9 August 2007 | Quinoa1984
thoughts from a grown man about a movie based upon dolls who've spent 100 hours a week at the mall
Let me be clear here first of all: I'm in my twenties, and I saw Bratz, but not for any kind of simple lewd intentions at gawking at sexy teens in gobs of make-up and slutty clothes. My intentions were a little more pure, on a movie-geek level. Or rather, I went in with the expectation that it *would* be a bad movie, and even one that would go to such ridiculous lengths as to be awesomely bad, to the level of something like Ghost Rider, where taking it seriously would provide brain damage, and by not would give some form of entertainment (especially if you have friends to make jokes with during the movie, which for something like Bratz isn't inappropriate to 'ruin' for the rest of the audience). It's a staggering, warped view of high school life, the connections made in 'cliques' and social order, and about the bonding between girls who can't get enough of talking to each other through their web-cams. It also has enough montages to kill a few horses, Jon Voight with not only a prosthetic nose but a statue of his head with the same fake nose, a fluffy dog who gets beauty treatment along with her owner, a mariachi band that lives at the house of the Hispanic girl of the Bratz (and, for some reason, this doesn't seem too out of place, especially when they show up at talent shows), and...Jesus, did I mention the montages?
But for all of this, if one is in the right frame of mind, it's hilarious, even achingly and hysterically, funny material, whether it was intentional or not. Frankly, I'm sure that the filmmakers didn't quite know what they were doing outside of making a big long commercial with the intellectual value of Tropicana fruit punch. But on those levels it almost works at times at looking like an unintentional satire; what is one to make of the symbolism of the heightened security at the high school envisioned by the school emblem and trophies: a hand holding an ax, with little figures holding the axes all over the school in one form or another? It also makes for some ample absurd moments when just seeing the four Bratz having a fight amongst themselves about sticking together or going off into their other interests (naturally, they have only one aptitude a piece, one soccer, one cheer-leading, one science, and one journalism/singing), and as well the diabolical attempts to thwart all of their fun by the nasty, less than one-note daughter of the principle, who goes for a 2nd super sweet sixteen party even after she's turned 16.
Maybe if you're already quite a young girl, seeing this movie might not matter too much in the grand scheme of things as far as real psychological impact. But at the same time if one were to look objectively, Bratz's message is a little scrambled and quite off in any positive aspect. Does one stick with friends or act individualist or, um, like, go into another clique or another table? How about staying fashionable, in the glammed up style that the girls go to lengths to do- leading up to, of course, the Bratz mobile that they walk out of to the climactic talent show- even in the face of peril? It really doesn't serve any artistic integral purpose whatsoever either. So, in the end, it works best as a so-bad-it's-still-bad-but-uproarious treat for those who gorge on works that slip by in pop culture that are so sapped with the vigor of commercialism that to read through the mixed messages would take a pot of coffee and a fine-toothed comb. But along the way, it's got montages, and songs, LOTS of songs- which are, as one might imagine who doesn't listen to Radio Disney, the worst trash possible right now. Brattitude!!