A photo tribute to Naomie Harris’s character, “Selena”, from 28 Days Later.
I saw this movie in the theater when it came out.
Anyhow, I really do think that The Walking Dead took like, pretty much its entire idea/concept from this movie. (I like the comic, but not the show, FYI.)
Anyhow, I think the character of Michonne was derived from Selena’s character (notice the machete and it’s resemblance to Michonne’s katana), but I think Selena’s character was
1. better done, more multi-dimensional
2. more like a real person
3. got a much better run being both “hyperfunctional” AND as a “damsel in distress”
But I *quite* like both characters, and think they’re both absolutely gorgeous. :)
I was thinking about it because BF had never seen 28 Days Later, and so we watched it together the other night. We both noticed how many of the visuals and ideas were “borrowed” from the film in the Walking Dead, including the series opening (waking up in hospital), the zombie apocalypse bring out the worst in humanity rather than the best, et cetera.
Although the 28 Days Later premise of “PETA caused the zombie apocalypse” will always be near and dear to my heart. XD
I ship Michonne and Selena. Katanachete.
^ we have a winner
I don’t watch the walking dead but I really did like Selena’s character and the way it all played out. She was strong and independent but also obviously scared and vulnerable and she was allowed to show that.
I haven’t seen either, as these kinds of shows/movies are a little upsetting to me, but every time I see someone post about Michonne, I want to try to brave the blood-scenes to see her in action.
I’m just gonna jump on in here and say I disagree with this. The reason why is because Selena was an excellent character up until the end, and the end is why I hate the movie 28 Days Later.
It was an incredible, wonderful movie up until the point where the 9th Doctor came along and suddenly it turned into Cillian Murphy saving the day by killing military dudes in order to save poor Selena who as soon as she fell in love with Cillian’s character, became a fucking helpless little flower petal.
It was sickening to see this really wonderful character taken down to nothing more than a damsel in distress when up until that point, she had survived alone for so long. Suddenly, after she gets with Cillian, she can’t do it anymore? How shitty is that? There’s a difference between being vulnerable and scared, and being a princess in a tower waiting for your white knight.
That whole ending was just a really shitty ending, and that’s why I thought 28 Weeks Later was a million times better than the prior one.
Meanwhile, even if I haven’t read the comics, I can say that Michonne is a badass through and through. If she falls in love, I’d like to see her stay that same badass. Falling in love with a person isn’t supposed to change your character so significantly, and the implication that she just couldn’t do anything anymore after she fell in love with Cillian really upset me to the point of turning off the movie the second Cillian got shirtless and started going on his dumb little revenge killing spree. It went from a ‘zombie’ movie to a masculine power fantasy.
I would love, love, love to see more characters that are allowed to stay the characters they are after they fall in love and stay incredible. There’s nothing wrong with being a helpless little flower petal, and there’s nothing wrong with being a total badass. The problem I have was that it was a sudden, uncalled for change.
So far, the only time I’ve seen this sort of ‘falling in love and not changing who you are’ sort of thing is in the book versions of Howl’s Moving Castle. The movie really fucked that part over but we’re not gonna go into that because that’s a whole nother can of worms, but regardless.
Relationships do not change a person so drastically. If you want to portray a love story, the way a healthy and real love story should be, is that a relationship should affect the characters in ways that they both balance each other out and change little things about each other. Sometimes major changes happen. But they never, ever come right out of the blue. If you don’t have the time to develop that, or you don’t feel like it’s necessary to see that, then you probably shouldn’t have a love story in your movie at all.
And I 100% disagree with you. Michonne is very much a comic book character, hyperfunctional, hypervigilant, always competently taking care of business and like you say, always a badass. I love Michonne but she’s not like a real person, because comic books.
And your problem with Selena’s character seems to be grounded in a stereotype about Black women. I’m not happy necessarily comparing two Black women characters as a non-Black woman of color, but this is a HUGE failing of white feminism with CONSTANTLY ERASING how stereotypes about women of color and constructions of specifically WHITE femininity are utterly at odds with each other. Not all women are white, and sexism affects us differently. Representation in media is a part of that and it needs to be addressed.
Let me put it this way.
Cillian Murphy’s character Jim is so paper-thin, ham-handedly constructed and two-dimensional, this is his only function:
The entire movie is really about Selena, why she is the way she is, what she has been through, and why she is loveable, competent, strong when she’s strong, weak when she’s weak, why she responds the way she does, and the way her character progresses and changes through the film makes her a dynamic, realistic character going through unbelievably intense circumstances.
Considering she just spent the first half of the movie throwing molotov cocktails and hacking up “zombies” to protect this guy:
NOW she is trapped, frightened, and really NEEDS “you” to return the favor.
I think expecting this woman, who’s not only understandably traumatized on account of “zombie” apocalypse but also being overtly threatened and imprisoned by fifteen men, while simultaneously PROTECTING A CHILD IN HER CARE SUCCESSFULLY, I might add, to also somehow figure out a way to rescue herself is asking way, wayyyy too much.
*Insert tacit acknowledgement that expecting viewers to identify with a straight white male main character is ubiquitously problematic here because this post is not about them*
I think at this point it’s much more important to ask why you expect Selena’s character to be so very, very “strong”. How does this play into existing tropes about Black women characters, specifically?
Considering one of the comments above is from the url “selfrescuingprincesssociety”, I think it’s excruciatingly important to think about HOW CONSTRUCTIONS OF FEMININITY ARE DIFFERENT ACCORDING TO RACE. Because your problem with Selena’s character is “not feminist enough” because she’s not rejecting a construct of femininity (damsel-in-distress) that she never had access to in the first place!
Instead, you expect her to spend the entire movie rescuing everyone else and never having anyone return the favor?
You say this right out:
It was sickening to see this really wonderful character taken down to nothing more than a damsel in distress when up until that point, she had survived alone for so long. Suddenly, after she gets with Cillian, she can’t do it anymore?
The emphasis is yours. Why should she be alone? That’s the whole point, WHY would she WANT to be alone??? EVERYONE SHE KNEW IS DEAD. SHE WAS A PHARMACIST. SHE’S A REGULAR PERSON TRYING TO SURVIVE.
You also say:
There’s nothing wrong with being a helpless little flower petal, and there’s nothing wrong with being a total badass. The problem I have was that it was a sudden, uncalled for change.
The definition of a dynamic character is one who changes during the course of the narrative. Seriously, there are books about this.
Michonne is a total badass. She is a static character.
Selena is a dynamic character. SHE CAN HAVE IT ALL. She is BOTH the “wilting flower” and the “total badass”. Naomie Harris gives us every single emotion, all three dimensions, incredible heroics, quiet, sad heroics, tender vulnerability and a longing that everyone can identify with-she doesn’t HAVE to be alone. She is loveable for everything she is.