Birds of Prey (and the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn)

Kaitlin Cunningham, Staff Writer 

 

For any DC Comics fans, the long-awaited “Birds of Prey” is out now. The much-anticipated female-empowered blockbuster was released on Feb. 7, and the buzz around the film has been endless. 

This riot of a movie is a sequel to the not-so-well-received “Suicide Squad,” which left DC fans and critics with a bad taste in their mouths, according to 269 of 368 reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website, which gave the movie an overall score of 27 percent. 

The plot of “Birds of Prey” unfolds after the main character, Harley Quinn, and The Joker ‘go splitsville,’ allowing Harley to make her own name known by pairing up with several characters well known to comic lovers. Black Canary and Huntress, both female villains from various DC comic series make their appearance as comrades of the protagonist as the fun-loving and chaotic crew attempt to take down a local crime lord and gain notoriety at the same time. 

With quirky quotes, off-the-wall anecdotes, and a large amount of violence and profanity, it may not seem like it, but this movie is about feminism and the importance of having one’s own identity. 

The entire premise of the film comes about because Harley realizes how extremely codependent and toxic her relationship with The Joker was. The film portrays Harley’s extremely violent behavior as a sort of rage therapy; helping her to cope with the newly found stress of being single, and realization that the relationship she believed was making her happy was also the cause of much of her misery.  

 

Harley’s mission to strike out on her own accord, brings to mind questions such as: how does one go about regaining their identity after a toxic relationship, and what is a toxic relationship? 

For students, these types of questions are often very relevant, and can serve as excellent springboards for those who might already be in a toxic relationship, yet not even realize it.

According to Psychology Today, some signs of unhealthy relationships are forced social isolation — when a partner wants to be the sole focus of a person’s time and does not allow for the free development of a person’s own social life, or feeling the need to hide one’s true self from a partner; a potential indicator of severe power differences in a relationship.

Though taking over a city is an effective coping mechanism for Harley Quinn, such a feat is not an option for most people. For more information about moving on from toxic relationships or understanding healthy coping mechanisms, the Saint Martin’s University Counseling and Wellness Center located on the north end of campus on the first floor of the Lynch Center. 

The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the staff would love to help students better understand what it means to cope with problems in a healthy manner. 

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