After the long hiatus in its running career, Marvel Studios reopened its way on the big screen with Black Widow – 87%, a film that, although part of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, takes place after Captain America: Civil War – 90% and before Avengers: Infinity War – 79%. The film explores in more depth the past of Natasha Romanoff, of whom very little had been seen since her first appearance in Iron Man 2 – 72% in 2010.
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On this occasion, the protagonist has the opportunity to say goodbye to the MCU not only presenting her origin, but also giving place to those who saw her grow up and her thirst for revenge towards those who led her to the world of murderers and spies. The issue that is put on the table is the exploitation of women, in this case presenting the fact of how they train them since they were children, depriving them of their freedom and even with physically and emotionally painful training.
One of the key situations is how black widows are brainwashed to be used as weapons protecting who is behind all this, so Natasha and Yelena (Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh) seek to confront him to free all the spies that are under his command. But this meeting brings a shocking climax full of violence where Romanoff lives one of the worst attacks. The following lines will have important spoilers.
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Right in the middle of the story, the protagonist confronts Dreykov to destroy the program with which he manages all the widows, but he uses a pheromone shield that prevents Natasha, or any other of his victims, from trying to attack him. Empowered by seeing the protagonist vulnerable, the character played by Ray Winstone beats her to death, and despite that she continues to provoke him until he breaks his nose to face him.
Eric Pearson, the film’s screenwriter, spoke on the podcast Phase Zero (from ComicBook) about this particular scene and how difficult it was to write it because it made the character look so weak. But what motivated him was to think that it was all part of the plan and Natasha was actually manipulating Dreykov.
I spoke a lot with [la directora] Cate Shortland, Scarlett, Kevin [Feige] and Brian [Chapek] about our intentions with the songs and all that. Cate and Scarlett especially wanted this to be a clear message against misogyny, against oppression, against control of women’s bodies. But also for pure logistics, the script or the story had a bit of atmosphere for the group to be together again. Just because of that, and also because of the nature that Dreykov is this secret enemy in the shadows, he cannot be in the field. It has to be hidden so we can’t really see it until the third act, plus some flashbacks.
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The writer pointed out that this moment is taken from a particular comic where Black Widow can be seen stronger than ever, said comic is Black Widow vol. 3 #6 from Marvel Knights released in 2004, and although Dreykov does not appear here but another villain with the same pheromone shield, the protagonist uses exactly the same technique of breaking her nose to attack him.
Pearson also commented that although the scene was difficult to make, it was necessary to elevate the protagonist and get the audience to repudiate the villain and make the message get through more clearly. In the middle of the realization, in the words of the writer, it was difficult for him to see that moment, but he constantly repeated that it was a necessary scene and that Romanoff had everything under control.
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Black Widow Writer Talks About The Impact Of The Movie’s Most Misogynistic Moment