Girl power to the max

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey take on the big screen


Photo by Peyton Sims


Story by Andrea Loredo, staff writer

“You know what a harlequin is? A harlequin’s role is to serve. It’s nothing without a master.” These are the first lines of the initial “Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” trailer. These words are said by Harley Quinn herself. And she believes them, until she’s proved wrong. 

Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Rosie Perez (Renne Montoya), Ella Jay Basco (Cassandra Cain), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Huntress) and Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Black Canary) have taken over Gotham City, as well as the big screen. There are also two male leads, Ewan McGregor (Black Mask, or Roman Sionis) and Chris Messina (Victor Zsasz), who play the villains of the movie.

The movie screams female empowerment not only on screen, but also in its closing credits. Director Cathy Yan is the first Chinese-American woman to direct a major Hollywood superhero crime/action movie. This follows her breakout film in 2018, “Dead Pigs.”

Working with Yan, the movie’s screenwriter was Christina Hodson. Hodson was also the screenwriter for the 2018 “Bumblebee”.  Along with them was costume designer Erin Benach, who had also worked on costumes for movies like “A Star is Born” and “The Light Between Oceans.”

With an 85% on the Tomatometer, it is no surprise that fans were thrilled to see Harley Quinn’s return to the big screen along with new female vigilantes.

While one recurring topic of the movie is Harley Quinn’s breakup with the Joker, the movie also highlights Quinn’s path to growth and independence. The movie follows the journey of Harley proving to herself and the entirety of Gotham City that she is no longer “Property of the Joker.”

Harley joins forces with a singer, Black Canary, an assassin, Huntress, and a cop, Renee Montoya. She joins forces to protect Cain from Black Mask and Victor Zsasz after Cain “accidentally” steals a diamond from Roman.

The women must work together to not only protect Cain and each other. Using Black Canary’s insight into Romans operations, Montoya’s intelligence and detective work, Huntress’s natural ability to assassinate, and Harley Quinn’s craziness they must work together to not only survive but win in a city ruled by men. 

The overall movie features strong female leads coming left, right, up, down, and every other way possible. The movie is sure to inspire some to take on the world and make it their own, and to not be afraid to reach outside their comfort zone.