Opinion: Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad trailer

Over the last week the San Diego Comic Con has been happening and unless you live under a rock, I am sure you would have heard news of both the Batman vs Superman Trailer, and the Suicide Squad Trailer, amongst others. Today I wanted to give my opinion over the Suicide Squad Trailer and more specifically the representation of Harley Quinn in it.

While I dislike Man Of Steel incredibly and am a massive fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I am not against DC in any way, in fact my favourite of all time is a DC film, that being The Dark Knight. So I want to clear that up before I give a pretty daming review of the portrayl of Harley Quinn in this trailer. My overall thoughts on the BvS and Suicide Squad trailers are pretty positive, however while there are some elements that I do not agree with or dislike (Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, crowded nature of BvS, The Joker’s supposed obssesion with pain), though it is the way Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn has been promoted that particulary rubs me the wrong way. This is related to a number of different reasons, however I am only going to try cover one in depth, as I believe it be the key failure and something represeted in the overall film. Hopefully analysing this should which should in turn give a satisfactory indication of my opinion of the overall character.

The basis of Harley Quinn, atleast in my opinion, in the comics is that she is a character that embodies the insanity of The Joker, yet still comes with a bouncy, over the top, comic personality. It is these ideas that both contrast and compare with eachother and allows Quinn to not only be a character that can stand alongside The Joker and other supervillains, but can stand out from the crowd with her funny yet manipulative comments and ideas.

Harley Quinn’s costume as portrayed in the trailer is something that has grown on me. Seeing it in live action it works well to highlight the multiple attitudes she is supposed to possess, a woman that is a master manipulator and incredibly smart, yet still mentally insane. However, while Margot Robbie is obviously doing the best to present the characters comedic side, the material she is given is lackluster, such as her line about hoping The Joker has insurance for the car. It doesn’t come across mildly funny and when juxtaposed among so many shots delivering Quinn as someone insane, such as within the cage, pumping the baseball bat like a gun, the impression is given that Quinn is simply presented in the film as a lunatic.

The question that gets raised when considering this evidence is that within the overall film, will Quinn simply be an exaggeration of the insanity of The Joker or will she be able to stand by herself as an individual character. We are given glimpses of a possible backstory, but none of it is very compelling, and nothing suggests the Quinn we will be presented in anything more than messed up. The shot within the stripper club is indicative of this. Quinn, while supposed to be portrayed in a sexual way, though subtley, seems out of place in such a location, it twists what makes Quinn so likeable as a character, a girl that is incredibly insane and dillusional yet still is not fully defined by this. She has more than one trait, she is bubbly, she is comedic and she is a master of illusions. She presents herself as being vulnerable when in reality she is a master of brutality. There is no indication of this here, only a one dimensional character, which is a little disappointing.

Hopefully as the film gets closer to release in August 2016, more trailers will allow Quinn to become more than just a symbol of insanity, but a character that embodies multiple personalities. Comment below your thoughts and counter opinions.

Jamie

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