Frida by Julie Taymor Movie Review


Frida by Julie Taymor is a biographical drama film that portrays both the private and professional life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The main character, Frida Kahlo, was passionate and full of energy until she unexpectedly suffered a traumatic accident at an adolescent age. Her life was full of severe pain and grievances, but despite being bedridden, Frida demonstrated her perseverance and will to return to a normal life. The film focuses on the life struggle of various social classes, feminist ideas, and revolutionary movements in Mexico. Women, in particular, were the ones who had lived through these struggles. Therefore, this lifestyle was no different for the women of Mexico, except for Frida Kahlo. Frida refused to accept the social norms in society, and thus, she engaged in activities that rarely included feminine participants. She found herself involved in the controversial area of politics. She was promiscuous with men and women, painted pictures of herself in ways that had never been done before, and wore the clothes of her people as opposed to the current trends. The life that Frida lived made her one of the most prominent women of the 20th century. The director, Julie Taymor, uses the symbolism of her actions to demonstrate how Frida was not anxious to reveal her true colors.

One of my reactions to the movie was around gender bias, specifically in politics. It displayed a familiar stereotype that does not merely happen in the film but also in our world today. As the movie showed, political activities were for males only, and rarely any females participated. Many thought it was overly complicated for them. However, Frida overcame this stereotype and immersed herself in the inner circles of various politicians in Mexico. Unlike most females, she engaged herself in politics and strongly believed in her opinions, which showed her boldness. She was unafraid of what others thought about her, nor did she care about how politics was "strictly males" only. Frida also associated herself with the Communist party and shared the views of other Communists. She associated herself with Communism, even though this political view was frowned upon during this period. Throughout the film, her political involvement is evident, and she is unafraid to express her thoughts regarding politics or anything else. Frida represented an example of how women can overcome the stereotypes against them no matter what anyone says.

I think that this film also heavily focused on the societal norms surrounding one's sexuality. In many cultures, you would merely be expected to fall in love with the opposite gender. Females would be with males and vice versa. However, in the film, Frida was curious about her sexuality and was attracted to both genders. Today, this behavior would be called bisexual. This type of behavior was unlike the others, and many perceived someone like this as different in these times. However, Frida did not care how others thought of her actions and how she was viewed by society. I feel that this movie also reveals the many stereotypes against bisexual people. As shown in the film and our world today, bisexual people are promiscuous or more likely to cheat on their partners. Bisexual people have also been excluded during conversations on LGBTQ issues such as societal acceptance. I enjoyed the way that Taymor portrayed Frida as a promiscuous and sexually curious woman in the movie. She did not hesitate to present her true colors, instead of concealing them altogether. Taymor used the film as an outlet to portray how Frida was promiscuous, despite that this behavior was highly disapproved of in society.

The actions of Frida have advised me how to be unafraid of being the real you. Frida wore bright colored clothes to express she is unique from everyone else. She was content with who she was and was unafraid to dress based on her culture. Although Frida lived in a world where women lived in the shadows, she rose above these struggles to be an independent individual. The director portrays Frida in a way that reveals her to be the independent woman that she was. I can admit that other females and myself have trouble displaying who we genuinely are. The societal norms that women face make us feel as though we need to follow them. We have to follow various rules like behaving a certain way, so we are not perceived differently. These norms hold us back because females cannot display their real personalities. It is also extremely challenging to live up to these standards. The resilience Frida shows towards these so-called rules is inspiring to all of us. We can use her as an example for our lives, to be unafraid of being judged. I love that she is not terrified of what others say about her. She merely behaves the way she wants to and is very carefree as well. This use of symbolism in the film portrayed the life of Frida accurately, and the audience can perceive her in the way she wanted.

I would recommend the film to others. The life experiences of Frida contributed to her successes as an artist during the 20th century. Not only was she influential as an artist, but she was empowered through the various societal norms women faced during the time. Her character displayed true resilience and perseverance even though she was bedridden. The film illustrates how one can overcome the stereotypes, despite what anyone says.

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