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.

Elvis Presley’s only grandson dies aged 27

Updated 24 min 14 sec ago

Elvis Presley’s only grandson dies aged 27

LOS ANGELES: A little-known member of one of rock ‘n’ roll music’s royal families, Benjamin Keough, grandson of the late Elvis Presley and only son of the “The King’s” daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has died aged 27, her spokesman said on Sunday.

There was no immediate word from authorities on the circumstances or timing of Keough’s death. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed only that the death of an individual of his name and age was under investigation.

Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, celebrity news website TMZ said Keough had taken his own life on Sunday in Calabasas, California, a community northwest of Los Angeles. That information could not be independently verified.

Keough was the younger of the two children Lisa Marie Presley had by her first husband, musician Danny Keough, before their divorce in 1994. The other is actress Riley Keough, 31.

Presley, 52, singer-songwriter in her own right, also has twin 11-year-old daughters with her fourth husband, musician-producer Michael Lockwood, whom she wed in 2006 after two brief marriages, to pop star Michael Jackson and actor Nicolas Cage.

She is the only offspring of rock pioneer Presley, by his marriage to actress Priscilla Presley.

Lisa Marie Presley’s only son, who kept a low public profile, bore an uncanny resemblance to his grandfather, widely acclaimed as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” who died in 1977.


Flashback!!!! Backstage with Ben @opry on

A post shared by Lisa Marie Presley (@lisampresley) on

“She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated, but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter Riley,” Roger Widynowksi, a spokesman for Lisa Marie Presley’s manager, said in a statement.

“She adored that boy. He was the love of her life.”

Her close relationship to her son, whose middle name was Storm, was reported to have inspired the title track she wrote for her third album, “Storm & Grace,” released in 2012.

One of the last times he was seen in public with the family, according to TMZ, was during a vigil at Graceland for the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.

Benjamin Keough was himself a musician who struck a record deal and had earned a couple of acting credits in his burgeoning career, TMZ added.