Women in Films: User or Victim?

Robert L. Dye Jr. English 1013

Women in Films: User or Victim?

Designed to prove that a woman can be anybody she desires to be, the legendary
film, Evita, is now shown to millions of movie viewers. Alan Parker=s Evita is
a reflection of the much-publicized images of two popular self-made heroines of
different era, Evita and Madonna. The discussion of this essay will show us how
these ladies got far and revered once by their followers.

The life of Evita Peron is almost like a dramatization of a romantic fiction,
about the tale of a young and poor illegitimate girl, who escapes the cruelty
and poverty of her hometown, and Aflees to the big city to become a movie star,
fights her way to the top through succession of men, marries her country=s
president, only to die at a young age of 33" (Harbinson 154). Eva was born
illegitimate in a small remote town of Argentina, and spent most of her
childhood life under a cloud of illegitimacy. Besides being poor, Eva and her
sisters were regarded as bastard children , and for this reason, they were
Alooked upon as >brats= and often prevented from associating with the other
children of thevillage. This sense of rejection and the ridicules that young
Eva and her family received from the other villagers, formed the basis of her
hatred of Argentinas middle and upper [email protected] (19).

Eva grew up to be an intelligent, beautiful, and glamorous teen-ager, who
attracted many men=s attention. Aside from her good looks, Eva had the charm
that could get her all the things she wanted, the character of a woman who never
gave into negative circumstances, and a determination so strong, she found her
way to the balcony of the presidential palace of Argentina. The painful
rejection, and the traumatic events of her father=s funeral, when she and her
family were refused entry by his legal wife, were still in Eva=s mind when she
left her hometown for the big city to seek a better life.

Despite her blighted childhood and early personal loss, AEvita never let herself
be a victim, and instead, used her deprivations as a motivating machine. She
developed a strong courage, a ruthless ambition, and a hunger for success and
[email protected] (185-186). Armed with all the good looks, strong character,
determination to succeed, and, the secret resentment she nurtured against the
ruling classes of Argentina who looked down on her family, Evita was ready to
change her life.

Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, Evita found out that rich and poor people do exist
in the big cities. But this sight did not discourage Eva, and she went on to
become a film and radio performer. Although Evita had the glamour and talent to
become successful, she was also aware of the Acrushing limitations imposed upon
Argentinean women of relentless male chauvinism. It was the men who had the
freedom and earned the money to use [email protected](25). But Evita was determined not to be
a victim, she instead, use men as a stepping stone to her success as she did to
Augustine Magaldi to escape out of her hometown.

In the film, Evita, Alan Parker portrays Madonna as if it was meant for her to
be born to portray the role. Significantly indeed, Madonna=s life is almost a
replica of Evita=s life: a rags-to-riches tale in which Aearly personal loss is
a motivating factor, and in which, once success is achieved, ruthless will is
deployed to sustain [email protected] (163). Madonna=a childhood background resembles Evita=s
in many ways. Both came from a working-class background, both lost a parent at
an early age (Evita=s father and Madonna=s mother), and both ladies were
impoverished as little girls. Evita=s fight for success made her a role model
to Madonna, admiring the way she overcame her loss in early life. Despite all
hurdles, Evita used her early tragic experience as a motivating factor to seek
what life has denied her. Madonna, on the other hand, also used her own
childhood loss and fears as springboards to personal freedom. Like Evita,
Madonna left her hometown to seek a better life. Similarly, Madonna too, was
obliged to used men to get what she wanted (185).

According to a review by Ken Mandelbaum, Madonna does not only have the perfect
look for the role of Evita--stunning, tough, enigmatic--but the persona has much
in common with that of the woman she is playing. Both ladies got far on glamour,
detemination, controversy, the ability to influence styles and play a crowd, and
somewhat limited skills. In addition, he stated that