Katie blogged about this a little after we talked about it on Twitter, but I just love the idea that maybe Red Riding Hood is the wolf in Catherine Hardwicke’s adaptation. I don’t know that it’s directly implied, and some scenes imply that she’s bait, and that the wolf is a separate entity. But the site of her in that mask, wrapped in bloody red, and the nasty little whisper of “you’re going to get what you deserve,” suggests that she’s at least siding with the forces of darkness:
I think one thing that most movies set in the semi-Medieval through Victorian eras don’t really get at is the absolute horror of arranged marriages. Sure, sometimes they worked out, and you ended up with someone you’d come to love, or at least live companionably with. But can you imagine being married off to someone forty or fifty years older than you? Someone who had absolutely no interest in you except for raping you? Who ignored you altogether? Who physically abused you? And all in a world where there were no resources you, much less any concept of choice in the matter?
I can’t, really, and I imagine most contemporary writers can’t either. And if you’re going to fictionally confront forced marriages in art, you’re inevitably going to confront a whole ugly range of other issues of violence against women. If you’re going to make a fairy tale, I can see why you wouldn’t want to confront all of that at once—and I don’t think every movie has an obligation to be an act of politically advocacy, however important the combined weight of continued advocacy is. But I do like a movie that finds a metaphor for that rage, finds a realistic, fairy-tale way for a woman to tear her world apart.