Harley Quinn: No longer the prey

A look at Birds of Prey, sequel to Suicide Squad


Photo obtained via Google Images under a Creative Commons license

Elizabeth Humphreys, A&E Editor

Finally separated from her old life, Birds of Prey allows Harley Quinn to gain the characterization of a predator which she long needed. Formerly in love with a patient she once treated as a psychiatrist, Quinn would have done anything for her “Mr. J.” Identified as the Joker, she was happy under their toxic relationship as she slowly becomes insane.
But as Birds of Prey beings, Quinn makes it clear that they are ended for good—calling open season on herself as the Joker is no longer there to protect her.
Having done wrong to almost everyone in the city, Quinn has to fight to make her way through the streets despite her attackers, which she does flawlessly.
Though she always submitted to the role of the Joker’s mad lover or sidekick, he is finally not included in Birds of Prey. In turn, Quinn is not present in Joker. This way, DC comics allows both characters to be developed separately.
Always having the Joker as her one weakness before, Quinn is almost unstoppably cutthroat without him. There’s actually nothing sympathetic about her, as she shows her lack of dynamic personality traits when she makes questionable decisions for her own gain. This contrasts her characterization in Suicide Squad, where in the end, at least, she is portrayed in a more heroic light.
However, I think that’s what made Birds of Prey even better. I’m starting to get bored of those characters who have something good in their hearts after all, so typical…it was a nice change to be able to see her be truly evil.
But of course, because Americans just love their happy endings, her actions at the end of the movie almost reedeem how she had betrayed the protagonist earlier. Since that character takes the form of a poor young girl, this makes Quinn seem even more cruel.
Though this image works for her. Only the “fantabulous” Harley Quinn would be able to pull off the most despicable things and still have fans supporting her. As Rotten Tomatoes put it, “Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.”
As the main plot develops, it is clear that Birds of Prey beat Suicide Squad, as things become much more interesting and detailed.
Teaming up with three unexpected allies, the Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya, Quinn seeks their help in order to defeat crime boss Black Mask and his right hand man Victor Zsasz.
Because the story is told from the point of Quinn’s narration, it is much funnier than Suicide Squad. The element of humor and greater female presence makes Birds of Prey worth watching if you can stand the continuous swearing and crude jokes. Lina Lecaro of L.A. Weekly called it “uniquely feminist to DC’s cinematic universe,” with all four of the protagonists being female.
But if you’re going to see this film, you should be aware of a couple of disturbing scenes concerning what Black Mask does to his victims; It is rated R after all. Nothing I couldn’t face (too soon?). I mean, I did sort of look away though.
But Quinn wouldn’t want those particular images to take away from her spotlight in this film. As she said, “I’m the one they should be scared of. Boo! Not [Black Mask]! Not Mister J! Because I’m Harley freaking Quinn!”