Film Review: Charlie’s Angels punch through the glass ceiling

Updated 16 November 2019

Film Review: Charlie’s Angels punch through the glass ceiling

  • In a way, the women’s exploits remind you of a James Bond thriller with unbelievable gadgets and car chases
  • With a budget of around $50 million, Banks has created a movie that will lend itself to several sequels

CHENNAI: With the #MeToo movement in full swing, “Charlie’s Angels” seems to fit in splendidly. Admittedly, the Angels have been around for over four decades. Their plots to rid the world of crime and conspiracies began in 1976 with an ABC television show that led to two feature films in 2000 and 2003 with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu playing the Angels. With the most angelic of expressions, they gave a hard time to law-breakers — punching and kicking their way to success. But a television reboot in 2011 of the franchise was ripped apart. So, it must have taken enormous guts for Elizabeth Banks to write, produce and act in the latest version, alongside Kristin Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska.

The Angels receive a tough assignment — neutralizing a device called Calisto, an environmentally friendly energy source that, in the wrong hands, could cause immense destruction. And when it is discovered that the gadget will be sold to a criminal, Sabina (Stewart), Jane (Balinska) and Elena (Scott) undertake the most perilous of missions.

In a way, the women’s exploits remind you of a James Bond thriller with unbelievable gadgets and car chases. And for all one knows, the Angels may strengthen the case for a female Bond.

But what is most interesting is that Banks refrains from turning her Angels into objects of titillation. Unlike the protagonists in the earlier editions of the franchise who wore revealing clothes and pretended to be ditzy to please their boyfriends (with Diaz famously dancing in skimpy outfits to distract the male gaze in the 2000 movie), Sabina, Jane and Elena do nothing of the sort.

With a budget of around $50 million, Banks has created a movie that will lend itself to several sequels, and shooting mostly in Turkey and Germany, she has also tried to capture an international audience by introducing a Turkish-Muslim character, Fatimah (Marie-Lou Sellem).

Gripping to the core and brilliantly photographed and edited, ultimately this is a movie that does little to objectify women, but also doesn’t force the viewer to think too hard. Easy entertainment for the world of today.


Carrie Underwood and Lucy Liu turn to the Middle East for the Kennedy Center Honors

Underwood opted for her signature nude pout and smoked-out eyes. (Getty)
Updated 1 min 34 sec ago

Carrie Underwood and Lucy Liu turn to the Middle East for the Kennedy Center Honors

  • Carrie Underwood turned to the Lebanese label Fouad Sarkis at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors
  • Underwood stepped out wearing a shimmery, dusty rose gown that boasted long, off-the-shoulder sleeves

DUBAI: It seems that Carrie Underwood has caught the Arab label bug.

Shortly after turning heads at the 2019 Country Music Association Awards wearing an embroidered column gown by Lebanese couturier Elie Madi, the singing sensation turned heads at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday in Washington, D.C., wearing a striking ensemble from another Arab designer. 

The “Love Wins” singer nearly demanded a double take as she stepped out wearing a shimmery, dusty rose gown that boasted long, off-the-shoulder sleeves from Lebanese label Fouad Sarkis, whose lineup of couture gowns have also been spotted on Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor. The princess-worthy dress featured sparkling floral embroidery throughout, which further shone under the lights.

The princess-worthy dress featured sparkling floral embroidery throughout, which further shone under the lights. (Getty)

She completed the show-stopping look with a pair of diamond hoop earrings and matching rings. 

As for her hair and makeup, Underwood opted for her signature nude pout and smoked-out eyes while her sleek hair was tucked behind one ear. 

The 36-year-old joined the likes of Tom Hanks, the Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon Levitt for a celebrity-studded evening packed with musical performances and speakers.

After her dazzling red carpet turn, Underwood took to the stage to pay tribute to American singer Linda Ronstadt with a rendition of Roy Orbison’s 1977 hit "Blue Bayou" followed by a rendition of "When Will I Be Loved."

Lucy Liu also opted for an ensemble by an Arab designer for the evening. (Getty) 

It's been an exciting year for Underwood, who recently released a record-breaking sixth studio album entitled “Cry Pretty” and embarked on a worldwide tour for the album in addition to co-hosting the Country Music Awards for the 12th time and welcoming her second child, a baby boy named Jacob, with her athlete husband Mike Fisher. 

Meanwhile, another guest in attendance at the star-studded event was actress Lucy Liu who also opted for an ensemble by an Arab designer for the evening. 

The “Charlie’s Angels” star made a statement wearing a strapless, clementine-colored gown from Beirut-based designer Georges Chakra. The floral-embellished design boasted an oversized bow on the bodice and long, floor-trailing train that swept behind her as she walked and posed for cameras. 

She completed the look with a set of bold, purple jeweled earrings and a yellow box clutch that featured a metal clasp.