Posted on: January 22, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Bridget McGann, Special Contributor

“You think I’d let him destroy me and end up happier than ever? No way. He doesn’t get to win.”

Three films that I’ve been delighted with recently: The two titled Maleficent and Gone Girl. Both stories are led by the hand of separate, but very similar woman. Manipulation and the presence of evil swarm through these tales like bees to honey, creating a pair of deliciously haunting tales. One folkish, one realistic. Why I’ve been anxious to relate the two characters, I’m not quite sure. I think it must stem from their ulterior motives; the wrong treatment from men. Now, I will not sit here and write that it was perfectly okay for Maleficent to curse baby Aurora, nor will I play with the idea that Amy Dunne had every right to fake her murder in order to “get back” at her cheating husband. However, these female characters radiate a strength that is impossible to deny. They possess a zest and a relatable twist that create a ringing voice within so many viewers that shouts, “I get it. I get why they did what they did.” I wanted to compare the characters because I have striven to know why, despite their immoral actions, I walked away saying with a shrug, “I liked her.”

Beginning with Amy, it is often believed that Nick’s adultery is the prime reason for her revenge. I don’t believe this to be so. I believe it to be a catalyst, but not the motivation in its entirety. If you have not seen Gone Girl, I suggest you look up Amy’s “Cool Girl” monologue; it is painstakingly fabulous and projects a sense of sanity within her. In her mind, Nick has degraded her emotionally even after she took immense strides towards being his Cool Girl. Despite giving up her life in New York so Nick could be closer to his family while also financing his pipe dreams, she shifted her identity for Nick. She “drank canned beer” and “ate cold pizza while remaining a size two,” yet Nick still ended up cheating on her. It is so simple to watch the movie on its surface and label Amy as a crazy woman, but I believe her to be a villain in her own right. 

She is like Maleficent, a fairy who placed her trust in a male friend, only to have her wings cut off by him. He had a malicious intention of bringing her faithful wings to the King, so he could become a royal leader himself. A massive betrayal drove a once peaceful Maleficent into a bath of revenge and spite. She reveled in ill dreams and looked forward to the birth of her ex-friend’s child, just so she could curse it at its christening.

They both possess logical reasoning behind their malevolent actions. They are not insane for the sake of being insane; their minds have been transformed by the actions of another. A villain with true reason is a good one. I believe these female characters to be marvelous; not virtuous, but marvelous, nonetheless.

Bridget McGann can be contacted as