The 411 on “The 355”

The 355 was released on Jan. 7th.

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“The 355” was released on Jan. 7th.

Adeline Gruen, Staff Writer

For years, one of the main movie genres has been spy action thrillers; however, these movies rarely have a woman in the leading role. Recently Freckle Films came out with a new all-female lead spy thriller on Jan. 7, 2022 called “The 355.”

“The 355” starts by introducing a device that can hack anything in the world and can therefore give an enormous amount of power to anyone who holds it. CIA agents Mace Brown (Jessica Chastain) and Nick Fowler (Sebastian Stan) are put on the case to find the device but run into trouble with a German operative named Marie Schmidt (Diane Kruger) who is also after the device. Fowler dies while he tries to recover the device, and Brown decides to go rogue in order to avenge him. She recruits a former British intelligence member, Khadijah Adiyeme (Lupita Nyong’o), to help her. They soon team up with Schmidt and a psychiatrist named Graciela Rivera (Penélope Cruz) to find the device and deliver it to the CIA.

The movie scored a 4.8/10 from IMDb and 26% from RottenTomatoes. While the cinematography and acting were well done, what most likely brought the score down is the issue of women’s representation in the movie. Many times in the movie, the audience observed that the heroine bested the male villain. It’s almost like they are trying to push the fact that it’s an all-women team. 

An all-women cast/team can also be seen in many other films such as Marvel’s Endgame when all the female characters show up and The Scarlet Witch says, “don’t worry, she’s got help,” and all the other female characters in the franchise line up behind her. Scenes like this make audience members assume filmmakers just make it a “girlboss” moment and that they aren’t actually trying to empower their female watchers. 

While the movie did start out with Brown solely going out to avenge her partner, she eventually starts to take the matter into her own hands and continues on her mission for the greater good. Women empowerment is a good thing to include in movies as it can help young viewers feel empowered, but the way “The 355” went about it was wrong. If they would have had Brown go on the mission for her own reasons from the beginning instead of focusing on her gender, the movie would have been a lot better.

While “The 355” was a good start to showing good role models for young women, there is still a lot to do for women’s empowerment in Hollywood.

Contact Adeline Gruen at [email protected]