Birds of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

Without a doubt the person who sells this film is Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. She is the star of the show who holds the whole film together (she does kind of have to be the star as she is the main character and all but still…). Margot Robbie portraying the infamous Harley Quinn is phenomenal, she was brilliant in ‘Suicide Squad’ and again in ‘Birds of Prey’. Her whole character is mesmerising to watch. She snaps from this unhinged villain to a trained psychiatrist during moments of the film which adds depth to her character and comedic contrast. Margot Robbie executes all the excellent elements of Harley Quinn to perfection on screen. Even the way she looks sells the character.

It’s hard to put into words a define plot to this film. This is where I thought it was a little weak and underwhelming. It revolves around Harley Quinn and others soon become significant main characters; including a police detective, a crossbow killer, Black Canary, a young thief and Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor). If you’re a big DC fan or have seen the many other programmes, then the characters would make a lot more sense and reflect your known knowledge of the comics. However, if you’re like me and started watching ‘Arrow’ and got bored, or the first ‘Flash’ episode was too over the top, then you’re just watching for Harley Quinn and the film by itself. The plot then becomes loose which is not really heading anywhere as a lot of character backgrounds suddenly crash into one.

Birds of Prey 2

Basically, Harley Quinn and The Joker have broken up. Harley now realises her protection in Gotham City has been lost and instead she’s wronged a lot of people who now want revenge on her. The way this is shown on screen is so fun and stylistic with bursts of colours and quick flashback explanations. Meanwhile, we follow Roman Sionis (the dominant villain of the movie) in his murderous ways as he searches for a diamond, which becomes lost and hunted for. A crossbow killer is involved in the story too, although her acting wasn’t great. It is kind of random at why Harley is involved in the whole fiasco, but she’s adored on screen, so I didn’t hate it. On the other hand, I don’t like when a supernatural element is randomly chucked in at the end – it does irritate me (you’ll know what I mean when you see the film). Finally, the moment in the trailer of the women banding together is a brilliant fight scene of screen (even if it is right at the end), of course Harley Quinn’s final action-packed scene is perfectly set in an amusement park.

The entire film is narrated by Harley Quinn herself, at times she even looks at the camera to the audience. I did like this stylised choice; however, it is a lot of talking. The narration is throughout the entire film and there isn’t a lot of time without it. It does, again, put Harley Quinn at the centre of the film as she’s telling us the story. Furthermore, towards the beginning of the film, the timeline is not linear, instead it bounces around – the narration is the sole reason for understanding the changes in time.

Birds of Prey 1

Overall, I did enjoy the film. Did I think there would be a stronger plot? Yes. But was it still enjoyable due to Harley Quinn? Yes! I’m not going to say this is a ground-breaking film of cinematic history because it is far from it. Nevertheless, there are a lot of action-packed scenes and empowering women moments; although many of them weren’t Harley’s moments surprisingly. She is funny in her own crazy way and she’s a lot of fun to watch.

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