VERTIGO' (1958) AND FEMINISM: DISSECTING THE HITCHCOCKIAN CLASSIC USING THE FEMINIST FILM THEORY
It would be erroneous to dub ‘Vertigo’ (1958) as just a movie (Hitchcock, 1958). It is much more than that. ‘Vertigo’ redefined the cinematic art form in all its dimensions. Be it the screenplay, be it the cinematography, be it the editing or be it the production design – ‘Vertigo’ set new benchmarks. Alfred Hitchcock had truly created a reel benchmark through the enigmatic thriller. No wonder that the famed British Film Institute’s (BFI) Sight & Sound critics’ poll ranked the noir masterpiece with a psychological undertone as the greatest film ever made in 2012 (BBC, 2012). However, like everything else, ‘Vertigo’ also is beset with a distinctly dark compartment – the decidedly demeaning way it projects women and womanhood. For anybody who is aware of Hitchcock’s works, this revelation shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Hitchcock has often been accused of misogyny. Film after film, Hitchcock has shown women in his movies through not a very kind lens. Be it ‘Rebecca’ (1940) (Hitchcock, 1940) or ‘Notorious’ (1946) (Hitchcock, 1946) or ‘Strangers on a Train’ (1951) (Hitchcock, 1951) or ‘Psycho’ (1960) (Hitchcock, 1960) – the projection of women in Hitchcockian classics has been a subject of intense feminist debates. Through this assay, the researcher tries to dissect ‘Vertigo’ using the Feminist Film Theory and arrive at clear conclusions vis-à-vis the projection of women in the movie.