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Theory in Modern Film Production Relevance: ‘Kill Bill 2’


The representation of women in the film industry has been viewed in a dimension of playing specific roles as females, distinct from their male counterparts. Laura Mulvey advanced a theory of narcissistic and voyeuristic scopophilia that has been used on several occasions to explain the phenomenon of female roles as related to the societal social setup. According to Laura, the Hollywood cinema portrayed women as an object of pleasure for men, who through their vision made women be seen as “to-be-looked-at” subjects or simply object of admiration (Mulvey 836). Laura saw this trend to be associated with the ideology of patriarchy, which had men as masculine species better in active roles while their female counterparts were given the passive roles to represent in films.

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She argued that women were made to represent specifically two distinct characters in the films: the first is that who appeals sexually to men, thus became sexually active and the second category is being powerless female stereotyped to represent housewives (Mulvey 839). This theory arose in the 1970s, a period that saw males dominate not only the film industry but many other industries. This essay analyzes how women’s roles have changed in films production and are now playing lead and active roles in action films, concerning ‘Kill Bill 2’ (Bender 2).

The Changing Trend

Laura Mulvey is considered one of the people who kicked off the wave of feminism in the film industry. In this perspective, women fought for their rights and equality in general. Laura argued that the best and only way to eliminate male dominance in Hollywood was to struggle and keep fighting for equality. These calls were beside her theory which had taken over the psychoanalysis of the films about social structure formation.

However, no one would avoid the temptations of doubt that this theory no longer holds, considering the changing trend in the present say films. In recent Hollywood films, a trend has developed where many films produce female protagonists, challenging Laura’s theory. “Kill Bill 2” (Bender 2) is one film that has generally challenged Laura’s theory as women have been represented as playing more active and lead roles, and even goes as far as terrorizing their fellow male actors.

Kill Bill 2

Kill Bill is an action film that has presented women in a different view, subsequently going against Laura Mulvey’s theory that dominated the film industry analysis. In this film, one woman who is represented with extraordinary power is Uma Thurman. Using her samurai sword, Thurman represents a symbol of great power and strength, visibly overpowering the fellow men in the cast. Traditionally, as represented by Laura Mulvey, women would be expected to play the weak character, always being assisted and supported even in the simplest responsibilities in films. However, Thurman is strong and possesses great power which helps her dominate the ill-equipped men. In the cast, Thurman is represented in the film as one woman who has adopted a negative trait of violence where her sole intention is to kill, a role traditionally associated with male characters.

However, there are some aspects of the film that could be seen to have conformed to or justified this theory of narcissistic and voyeuristic scopophilia advanced by Laura Mulvey. In the film, Thurman is also seen as one who is on the verge of seeking revenge on her family, thus justifying part of the theory that outlines that women are usually obsessed with emotions and highly attached to family matters. Uma Thurman’s immense power and dominance notwithstanding, her outfit exposes men’s voyeuristic pleasures as she goes round in tight and sometimes seductive dressings. This allows male viewers to objectify the main character in Thurman, that is, enjoy the scene of an attractive woman with sex appeal, despite being in the killing rampage. In this aspect, it supports Laura Mulvey’s argument that Hollywood films are always produced from the male point of view, which portrays an assumption that the audience is male (Mulvey 835). However, it is apparent that Thurman is a male protagonist, with her ability to do things traditionally associated with male characters.


In the recent past, women have been seen progressing in the film industry, managing to play the role of the sole protagonist with independent thoughts and intentions, in addition to taking specific roles alongside men in equal measure. It is also possible to argue that women have taken lead roles in various films, adopting more man-like character traits, leading to more gender equality in terms of representation in the Hollywood casts. This clearly shows that women have begun to take roles that visibly dominate over male counterparts, if not putting them at equal measure in various casts in the film industry. Kill Bills Vol.2 is one film that has represented the real revolution in Hollywood, with virtually all the main casts being female characters, with the ability to perform duties and roles that have been a traditionally male domain, and more importantly, still maintain their femininity.

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Works Cited

Bender, Lawrence. “Kill Bill 2”. 2004. Web.

Mulvey, Laura. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. New York. Oxford UP, 1999: 833-44. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 22). Theory in Modern Film Production Relevance: ‘Kill Bill 2’.

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"Theory in Modern Film Production Relevance: ‘Kill Bill 2’." StudyCorgi, 22 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Theory in Modern Film Production Relevance: ‘Kill Bill 2’." December 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Theory in Modern Film Production Relevance: ‘Kill Bill 2’." December 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Theory in Modern Film Production Relevance: ‘Kill Bill 2’." December 22, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Theory in Modern Film Production Relevance: ‘Kill Bill 2’'. 22 December.

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