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Denise,
 
> Strikes me the movie would have been embraced with open arms if the
> protagonist had been someone other than who he was:  white, male, etc.
 
I think that it was only by showing the standard average hollywood character
that you could recognize the message that was supposed to come through.
Hollywood likes to play with its own discriminations.
(There was meant to be an explanation of the last phrase here, but I somehow
cannot formulate it.)
If D-FENS would have been a woman, it would have been very easy to put her
away as a psycho. And not to talk about colored people who to 99% always play
the bad guys - it would not have had a chance to be 'considered'.
Only if the biased part of the audience sees a character that would have never
expected to be a bad guy do act unexpectedly do we have the possibility to
shake it up.
 
However, the 'empowerment' theory would be interesting to employ in another
script.
I did not see T&L as bad characters. I had the feeling as if they were
portrayed as basically good characters who just (re)acted [when's what?]
learning from their environment.
Of course they had to die - it's a road movie and all road movie heroes
do bad things and die at the end; simple standard pattern.
And besides. They would have never be allowed to get away with their freedom.
Society does not like that.
I'm not quite sure whether the makers of the movie intended it to be like that
to adhere to a standard procedure (they moralists) or wanted to make a
statement that says "here you have women who just want what is taken for
granted for men and there's what happens."
 
> Denise, who wonders why the public is so STUPID sometimes.
 
Oh yes.
 
Daniel