Thor: The Dark World is still two weeks away from its American release, but already the film is delving out of blockbuster territory and into a much touchier subject — domestic violence.
In the movie, Natalie Portman reprises her role as scientist Jane Foster, and in one scene gives the mythical superhero (played by Chris Hemsworth) a slap in the face. In an interview this week, Portman said she channeled her inner angry woman for the slap, which was delivered in a vengeful manner onscreen.
“You hear all these stories about guys and it’s just good to get a nice on-screen slap like ‘you didn’t call me back.,’ ” Portman said.
On set, the Thor slap ended up being something of a joke, Hemsworth said.
”It just got really funny and ridiculous you know. It’s like in high school when you’re not meant to laugh,” he said.
But the issue would likely not go over well with domestic violence groups working to de-stigmatize violence against men. This year, a few films have been produced highlighting domestic violence against men and the unspoken stigma that comes with it.
“Gradually, more and more drama is being produced dealing with male victims of domestic violence by women which has been swept under the carpet for many years,” wrote the blog Save Our Society about the new movie, Flawless, that deals with female domestic violence. “This has perpetuated the feminist-inspired myth that all women are gentle creatures who wouldn’t hurt a fly and that all men are violent brutes.”
As these critics point out, if Thor: The Dark World would depict the male actor slapping a woman, it would likely be seen very differently, and certainly not as a joke.
Natalie Portman admitted that Thor isn’t mean to make a point about society or even deliver any kind of deeper message to viewers. It’s just supposed to be fun.
Ms. Portman continued:
”All independent art films aren’t good, all blockbusters aren’t good, and all foreign films aren’t good. There are a few of each that are really great, whether it is for pure entertainment, for something that is going to change your mind about how you see the world or taking you to a place that you haven’t been before.”
Thor: The Dark World will be released in the United States on November 8. Are you planning to see the legendary Asgardian in action when Thor arrives in the theaters?