Why I Didn’t Hate Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey...
Okay, I want you to know it’s certainly not my favourite movie or even my favourite DC movie, it has problems, major problems. Firstly it should have been two films, not one, Harley Quinn and Cassandra Cain’s relationship was enough to be introduced in its own feature and so is the origin of the Birds Of Prey. Instead both of these narratives felt skated over instead of being explored deeply and I personally think this was a lost opportunity because DC has some pretty die hard that would have had thousands of hours of Easter egg hunting, fan fiction writing fun from two movies. Also, it was missing a Joker. The character was so vital to the story that his mention would have definitely made more sense with at least a small flash back. Now, I know there are problems between Jared Leto and Warner Bros but the absence of a Joker made the audience remember this whilst watching and movies are supposed to take us away from studio politics.
However, there are many reasons that Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn should be praised, one being the excellent acting performances. The chemistry between the’Birds’ themselves was perfectly balanced, they each represent a different element of a unique group dynamic that is easy to get emotionally attached to. The actress who plays Cassandra Cain also shows her talent, making the audience feel empathy for her teen struggles in a humorous manner. She also bounces off Harley Quinn and Canary well. Talking of Harley, Margot Robbie does an amazing job again making the audience nervously laugh at the madness of the deranged phycologist just enough. It really is a shame that both her outings as the characters have really bad reputations.
The Birds of Prey are exactly the kind of forgotten heroic group that could really be a permanent fixture in the DCEU. This could really help interest fans in something a bit more obscure again as well as bringing DC more level with Marvel. Furthermore, the characters are all so complex, they could all have their own solo movie for fans to get invested in. I was also pleased to see the character of Cassandra Cain getting her cinematic debut as I loved the reiteration of her character in the Justice Eternal animations. I think there is major scope for an origin story and a narrative based on the transition from Harley Quinn’s apprentice to Bat Girl.
The music provided a perfect backdrop to the madness and butt-kicking. This made the audience feel the power of the ’Birds’ and the craziness of Quinn’s escapades. Using flamboyant sounds when the protagonists succeeded exaggerated the loss of villains and allowed the audience to laugh and celebrate more. Moreover, I’m not sure whether Margot Robbie had anything do with the soundtrack but it felt like she did and because of this it felt like Harley Quinn had touched it too. This meant that all the way through the film, it was just like her character, everything felt fun one minute but could go wrong in another. This had me on the edge of my seat.
The costumes were mostly good. The majority of the characters‘ clothes reflected their personality and their role within the movie. For instance, the villainous pair are mostly wearing dark colours until something really bad is about to happen and then Roman Sionis changes into a white outfit, this may serve as a warning to the audience. The only costume I felt unsure about was Harley Quinn’s fight sequence suit. I understand the change from the Suicide Squad outfit happened for many reasons from Margot Robbie not enjoying the sexualisation of it to it maybe being symbolism for Harley’s new start. Having said this I feel the designers could have kept the essence Harley a bit more. I still appreciated all the costumes though.
To conclude, I would give the film a six out of ten. One of the things I liked most about it was the acting and character of Cassandra. She has serious scope for the future and she will also hit home with the wide audience of teen DC fans. The other thing I enjoyed most was literally everything about Canary. Everything from her costume to the standard of the acting was amazing. I also feel like there were so many questions left to be answered about her so I’m looking forward to the future. The thing I felt could be improved was definitely the separation of the two story lines into two different movies. As I said before each one just felt jumbled and like it hadn’t been explored enough.