, women of colour, they are refreshingly individual, they stand on their own two feet, independent but united, a sorority friendship, and of course, the script passes the Bechdel Test spectacularly.
Ghostbusters and gender go hand in hand, after all, what other film has faced such a fierce backlash for making a reboot of a classic – on IMDb, over 57% of users gave it the lowest possible score, whilst the Twitter accounts of the female actresses (Leslie Jones in particular) received endless messages of misogynistic (and racial) abuse.
Despite all the negativity though, Ghostbusters is a great movie; it’s well-written, exciting, sometimes scary and always hilariously entertaining, it really is the film of the year, if not the film of the decade.
No matter what your ultimate opinion is, watching the film is so important. Ghostbusters breaks through that glass ceiling, showing just what can happen when sexist attitudes are simply excluded from the equation.
Sure, Ghostbusters has it imperfections, but its sheer feminist brilliance negates those moments.
Ultimately it is a movie that demonstrates the power of women, something that I hope the film industry will exhibit much more of in years to come.