“Cuties” has garnered all the controversies and backlash in the past one month since it's trailer and poster was released. People have accused the film of spreading pedophilia and are asking to boycott the film (also Netflix). In a recent interview, film director, Maïmouna Doucouré described the film as "a deeply feminist film with an activist message," read the interview here.
Since the film is available to watch on Netflix, I decided to watch it and see if the film is what the critics are saying or it's the audience that is right. First of all let me tell you that, I know everything about the controversies related to the film and Moviesr.net was the first website to write an article when the film's poster was released. I am not going to judge the film based on acting skills as they were great but I will be judging only on the content and story.
The films' leading character is 11 years old Amy (played by Fathia Youssouf) from a protective and traditional Muslim family. Amy is very attracted to a dance group called "Cuties" at her school as she started watching them on social media as well as their dance practice. All the other members of the dance group are of almost Amy's age, and they are all girls.
Amy started sneaking on Cuties dance practices, and this is how she met Angelica, who is also a dancer in this group. Amy began to make a good connection with her, and they became friends. When one member from their team left after a fight, Amy joined the group as a replacement and started practicing and dancing with them.
The conversation between Amy and Angelica about getting likes on social media and getting popular, no way relates to 11-year-olds. Here they see a video of another dance group that was viral on the internet, the scene has a girl in the video who flashed her breast (accidentally). I can understand this conversation and its importance if these are teenagers talking, but here, these are just kids.
The scene above is just one among many that are highly unnecessary and shouldn't have been there in a movie that directly involves kids. I can understand if a film highlights some serious problems like Sex trafficking with the help of young kids, but in this case, the involvement of kids is just unnecessary.
The dance group of young girls (11-year kids) is presented as a group of sluts (apologies if I am using the wrong word, but this is how I felt about it). As the story progresses, the dance-group becomes more and more sluttier. The way these girls are shown, there is no way anyone can take their side.
The director says that she wants to give a message of activism through this film, but the film goes in a completely different direction. In fact, the film gives a very wrong message that parents should never give any freedom to their kids, especially to the girls.
The film demolishes all the hard work done by activists over the years to bring gender equality.
However, the accusation of spreading pedophilia is also not correct. This film is just an example of sending the wrong message to an already protective society to which the film quietly appeals not to let kids or teenagers use social media or even mobile phones.
I am very sure that 11 is not an age of maturity anywhere in this world, so the logic of showing the kids thinking of sex does not stand, and neither it's acceptable.The film has 16+ certification, that is a bit bizarre since it involves kids in the leading roles.
In the end, the film is an unnecessary piece of work that gives a blow to the work done by many activists who have encouraged the society to break the shackles and treat their girls equally to the boys, send them to schools, and break the traditions.
No Ratings for Cuties.
My Clarification on this Review: (updated 09/15/2020)
In Europe or U.S., it might be happening that 11-year-olds are uploading dance videos and other things on social media, but this film shows a girl from a conservative Muslim family, and that is why I am calling it unnecessary. Most of the Muslim families are way more protective, especially related to their girls. so this film is not going to help anyone from the community to break the tradition. In a way, if conservative parents realize these things, they will try to put more restrictions on their daughter.So, my main problem is not only with the age but also the generalization of it because the western or European culture may think this is going overboard, but other countries are still trying to break those cultural barriers.
Reviewed by : Bradley
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