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Ocean’s 8 and female empowerment

Featuring a star-studded cast of Hollywood’s top actresses, Ocean’s 8 is the all-female take on the Ocean’s series inspired by the male-dominated 1960s Rat Pack film of the same name. Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, the sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, who headlines the previous three Ocean’s movies.

Ocean’s 8 follows Debbie as she tries to pull off the largest jewel heist of the 21st century with the help of seven accomplices. After its release, the movie received mixed reviews. While some have praised the movie for its strong female cast and message of female empowerment, others have felt the movie lacked an exciting plot and couldn’t compare to the original Ocean’s 11. For those that missed the movie while in cinemas, Ocean’s 8 is available to watch on the streaming platform CHILI.

Some of Hollywood’s most famous female stars act alongside Bullock to execute the heist her character has been plotting during her five-year jail sentence. Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Rihanna all make up the movie’s incredible cast and contribute to the well-executed plot featuring female crime gangs. The movie’s cast is in fact highly refreshing, highlighting the lack of female lead movies involving heists in Hollywood. Ocean’s 8 cast and plot brings a newness to theatres, and while some may have criticised the plot for being “bland”, the lack of slip-ups by the lead characters demonstrates just that women are much smarter than society gives them credit for.

While some critics may have also viewed the movie as an opportunity to showcase fabulous gowns, others picked up the not-so-subtle and very important message surrounding female empowerment. The movie calls out ingrained gender expectations when Bullock’s character states that an all-female gang is certain to get away with the heist as women attract less attention in society than men. The movie then reminds viewers that women are capable of great destruction: the movie in fact highlights how during the Met Gala, the women are ignored by security guards and waiters which allows them to cause chaos and steal the jewels unnoticed.

The movie also touches upon feminism and the #metoo and #timesup movements as Bullock’s character also manages to get back at the man who unjustly sent her to jail. By showcasing an unexpected criminal girl gang and touching upon female empowerment, Ocean’s 8 is the 21st century masterpiece that Hollywood and its fans needed. The movie is a breath of fresh air, not only calling out every day gender stereotypes but also pointing out a male dominated lineage of heist movies.