Heroine Content Links #23: Prince of Persia
This post was originally published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.
I'm off to see Jonah Hex this weekend, which may or may not be a good idea. I will let you know.
In the meantime, I give you a collection of links to more about Prince of Persia. If you missed Patrick's review, do go and catch up now!
(Also, if anyone can explain to me the appeal of Jake Gyllenhall, I would appreciate it. I have seen so many posts and reviews talking about his hotness. I don't get it. Anyone? Or is this one of those if you don't get it, you don't get it things?)
Say it till you're blue in the face that you're not a racist, that you have no prejudice - but when you take a role meant for someone that's Asian - you just told everyone else that they can only sit in the back of the bus and that you - White Male - are going to take your rightful place in the front of the bus.
She has a mission and, despite the fact her people are a peaceful people, she will do ANYTHING to complete that mission. Even if it means sticking around a dude who she really doesn't like. Even if it means going places she won't (and doesn't like). Even if it means she has to pick up a sword (or dagger, or whatever-cause SHE DOES, and with a decent ability to do so) to fight. Even if it means she has to do things she doesn't want to do (such as the aforementioned serving wench "job"-which, kudos to the writers for not making THAT particular moment into a sex-slave harem moment). Even if means she has to kill.
Later on, there's a scene where Dastan figures out what the Dagger of Time does, and here's what happens: the princess attacks him, he uses the dagger to go back, he is shocked and she attacks him again, he uses the dagger AGAIN, then he stops her from attacking him and then mansplains what the fucking dagger does just in case we hadn't figured it out by now. The princess is the guardian of the dagger, dude, she knows what it does!
'Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time' Is a Franchise in the Making by Cynthia Fuchs at Pop Matters:
It's routine, after all, to see black supporting players in action movies, especially black supporting players willing to sacrifice themselves for the righteous white-identified cause. But that doesn't mean it's not a problem, especially in a movie that tries to have it all ways, celebrating a noble hero who literally comes up from the streets as well as the royal family who adopts him, the power of regular people as well as rich and privileged people.
You can't fake your race with a bottle tan and four weeks of facial hair growth, Jake! Gemma Arterton, who plays the love interest of the Prince of Somwhere-That-Is-Clearly-Not-Persia, is British (although, at least she, unlike Jake Gyllenhaal, uses an accent to sound vaguely... uhm, Persian-ish?). And again, the White-washing of the cast is reserved only for the movie's protagonists: Ben Kingsley, one of the most famous Asian Indian actors around, plays the primary villain of the movie.
Yes, it would be great if I could see more Middle Eastern actors on screen (playing Middle Eastern characters or otherwise) but I think Prince of Persia was well cast despite the lack of Persians in it. I mean, us Persians are basically White people who tan beautifully.