I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want from the Kingsman sequel (too much), but here’s a dream theme:
At the end of the first film, we saw Eggsy seems to have it all: a new house and life for his family, an exciting job of being part of an independent spy organization, fancy clothes and gadgets and gizmos, and even a princess.
But is he happy? Truly happy?
The second film starts with Eggsy being the archetypal male spy: drinking martinis and whiskey and gin bitters, roaming around parties with a smirk on his face, blowing up buildings, kicking ass and taking names, flirting and bedding attractive ladies, and just being a damn cliche. He does everything with a cheeky one-liner and a wink, and comes back to an empty house and a workplace that is still pretty elitist and there are about…four people who genuinely like him as a person.
Michelle’s worried because she sees all the injuries Eggsy’s accumulating, but doesn’t quite know how to confront him about it; Roxy tries to get Eggsy to see what he’s doing to himself; and Merlin knows his agent is going to crash, but Kingsman can’t really afford to have an agent out of commission, even months after V-Day. Besides, Eggsy is the perfect gentleman spy: cool under fire, deadly and quick, and really, if he gets the job done, who can call him on it?
And then Kingsman goes to shit.
In America, in Kentucky—both the home base of the Statesman and where Harry got shot—Eggsy breaks out of his facade when he has to confront his feelings about Harry’s death. The audience has seen lingering hints of it while Eggsy’s at home—lingering shots of the wall filled with headlines, Eggsy mixing a drink from Harry’s liquor globe, sitting alone in a house, brushing off concerns from his family and friends, looking a bit out of place at the Round Table, taking a look at Mr. Pickle before he goes off to work—but Eggsy just snaps out of his shell and spills what he can to someone who will sit by his side and listen to him.
I just want the Ultimate Deconstruction of James Bond and the Untouchable Spy, okay.
When we are first introduced to Andrew Neiman he is seen wearing white. By the end of the film he is dressed in head-to-toe black. Obviously this can be seen as a symbol for loss of innocence, the more corrupted he becomes. But it can also be seen as Neiman channeling Fletcher’s character, who always appears in complete black when conducting.
Neiman mostly appears in white and shades of blue and green through the film, with this white t-shirt becoming the closet thing to a ‘signature look’ this character has. When he wears a black t-shirt it is with jeans. Even when performing in a black suit he still keeps a white blouse. But the final concert marks the first time the audience sees Neiman in a completely black ensemble, very much in the style of Terence Fletcher. While there is room to point out that black is the most frequently worn colour of concert musicians, the majority of Fletcher’s JVC band retains white somewhere in their stage outfits, while Neiman nonetheless takes the stage in streamlined black, a la Fletcher.
This particular colour progression in film costumes is often an obvious literal metaphor for when a character ‘goes over to the dark side’, and this certainly holds true for Andrew Neiman and his arc. But given how this look is such a noticeably signature choice for Fletcher, the reading can be taken a step further. There has been much debate over the ending of the film, and if it is a victory for Neiman or for Fletcher. But it’s interesting that Neiman was so completely fitted-out like Fletcher. Costuming Neiman explicitly in the style of his conductor shows that he has become a product of Fletcher’s philosophy. And despite a triumphant finish, dressing him like his conductor shows that no matter who cues who, from an audience standpoint, Neiman now represents Fletcher’s methodology, and is a visual extension of Fletcher’s conducting.
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look if you sell your woman-owned, woman-run, independent clothing retailer to a subsidiary of wal-mart, the worst of our capitalist society, you’re gonna get some feedback you might not like.
you can’t claim feminism and then align yourself even slightly with a company known for abysmal worker exploitation, particularly against working moms. A company that has actively worked to destroy small town main street economies for their own bottom line.
yeah we all have to make compromises in our terrible, broken world. but we also have to draw the line somewhere.
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