that necklace!

July 11, 2014

So I was thinking about CA: The Winter Soldier and how really really nice it was to see a big tentpole action superhero flick with a man and woman lead, working together, with absolutely no romantic involvement, or hint of one, or suggestion that there ought to be one.  Steve and Natasha are friends, or become friends, and are totally professional.  I think that’s just great.

Then I remembered the Necklace.  THAT NECKLACE.

The necklace was definitely supposed to remind us about Hawkeye, and that Black Widow and Hawkeye might be an item.  Was the necklace there expressly to tell the audience that Steve and Natasha won’t be romantically involved because she’s already “taken?”

On the one hand, this is a nice, subtle bit of signalling — much nicer than some ham-handed on-the-nose conversation would have been.  On the other hand — is that kind of signalling even necessary?  Is the only way to keep the audience from thinking that Steve and Natasha won’t hook up is to tell them that she’s already taken?  Like they can’t just be friends?  Like Clint has to frakking mark his territory or something?  Argh!

Or am I reading too much into the whole thing?



13 Responses to “that necklace!”

  1. Gerald Smith Says:

    Reading way way too much into it, I don’t even remember the necklace and I watched this numerous times. Love your writing and the blog

    Jerry Smith

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. C.J. Peter Says:

    You are fixating on women/relationships/necklaces…during a popcorn summertime action flick? Reading too much. And…I’m with the poster above regarding remembering a necklace. I was more enthralled that a “superhero” flick could be an outstanding action/adventure movie more along the lines of “Bourne” than typical comic book fare.

  3. barbtaub Says:

    Yep. I say we all hold our breath for a superhero movie starring a non-white and/or non-male lead. That passes the Bechdel test.

    Breathing is overrated anyway…

  4. carriev Says:

    You guys do know I majored in English Lit, right? There’s no such thing as “just” an action flick!

  5. Jax Says:

    I interpreted it as a foreshadow for the future films rather than a ‘marking his territory’ it was too subtle for that and the script/acting did enough of a job indicating this was a friendship rather than a proto-relationship that it would be unnecessary.
    If they want to have a relationship between HE and BW without it’s development taking up too much plot time it is a useful way to show that other things are happening in the backgroud, that these people’s lives evolve off screen as well as on.

  6. I don’t know what your level of romantic experience is, but I thought Natasha was intentionally written to have a constantly flirty subtext. You can’t ignore the name “Black Widow” (they kill after mating). Half her lines were a version of either “You’re not like other guys.” or “You can be had.” This fits well into the tradition of female spies having to weaponize their sexuality as part of the skill-set, when it’s not expected of male spies. (James Bond gets sidetracked by sex because it’s his weakness. His enemies exploit it.) I think you read too little into it.

  7. carriev Says:

    The thing is I love the necklace — it’s a great character note.

    It just suddenly struck me that Steve and Natasha’s dynamic in The Winter Soldier is really unusual, and I’d love to see more of that kind of thing. Without complications, you know?

  8. carriev Says:

    (And I’m not sure Natasha is meant to be flirty — she uses her sexuality and people’s perception of it as a weapon. It’s a tool, nothing more. She’s often relentless and emotionless. That she seems to have an actual connection with Hawkeye — that’s what’s extraordinary.)

  9. Linda T Says:

    I read it more as an Easter Egg for those of us following the whole Marvel universe rather than an ownership/relationship thing. I thought it gave her character depth. That said, I wouldn’t have noticed it if someone hadn’t pointed it out to me before I went to see the film.

  10. Linda T Says:

    (Also, I’m with you about “There’s no such thing as “just” an action flick!” Our entertainment, from the most serious, hard-hitting films, to the lightest, most juvenile junk films say something about us as people. It’s about what our collective psyche is thinking and feeling and how we’re influencing and influenced by our culture. That whole, “you’re looking too deeply at this” is a IMHO a cop out for those who don’t want to look at subtext and the psychology of the things to which they’re exposing themselves. I get accused by my family a LOT of being no fun because I can’t “just take things at face value”.)

  11. Tim Schmidt Says:

    I don’t know more about this universe than what I see in the movies so the whole necklace thing went right over my head. It seemed to me that Natasha let Steve know early on that this was a professional relationship and he seemed fine with that. He does find out that his lady love from the old days is still alive after all.
    She teases him a bit but they are friends, no more no less.


  12. Nu Says:

    The directors and Scarlett explain the necklace in some interviews. It’s definitely more of an Easter egg and actor’s choice for the character.

  13. jennavier Says:

    I agree that it is a little odd, especially since Natasha and Hawk Eye seem to have a working relationship in the Avengers, something that I really enjoyed too.

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