I not only avoid a lot of pre-release hype and spoilers of movies I want to see, once ive seen a movie and picked it apart and made up my ownind about it, I tend to avoid reviews and forums and other articles about it.
Today, I was thinking about how much I liked Scarlett Johansson, how much I like Black Widow, and how much I like “Scarlett Widow”, and how much I like “Lucy”, I wondered if maybe Marvel Studios thought about seriously making a Black Widow movie. Hoping, actually. I vaguely remembered the Joss Whedon said something about doing one.
So, an hour ago I googled for a Black Widow movie with Whedon. Ran headlong into this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/05/avengers-age-of-ultron-s-black-widow-disgrace.html
I was clueless to this controversy. Disney’s and Marvel Studios apparent “attack plan” for marketing is disappointing.
But, I guess my perceptions of the character of Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff and her portrayal in the comics and movies are very different from everyone else’s. That might be a side effect of growing up reading comics. I tended to latch onto certain concepts and had my own mental view of a character’s heart/soul/core, pick out the elements of stories I thought best represent that, and discard/ignore crap-parts of stories or other scenes, or mishandling by certain writers or creative teams.
The “Age of Ultron” movie “monster” reference: I guess I took that way differently than every one else. Apparently, having “sterilized” and “monster” in the same monolog means she thought of herself as a monster for being sterile? I didn’t see it that way.
My view: the Red Room/KGB trained her to be a heartless assassin. Any sexuality she appears to display (in other words, allows to be displayed), is because she’s been trained to do so. The appearance of sexuality is more illusion, psy-ops, a weapon. The Red Room sterilizing her took away her hope for a normal life, of getting away from the life she was trained for. She became the outwardly sexy Black Widow, a cold killing machine underneath. In the MCU, Hawkeye was sent to stop her apparently very successful career as a spy and assassin. She was most likely on track to end up like every other product of the Red Room: dead, after a successful run.
Any flirting we see is reflexive. The KGB may have encouraged its agent to engage in sexual activity with targets, but it was all about mission success. My view of the Red Room, Natasha was probably trained just as much to not have a whole lot of sex, even while being trained in the ways of sex and seduction. Trained to use the lure of sex, bring the target into the web for the killing or skinned for intel.
“Blood on her ledger.” That was tge reason she viewed herself as a monster. Not for being sterile. The forced sterilization was the point when she despaired, succumbed to the Red Room’s conditioning, became the killing machine, thought there would never be any wsy out, but instinctively kept going, surviving, hunting.
I like to think that Hawkeye and Fury saw there was still a spark of humanity in the killer. Whatever flirtiness we think we see as an audience, it’s her shield, her armor. It’s *easy* to slip into the trap of thinking of Natasha as a ravenous, slutty sexpot. Because she instinctively broadcasts it. Which makes you underestimate her. Which gives her ample opportunity to hand you your own head.
She’s human under there, though, and we finally saw something of hope and love, beyond even the platonic comraderie she seemed to be developing for her teammates, peak out from behind the Black Widow facade.
And Disney and Marvel Studios and even a few costars seem to want to shut that development down? Why?
“Blood on her ledger.”
Black. Widow. Movie. And more stories. In the movies or on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” guest appearances. And Whedon and his crew can work miracles on TV budgets.
Marvel Studios may be focusing so hard on a certain demographic, they may be missing a few things.
EDIT (2015-06-28): Here we go, this touches on what i was thinking —
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’: Scarlett Johansson on Black Widow’s journey