On-screen Femme Fatales: How a Good Girl Becomes Lethal

She is the embodiment of mystery. She has this inexplicable allure and is seductive, sensual and enchanting. But all of this comes at a cost. Her intentions are not necessarily noble. She can entrap her lover and lead him into precarious situations that often have difficult escape routes. She is the femme fatale. A femme fatale is an archetypal character who has the aforementioned qualities and is often portrayed in literature, art and cinema. In cinema, she has evolved continually since inception. We present you some extraordinary femme fatales who have dominated the silver screen and the imagination of millions.

Amy Dunne in Gone Girl

Amy Elliot Dunne (played by Rosamund Pike) is a master of manipulation. She is a writer like her husband and constantly lives under the shadow of perfection of the fictitious Amazing Amy created by her parents. There has been little debate about the performance of Pike as Amy. She efficiently makes every aspect of the character credible; be it the anguished girl who apparently hasn’t lived up to her parents’ expectations, or the cold-blooded wife who goes to unimaginable lengths to execute her elaborate revenge plan. The reason? Her husband’s infidelity. This character evokes a range of emotions in the viewer; at times you pity her, at others you are scared of her and sometimes her thought process bewilders you. It is difficult to tell what she is thinking at a certain instant, which makes it even more interesting for the viewer.

Matty Tyler Walker in Body Heat

Matty Tyler used to be a good kid. Then she grew up and learnt about things like money, affairs and murder. But wait, Matty doesn’t want all of these She doesn’t even know anything about these things. Confused? Mary isn’t. Because this is exactly what she wants. Mary was Matty’s childhood friend and she now uses her identity to do things inexplicable. She wants to kill her husband for money. She wants to kill the guy who killed her husband at her insistence. Kathleen Turner has not impressed her audience more. She essays the role of Matty/ Mary with  confidence and the plot’s build-up works well in her favor.

Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction

Alex Forrest is an ambitious woman. She is smart, intellectual and a successful editor of a publishing company. When she sets her eye on something, she will leave no stone unturned to get it for herself. Her beauty is a paradox. The curly blonde hair, high cheekbones and blue eyes make her look drop dead gorgeous but can also be fear-inducing at times. Glenn Close has portrayed the character to perfection in Fatal Attraction. In the first few scenes, she is at her charming best. There is no way to discern her hidden insanity. But as the plot progresses so does the madness of her character along with the interest of the viewer.

Julia in Original Sin

Julia is the ‘perfect’ wife. She is passionate, caring and understanding. She is also beautiful. However, she is a little secret. She is not exactly who she claims to be. She can make you believe in things that dod not exist. For example, herself. Give Angelina Jolie a role to essay and there is little chance she won’t do justice to it. She plays Julia whose real name is Bonny and who is compelled to resort to do wrong, with absolute panache. Switching from a gorgeous, seductive Julia to a timid, broken Bonny requires talent and timing, which Jolie undoubtedly shows.

Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct

Catherine Tramell intrigues one and all. She is attractive, is a coveted crime novelist, has a double major in psychology and literature and has always been rich. She inherited 110 million dollars after her parents’ death in a boat accident. She has quite the lifestyle. She has developed a hobby of killing every man she gets involved with. And now it is detective and current love interest Nick Curran’s turn. Sharon Stone is one actor who is the perfect chameleon. She can effectively mould herself into any character. So much so, that her portrayal of Catherine Tramell remains inimitable and one of her best performances till date. For, which other psychopath can be so irresistibly gorgeous and a brutal killer at the same time?

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