Everything that is wrong with the Netflix movie, CUTIES
So I watched CUTIES. I saw the trailer on Twitter, on the day #CancelNetflix was trending and I was extremely appalled. And then I read mixed reviews — some people said “it should be banned”, while others said “it wasn’t that bad”, so I thought I’d watch it — for research purposes.
Cuties (French: Mignonnes) is a 2020 French coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Maïmouna Doucouré in her feature directorial debut. The film stars Fathia Youssouf, Médina El Aidi-Azouni, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas and Maïmouna Gueye. It is the story of eleven year old Amy, who starts to rebel against her conservative family’s traditions when she becomes fascinated with a free spirited dance crew.
So the main character, Amy joins a new school, she makes a new friend and then joins a dance group. She learns how to dance by watching them and practising the moves, then she becomes a master and teaches them more sexual moves to get them into a dance competition. Guess what? Adult judges watched children twerk and let them into a dance competition [no surprises there].
At the same time, Amy is having family problems. Her father has just taken a new wife. Her mother is devastated that her husband has taken a new wife and she is being forced to plan the wedding because — first wife!
So after she joins the dance group, she starts fighting at school, taking naked pictures, trying to seduce older men, and basically starts acting out of character for “a good Muslim girl”. Then Amy performs her sexual dancing with the “Cuties” in public, they get boo-ed off stage, she cries, goes back to her mother, and the film ends! Ummm okay!
They tried to make her family issues the reason why she was acting rebellious and doing all the sexy dancing. Why the heck did they think that sexualising children was okay? In the movie, they were supposed to be 11 years old, in real life the kid actors are between 11–13 years old! I mean, what ever happened to the good oul have a crush on a boy, kiss and move on. Why did they have to be half naked and dance sexually, for the pleasure of who exactly? Can kids even watch this? I feel like the message could have been communicated in so many other ways.
If it had a better storyline, it may have been acceptable but I really didn’t see a reason for children to be that way on screen. It’s supposed to be about children imitating what they see on the internet, a child trying to fit into two cultures [African + European], and anti child sexualisation but is fully about sexualisation without a clear justification. The director claims she did some research by asking pre-teens how they felt about their own femininity and how they dealt with self image in the time of social media. I think this could have been communicated in a different way than how it was portrayed in the film, as I’m not really sure what message was passed through exactly!
I’m just annoyed that they played a Yemi Alade song in this film!
In conclusion, the film was extremely uncomfortable to watch. But I did it for you, so you don’t have to. Thank me later. 1/10 rating.