Review: 'Assassination Nation' Is Feminist Rage Personified

Review: 'Assassination Nation' Is  Feminist Rage Personified

Women are tired of taking sh*t from men.

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In Sam Levinson's new film Assassination Nation, Lilly, Em, Sarah, and Bex are four teenaged high school girls so in love with themselves and obsessed with social media they ignore the world around them. Their hometown of Salem has lost its f**king mind. This is why, when the sh*t hits the fan, they have no time to prepare for the onslaught of violence coming their way. Within the first two minutes, there is a huge trigger warning flooded with multiple triggers, and the film delivers on them all. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a satirical comedy. There is nothing funny about what these young women endure.

Lily (Odessa Young), Bex (Hari Nef), Sarah (Suki Waterhouse), Em (Abra) are like so many youngsters of their generation. They seek social media fame, love, makeup, smoking weed, and love flirting with people twice their age. Lily is the leader of the group but doesn't trust her coven of friends enough to tell them she's been sexting the next door neighbor Nick (Joel Mchale). Things go wrong for the group when a 4chan script kiddies begin hacking into the phones of prominent figures in the Salem community.


Photo via BRON STUDIOS

Exposed as a gay crossdresser, the town mayor has his pictures leaked. Next, naked photos of the high school principal's daughter emerge, and the town labels him a pedophile. Salem soon spirals into paranoia as ordinary citizens suddenly find their text messages and private picture galleries are shared with everyone. Local police trace the suspicious activity back to Lily's house. From there, a slow tension builds, and the deluge of deadly hysteria hits the audience like a freight train and doesn't slow down for sixty minutes.

The film is more accessible if the characters are thought of as personifications of the different personalities of those who navigate the internet. Women receive the most abuse online no matter what intersectional crossroad they stand on; however, the main issue is social media can cause people to go nuts with call-out culture, which has become the norm.Writer/director Sam Levinson knows how to write empowering dialogue. Every actress has at least one monologue that is poignant, culturally relevant, and tailored to each character's personality. I found myself agreeing with their logic most of the time. Bravo to Levinson for making the women smart, capable, and self-reliant. Also, it is refreshing to see queer actors in roles where their identity is a non-issue, as actress Hari Nef is one of the leading heroes in Salem's feminist revolution.

Photo via BRON STUDIOS

Assassination Nation isn't perfect. The last shot is the young women of Salem joining the four main heroes on the street in a great show of solidarity among women. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the desired impact and is anti-climactic. After all that's happened on the streets of Salem, no one is coming outside to join this makeshift revolution weaponless and in their pajamas.

There could have been a bit more inclusion among the leads. White and black women aren't the only ones who receive online harassment, experience doxxing, and worse.

But what the film does, it does fairly well. Assassination Nation puts extreme toxic masculinity on display—and shows what can happen when men have too much control. In the time of #TimesUp and #MeToo, it is women who are at the forefront of change. For the women of Salem to live, they must rise and take back their power. But, it makes you wonder: can't we all just get along in this technologically advanced society? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: women are tired of taking sh*t from men.

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2018 Was The First Year That I Felt Alive And 2019 Is Going To Be Even Better

There is a difference between living and existing.

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I'm 19 years old and for most of my life I have been existing. My existence is not something that I was aware of until I really started living. At the end of 2017 I completely ruined my life, my life was falling apart and I was just standing by watching. I knew that I had to get out of the life that I was living and start a new one; so before 2018 ever started I started to fix myself. 2018 has been the hardest year of my life as far as work, all I have done is work on myself.

I have learned so much about myself and the people that I choose to surround myself with in the past year. In one year, I have completely torn myself down and built a new person. I've been in countless therapy sessions, with doctors and with friends. I've permanently cut people out of my life, gained new people that I will never lose, started an amazing relationship with the most amazing woman, and realized who I truly am. Let me just start by saying this: therapy works. Paying people to listen to your problems is the best invention ever and I swear to god that I will support it until the day I die.

I've had to cut people out of my life and that's been hard and easy at the same time. I haven't spoken to someone in over a year that is extremely toxic to me. This is the most comforting feeling in the world. Knowing that I have the power to control who is in my life is so powerful. I've also come to realize that if someone is toxic or they have toxic traits, they have to go- immediately. I don't have room in my life for toxic people especially when I am trying to grow.

My relationship has also helped me grow. I have never been in a relationship that has helped me grow. This relationship is the thing I needed, it's like I could only go so far on my own as far as growth and then Ciara came along and has helped me grow in ways that I couldn't on my own. Ciara has taught me how to be a better person and a kinder person, she's also taught me how to love in ways that I didn't know were possible.

My relationship with myself has grown the most in the past year. This past year I have learned so fucking much about myself. I am finally living my truth and not hiding anymore. It's taken a lot of courage and strength to become who I truly am and who I'm supposed to be. The process of living my truth has been a hard one, but it's been an amazing journey.

For the first time in my life I'm excited to live another year. 2019 is going to be the best year of my life. I have so many big plans for this year that are only going to help me grow even more than I already have. Granted, I'm not a perfect person nor will I ever be, but I am so much better off than I was two years ago.

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