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Meaner Angels to the fore

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The 355

‘Charlie’s Angels’ film franchise has beenfast losing its magic unlike the original TV series by the same name. Making the angels too witty and using excessive special effects has been tarnishing the credibility of these movies.

These Barbie type angels who are private detectives managed by an unseen Charlie would flirtwith crooks or drug lords or carry out honey trap operationsto eventually bring them to book.

While ‘Charlies Angels’ films were losing credibility and entering decline stage in the lifecycle, film director and screenplay writer Simon Kinberghas teamed up with acclaimed actress Jessica Chastain and story writer Theresa Rebeck to make the movie ‘The 355’.

This Americanaction spy film made in the spy-thriller genre has an ensemble of five women teaming up to achieve a common goal. Unlike in ‘Charlie’s Angels’, ‘The 355’ has more James Bond attributes to be precise.

A team of five women from all around the world working in espionage is significant and it gives the message about world peace which is a vital point and USP of the storyline. Hence ‘The 355’ as a product becomes international.

A top secret weapon falls into the hands of mercenaries and five tough women join forces to fight against this common enemy. The small device is a data key that can wreak havoc with the touch of a few keystrokes.

All women setting aside their differences and teaming up to find this deadly palm-top device that would ignite the third world war is a gripping plot. These American, British, German, Columbian and Chinese women merge to save the world which is in the brink of explosion. The five-women cast include Penelope Cruz, Jessica Chastain, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger and Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia in ‘Black Panther’).

Diana Kruger the German operative running a motorcycle though the streets and metro tunnels of Paris being chased by Jessica Chastain is breathtaking. It would remind one ofJames Bond or Mission Impossible scenes. The fierce fighting scene betweenthe two women is staged in a mind blowing manner which proves ‘The 355’ is definitely not a feminist movie.

Penelope Cruz’s character has somewhat similar attributes to the character played by Naomi Scott in ‘Charlie’s Angels’ (2019). Scott played an angel new to the team who is meek and pukes when shocked. In ‘The 355’ the misfit to the team is Penelope Cruz. She is a Colombian psychologist who plays the frightened fish out of water. Being a married woman she yearns to get home to be with her husband and the kids ASAP. However, like Scott in ‘Charlie’s Angels’, Cruz too demonstrates her mean nature eventually.

Three times Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain who is also a producer of the film plays a kickass lady in the team who is betrayed and double crossed by her lover who is acriminalalso hunting for the deadly device.

Diane Kruger plays a somewhat complicated character that depicts the ruthless and emotional nature of a super-duper woman. In the movie plot she is projected as a person molded to work alone who finds difficult to be a team-player. (The name Hardy Kruger is in the minds of old-school filmgoers. Yet Diane Kruger is not related to this actor. Hardy’s son was the actor, Hardy Kruger Jr.)

‘The 355’ is a film that amplifies the power of women when united. Women are a magical species. They have warmth…aggressiveness…and also love in abundance. Thus female solidarity can always save the world from the evil. The film also having glamour amidst all the daredevil stuff would surely cater to a worldwide audience.

Monday, March 7, 2022 – 01:00

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