engages with our criticisms of her, deconstructs them, and then allows us to get on with our lives

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2017/04/monsters-and-masculinity

Quotation: “Colossal”, her latest film, could be a dramatic comeback for the beleaguered star. It is not because Ms Hathaway has magically changed personality; rather, the film succeeds on a perfect marriage of story and star. It leans into her public perception, with Ms Hathaway playing a sorely unlikeable character who earns our respect over the course of the film. The film engages with our criticisms of her, deconstructs them, and then allows us all to get on with our lives.
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Hi everyone! How to clarify the bold sentence? My interpretation is as below:

The film is confronted our criticisms of her, resolves the criticisms and then allows us all to continue our lives.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    My try:
    (I am not sure it is very different from yours.)

    The film engages with our criticisms of her / The things a viewer would criticize the unlikable character for are partly the subject of the movie.
    deconstructs them, the movie analyzes these flaws and shows what they might be made of and presents other ways of thinking about them
    and then allows us all to get on with our lives. and then we see that they are not as important as we thought, so we can focus on our other concerns.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Let's see what someone else says.

    (I'm not sure that the sentence itself is so complicated. The problem is the language. The sentence uses specialized language that is used mostly by academics. It is not how most people talk about movies.)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It is an extension of this meaning of engage as a intransitive verb:

    11. to occupy oneself;
    become involved: to engage in business or politics.
    Here, 'engage with' means something like 'deal with, attempt to understand or explain'.'
     

    DrChen

    Senior Member
    French-France
    After reading the article, I think this sentence follows chronologically what we think and feel while we're we're watching the movie :
    At the beginning of the movie, The film engages with our criticisms of her →it embraces the criticisms we may have brought with us.
    Then the core of these criticisms is deconstructed: what we would criticize before sitting on that cinema chair is shown under a different light, making us look at the situation more objectively, maybe with empathy.
    Finally, it makes us realize that everybody is free to do the things they do and may have underlying reasons for doing them, and "everybody" includes ourselves: we should stop being slaves to the pressure of society (I might be going a bit far here). Therefore it allows us all to get on with our lives.
    All in all, how I get it is summarized by this sentence: "It is not because Ms Hathaway has magically changed personality"= the film doesn't show us a better Anne Hathaway, on the contrary it teaches us how to understand her (and her character) as she is without judging her hastily.
     
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