Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Bechdel Test: The Hina Test

I have a tendency to rate movies based on a variety of measures. There is the generic good vs. bad, as in, did I enjoy it or was it just boring? I also look at the execution of the cast to the story that is being told. By no means am I an expert. I wouldn’t call myself a critic, per say, but just a person who would like to see certain things in movies: like strong female characters and a diversity of casting. In fairness, this isn’t something that can easily be applied, like the aforementioned Bechdel test, which just requires to female characters to have a conversation that doesn’t just center around a man. In, what I am calling the Hina test, the viewer would really have to assess, on his or her own, whether the two needs are met. I’m going to make this as simple as I can.

The first question of the test: Are there strong female characters in the movie? The definition of this is a woman that doesn’t require a man to save her. That should be simple enough. For example, the Avengers movies would meet this as Scarlet Witch doesn’t need anyone’s help. In a more recent movie, Morgan actually meets this. The main character, played by Kate Mara was a badass, she was self-sufficient.

The second question: Is there diversity in the casting? The definition of this is that the cast is not entirely one color. I don’t know how to say that any other way. I recently watched The Host (which was a Korean horror movie) – that movie would fail because all of the characters except one was Korean. Again, Morgan would pass this test, as the cast was well represented. There is a careful line that needs to be drawn around having diversity and those people not being integral to the plot. This also includes diversity with sexuality, as a sworn #Clexa fan I would be doing a disservice to the cause by not addressing the Bury Your Gays issue that pervades Hollywood. I think that might be harder to assess, but should be taken into consideration when watching movies/TV.

I’m curious what, if anyone, will say to this new test I’ve developed. I think I’ve seen enough movies that these are the two things that are often glaringly missing. Comments or thoughts are always appreciated.

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